Dedededede (cranberrysheep) wrote,

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All I do is watch TV - Asian Dramas and Western Television

Currently Watching

Asian Dramas
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge
  • GOLD
  • Rooftop Prince
Western TV
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • The Legend of Korra
  • True Blood

Completed Dramas
Five Stars - Like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.
Four Stars - Quite enjoyable, but not exceptional. Like really good pizza instead of a steak.
Three Stars - Completely servicable dramas, but someone has to be at the top of the bell curve.
Two Stars - They have their good points, but there is a lot better out there.
One Star - Not worth your time in the slightest.
No Stars - Run, do not walk, away from these.

Incomplete Dramas
Have Not Finished
In The Future

Five Stars (*****)

  • Bara no nai Hanaya - The story of a florist who is a single father to the most amazing girl in the entire world. One day he meets a blind woman who has recently moved into the neighborhood and they start a deliciously romantic friendship and more. Little do they realized the secrets the other is hiding. In turn delightful and a little heart-breaking, this is a wonderful story of relationships between very, very real people. Completely lovely.
  • Capital Scandal - Set in 1930's Japanese occupied Korea this drama is about freedom fighters, the rich playboys who love them, cop, assasins, dance parties, and suits (pink! with bowties!). It's funny, smart, sad, inspiring, and completely fantastic. I loved it, loved it, loved it.
  • Coffee Prince - I don't think I can say anything about this drama that hasn't been said my someone else at some point. It's wonderful, it's funny, it's sad, and it deals with topics you don't normally see in dramas. It's longer than it should have been but deal with things in such a mature, beautiful, but amusing way I will forgive it that. Plus, Gong Yoo is a beautiful man.  
  • Hana Yori Dango (both seasons and movie) - My first drama. One that will forever remain at the top of my list because of it's magic. Makino is awesome, Domyouji is hilarious, all the characters are great. It introduced me to the cracktastic world of dramas in such a perfect way. I've never looked back.  
  • Legend - This is a superb mix of fantasy, legend, and historical drama. It deals with the legend of the Four Gods (Fushigi Yuugi, anyone?), only this time we get God's son in the deal. Beautiful scenery, exciting action and superb characters. The ending leaves a little to be desired, but the rest is so fantastic it doesn't matter.
  • My Boss My Hero - Completely and utterly hilarious. If you don't fall in love with Nagase Tomoya as the yakuza-turned-high-school-student, I don't know what is wrong with you. WATAAHHHH~~~
  • Nobuta wo Produce - What could have been a completely dull rendition of a makeover story turns the cliche on it's head. WIth funny but flawed characters it's a wonderful story about real friendship and recognizing the importance of being yourself. Plus, Yamapi is hilarious as Akira.  
  • Nodame Cantabile (and SP) - On the surface it's a great slapstick drama, complete with anime/manga like sequences (and a plane crash memory that makes me lol every damn time) about students at a music school. Underneath, it's still hilarioius, but is also a darling love story with some awesome music (and lol-tastic conducting).  Plus, Tamaki Hiroshi has never been hotter.
  • Utahime - When a drama can make me both laugh till my sides hurt and cry like a baby, I know it is a winner. Utahime is an exheedingly precious love story between a girl and the amnesiac man who lives with her family (and helps run their movie theater) in a little seaside town in 1950's Japan. The side characters are fantastic; the entire tapestry of the town is fantastic. And as the drama starts winding to its bittersweet ending, it is beautiful.

Four Stars (****)

