Many of us have seen our fair share of K-dramas this year and before the year ends, I would like to share with you my Top 5 K-drama picks of 2012!
One of the most underrated K-dramas of the year, Ghost has two hunks as the leads — So Ji Sub and Choi Daniel. You may not pick this drama up based on the title alone, but give it a chance — it isn’t really what it seems to be. Firstly, it’s not about ghosts, really, but more about cyber ‘ghosts’.
In the drama, there is a character called the Phantom, who is a hacker and writer for an online news site. The Phantom is out to share the truth behind the death of a popular actress with the public, but instead, he gets hunted down by the cyber police investigation team.
The turning point in this drama is how Choi Daniel’s character, Park Ki Young, is able to assume the identity of his dead friend, Kim Woo Hyun (portrayed by So Ji Sub). Intrigued? Check out yourself and see how the drama unfolds!
4. Queen In-Hyun’s Man
One of the many sageuk dramas this year that features the time warp element. Queen In-Hyun’s Man marries the past and present in this romance.
Ji Hyun Woo portrays Kim Boong Do, a Joseon scholar, while Yoo In Na is Choi Hee Jin, a struggling actress who finally manages to land a huge role portraying Queen In-Hyun.
A little bit of fate and magic result in Hee Jin meeting Boong Do when he time travels to modern-day Seoul. Their love story develops and thanks to a talisman, Boong Do discovers that he time travels to the future every time he comes face-to-face with death.
But when Boong Do reads the history books and tampers with history, everything changes — even his relationship with Hee Jin!
Will Hee Jin and Boong Do ever be reunited in the same time and space? Well, the only way to find out is to go and watch the drama, guys!
3. The Moon That Embraces The Sun
Ahh… prepare plenty of tissues for this one. As emotional as it is, you’ll still get to smile at some of the silly and happy moments in this drama. Lee Hwon, crown prince and later king, is wonderfully portrayed by Yeo Jin Goo (15 years old) and Kim Soo Hyun.
Lee Hwon meets and falls in love with Heo Yeon Woo, portrayed by Kim Yoo Jung (13 years old) and later, Han Ga In. Unbeknownst to him, his elder brother, Prince Yang Myung (portrayed by Lee Min Ho and Jung Il Woo) is also in love with the same girl.
When Yeon Woo is betrothed to Lee Hwon, a dejected Yang Myung leaves home only to return to news that Yeon Woo ‘died’ because of a sickness. In actual fact, Yeon Woo is bewitched by black magic and is later resurrected by the head shaman.
Years later, a shaman named Wol appears in the palace, and is made a living talisman to protect the king. The shaman feels that she knows him well, yet has no recollection of knowing him prior to their first meeting. Could she be the Yeon Woo that Lee Hwon has been pining for?
Well, I’d say you’d better find that out yourself, though I can’t help but give you a little hint: true love really does exist!
2. Rooftop Prince
Rooftop Prince was one of the dramas that I looked forward to, since it was billed as a romantic comedy drama with a hint of mystery. Okay, I admit, it was hugely because JYJ’s Park Yoochun was starring in it that really got me interested in the first place. You know, my admiration for his acting skills increased after watching his stunning performance in this particular drama.
Yoochun gave a spectacular portrayal of multiple roles, first as Yong Tae Yong, the modern-day heir of a huge conglomerate, and second as Lee Gak, a Joseon prince whose wife was found drowned.
When Lee Gak finds himself transported from Joseon with three of his men to modern-day Seoul, he discovers that being a Prince does nothing for him. The four end up in many hilarious fish-out-of-water situations that had me in stitches!
When Yong Tae Yong’s grandmother claims Lee Gak to be her long-lost grandson, all hell breaks loose as Lee Gak has to act as Yong Tae Yong, but he manages to scrape by with the help of Park Ha. Lee Gak then slowly unravels the mystery surrounding his time travelling. It has something to do with the death of his wife, who looks exactly like Park Ha’s sister.
Looking for great laughs with some action / thriller Then this is the drama to pick up, if you have yet to!
1. Reply 1997 (also known as Answer Me 1997)
Hands down, this has to be the best K-drama of 2012 to date. I only picked up this drama because of the buzz in the K-entertainment scene. Well, it turns out the buzz was really for something!
In this ‘fresh’ drama, which is really fresh because of its quirky concept, many idols make their acting debut. Interested already? Well, to start with, there’s Seo In Guk, Superstar K winner, A Pink’s Jung Eun Ji, Infinite’s Hoya, and Sech Kies’ Eun Ji Won (though many might say he’s a former idol)!
And to top it off, we have cameos from H.O.T.’s Tony Ahn, ZE:A’s Im Siwan, Jewelry’s Kim Ye Won, A Pink’s Park Cho Rong and Yoon Bo Mi, to name a few.
In the drama, Eun Ji’s character, Sung Shi Won, revisits her high school years in 1997, when H.O.T. still rules supreme. Shi Won is the epitome of a typical die-hard fan who practically worships Tony Ahn to the extent of stalking him outside his home (who else is guilty of being a sasaeng fan?) and gets caught by none other than the man himself.
Seo In Guk’s character, Yoon Yoon Jae, is in love with Shi Won but is afraid of expressing his feelings as they have practically known each other their whole lives. Yoon Jae’s character is one to watch as he loves Shi Won secretly, and in return is secretly admired by two others. Guess who?
I really loved this drama with all its 90s paraphernalia (remember the days of Tamagotchis and cassettes?), comical and aptly inserted background sounds, as well as the themes of finding true love and the importance of family ties. Check out the great OST too!
Look out for Shi Won’s papa and mama… they’ll be sure to give you lots of things to laugh about!
I could have missed out some great dramas along the way, so make sure to share with us your top K-drama picks in the comments section below!
Picture credit: koreandrama.org