Korean Dramas, 2014

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a collection of the dramas that I have watched 
Angel Eyes  엔젤 아이즈
Ku Hye-sun as Yoon Soo-wan
Lee Sang-yoon as Park Dong-joo (Dylan Park) 
Kim Ji-seok as Kang Ji-woon
Seungri as Teddy Seo
Hyun Jyu-ni as Cha Min-soo 

Yoon Soo-wan and Park Dong-joo were each other's first loves but were forced to separate due to painful family circumstances. Soo-wan, who had been blind, eventually undergoes an eye transplant surgery that restores her sight. Twelve years later, Soo-wan now works as an emergency rescue worker, while Dong-joo is a surgeon. They meet each other again. But Soo Wan is engaged to a Neurosurgeon, Kang Ji Woon. Knowing this, Park Dong Joo decided to keep quiet and not reveal his identity to Soo Wan and also decided to go back. Will Soo Wan realize that Doctor Dylan Park is her first love, Park Dong Joo? Will they end up together despite all the obstacles that they are going to face?

My Thoughts
Draggy plot with an awesome soundtrack. By ep 14, I had to force myself to finish since I have "come so far". A plot twist towards the end, but it wasn't enough to save the show.
Big Man 빅맨
Kang Ji-hwan as Kim Ji-hyuk 
Choi Daniel as Kang Dong-seok  
Lee Da-hee as So Mi-ra
Jung So-min as Kang Jin-ah

Kim Ji-hyuk grew up a penniless orphan and lived a "third-rate life" before deciding to turn himself around and work himself to the bone, with humble dreams of owning his own restaurant. He gets entangled in a plan to save the life of Kang Dong-seok, a chaebol heir who needs a heart transplant, and is told that he is Dong-seok's older brother and begins a lavish new life in that world... and then later learns that it was all a lie. Disgusted with the corruption of his chaebol "family" and spurred on by hatred of the world's unfair realities, Ji-hyuk embarks on a reckless revenge mission in order to protect himself and those he loves. 

My Thoughts 
I find myself clicking ep after ep, to find out how Ji Hyuk resolves every crisis with his simple-minded brains. An enjoyable show throughout!
It's Okay, It's Love 괜찮아, 사랑이야
Jo In-sung as Jang Jae-yeol
Gong Hyo-jin as Ji Hae-soo
Sung Dong-il as Jo Dong-min
Lee Kwang-soo as Park Soo-kwang
Do Kyung-soo as Han Kang-woo
Jang Jae-yeol is a writer of bestselling mystery novels and a radio DJ. Playful and a bit arrogant, he also suffers from obsessive–compulsive disorder. Ji Hae-soo is a psychiatrist on her first year of fellowship. Driven and ambitious with her career yet compassionate towards her patients, Hae-soo has a negative attitude towards love and relationships in her personal life. Once Jae-yeol and Hae-soo meet, there is much contention between them caused by their strong personalities and refusal to give in to each other. But slowly their bickering turns into love and they begin to learn how compatible they are. Jae-yeol and Hae-soo attempt to heal each other's deep-seated wounds, but their fledgling relationship takes a blow when they learn that Jae-yeol's mental health issues are more serious than they initially suspected.

My Thoughts 
Refreshing plot that explores mental illness, giving us a deeper insight on the feelings/difficulties faced by these patients. Even though there were rumors that Jo In Sung & Gong Hyo Jin dated after this drama, I still prefer the chemistry of her + So Ji Sub in Master's Sun. Shocking revelation came around ep 5 (spoiler alert!) 
My Lovely Girl 내겐 너무 사랑스러운 그녀
Jung Ji-hoon (Rain/Bi) as Lee Hyun-wook
L (Kim Myung-soo) as Shi Woo
Krystal Jung as Yoon Se-na
Cha Ye-ryun as Shin Hae-yoon