  • Bad Family - Watched the first episode off of a recommendation I got from sailorgaia and immediately had to get it all.  Hilarious and touching all at the same time it's a story about a ragtag fake family brought together under various circumstances to help a little girl gain back her memory.  They learn and grow and threaten each others lives.  It's awesome.
  • City Hunter - I had no intention of watching this drama and I'm so glad I listened to all the hype. This is an exciting action drama with a good amount of romance and drama. Lots of fun to watch. (Finished Summer 2011)
  • Fantasy Couple - This was SO CLOSE to getting a 5 star rating, if just not for the last two episodes. Through the majority of the show it was very funny with some really great characters (Oh Ji Ho isn't to bad to look at). Anna was the highlight of the show: so confident, bossy, and completely hilarious. It just got bogged down in the last two episodes with angst that didn't make any sense. HIGHLY reccommended despite that. Just fastforward to the very end, that's all that really matters
  • Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (and SP) - Hana Kimi.  How do you explain Hana Kimi to anyone?  It's complete and utter crack.  I love it because it's something you'd never get in America and while it is not entirely true to the original story (or so I hear) that is fine because it is a complete entity into and of it's own.  Completely ridiculous, but completely awesome.  And Toma is pure love as Nakatsu. I really didn't think the SP captured the same magic though.
  • Hong Gil Dong - I absolutely adored 3/4 of this drama. I give that portion 5 stars because it had everything I loved - comedy, romance, and a touch of angst. It was a fun and exciting ride - a Korean Robin Hood that we see develop from a layabout to the inspiration of a people. I loved the characters, their relationships, the clothes, and the setting. And then it took everything I loved about it and swept it under the carpet for "the big dramatic end." I didn't like the path the end of the series took, I'd rather remember it sans that. But after the writers decided to take that route, I can understand and appreciate the ending.
  • Hotaru no Hikari - Hotaru is a himono-onna (dried fish woman) who prefers staying home to going out (a woman after my own heart!) who ends up living with her straight-laced boss. They are completely adorable and goofy together. I only wish more time had been spent exploring their romantic relationship instead of him coaching her in her first love with another guy.
  • Joseon X-Files - Great mix of drama, humor, and creepiness. Plus, I don't think there has ever been another drama that I've loved just looking at so much. It's strange that for a show that dealt with such strange topics, I'll mostly remember how great I thought the camera work and lighting was. The director did a wonderful job of creating atmosphere through both. For a show about aliens and other phenomena it just felt real to me from the locations to costumes to characters. it was more like watching a movie than a drama. (Finished January 2011)
  • Kekkon Dekinai Otoko - It's got great writing that's funny and sharp and a wonderful cast of characters. Though I am suprised it took me so long to realize just how similar it is to the movie As Good As It Gets. It didn't hit me until episode 8 when Kuwano dog-sits Ken. They are pretty much the exact same story about a man who is fantastically bad at interacting with the world around him and consistently insults his OTP. They even both have neighbors with (adorable) dogs. This isn't a slight on KDO, because As Good As It Gets is a great movie and the jdrama is very much an extended version of a great movie. I only wish there hadn't been so much marriage talk.
  • My Girlfriend is a Gumiho - This drama would have been nothing without Shin Min-ah as Gu Mi-ho. Sure, it has the Hong Sisters doing their funny, cute thing with some bonus supernatural elements. But for me it came down to the gumiho herself. The rest I could take or leave for the most part, though Dae-woong does hold up his half of the equation quite well.
  • Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku - NatsuNiji featured a cast of characters where I adored every single person from too-earnest Taiga and sad but strong Shiori to adorable Umi and snarky Sakura. Though maybe the winner of my affections was Taiga's brother. When he first entered the scene I was thinking he'd be the reasonable one in a wacky family and I couldn't have been more wrong. Every scene he was in was my favorite. So, if you're just looking for a sweet love story filled with lovely people, check it out.
  • One Pound Gospel - I'm not sure why I rank this so high, because looking at my three star rated dramas it could very well fit in there nicely.  But I just found the whole this SO SWEET.  Kame, who I believe is an excellent actor that often picks boring roles/shows/movies, was just so precious in this as the nun-loving, over-eating (I didn't say it was BELIEVABLE) boxer.
  • Pride - Halu is a playboy ice hockey superstar with a wounded heart. Aki is an office lady at his company who has been waiting for her boyfriend to return for the past two years. She is a little traditional but all around awesome. They are adorable and exactly what the other needs. This totally would have ranked higher if the last couple episodes did drag quite as much.
  • Scent of a Woman - I usually keep dramas with illness storylines at a safe distance, but I heard so many nice things about this drama I decided to give it a shot. I was completely delighted by it. Sure, there were more than a few times I bawled my eyes out, but it also maintained that balance of drama and humor that is key to something really clicking with me. For a story about a woman dying it's hardly depressing, but rather gently uplifting. (Finished September 2011)
  • Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi - The story of a man tasked with saving Japan from the giant catfish living under it by a talking deer. It may be a bit slow for some people, especially in the beginning, but I just fell in love with every aspect of it. It's quirky, and for it's subject matter (talking deer!), it is pretty low-key (and kind of bizzare). But it is a great mix of mystery and mythology. Plus, the cinemetography was beautiful (the deer are cute too, though the cg ones are pretty silly looking).
  • Smiling Pasta - This was just insanely cute. I love a story that knows not to take itself too seriously (sup Hana Kimi?!) but doesn't lose site of engaging the viewer (Mei-chan). Smiling Pasta hit everything just right, I reveled in the silliness (dramatic fighting!) and the adorable (Nicholas Teo's smile!). Both couples were fantastic in their own sometimes awesome-dorky-cool (Ah Zhe and Rita) and precious (Xiao Shi and He Qun) ways. I did take some issue with the treatment of Xiao Shi as "stupid" especially by her fiancee but it really was out of love, so most is forgiven.
  • SPEC - When news of this drama first broke I was intrigued because it had Erika Toda playing pretty against type as strange-mannered detective, but then I forgot about it because I'm really not that interested in procedurals. THEN I learned it involved people with supernatural powers and had an awesome overarching mystery and that was another story entirely. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This show is funny, a little scary, and actually does manage to shock you. It's pretty awesome, is what I'm saying.
  • The Painter of the Wind - This drama has everything going for it, a stellar cast, amazing wardrobe, and fantastic cinemetography. It's the story of a painter who defied all tradition and ruffled more than a few feathers. She was also secretly a girl. It's both funny and gut-wrenching in turn. My only quabble is that is moved rather slow and the ending was a little disappointing.
  • The Vineyard Man - I'm a sucker for a good love story.  I didn't think I was going to like this at first because Ji Hyun really annoyed me in the first two episodes, but it shaped up pretty fast.  It's the same old "city-girl meets farm-boy and they don't get along schtick", but it's cute and funny and Oh Manseok is a complete darling as the gruff yet loveable country bumpkin.  It's a sweet, simple love story. Plus, it's one of the few times I actually laughed out loud at toilet humor.
  • Tiger & Dragon - Nagase is a humorless yakuza who wants to get into the traditional form of Japanese comedy called Rakugo. Each of the episode is based on a classic rakugo tale, so you have the modern day story, Tora and other rakugo performers telling the story, and the same actors (in old timey Japanese garb) re-enacting it all woven into this giant, intricate tapestry of story overlapping and reinforcing itself. It's completely hilarious and the only reason I only give it four stars is that it is very Japanese. I honestly just didn't get some of the humor.

