I have a confession to make: I’m guilty of thinking that in my mid-20s, I’ll have a career, a car, my own house, a namja-chingu, and an awesome squad, who’ll be there for all the travelling I’d do. But no one told me that in my mid-20s, I’ll be crying along with K-drama characters who are betrayed by the fairytales they’ve read when they were young; who worked hard but the world thinks it’s not enough; who don’t know what they would do in the future but know what they love.
No one told me that growing up would be this difficult. But at least we have some K-dramas to get us through when our real-life plot twist gets too much. So for every everyone who survived another #adulting year, here are three K-dramas that struck my not-so-young-not-yet-mature heart.
3. The Best Hit
This Cha Tae-hyun-produced series is definitely a ddabong! It was a pleasant surprise as I have little to no expectations at all when I started watching this slice-of-life K-drama. The series was top-billed by Yoon Si-yoon, Lee Se-young, and Kim Min-jae but even the supporting cast members like Yoon Son-ha, Lee Deok-hwa, Dong Hyun-bae, Cha Eun-woo, and Hong Kyung-min were stellar on making life situations into hilarious antics and at times tear-jerker scenes. The time-slip plot was also well-executed. They managed to give everyone a happy ending without looking like it was forced. But the main reason I probably chose this is because of the lightheartedness it made me feel every week that I’ve watched it.
Maknae’s Fave Scene: Grandpa’s memories.
On episodes 29-30, Lee Gwang-jae (Cha Tae-hyun) discovered Lee Soon-tae (Lee Deok-hwa) has Alzheimer’s. The Best Hit contains the funniest K-drama scenes this year but I think, it also gave the most heart-wrenching scene. The series’ depiction of haraboji’s symptoms was so horribly true and its heartbreaking to think that even fiction heroes can’t do nothing to stop it.
2. Because This is My First Life
I was blindsided by this series. I watched the first two episodes with the mindset it was a romance-comedy with an overused K-drama co-habitation and fake marriage tropes. I wasn’t expecting this Lee Min-ki comeback would give me poignant moments that made me think hard about adulthood and facing society’s expectations. Everyone would find a piece of themselves through the journey of Yoon Ji-ho (Jung So-min), Woo Su-ji (Esom), and Yang Ho-rang (Kim Ga-eun). They are like the Korean version of Sex and the City ladies. Lee Min-ki also introduced a very different type of K-drama male character through the very stoic and unconventionally romantic, Nam Se-hee. These characters reminded me that this is the first time we are going through life.
Maknae’s Fave Scene: The Bleak Tunnel.
Out of all the quotable monologues in this series, this one really strikes a chord for me. *cue IU’s Pallette*
1. Fight My Way
If my teenage-self would watch this, she would just probably love the friendship-to-lovers trope and not the realness out of these fictional characters’ journeys. The Crazy Fantastic Four – Ko Dong-ma (Park Seo-joon), Choi Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won), Kim Joo-man (Ahn Jae-hong), and Baek Seol-hee (Song Ha-yoon) – may lack the abilities this capitalist society wants us to all have but their passion and dreams fuel them to move forward in life.
Maknae’s Fave Scene: Resume ≠ Whole Life.
Cho Ae-ra was the sincerest character this year. Her answer and monologue in her panel interview speak the truth about the struggles of looking for your own place in this world.
While You Were Sleeping and Hospital Ship are two dramas I might have included if not for these three slice-of-life dramas I’ve picked. These two are also a must-watch!
Last year is a difficult year to match in terms of K-drama but 2017’s roster has its own strong charm for fans and casual viewers alike. My year in K-drama reflects how it offered me shelter of escapism on some rainy days. And I’m hoping that you, our readers, also find that one K-drama that will get you through the storms in your life.
So even tough, I don’t have my own car, own house, a namja-chingu, but I still have an awesome @ahjummamshies squad that laugh with me through all comic reliefs, tease me when there’s a handsome oppa in sight, sent dagger looks to all annoying antagonists, weep with me through all real-life conflicts, and cheer me up through well-trusted K-drama recommendations.