Lee Hyun-wook is the CEO of a talent agency that scouts and trains idols. He is a brilliant composer-producer who appears cold and indifferent on the outside but is sensitive and kind-hearted. Hyun-wook lives in great difficulty as he unable to let go of his ex-girlfriend who died in an accident he witnesses first hand 3 years ago. Soon his ex-girlfriend's sister, Yoon Se-na, moves to Seoul in order to pursue her music-composing career and meets Hyun-wook who helps her achieve it. Hyun-wook replaces his father as the president of ANA Entertainment, which brings him challenges and conflict between his career as a president, their trainees, company promotions, his love life and Se-na. In the midst of healing each other through music, they fall in love.

My Thoughts

The pace of the drama was rather slow, but I still finished 16 episodes of it. I don't seem any chemistry between Rain and Krystal, but I do love L whom I was rooting for even though I know he will not succeed in getting Krystal's love since Rain and Krsytal are meant to be together.

Cunning Single Lady 앙큼한 돌싱녀 

Lee Min-jung as Na Ae-ra
Joo Sang-wook as Cha Jung-woo
Kim Gyu-ri as Gook Yeo-jin
Seo Kang-joon as Gook Seung-hyun

Na Ae-ra grew up believing she was born to be only pretty and not smart. While working at her family's restaurant, she falls in love with Cha Jung-woo, a geeky engineering graduate student studying to enter civil service. Na Ae-ra wants to become a housewife, and after Jung-woo promises that she will be, they get married. During their 100th day wedding anniversary, Jung-woo announces that he has quit his job because he has an idea for a business. Jung-woo's businesses keep failing and Ae-ra struggles to keep them afloat by working multiple jobs. After secretly suffering a miscarriage from the stress of being the sole breadwinner and living in poverty, Ae-ra divorces Jung-woo after four years of marriage. Three years after the divorce, Ae-ra discovers that Jung-woo has become fabulously successful and wealthy, while she is still paying debts that accrued during their marriage. The fun begins when Ae-ra schemes for revenge, with Jung-woo believing that Ae-ra wants him back because he has become wealthy. 

My Thoughts
Sang Wook excels in his character.Initially, I thought Lee Min Jung was just a pretty face but she had a certain charm that made me glued to the TV screen. A funny and light-hearted drama, which brought a refreshing change to the slow-paced dramas above. 
Pinocchio 피노키오
Lee Jong-suk as Choi Dal-po/Ki Ha-myung
Park Shin-hye as Choi In-ha
Kim Young-kwang as Seo Beom-jo

As a child, Ha-Myeong, grew up in a family with his firefighter father, mother and older brother. Ha-Myeong and his older brother both possess higher than normal intellect and are proud of their father. A fire at a waste facility though destroys his family. His mother dies a short time later and Ha-Myeong ends up being scooped out of the ocean by an unknown man. The man that pulls Ha-Myeong out of the ocean is the grandfather of In-Ha. In-Ha's grandfather believes Ha-Myeong is his eldest son Dal-Po, who died 30 years ago. Ha-Myeong is then adopted by In-Ha's grandfather and his name is changed to Dal-Po. In-Ha and Dal-Po now live together as uncle and niece, although they are in the same age range. In-Ha has a Pinocchio Syndrome. Whenever she lies she gets the hiccups. In-Ha and Dal-Po get along well until Dal-Po learns that In-Ha's mother is the reporter that covered the waste facility fire that destroyed his family. Dal-Po tries to distance himself from In-Ha, but he also develops feelings for her. Years later, Dal-Po and In-Ha's family are now living in Seoul. In-Ha attempts to become a reporter like her mother. In-Ha meets her mother for the first time in years at a job interview for MSC Broadcasting Station. Her mother is the person giving her the job interview. In-Ha though fails the job interview. Her mother rejects her because of her Pinocchio Syndrome. Dal-Po is now driving a taxi to support their family. One day, Dal-Po meets In-Ha's mother and decides to become a reporter.