Three Stars (***)

  • A Million Stars Falling From the Sky - A detective is investigating a murder that leads to a young man of questionable morality... who gets a little too close to his sister. There are secrets and schemes and really intiguing characters. Some of the plot points are weak, but this drama more than makes up for it in atmosphere. And it totally pulls the big guns out in the last four episodes.
  • A Sleeping Forest - More creeptacular Kimura! This suspense drama didn't waste an opportunity to keep you guessing until the very end. The first few episodes were a tiny bit slow, especially in comparison to the rest of the craziness that went down throughout the rest of the dramas run.
  • Best Love - I had VERY high expectations for this drama. It was by the Hong Sisters, who've written three dramas that I love (Fantasy Couple, Hong Gil-dong, and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho). They are fantastic comedic writers and that was in full display in Best Love, which was genuinely funny. I was also excited for it to feature an older cast, but it turns out that didn't really matter, because Dokko Jin spent the majority of the show acting like a five year old. Really? He can't tell if he likes a girl? REALLY? You were a teenage boy once, right? I would think you'd have figured this out as some point. Anyway, it was enjoyable, but one thing that really started to grate on me was the extensive use of metaphor. (Finished June 2011)
  • Boys Over Flowers - The first half of this was spectacular. I was fully prepared to rank it ahead of Hana Yori Dango. And then came the time skip and the second half; and this wonderful drama laid a GIANT EGG. It was a complete mess and I couldn't give two shakes about the Jandi or Jun Pyo by the end. At least I got my secondary OTP (I'm looking at you, HYD).
  • Buzzer Beat - Just like everyone said, this is very similiar to Long Vacation in it's tone. Only problem here is that the male lead isn't near as engaging (sorry, Pi). On the other hand, I adored Keiko's Riko. It was cute, very cute, and I love cute, but it all got a little drawn out in the end for my taste. Not a lot of basketball for a basketball drama.
  • Coffee House - Kang Ji Hwan. This was his long awaited return to dramaland after a string of movies. I was very excited to have him back on my screen, especially in such a fun little show. Coffee House is a solid romantic comedy that for the most part delivers everything you'd expect from a romantic comedy... and nothing more. It's funny and has some great OTP moments, but in the end isn't that spectacular. Plus, Seung-yeon annoyed me to no end.
  • Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung - For a while there, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish this show. I hated everyone. Soo-jung was a heartless money-grubber, Man-soo was a bitter women-hater, Soo-jung's father was so stupid and helpless I almost couldn't stand it, her friends were shrill, selfish individuals, Dae-soon was sickeningly sweet. UGH. It was bad. And then, suddenly, I started to really enjoy it. It's very funny, but the first half is hit and miss and Oh Ji-ho makes a very convincing handsome block of wood... not so much a person. (Finished June 2011)
  • Goong - I really wanted to rank this higher, but just couldn't bring myself to because of how it draaaaags towards the end (which I hear is due to the original episode order being increased by 4, but I think they could have trimmed out even more than that).  What it is though, is a lovely Cinderella story about a quirky art student who has to marry the Crown Prince of Korea (who is kind of a douche, only not really, of course).  There is political intrique and beautiful costumes.  It's pretty adorable and fun, and even though it drags it still deserves a watch.
  • Gumiho: Tale of the Fox's Child - This drama had a lot going for it: an intriguing storyline and interesting mythology plus character relationships you don't normally see spotlighted in dramas. Mainly: the bond between mother and child. I love that the mother/daughter relationship was such a key point. It was refreshing. I even loved the B-movie horror aspect that the drama used. It wasn't refined, but they did a pretty good job. I just wish it had moved along a little faster. Too much time was spent watching characters run around the forest screaming. It was tiresome. And I know the show was capable of better, because it often was.
  • IRIS - Love, guns, and spies! Iris is what some might call your standard action story. While it definitely has plenty of gunfights and awesome action sequences (ladies strangling terrorists with desklamps!) it's also a heart-wrenching story about friendship and love. Personally, I thought the weak points were found in the conspiracy itself, since 24 did it so much better. There weren't a lot of suprises, but it makes up for that in the relationships between the characters. I've never been so emotionally invested in this kind of story before.
  • Kurosagi (and movie) - A con man who cons con men (or as the subs call him, a 'swindler' - which I found hilarious everytime they said it) in the hopes of eventually getting revenge on the con man that drove his family to kill his family and himself.  Basically it involves Yamapi being the emoist emo EVER and wearing ridiculous wigs and disguises.  The episodes are forumulaic, and sometimes the cons are difficult to follow, especially since I don't really understand the Japanese banking system, but Kurosaki is an interesting character and Yamapi acts the hell out of the finale.
  • Liar Game/Liar Game: The Final Stage - I appreciate this drama because it does something different from any other drama I've seen.  Every episode features a puzzle/riddle/problem that the contestants have to figure out and win so they don't end up with an immense debt.  The problems always have interesting conclusions and I would totally LOSE at the Liar Game because I could never figure them out.  It would rank higher, because it had me eager for each new episode but the finale episode was SO ridiculously drawn out and unsatisfactory in my opinion. And the movie is awesome too!
