As an only child, I grew up being surrounded by dogs and cats all my life that’s why it irks me to the core whenever I hear someone says, “It’s just a dog (or a cat).” For me, that’s one of the meanest things one could ever say. The same goes with K-Dramas. I hate it whenever people make fun of me because I invest so much emotion and time in it like, why can’t we just respect each other’s hobbies? For non-fans, K-Dramas are probably just ordinary TV shows with cheesy lines and predictable plots, but for fans like me, these are lifesavers synonymous to the words “hope” and “motivation” that we eagerly and patiently look forward to to get us by just another day. It may sound too much, but your Ahjummamshies squad can definitely attest to it. Thus our blog site’s motto, “Saving Lives through K-Dramas.”
So to continue our new tradition here on our blog, let me present to you my three most favorite lifesavers a.k.a. K-Dramas of 2017:
3. Save Me
You know, I’m the type of K-Drama lover who is usually persuaded by the love lines to watch a particular series, so having Save Me in my favorite list is quite a surprise. This K-Drama’s genre lies so far away from rom-com, but I would never regret watching it as it left my heart thumping wildly with every single episode. Save Me, which is based on the webcomic Out of this World by Jo Geum-san, mainly revolves around a group of young men’s quest to save a young woman from a strange religious cult.
One thing that I love about this show is its brave take on the very sensitive, most of the time avoided topic of religion. It’s so bold I was actually worried some religious groups might find its depiction of a religious cult offensive. Another thing is the young cast’s surprisingly good acting performances, particularly that of Ok Taec-yeon, Seo Ye-ji, and Woo Do-hwan. Ok Taec-yeon made sure that his last drama before his mandatory military enlistment would be memorable enough to remain in the hearts of the viewers for the next two years. Meanwhile, Seo Ye-ji’s portrayal of a helpless young woman who later on finds the strength to escape a shady religious cult is so deserving of an acting award. But my most favorite character is Dong-cheol, which was played by the next big thing in dramaland, Woo Do-hwan. His bad boy with a golden heart character totally won me over.
2. Because This is My First Life
It’s a shame that I discovered Lee Min-ki only this year through his 2011 movie Spellbound, which I featured in K-Movie Corner. His charm and effortless acting turned me into an instant fan that’s why I decided to watch Because This is My First Life to see more of him, and guess what, he didn’t disappoint! I also learned that this drama is his first small screen lead role in 10 years. Gosh. This comeback is definitely worth the decade-long wait!
The plot is actually a familiar one, having contract marriage and housemates-turned-lovers setup as frequent elements in K-Dramas, but its realistic feel managed to set it apart from the rest. I like how it didn’t only focus on love and marriage, but also gave an equal weight to the individual adulthood struggles of each and every character. Among them all, I think I can best relate to Woo Soo-ji (Esom), an independent and career-driven woman who wants nothing but the best for her handicapped mother. She’s willing to turn a blind eye to the sexual advances of her male co-workers because she needed her job more than anything else. But, is she truly happy? Is she really satisfied? Is this what she wants to do for the rest of her life? NO. That’s why I felt so happy when she finally decided to put her happiness first, and do what she really loves. Things that I wish I can duplicate someday.
1. Suspicious Partner
The Ahjummamshies squad needs not to ask which K-Drama topped my favorite list for this year because being a number one Wookie fan, it’s obvious that I’d choose his first ever rom-com that is Suspicious Partner. If we could remember, the drama had a difficult time looking for a female lead as the first two actresses namely Lee Sung-kyung and Han Ji-min turned down the offer to play the role of Eun Bong-hee. I honestly thought this would hamper the series’ success rate but surprisingly, it did the otherwise! Nam Ji-hyun being the third choice to play opposite Wookie is, for me, a blessing in disguise. Her chemistry with Ji Chang-wook is undeniably strong despite their age gap.
If you’re looking for a K-Drama that has tons of skinship, Suspicious Partner is the one for you. Wookie and Hyunie’s sweet kisses and cuddles, plus a hot and sexy bed scene, are so lit I can’t even. I don’t want to sound like a perv here, but I know I’m not the only one who wished to be Hyunie’s double even just for one scene! LOL.
On a more serious note, the drama’s fast-paced storyline is also one of its strengths. I like how Bong-hee and Ji-wook’s love affair started from a hilarious meet cute on the subway then escalated quickly to being a prosecutor and a murder suspect, respectively. All supporting characters are also as memorable as the leads, particularly the roles Dong Ha and Jang Hyuk-jin played as a serial killer and a dependable investigator, accordingly. Just a fun fact, Jang Hyuk-jin also starred in Save Me as a police detective. Yes, this versatile actor is everywhere!
Compared to last year, I’ve only watched fewer K-Dramas this year, but I’m still satisfied because I was able to see some of the best ones! Plus, it’s never too late to catch up, right? At least when life gets tough, I still have a lot of lifesavers in stock.
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