My Thoughts
The theme of this drama centered around the saying "The pen is mightier than the sword", where new agencies twist and instigate sensational headlines in their attempt to secure high ratings while blocking out the real truth from the people. A highly-recommended drama for 2014, with plot twists and shocking truths in every other episode. 
Birth of a Beauty 미녀의 탄생  
Joo Sang-wook as Han Tae-hee
Han Ye-seul as Sara/Sa Geum-ran/Kim Duk-sun
Jung Gyu-woon as Lee Kang-joon
Wang Ji-hye as Gyo Chae-yeon

Han Tae-Hee is the heir of a large company. He is suffering from a broken heart syndrome due to a psychological shock. To get the woman he loves back, he completely changes an unattractive and overweight Sa Geum-Ran to beautiful Sara. In the process, Han Tae-Hee falls in love with Sara. 

My Thoughts  
A drama that focused on plastic surgery, where beauty is only man-made. Geum-Ran regained a 2nd chance in life by becoming the beautiful Sara, but her heart is still as kind as before even though she was seeking for revenge. Joo Sang Wook seemed to be stuck in his role, as there wasn't much break-through from Cunning Single Lady. The drama was rather boring, but I loved all the Le Creuset kitchen ware used, lol! This is a first for me, since I usually paid more attention to bags and clothes rather than kitchen ware. 
Liar Game 라이어 게임
Kim So-eun as Nam Da-jung
Lee Sang-yoon as Ha Woo-jin
Shin Sung-rok as Kang Do-young

Nam Da-jung is an innocent college student who passes a hidden camera audition and is invited to join the reality show Liar Game, a psychological survival game wherein participants trick each other and the one who ultimately succeeds wins the prize money of ₩10 billion (US$9.3 million). Tempted with the chance to pay off her debts, Da-jung joins the game and gets conned out of the initial money given to her. In desperation, she asks genius ex-con swindler and former psychology professor Ha Woo-jin to help her win the game. 

My Thoughts
Unbelievable story line, which was based on a Japanese manga of the same title. The plot was really intense, which kept me glued episode after episode, as I went deeper into the story only to find out that everything was planned right from the beginning. One of the best plots of the year. At only 12 episodes, this can easily be achieved over a weekend of drama-marathon.
I need romance 3 로맨스가 필요해 3
Kim So-yeon as Shin Joo-yeon
Sung Joon as Joo Wan
Namgung Min as Kang Tae-yoon
Wang Ji-won as Oh Se-ryung

Drama series follows a 33-year-old woman who does not trust love, a 20-something-year-old man who dreams of pure love and a 30-something-year-old man who is the woman's boss at work. Shin Joo-Yeonworks at a home shopping network. She used to have a warm and kind personality, but after 9 years of harsh working experience she has become cold. After a failed romantic relationship, she tells people that she does not believe in love. Deep down inside though, she can't give up on real love.

My Thoughts
Another spin-off from the I Need Romance series. I was quite bored halfway while watching, but I decided to continue so I can complete the series. Nothing beats the first series, so watch that and forget about the spin-offs.  
Healer 힐러
Ji Chang-wook as Seo Jung-hoo/Park Bong-soo/Healer 
Park Min-young as Chae Young-shin/Oh Ji-an 
Yoo Ji-tae as Kim Moon-ho 

A decades-old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people—an illegal mercenary with the codename "Healer" (Ji Chang-wook) who happens to possess top-notch fighting skills, a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website (Park Min-young), and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station (Yoo Ji-tae). In trying to uncover the truth from that 1992 incident, they grow into real, honest reporters, and deal with the conflict between the truth and fate. 

My Thoughts
I was amazed at how Healer can jump from buildings across buildings effortlessly, to an extent that it seems ridiculous. Yoo Ji Tae charms as an experienced reporter who isn't afraid to go against his own brother to uncover the truth. It would have been better if this was shortened to 16 episodes as it was getting draggy towards the end.

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