  • Lie to Me - The set-up was clunky to say the very least. Those first couple of episodes were pretty painful, but then our OTP finally got together and it was magical. Yoon Eun-hye and Kang Ji-hwan have insane chemistry. INSANE. It was a treat just to watch them interact with each other, the plot being irrelevant (which it kind of was). This only got better when the writers let Ki-joon drop the icy-chaebol persona and Kang Ji-hwan got to use his comedic chops. (Finished June 2011)
  • Maou - I'm not usually one to go out in search of dark and depressing stories.  It's just not really my thing, but Toma was in this so I thought I would check it out.  The story of a man who is seeking revenge on the man responsible for his brother's death.  GOOD TIMES.  But it's completely absorbing and wonderfully done.  If you are ever in the mood to be horrified at humanity, check it out.
  • My Princess - Don't go into this show expecting anything substantial. It's the meringue of dramas, but it is completely adorable. At least the leads are, that's for certain. It's a crime that Kim Tae-hee has never done a rom-com before because this is TOTALLY her thing. She and Song Seung-heon will charm your pants off. The rest? eh. (Finished March 2011)
  • Papa to Musume no Nanokaken - I'm sure we've all at least heard of Freaky Friday, it's the same deal here only with a father and daughter.  It's nothing spectacular but both Tachi Hiroshi and Aragaki Yui do a great job of playing the opposite gender/age.  It's all pretty adorable.
  • Rough Cut (kmovie) - Kang Ji Hwan stars as an actor with a violent temper and a penchant for putting his costars in the hospital. The only person who will take on the opposing role in his new movie is So Ji Sub, a real gangster, who will only agree to it if the fights are real. Well acted, well scripting, and well shot. It stumbles a bit in the end when it starts to deal with the inner workings of So Ji Sub's gang. The real story is the dichotomy between the leads, the are similar in many ways but actually couldn't be more different. Nothing sums that up as much as the final scene.
  • Playful Kiss - I was disinclined to like this show after reading about the Taiwanese version. A girl whose entire life revolves around making some guy who is kind of rude and shows no interest in her like her? No thanks. Then Playful Kiss was all completely adorable and I fell in love with Ha-ni and wanted her to get whatever she wanted. A very, very slow build on the relationship front, and I would have liked to have seen more growth for Seung-jo, but I appreciate that they dealt with Ha-ni finding a purpose besides some dude.
  • Smile, You - When you start Smile, You, you do so with the understanding that you're in for the long haul: 45 episodes... is a lot. But the payoff in devoting your time is watching a truly wonderful love story blossom between two people. They start off bickering, as most drama couples do, but they end up as the most sweetly caring couple you'll ever see in a drama. And you get to witness it all through courtship, parent issues, marriage, and kids. Fast-forward through the older generation stuff, especially in the middle. The extended episode run made them almost intolerable.
  • The Return of Iljimae - I think I went into this with way too high of expectations. This drama had several things going for it: some great acting and beautiful scenery. What it was lacking was a tight script. I didn't fully understand everyone's motivations because items were glossed over. The narrator was annoying and a cheap way of storytelling (telling and not showing). Still, it was fun and I would recommend it.
  • ToGetHer - A socially awkward otaku girl and a washed up idol fall in love and help each other grow up. This drama was completely adorable. It lost a lot of steam in the second act, but I loved the couple so much I couldn't stand to rank it lower. Momo was a little tiresome because she made unneccesary drama for herself, but she was still awesome. Mars grew up a great deal more than her (he had a lot further to go), but Jiro was utterly perfect in the role.
  • Triple - This is a quietly awesome story about a young ice skater coming into her own, falling in love with her former stepbrother, and the rest of the crazy people in their lives. It's more slice of life than anything, but has wonderfully three dimensional characters that are all too real. There were some character and plot aspects that bugged, and I didn't get the ending I wanted, but I really enjoyed watching this.
  • Who Are You? - A girl's father dies, but the reaper allows him to take over the body of a cold, OCD businessman for three hours a day. With the help of the girl and the ghost that follows him everywhere, he learns to be human again. Yoon Kye Sang does a great job as Seung Hyo and Go Ara is a gorgeous lady. It's a cute story and what could have been squicky is anything but. However, it really could have benefitted from a shorter episode run. Maybe half what is was because there really wasn't enough actual story to fill 17 episodes. It draaaaaaged.
  • Yankee-kun to Megane-chan - Adachi Hana is a reformed yankee whose new goal in life is to be the ultimate student. She wants that quintessential high school experience and will stop at NOTHING to get it. She's fantastic and hilarious and ropes everyone into her schemes despite their wishes (especially Shinagawa). This is a fun, cute, and heart-warming drama. A great example of the manga-style done right.
  • You're Beautiful - This is a solid romantic comedy about a nun-in-training who agrees to disguise herself as a boy to join a Korean boy band temporarily in place of her twin brother. Lots of laughs and a nice dash of silly romance throughout. Our heroine, however, is too child-like for her own good and her innocence can become quite frustrating. The last couple of episodes felt quite rushed. In all, I think it could have been better, but it was still a good deal of fun to watch.
  • Zettai Kareshi (and SP) - Girl loves robot, robot loves girl.  It has plenty shots of a hot, shirtless Hayami Mokomichi and Mizushima Hiro eats cream puffs (SO HOT).  It's all a lot cuter than a show about a sex robot should be. It's silly and then plays us all for fools when it veers for the drama department, and remains quite charming in the long run. The SP was pointless.

