I’ve been a music/movie/drama lover since I was a young girl. I remember I used to listen to telenovelas (soap operas) on the radio while sitting on the counter avoiding my sister while she cleaned the house. I used to love the voices and the drama the music provided, the plot that made me gasp and go ‘oh my god she didn’t’, ear pressed against the radio to listen closely. Back then, morning telenovelas when school was out was my favorite thing. So, when I discovered the world of K-dramas/movies I was over the top. I never thought any other culture could capture the over-the-top drama that latin telenovelas do. But then, K-drama/movies appeared on my radar and it was amazing.
I’m sure this will not be an over popular topic with most of you guys. I, sometimes admit the drama is a bit over the top and I want to slap people on the face when the drama becomes too much; but, I love the sense of family, respect and healthy love, plus gorgeous music we get. I enjoy K-dramas/movies because they are clean for all ages, they don’t have to involve over the top sexy people without clothes or people having sex all the time to make up. In this world, we get beautiful sceneries, delicious food, amazing outfits, FUNNY/over the top comedy, awesome families, comic relief villains, OSTs [music] for every scene imaginable, and just a bit of everything without too much cursing or unnecessary nudity.
Below please find some recommendations that may introduce you to the K-drama if you haven’t been sucked into it already!
- I believe Stairway to Heaven (2003) is the first drama that everyone should be introduced to. Its considered very old school when it comes to the K-drama world and let me tell you why: the plot is unbelievable, the angst is real and, please get ready to cry by the end of the drama. I was eleven when I first watched this one, I used to stay until 2 in the morning with one of my oldest sisters because we couldn’t stop. We wanted to know until what point the main character would suffer and if they would end up together. (the story revolves around a girl who falls in love with her childhood friend and then grows apart because of an evil step-sister, who wins the most hateful character in this world (AND YOU THOUGHT VOLDERMORT AND UMBRIDGE WERE BAD, WHERE THEY ARE NOTHING!) and who makes her life miserable; and it also revolves around the main characters trying to be together). Not only are the characters amazing (even the villains) but the love, the plot, the MUSIC (please listen to Bo Go Ship Da and you will fall in love) is all.
- Goblin (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, 2016) is a beloved drama that when it came out everyone loved it. The soundtrack is to die for (all songs, I’ve never loved a soundtrack entirely as I loved this one). If you like the supernatural and history background you will enjoy this one. It has amazing writing, the characters are well-developed, the bromance is real, the magical and special effects aspect is brilliant, gorgeous setting, AND GET THE TEARS READY. Now, I felt a bit weird at the beginning watching this one – the characters have age-difference but have in mind that the Korean age is different (they count one more year than the standard age) and the school system is different (I believe their high school are until 19 – please correct me if I’m wrong). But, this drama had it all, to explain the plot: the Goblin was a General who was always a winner and the King was envious of him, the King loved the Goblin’s sister and he killed the sister, the Goblin and almost everyone in his army. The Goblin then gains immortal life and can only be killed by a human bride – and then enters the human bride, our main protagonist. But, the story is more than that, is about love through time, about evil murmuring on the King’s ear, about the King being equally punished, about Grim Reapers and having more than one life. And about trying to live even when you’re dying.
- Another great love of mine is Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (2016) get ready to LAUGH. This is one of those extremely funny FALL-IN-LOVE dramas that will make you laugh until you are done with life. Is not only full of laugh, but the family is amazing, the friendship, the drama is full of sports and get this, it showcases a girl who is taller than average, loves to eat, is not extremely thin, is not cute in the “oh my god that dress is so cute” but is cute in a normal, realistic way (with sweat pants and all). It depicts a story of positive body awareness, real friendship, family support and weightlifting for women too. The romance is cute, funny and the sound effects to laugh like I said – until you die.
- Then we have It’s Okay, That’s Love (2014) where we see a more mature relationship with genuine problems. One of the main characters has OCD, he has an imaginary friend that represents his teenager years under abuse, he can only sleep in his bathtub and has undiagnosed schizophrenia. Not only that, we have a group of people where we see them going through their own issues. You may think “holy mother this sounds heavy” but between all that there is a lightness, a dysfunctional family love and a funny group of people living under the same roof and learning to respect boundaries. The main OST is by one of my favorite singers from a boy group, the song The Best Luck truly captures the love between the main characters.
- School 2013 (2012) is directed to the younger generations but I believe anyone can watch and learn to love the themes during this drama. Something I’ve noticed in K-Dramas is the use of the school environment, where we see how the stress of being the top breaks kids – like in any other school I supposed -, where having good grades is mostly for the parents, where children go to other classes after finishing their regular school hours. In School 2013 we follow a broken friendship that was part of a gang, of children where parents are not always present, of where teachers try to do the parents role. I sincerely loved this drama, is part of a series of similar titles and different years where we always follow a group of a mixture of outcasts, broken children, or those where parents are not there. I think they embark into dark and gloomy themes that are needed to be portrayed in a realistic view.
- What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018) is recent, extremely funny, romantic, light mood and cute to an unimaginable level. A man who is in love with his own reflection, a dark past, a trauma that he doesn’t remember, a girl who tries her best until she becomes the best and a man who is incredibly blind. This drama had it all, family, mood, romance, funny scenes, a one-sided love triangle (if you can say so) and did I mentioned FUNNY. Not only does it includes an incredible cast but the plot is what you need in a day where you’re feeling especially down.
- Special mentions: Good Doctor (no, not the American version but the original one) and Please Come Back, Mister.
I hope that some of these recommendations are interesting enough for you all to check them out. You will laugh, cry, kick and kill someone’s grandmother/mother/mother-in-law. This is not my usual book related post but please enjoy ^^ 🌸