Top Ten

MY TEN FAVORITE K-DRAMAS (in no particular order, and no testament to the quality of said drama – only that I liked them so very much):

– Time Between Dog and Wolf – Guns, amnesia, undercover operatives, beautiful first love, gorgeous overseas locale, stellar soundtrack, and, oh yeah, six different versions of Lee Jun Ki. I think that about sums it up. HK cops procedural combined perfectly with Korean melo-angst.

– What Happened in Bali – THE love triangle to end all love triangle debates – even the leading lady isn’t so sure who she loves. Outstanding acting by everyone involved. You won’t stop thinking about it for awhile after you finish watching it.

– City Hall – Mature, sexy, sizzling romance wrapped in a feel-good shell of a political fairy tale. The single best ending to a drama I have ever watched. It gives you everything you want, and then some more.

– Tamra the Island – Fun, poignant, dreamy – a fairy tale for young and old, innocent and jaded. Breathtaking cinematography, lyrical soundtrack, and the introduction of Team Park Kyu to the world.

– Damo – Naeuri-ahhhhhh! *collapses into a heap of tears and sobs*

– My Name is Kim Sam Soon – Not over-rated at all. Deserving of every accolade and recommendation. A romantic comedy where being unmarried and nearly on-the-shelf is not sugar-coated, but the possibility of romance is still heart-thumpingly good.

– Seodongyo – The drama that introduced me to K-dramas. You can call my love for it nostalgia, but its good on every re-watch. The one sageuk where the romance is given equal treatment with the historical intrigue. The OTP gets thrown every obstacle in the world, but you get all the ooey-gooey sweet moments and the forceful separations. In the end, you also get your happy ending.

– Beautiful Days – The only early Hallyu drama I adore to pieces. Watched it for the first time nearly ten years after it first aired, and everything worked perfectly to deliver the melodrama with the catharsis and the romance.

– Only You – Mediocre in every way, but worked for me in every respect. Love the OTP, love the simplicity of the conflict and the resolution, love the sweetness of the story.

– Sang Doo, Let’s Go To School – a story about first love, nurtured by the quiet strength of a man and the perseverance of a woman, a love story so pure and untainted that it reminds you that love is truly a beautiful thing to see.

THE TOP TEN K-DRAMAS I’VE WATCHED  (again in no particular order, the best is my subjective standard of quality only, and I’m judging each drama within the standards of it’s respective genres – also, there are so very many K-dramas I have not yet watched):

– Mawang/The Devil

– Friends, Our Legend

– Goodbye Solo

– My Name is Kim Sam Soon

– City Hall

– Damo

– Joseon X-Files/Secret Investigation Record

– Giant

– Conspiracy in the Court

– What Happened in Bali


24 Responses to Top Ten

  1. nycgrl says:

    haha I never noticed this tab. If and when you have the time you should list all the drama’s you’ve seen. It will be like a drama travel log.

  2. Taohua says:

    Just out of curiousity…Do you have a top ten jdoramas and twdramas?

  3. Lamia says:

    i luv playful kiss (why i read ur blog so much), boys over flowers, and the women who still want to marry! they’re the besttt…… i dont know what i wud do with out those three dramas….. anybody know any good romance k dramas….. cuz im rlly into them 🙂

  4. jelai1987 says:

    I love watching Playful Kiss, at first i thought the actors ad actresses are not good coz they are just copying it…but as i view it , well it excites me in every episodes , its not boring…and its very realistic…I do love also ISWAK and TKA i love the tandem of Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin…nothing can surpass them in that drama….well done for them… but also for Playful Kiss well done too..its funny hehehehehe so GUYS….VOTE FOR PLAYFUL KISS

  5. clara says:

    6 out of 10 your fav kdrama is my fav in my 10 top list too.. ^o^

  6. Crystal says:

    How about playful kiss? Kekeke

  7. KIRA >. says:

    is their new episodes after there marriage going to be uploaded………. alot of ppl hav been sayin this hope its true lovee ha ni ..fighting^.^

  8. Kristal says:

    Just read your review of Giant’s first half on thundie’s blog…so glad I’m not the only one who wants to pull out her hair when that wailing ‘looooving you’ song begins. It has seriously ruined some otherwise emotional scenes.

    In other news: It took me about 10+ episodes to make this decision, but Giant is amazing. I never thought I would have a crush on Lee Bum-soo but I am totally worshipping him right now and considering pulling out my Surgeon Bong Dal Hee dvds that have remained unwatched for at least a year. I also never thought I would find myself doing anything but giggling and smirking at men holding hands while singing but I found myself in tears instead.