Two Stars (**)

  • Atashinchi no Danshi - Cute and harmless. It's nothing exceptional, but it is good, clean fun and never takes itself too seriously. I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone looking for an actual story, but if they just want something silly to pass the time, this is pretty perfect.
  • Byakkotai (SP) - I watched this over the course of about a year, so by the time I finished it I had forgotten why they were fighting in the first place, and I wasn't about to start over. That didn't really matter though, because the entire point of the SP was to praise the way of the samurai, which I had some trouble getting behind (highlight for spoilers) because I just don't understand sending 16 year olds into a battle YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE. Rocks fall, EVERYBODY DIES. Yamapi did an OK job, but the script just wasn't that engaging anyway. The costumes are beautiful and so is the scenery, though the camera work during the battles left a lot to be desired.
  • CROWS ZERO (movie) - So, you want to see boys beat the crap out of each other for two hours? Then watch this movie. Plus, you get Kuroki Meisa stabbing a guy with a fork. It's the first time I saw Yamada Takayuki, who was adorable (beside the ass kicking).
  • Dal Ja's Spring - It was difficult to rank this so low, because for so much of the series I really enjoyed it. It was fun and breezy - a good time for everone! I loved the four main character who were flawed, but completely real and lovable. What I didn't love was the parent-induced ridiculousness in the final act. It doesn't matter if she is 33 and unmarried! BACK OFF, LADY. Plus, the ridiculous stupidity of the final episode (despite the happy ending) was enough to bump it down.
  • Detective Conan (SP 1 & 2) - Same deal as the anime/manga only with Oguri Shun's pretty face. I enjoy a mystery and these are fun little stories, nothing spectacular, but not a complete waste of time.
  • Exhibition of Fireworks (click on the title for picspam recaps) - This could have been so much more than what it was, which was a middling romantic melodramedy. Kang Ji Hwan was a adorable as always but the female characters left a lot to be desired. The women's lives revolved around men and blaming each other for the problems in their life. And I wished they had made Mi Rae either truly evil or at least INTERESTING. Good start, happy ending, but got draggy in the second half.
  • Gokusen (and SP) - Your typical teacher-student comedy, but still incredibly endearing mostly in part to the lead Nakama Yukie as Yankumi.  Yankumi is the heir to a yakuza clan but would rather become a teacher and help out her punk students.  Each episode follows pretty much the same formula, student gets in trouble, Yankumi kicks serious butt to save them, repeat. 
  • Hachimitsu to Clover - Better than the movie version (Honey and Clover) since it was funnier and the cast was a great deal more engaging for me. But that is probably due to the fact that the story was given time to play out. Still, everyone in it was a little to self-obsessed (minus Takemoto) for me to really care about.
  • Hanayome wa Yakudoshi - A top news anchor gets fired because she's too old, so she's forced to take part in a reality show where she pretends to be her old boyfriend's fiance and has to work at his family's peach farm. Sure, we can all figure out what happens in the end, but the entire show is full of pretty funny characters including a sister who can't help but lie, a cousin that is obsessed with the peach farm, and a future mother-in-law who is... shall we say, rigid?
  • Hotaru no Hikari 2 - Chris AngelSeason One did it better
  • Karei naru Spy - This had all the potential to be super awesome. And it was - for the first half of the series. It was a silly little send-up of 60's spy movies. Then it hit the halfway mark and decided to take itself more seriously, which would be fine if it had been able to handle to change in tone (like Hong Gil Dong). Instead, it became a giant mess of a show that had no idea what it was supposed to be and instead ended up being dull.
  • Kids (movie) - A kid who can take on the wounds of other people moves to a town and befriends two sad, misguided souls. It's an interesting, if a little dull, story about friendship. And Tamaki Hiroshi has really bad facial hair, which is unfortunate.
  • Kimi wa Petto - A woman finds a badly beaten young man in a cardboard box on the sidewalk.  Does she take him to the hospital?  Of course not, she brings him into her apartment to keep as her pet Momo (named after her old dog).  It's kind of bizarre, and a little draggy, and I think I may be a little biased towards it because it was one of my first dramas (after watching HYD I searched out anything with Matsujun) and I haven't rewatched it since.  But Matsujun plays a modern dancer, which makes me lol.
  • Koizora (movie) - I really shouldn't rank this so high because it's kind of ridiculous.  Anything that could go wrong in a teen romance DOES go wrong here.  So mainly it is here because of the entertainment value I got out of that factor.  Plus, it genuinely made me cry.  Not that it is difficult, but still.
  • Liar Game 2 - Been there, done that. Wanted some Akiyama/Nao action, darnit. Plus, NO RESOLUTION on account of the movie.
  • Long Vacation - There was nothing particularly wrong with this drama. I really enjoyed the two main characters (and it was nice to see Kimura Takuya NOT play a lady killer). It was a pleasant, slice-of-life love story, which is fine if that's what you're looking for. But nothing really took it to the next level. I'd definitely recommend it if you're a Kimura fan or want to watch a simple love story.
