Finally, it’s the year end! It’s been a tough year for me, but good thing my dramas never left me hanging. It’s fairly a dry year for K-dramaland this 2017, and I believe we have more misses than hits in terms of ratings. There were really good ones, but most are honestly forgettable. 2016 was a tough year to beat, and if not for some internationally recognized dramas, this year’s Hallyu bug would have been quarantined.
To start a tradition in the @ahjummamshies squad, we are launching our annual top picks! Every end of the year, we will be posting our favorite dramas, which will be based entirely on our respective personal preferences. Not that our opinions really matter, but hey, drama favorites are always a good conversation starter, right?
So, here we go…
3. Circle: Two Worlds Connected
This drama was a surprise for me! I volunteered to review this one in our blog back in May because I was wondering how they will pull off a very unusual plot for a K-drama. Marketed as the first sci-fi K-drama ever, Circle: Two Worlds Connected exhaled a lot of potential, and believe me, it did not disappoint. You can never go wrong with Kim Kang-woo and Yeo Jin-goo. The story was set both in the present day (2017) and the year 2037. Every episode was thought-provoking, that it even challenged my mental capacity lol. The drama tried to depict how the human emotion can be controlled by a micro-chip, preventing it from experiencing anxiety or anger, which was believed to deter crime.
PS: It’s not a love story. 😉
2. Because This Is My First Life
Ah… this one. This sleeper hit has definitely tugged the core of my soul. I signed on because I liked Lee Min-ki, but I am leaving as a lifelong fan of every one in this series. The simplicity of this drama was what made it a treasure. It perfectly described all of us struggling to find our own paths in this rat race called life, all the confused late 20s who are still mistakenly associating love with marriage, and the coward ones who are never really ready to step into the rough road of relationships.
Can I just say, the most relatable story line in this series was not Se-hee (Lee Min-ki) and Ji-ho’s (Jung So-min) fake marriage-turned-real love. It was the break-up of Won-seok (Kim Min-suk) and Ho-rang (Kim Ga-eun). Their scenes got my heart wringing. Having experienced painful love myself, watching Ho-rang move on from her break-up was just so heartbreaking. But I am honestly thankful that this drama made me realize that every decision I had back then, no matter how good or bad, were all for the better. Ho-rang may be at the lowest point in her life right now, but like every other girl who survived the same misery, I believe she will eventually make it through. I don’t want to spoil you their ending, but let’s just say everything worked out for the better. Just because your great love ended doesn’t mean you can’t find love again. Maybe you were just busy believing that it was the greatest love because it made you happy, but believe me, there is really a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.
1. Chicago Typewriter
This one’s pretty special to me. Not only because Yoo Ah-in is my ultimate oppa, but story-wise, it left something special in my heart. The execution of a complicated time slip plot, the amazing cinematography, and the top notch acting from its main characters… everything just fit so perfectly that I was honestly sad this drama never got the recognition it deserved.
Chicago Typewriter centered around three individuals who lived in the 1930’s Japanese occupation of Korea, and were reincarnated into the present as a star writer in a slump, an avid fan, and a ghostwriter. The friendship of Han Se-joo (Yoo Ah-in), Jeon Seol (Im Soo-jung), and Yoo Jin-oh (Go Kyung-pyo) was so admirable it defied the laws of reincarnation. Their selfless love for each other, no matter what timeline they were in, was so evident and it eventually became their guiding light in liberating their own country. How they explained the value of freedom that we, the new generation, get to enjoy in this lifetime was the most heartfelt I’ve seen in my life. I never liked History as a subject when I was in school, but Chicago Typewriter made me read about the Japanese occupation. Both Yoo Ah-in and Im Soo-jung were established actors themselves, so I never worried a bit on their performance in this drama. What surprised me most was Go Kyung-pyo’s stellar acting in heavy scenes. Yoo Jin-oh was a revelation… He took ghostwriting to a whole new perspective.
Honorable Mention: The Best Hit
Obviously, I had the hardest time ranking my Top 3, that’s why I had to include The Best Hit as a bonus! The drama was good while it lasted! It became my sweet escape from the burden of the real world. As usual, Yoon Si-yoon was a gem on his own. 2017 was a year of time-slip dramas, and The Best Hit was definitely one of the good ones. A perfect mix of romance and comedy with a heart. Also, the official soundtracks were da bong! 👍
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