    • ockoala says:

      Where’ve you been, Kristal? Thanks for letting me know how much you love Giant. It’s absolutely stunningly epic, isn’t it? I ship Gang Mo-Jeon Yeon so bad if they don’t get a happy ending I might never recover. And I hope they retire Looooooooving You as soon as possible. Hate is not strong a word for how much I loathe that song.

      • Kristal says:

        I know. The love theme for Minwoo and Miju is 100X better and they aren’t even the main couple. I am only up to episode 30 but looks like Gangmo and Jeongyeon are about to go head to head from previews. I’m kinda shipping the other couple right now though from the synopsis I know it ain’t gonna be pretty for them either.

        God, I wish some more subs would be released for the new episodes! I am seriously going to have Giant withdrawals when I catch up with withs2’s subs if I can’t get the viikii channel to work. I hear they have up to 44 there from some people on the facebook fan page but it’s not working. I might have to learn Korean! 😉

      • Kristal says:

        And I put off watching for so long because the poster gave me some bad East of Eden vibes…scary…plus I was too busy watching Baker King, Tak Gu and being obsessed with that makjang too. But I thought that lead character had it bad?! This show makes what Tak Gu went through look like a damn walk in the park!

  9. endodo4ever says:

    Hahaha! Yayy, I see SD on there! You know, most of my favorite dramas aren’t that great in terms of quality either. But they’re the most appealing ones to me, and that’s what counts. Woaaah, and I just realized that you like “Only You” & “Ballad of Seodongyo” as well! I own those so I can I rewatch them while drinking hot chocolate.

  10. yeisha says:

    ockoala, OMO!!! i love your top 10 faves! *high fives*
    esp. What Happened in Bali, Damo, Only You.

    Geez, just thinking about how much my heart hurt while watching Bali makes me sigh. How great was the acting in that drama? It solidified my girl crush for HJW, for sure. Love how you included Only You — not great but it definitely made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. And OTP was indeed adorable, loved how he always called her “ahjumma” like an endearment. Reminds me of how BSJ called OHN “ahjumma” in PK. 😉

  11. alodia says:

    ey, did you know that your description of MNIKSS made me teary-eyed?
    ok, ok… i won’t lie anymore. i made me cry! honest!

  12. Ivy says:

    hi koala, i’ve had mixed feelings about K-drama, since some I’ve watched are very draggy and long-winded, n i don’t have so much time to watch them. i’ve only watched a few a long time ago, but don’t remember much of the dramas i’ve watched, even famous classic ones like Winter Sonata. and for some, i watched bits n pieces here and there, and rarely the entire drama because they don’t really hook my interest.

    but i’ve decided to go through your Top 10 list slowly, and i’ve started City Hall, which is why I’m awake now instead of sleeping like i should. my gosh, every epi is making me laugh like crazy or bury my face in ultimate embarrassment – this drama is hilarious!

    just wanna say thanks for letting me believe once again in the quality of K-drama…

  13. hardie says:

    have u seen k-drama my girlfriend is a gumiho..??? acting cast lee seung gi and shin min ah???

  14. acha says:

    i love every part of it. i’ve seen a lot of korean drama since 2000 and until now only city hall that fill fills my satisfaction on korean drama. great script, great acting, great scene. when i watch korean korean drama there’s always have unimportant scene in the episodes but city hall doesn’t. it have the best ending i’ve ever seen in korean drama.

  15. korean drama fan says:

    where can i watch conspiracy in the court and damo with english subs?

  16. bryanjervis says:


  17. missjb says:

    My most favourite drama is not the best drama in terms of quality either… hahhaha
    I’m just such a sucker character growth drama theme, romance with alot of sweet moment theme, etc…

  18. jowha says:

    You’re so right! There is something about the drama Something Happened in Bali. It’s been eons since I’ve watched that drama, but I can never forget it. It was one of the many Korean dramas that I remember watching as I hid in a corner because my parents told me to go to bed. I always begged by mom to go to go to the Korean video store every Friday because that’s when the videos came out. [You see this was when the internet was sail slow]

    Those were the days when all the great writers and actors were around. It’s difficult to find a decent script writer now days.

  19. mo-nae says:

    your midpoint review of Giant (on thundie blog) made me watch. I marathoned those 60 episodes in a record time, and i didn’t regret it! It was awesome! so my next drama is gonna be one of the others u listed here! thank you!

  20. Bertha says:

    I love Princess Hours and Full House….so realistic….like Princess Diana and Prince Charles….I love Song Ye Kyo’s Charcter….

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