  • Love Shuffle - I couldn't quite decide how to rank this one. I liked all of the characters and their interactions. It was funny, it was serious. But it felt rather cobbled together, especially towards the end. Plus, the way they dealt with Kairi was so ridiculously irresponsible I almost couldn't take it.
  • Mei-chan no Shitsuji - First half was great - silly, ridiculous story about a girl who after her parent die learns she is the heir to a wealthy family. As such she must attend a girl's only school where each girl is accompanied by a butler. It's a ridiculous premise and I really enjoyed the first half for it's silliness. Second half got a little too angsty for a story that really wasn't built to support the angst. Still a fun ride.
  • MR. BRAIN - My first KimuTaku drama! He is the main reason I enjoyed this show so much. I had high expectations that were met in some ways (humor! pretty people!), but was also disappointed. The individual crime of the week storylines were interesting for the most part, but and overarching mystery would have pulled the story toghether a lot better. But, it was goofy and fun and a nice distraction for the most part.
  • My Girlfriend is an Agent (kmovie) - This was kind of a complete disappointment for me. I had been really, really, REALLY looking forward to it since I heart Kang Ji Hwan was in it. And then I saw it and it was kind of awful. Sure, there were some brilliantly funny parts, but the rest of the plot was just a warmed over version of a generic an action spy adventure. KJH does some excellent physical comedy, and Kim Hanuel is good, but her role is less fun.
  • NANA (jmovie) - I'd never read the manga so I went into this with very basic knowledge of the plot. Let's just say I'm not that inspired to go out and read the manga. I thought this was dull, dull, dull. The friendship between the girls was sweet and simple, but everything else was paper thin. It was neither dramatic or funny.
  • Oh My Lady! - An awesome 'ahjumma' teaches an idol with a nice voice, zero acting skills, delicious abs, and a secret how to be a decent human being. It's a great idea that never really takes form. It's pleasant and cute to watch, but the writers coasted for the first 14 episodes before remembering it was also supposed to be a love story.
  • Ouran Host Club - Oh, this drama tried. It really did. I give it credit for just throwing caution to the wind and embracing the ridiculous. But where Hana Kimi was crazy fun, the humor here just never worked for me. I felt like everyone's timing was off by a beat. But it was fun, and a really easy watch with such short episodes. (Finished Summer 2011)
  • Proposal Daisakusen (and SP) - This drama almost drove me to distraction as it is the story of a man who is allowed to travel back in time to different points in his life so he can prevent the wedding of the girl he secretly admires.  The thing is that Ken is COMPLETELY USELESS and fails at ever changing anything.  It's so frustrating.  But what I really loved was the core group of friends because when I watched it I could completely believe their relationships and I adored their interactions.  Plus, Yamapi does a silly dance everytime he goes back in time.
  • Prosecutor Princess - This drama just swung a little wide of the mark for me. It tried desperately to be charming, and more the most part I really did enjoy the heroine, Hye Ri. I loved that she was unabashedly girly, but still smart. I only wish they had explored her intelligence more, because soon the story just centered around how the men her her life shaped her. I found the secondary OTP more interesting than the main one (despite the awesome kissing) and the overall revenge plot was weak. Cute but forgettable (and I truly hope the real prosecutors don't behave that way in Korea).
  • Protect the Boss - Started out fun, quirky and charming. After about 7 episodes it collapsed into a mess of boring business matters, filler scenes, and endlessly repeating scenarios. It was a chore to finish all 18 episodes. (Finished November 2011)
  • Ryusei no Kizuna - A story about three siblings and their search for their parent's killer. I loved the flashback and the goofy cons they ran (and the story-telling structure of both). What I didn't like was the lackluster murder-mystery. Would have been better as a movie since the mystery lacked meat and wore thin over 10 episodes.
  • She's on Duty (movie) - A cop goes undercover at a high school to protect a student and then falls in love with Gong Yoo (who can blame her?!), who she thinks is a high school student, except he's not. And I could never figure out if he was a good guy or a bad guy...
  • Shiawase ni Narou yo - A cute little love story that just wasn't that engaging. (Finished Summer 2011)
  • Shokojo Seira - This show never really had a chance of making it very high on my rankings without being very similar to the movie "A Little Princess" one of my favorite movies form my early years and one my sisters and I watched all the time. While this drama was cute and had some lovely funny and sweet parts, it's no match. The acting was touch and go and it had none of the visual spark that the movie possessed.
  • Sunao ni Narenakute - Another massive disappointment, along with Tsuki no Koibito, that aired Spring 2010. Excellent, exciting start with fun, interesting characters, quickly devolved into boredom and the 24-7 Nakaji show. Now, I like Eita, but I didn't find his character that engaging. I liked Haru too, but everything else is what was supposedly and ensemble show got pushed to the side for their relationship. Besides, the treatment (or rather mistreatment) of Linda's character by the writer was pretty awful.
  • Yamada Taro Monogatari - Not quite Hana Kimi level crack, but it's pretty close.  The story of a high school student who everyone admires, but is actually ridiculously poor and has about a million COMPLETELY ADORABLE little siblings he has to take care of.  It's pure, goofy fun.

