by XingBack, March 6, 2020
75

~Me to Kdramas~

Back in my day when I first ventured into the unknown Kdrama world, the usual start-up dramas were:

To The Beautiful You, Secret Garden, The Innocent Man, You're Beautiful, Coffee Prince, City Hunter, Mary Stayed Out All Night, Healer, and any drama that had "Flower" in the title. But most of them are from the early 2010s, so since we started a new decade – plus the fact that I am kinda addicted to recommending stuff – I thought why not write an article about it!

The Tale of Nokdu

  • Genre: Historical
  • Year: 2019

This genre can be hard for a newbie, but this drama had a great balance between the light comical aspects, the sweet adorable romance, and the usual palace politics. The gender bender and great acting made this amazing even for a "veteran" like me, and since my start-up genre used to be "female characters dressed as a guy" this was a great contrast.

Usually, I'd recommend Splash Splash LOVE as an introduction to the historical genre since it's short and sweet (also a gender bender xD), but my 1st historical was Empress Ki  though it was great, it was kinda heavy for a newbie, and it took me a long time before I tried another one.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

  • Genre: Youth
  • Year: 2016

This was such a refreshing, sweet slice of life drama. Bokjoo and her swag gang were so relatable, and the romance was a natural "Friends to Lovers". The story was simple and uncomplicated, so it'd be easy for a newbie to enjoy.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

  • Genre: Supernatural Romcom
  • Year: 2017

This drama was such a fresh outlook on the typical "rich guy poor girl" trope, and I usually recommend this to my real-life friends.

Both main leads were super super sweet, and the romance was adorable, but it also had a nice balance of thriller and comedy to make it interesting 'till the end. My favourite part will always be when tiny Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) saved or carried Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Shik). Usually, even if the Female Lead was more capable, the Male Lead would end up saving the day...

Extraordinary You 

  • Genre: School Fantasy
  • Year: 2019

For a more experienced viewer, this had its shortcomings, we all ended up anticipating more since this drama seemed like a fresh viewpoint for the usual school romcoms, but this would be a great, fun drama for a newbie. It's like an improved VR of the rom-com classics. ;)

Spring Turns to Spring

  • Genre: Comedy
  • Year: 2019

This is actually one of my favorite dramas, and it has another "cliche" I watched in my early days; the body switch.

The thing that separates this from other body swap dramas is that; 1 - the switch happens between two female characters, 2 - the focus on both characters (usually one is either in a coma or asleep xD), and 3 - the characters have a beautiful development.

Circle

  • Genre: Sci Fi
  • Year: 2016

Till this day, I've not seen anything like this in dramaworld. Each episode is cut into two parts, the present and the future, and they tell a story about two people trying to discover the mystery that surrounds their time.

Usually, I recommend this to friends that watch a lot of American tv shows and want something more complicated and unique.

Her Private Life

  • Genre: Romcom
  • Year: 2019

I have a love-hate relationship with the usual romcoms, but I name this the best representation – and not just because Duk Mi (Park Min Young) was a fellow fangirl. ;p

Duk Mi and Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook) were great as stand-alone characters and as a couple. They both had their lives and dreams outside their love line. He was cold and reserved without being a jerk and she was an independent career woman~

Hotel del Luna

  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Year: 2019

Fantasy dramas (especially a Hong Sisters project) can be a hit or miss for me, but this was a pure hit! It had everything I ever wanted in a fantasy, 1 - a strong female lead, 2 - main characters that had their own personality, 3 - IU, 4 - Yeo Jin Goo, and overall it had fun side stories that connected with the big picture surrounding our main characters.

Age of Youth 1 & 2

  • Genre: Youth
  • Year: 2016/2017

I personally love this type of story more than anything. It's basically a pure "slice of life" story of 5 normal girls, their love lives, their struggles, their friendships, and you just can relate to at least one of the characters. Also, I'm still waiting for the 3rd season. ;)

Live Up to Your Name 

  • Genre: Time Travel
  • Year: 2017

Beside the gender-bender and the body switch, time travel is another beautiful cliche – my firsts were Rooftop Prince, Queen In Hyun's Man, Marry Him If You Dare and Faith (though I watched this later) - and Live Up to Your Name is the more modern adaption (and a lighter one than Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo).

The charming points about this were the strong, independent female lead, the fact that they traveled back and forth through the two timelines and – my personal favorite- Kim Nam Gil's beard. :)

Writing this article and looking at the gifs actually makes me want to rewatch some of these, especially Live Up to Your Name, so don't be surprised if you see me spamming the feeds with screenshots of it! xD

Besides,  I love recommending stuff to show people some of the dramas I call "rare gems", so maybe I'll do the 2nd part of this article and mention a few more "beginner-friendly" and awesome gems everyone can try.

*Gif and picture credits to owners, all found around Google, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or recap pages. 

Info credit goes to Wikipedia, blogs, recap pages, MDL and my memory (one of the side effect from watching too many dramas are that one can easily forget minor details, so I need basic reminders. ;p)

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