Image from MyDramaList
Yes, my dear readers, it’s epidemic. Haha! I’m infected, aminado. Years back, I wasn’t fond of watching Asian films and series. Hilong hilo kasi ako sa subtitle. It’s more like reading to me than watching. Ang hirap mag-concentrate sa ibang movie elements kasi na-consume na yung attention mo ng pagbabasa. The only Asian drama that I completed was Coffee Prince. Though I loved that series a lot, hindi na yun nasundan for a long time. 2014 came and I got interested again after watching “49 Days” out of curiosity. Since then, watching Asian films and TV shows especially those that are created by Koreans, Thai and Indians became a weekly thing. I watch at least 3 to 4 in a month. Either I binge on a few episodes before I go to sleep or during busy days, mina-marathon ko pag weekend.
As a writer, it helped my creative process a lot. The thing I love most about Kdramas is that may variety yung mga kwento. Korean writers rarely follow a formula and making movies and TV shows for them seem like a huge creative playground which, to be honest, pinagdadasal ko na ma-apply din ng mga Pinoy minsan. They seldom stretch their stories kaya hindi nagiging dragging and boy, the budget! They really spend to make their shows worth watching regardless kung nagre-rate or hindi.
Having said that, sa dami ng mga napanood ko never ako nag-attempt na gumawa ng listahan ranking them from 1 to whatever but I decided to create one now. I may miss out on your favorite series but since this one is my list, I used my “hangover level” as the basis. Kung pwede ko lang ilista lahat, I will, kasi marami talagang magaganda but if you’re looking for a Kdrama to watch, I hope this helps. Ito yung mga tumatak talaga sa’kin.
5. Reply 1988
It’s a family drama pero hindi siya malalang dramahan. This series had me laughing hard on the comedy scenes. Minsan hindi pa meant maging comedy yung eksena but the actors (especially yung parents) are so natural. Nakita ko yung mga magulang at mga tito at tita ko sa kanila. I fancy anything vintage so I guess medyo may bias ako dun because the setting of the story is in the late 80’s. Ito yung series na tinipid ko yung panonood because I didn’t want it to end. I felt like I was a part of their neighborhood and in reality, how I wish makahanap ako ng ganung community where everybody genuinely cared about everyone. The five main characters who were childhood friends were convincing as well. I watched some of their behind-the-scene footages and it seemed like a very happy set. This series will teach you so much about love, family, and friendship. And by the way, ang hirap hulaan kung sino magkakatuluyan. Kudos sa writer.
4. It’s Okay, That’s Love
Great acting by the whole cast. In my opinion, though I have watched a lot of dramas, this is where Gong Hyo Jin really showed her incredible acting prowess. Napabilib niya ko ng sobra. Jo In Sung was amazing, as always. I love how he could handle crying scenes without overdoing it pero buhos yung emosyon. It was realistic. Needless to say... how can a human being be so gorgeous?? He had undeniable chemistry with Gong Hyo Jin. In some scenes, they were believable as a couple. Their kiss scenes were... ugh! Basta panoorin niyo! Haha! Storywise, ang daming shocking twist. That’s one of the many things that I love about this Kdrama. Pinaglaruan ng writer yung isip ko. Lee Sung Kyung also appeared on this show and this is where I first noticed her kaya ako na-excite when I first heard that she’ll be the lead in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Another point, the series is psych in nature so I can relate since I’m a Psych grad. It was fun being acquainted again with familiar terms.
3. W (Two Worlds)
It’s Lee Jong Suk. What’s not to like? Haha! This guy is sooo good in picking his projects. I have watched almost all his series and he slays the action genre. He’s not the macho type. He doesn’t even have that astig aura but that’s the thing. Babyface and lean physique but he can surely pull off his characters. Han Hyo Joo did well too. Ang ganda niya. Kahit sa mga eksenang dugyot na dapat siya, ang fresh pa rin niya. Pero yung hangover ko sa series na ‘to lumala because of their chemistry. I shipped them so hard even after the series. I don’t know if they were just really good actors o sadyang may something talaga sila in real life (I’ve seen the behind-the-scene videos and I can’t help but swoon over them, and sweet naman kasi talaga offcam). The series started strong. Each episode was compelling, I could only say “Ang taba ng utak ng writer nito!” I got a bit worried halfway through the show because there were one to two episodes na medyo naconfuse ako sa mga nangyayari but then, magaling yung creative team, they were able to pick it up. The premise itself na nagmix ang mundo ng graphic novel at ng real world, yun pa lang nakakabilib na but for them to create 16 episodes out of it, it was insane. The effects were really good too.