One Star (*)

  • Dragon Zakura - A former biker gang member turned lawyer preps a group of kids for the Tokyo University entrance exam. A lot of it is pretty standard fare, but the kids are pretty engaging. My favorite part would be when their learn English while exercising to "Love Will Keep Up Together" by Captain & Tennille. It's actually pretty funny. And Yamapi has really, really bad hair.
  • G@me (movie) - This sexy thriller was hardly sexy and less than thrilling. Both the leads deserved something far better, and I should have just quit watching when I almost fell asleep during the first half.
  • Honey and Clover (movie) - This movie took me a really REALLY long time to finish simply because I found it so painfully boring.
  • Jotei - This show? Is ridiculous. My IQ dropped 20 points just watching it, but I couldn't stop. Ayaka's mother dies, but not before she tells her that her father is still alive. Believing he abandoned his family Ayaka decides to become an 'Empress' of the hostess world to get her revenge... BY SLEEPING WITH HIM (spoiler: Don't worry, it doesn't actually go there. And it actually gets resolved quite sweetly). Meanwhile, she makes basically every other woman hate her - gets acid thrown at her, gets shot, etc. etc. SO TRASHY.
  • Jyuui Dolittle - Pretty much Tsuki no Koibito redux in how I got so excited by the cast and was so disappointed by the product. The most interesting characters weren't even the main two (ie THE ONES I WATCHED THE DAMN SHOW FOR). Waste of their talent and my time. Ridiculous, stupid, and kind of preachy. But not even strange enough to watch and appreciate the crazy (like Jotei). (Finished January 2011)
  • Kakure Karakuri (SP) - Shige plays an awkward, emo, smarty-pants (should be old hat for him). There is a mystery, so that keeps things interesting. It also has Kuriyama Chiaki, which made it wierd because I kept waiting for her to kill someone and all she did was wear big hats and flowy dresses.
  • Kanojo to no Tadashii Asobikata (SP) - SO POINTLESS. Literally nothing happens.
  • Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo (SP) - SO CHEESY. Kame is a genius teen detective trying to solve murders by a supposed vampire. Yeah, just as intelligent as it sounds. But it features a young Ueno Juri, which is kind of cool
  • My Tutor Friend (movie) - Smart girl tutors smart, but lazy boy. And that's all I remember, which should tell you something.
  • Myung-wol the Spy - What an absolute disappointment, a complete failure on pretty much every level. A comedy that wasn't funny, a romance that was flat, action that was boring, and a mystery that was hardly mysterious. This was a concept I thought couldn't fail. A North Korean spy sent to kidnap a Hallyu star? Come on, that's golden. Yeah, APPARENTLY NOT. (Finished September 2011)
  • Sapuri - Kame is a lazy bones part-timer at an advertising agency. Ito Misaki is a hard-working career woman. Together they are pretty, but boring.
  • Something Happened in Bali - If you are interested in losing all faith in humanity, watch this show. People who start out seemingly normal and well-adjusted are revealed to be just as damaged as those who wear their crazy on the outside. Money is the root of all evil and not even love is enough to overcome it. Bummer.
  • Stand Up!! - I think I went into this expecting far too much. Everyone said it was hilarious, and while it did have some funny bits for the most part I thought it was dull. That was really dissappointing because it has a good pool of young actors to work with.
  • Sugata Sanshiro (SP) - I only watched it for Shige, because he's adorable, and it was pretty lackluster historical special (and Shige really isn't that great of an actor). I'm glad it was just an SP and I didn't have to sit through 10 hours of boring.
  • Tsuki no Koibito - This ranking suffers from the SUPREME disappointment I had in this drama. It was supposed to be Kimura Takuya's return to a romantic drama. I could not have been more excited given how much I loved Pride and how stellar the casting was. What I got was a complete mess with a hero I could hardly stand and a storyline that was hacked together with random, uninspired ideas. :(
  • Yukan Club - It's complete and utter fluff, and will probably rot your brain, but I love it. Bored high schoolers run their own detective agency to the frustration of the administration. It's worth it simply for the episode with Mike He as a foreign prince, because the terrorists wear silk head scarves and speak English.
  • Yuuki (SP) - Kame's skull is melting and all the friends he met while traveling abroad come to visit him. I'll admit it, I cried.

No Stars ( ) - Or, the dramas I should have stopped watching because they pissed me off

  • Hello My Teacher - I really wanted to like this drama, really I did. And it started off nice: the heroine, Bo Ri, had spunk, it had Gong Yoo as a snotty high school prince, I was even down with the promised teacher/student relationship and the trials they would endure. But at the end of it all I couldn't STAND Bo Ri. My problem? She continued to string along the teacher she was having a relationship with (who was also the reason she became a teacher in the first place) while wavering about her feelings and spending an inappropriate amount of time WITH HER STUDENT. Her boyfriend's family disapproves of the relationship and she starts to pull back, so he assumes it is because of them. He agrees to give up anything for her AND SHE DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING. She just sits there, and then when it all comes crashing down she says "I said it was over" ONLY SHE NEVER DID! *(S*(7&*(DA&*NU) She pissed me off so much I can't even talk about it.
  • Sore wa, Totsuzen, Arashi no you ni - I watched it for Yamapi, that's all I can say. I'm surprised I still had hair at the end of it because it nearly drove me to distraction. Kozue is a housewife who wants to start working again (cool!), she meets a young man (Yamapi, cool!) who is ballroom dance instructor with a heart problem (lulz!), he falls in love with her (cool!), and then, well... that's it... because Kozue doesn't know what she wants and can't make a decision to save her life! So she is pulled back and forth by all the men in her life (her dad likes to make decisions for her as well and FLIPS OUT at the mention of a divorce) until... nothing happens. You keep waiting for it, but what can really happen? She never actually cheats on her husband, she never actually talks to him about the problems in their relationship, she just drifts along. At least in the end she is managing to live on her own and seems happy, I guess that's a step in the right direction.
Have Not Finished
  • 18 vs. 29 - Not in the mood
  • Akihabara@Deep - Toma as an otaku!
  • Bambino - Saw the first episode but nothing past that
  • Binbo Danshi - Oguri Shun is a darling and now that the subs are done I should really finish it.
  • Cat Street - Seems wonderfully quirky, I just need to download more
  • Densha Otoko (series and movie) - Started the drama but wasn't blown away, dled the movie for Yamada Takayuki
  • Devil Beside You - Slowly working my way through this whenever I remember it
  • GOLD - I'll finish it as soon as someone subs it! D:
  • HERO - The first episode didn't really grab me
  • Ikebukuro West Gate Park - I want to finish this, but the first ep scared me - Murder!
  • Love Revolution - MAKEOUTS!
  • Lunch Queen - Only one ep in
  • Mokudono - Watched 1st ep. Cute.
  • Tamra the Island - Just need to clear a few things off my plate before getting back to the wacky island hijinks
  • Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge - I think I'm growing apart from ridiculous idol dramas...
  • Yasuko to Kenji - Seems like light-hearted fun from the first ep.
In The Future
  • 101 Kaime no Puropozu
  • 90 Days, Falling in Love Days
  • A Love To Kill
  • Aishiteiru to Ittekure
  • Anna san no Omame
  • Antique (movie)
  • Black and White
  • Brilliant Legacy
  • Byakuyakou
  • Chuno
  • Crazy for You
  • Dae Jang Geum
  • Daemang
  • Damo
  • Delightful Girl Choon Hyang
  • Flowers For My Life
  • Friend, Our Legend
  • Friends
  • Full House
  • Get Karl, Oh Soo Jung
  • Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Ima Ai ni Yukimasu
  • Itoshi Kimi E
  • Jyoou no Kyoushitsu
  • Kingdom of the Winds
  • Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Last Scandal
  • Long Love Letter
  • Mars
  • Mawang
  • Meteor Garden
  • My Girl
  • My Name is Kim Sam Soon
  • One Fine Day
  • Overtime
  • She is Nineteen
  • Silence
  • Snow Queen
  • Soulmate
  • Spring Waltz
  • Story of a Man
  • Thank You
  • That Fool
  • The Outsiders
  • Time Between Dog and Wolf
  • Trick
  • Why Why Love
  • World Within
  • Code Blue - Medical drama I started for Yamapi, I'll probably never finish it
  • Down With Love - Ella's performance was just way too much for me.
  • Gokusen 2 - Same deal as the first season only with less heart, probably won't finish
  • Hyena - Watched the first ep for Oh Manseok and skimmed the next couple. It's a cable drama so it has sex (in a kdrama! MY EYES), but it's about men basically being pigs, so I probably won't watch more
  • King 2 Hearts - Really big hopes for this one. Bored me from the beginning
  • Last Friends - After reading about how frustrated everyone got with the ending, I don't think I'll ever finish it
  • Manny - Annoyed by everyone, not as funny after the first ep
  • My Fair Lady - What a disappointment this was. Such a waste of an all around talented cast on such a stupid, boring story. Better luck next time.
  • Personal Taste - You'd think I'd be a lot more excited about a show that allowed physical affection between the leads, but I just found it so boring. Romantic comedies are supposed to be funny.
  • Room of King - I only saw the first episode and it very well might be fun, but it's been so long since I watched it I just don't care. Plus, I think the subs were abandoned.
  • Ryokiteki no Kanojo - Checked it out, but it didn't catch my interest
  • Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta - Wanted to punch the male lead within the first few minutes of starting this. Not the best sign.
  • Tatta Hitotsu no Koi - I kind of hated the two main characters after the first episode so I doubt I'll return
  • Wild Romance - Didn't give this one much of a change (one episode) since I have no patience with dramas anymore

Other Drama Reviews/Recs


Western TV I watch/watched/talk/squee about
  • Angel: The Series
  • Ashes to Ashes
  • Avatar
  • Being Human
  • Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
  • Chuck
  • Doctor Who
  • Firefly
  • Leverage
  • Life on Mars
  • Lost
  • Mad Men
  • Merlin
  • Prison Break
  • The Office (US Version)
  • The X-Files
  • Torchwood
  • True Blood
  • Scrubs
  • Veronica Mars

Tags: jdramas, kdramas, tv, twdramas
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