It’s a crime drama na may pagka-CSI and Criminal Minds. I’m a big fan of crime-related documentaries, movies and shows. Ang sarap pag-aralan how they solve crimes and how perpetrators think. Tapos pag nahuli sila nakikigigil ka dun sa mga nakahuli. Bumabatok ka rin sa TV/monitor. What’s unique about this series is the time travel element. Not sure kung time travel ba tamang term dun basta they were talking through a radio/walkie-talkie. One is in the present and the other is in year 2000. They solved cold cases and even tried to prevent some crimes from happening. I read a few articles about this series and some say na it was inspired by real criminal cases that happened in Korea. Mas lalo siya naging interesting para sa’kin. I even researched for those cases and traced whether it got solved in real life o nanatili na lang siyang cold case. Every episode, clues were dropped but what made it my no.2 is yung pagkakatahi nila ng mga detalye. There were scenes (which I won’t spoil) na napapa “sh*t! ang galing!” ako. Every episode was a puzzle piece.
Hindi ko alam papano ko sisimulan! Haha! I love everything about this drama. I can’t even describe how I feel evertime maaalala ko yung mga eksena at maririnig ko yung soundtrack. Sa sobrang bilib ko sa writer, I had to research about her and her previous work at hindi na ‘ko nagtaka because her portfolio is gold. Kim Eun Sook wrote a lot of hit series including Descendants of the Sun and Secret Garden. I wasn’t interested at first though nababasa ko nga sa mga reviews na maganda but I have this habit kasi of watching only when a series is done. Like everyone else, ayaw ko ng nabibitin. But with this series, I made an exception. Gorgeooooous camerawork. Sobrang sarap sa mata ng mga shots. Mahahalikan ko talaga yung cinematographer at director. Especially the scenes in the buckwheat field and those that were shot in Quebec, nagpiyesta yung mata ko at kinurot niya ng bongga yung puso ko. The characters on the scenes need not speak their lines. The camera angles and the other elements ultimo patak ng ulan at snow, it spoke for them. And good heavens, the soundtrack. Earworm ko siya for almost a month. Pag nakahanap ako, I will pay for the original CD just so I could have a keepsake. Ganun siya ka-worth it. The cast was good. Topnotch acting from Lee Dong Wook (who’s such an eyecandy, by the way) and Yoo In Na. Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun... haaaay. Episode 13 and 15, their scenes (I won’t spill the specifics for the sake of those na hindi pa nakakapanood) made its mark in me. Hindi ko alam paano nila inaral yung atakeng gagawin nila sa mga eksena but they were reaaaaaaally good. At first hindi ko nakita yung chemistry nila but they played their roles exceptionally well and as a viewer, they made me believe that great love never dies and in their case, it is eternal. The chemistry was so real I farted rainbows everytime I see them together. Haha! The script fascinated me too lalo na yung mga dialogue nung deity. I learned a lot about faith, kindness, justice, love and His will. I think it would take a while before another Kdrama kicks this out of my list’s top spot and I’ll definitely watch it again some time soon.
Other Kdramas that almost made it to my top 5, hindi ko na ‘to na-rank pero worth it sila ulitin:
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Descendants of the Sun
My Love from the Star
Kill Me, Heal Me
I will be blogging about my top Korean movies too. Will have it posted next week. I wish I could watch enough Indian and Spanish movies too. Hopefully, I could make time soon pag di na hectic sa work. Yung tipong one week off, tulog at nood lang. *wishful thinking* If you have other Kdrama or foreign film suggestions, please send me a message or comment on this post. Baka maka-discover ako ng mga bago sa inyo. Thank you in advance! :)