I’ve watched a lot of Korean Dramas. At last count I was around 16. It all started with ‘Boys over Flowers.’
I read the manga that it was based on so when I saw it on CrunchyRoll after I got the free trial, I had to watch it. I finished it in just under 2 weeks, and I was hooked.
From there I moved on to ‘Me too, flower!’ which had an actor I really liked, Yoon Shi-Yoon. I’ve watched a couple of his other dramas since seeing him in that one.
And the rest is history. I quickly acquired a huge list, but today I want to talk about my Top 3.
- My Lovely Sam-Soon
- The Greatest Love
- Panda and Hedgehog
My Lovely Sam-Soon is a no-brainer. I love both of the actors and the story-line. While it did get a bit repetitive when his ex-girlfriend came back into the picture, I really enjoyed how most of their story played out. I especially liked that she was very forward and had no problem going for what she wanted. It was quite refreshing because in most Korean dramas they’re very shy and reserved.
I think Hyun Bin is the bees knees. I really liked him in Secret Garden as well, and it almost made the Top 3. Almost. It got a bit repetitive at the end and a bit cliche, but it was really good. I would put it in at a close four.
Also, Sam-Soon is a patisserie. So of course there are all sorts of sweets and delicious things on the show as well. And she has a great sarcastic attitude, which was perfect. It was the third K-Drama I watched and still my #1.
The Greatest Love is also pretty much a no-brainer. I was hooked right from the first episode. One of the things that really drew me in was the main actor, Cha Seuong-won. He’s not a ‘flower boy,’ but rather he has facial hair (for the first half of the episodes) and is very manly. A lot of Korean dramas can get too caught up in fluffy flower boys (there’s nothing wrong with them! But sometimes I want a good chunk of man meat to sink my teeth into!). This one focuses on the world of show business, which was very interesting to watch. I often wondered to myself how much of it actually happens.
Their storyline was also really interesting and something I hadn’t really seen before. Of course we see the popular person and nobody end up together a lot, but his heart condition and how they actually played out their romance was really good. And of course who doesn’t love a Korean drama where they show their happily ever after. The ending scenes with their son: adorable.
Panda and Hedgehog came in a close tie with Pasta. P&H also has to deal with a patisserie (noticing a theme!) who has gotten out of jail and is looking for work. He ends up at this small cafe where he meets an interesting list of characters. I hemmed and hawed for a while before I finally settled on P&H because the main characters get together early on and there aren’t any real problems. Too often in a Korean drama, if the characters get together pretty early on there is an ex who shows up or family issues. It gets really cliche after a while. So the fact that they get together and the story focuses more on the baking business was really wonderful.
The main character, played by Lee Donghae from Super Junior, had a pretty dark past. And the connection with the three main characters was really interesting, though they really dragged it out. I had it figured out by episode 4 who everyone was and how they were connected. The drama also had a pretty realistic representation of how businesses work, especially with the stealing of ideas and the ‘we will do everything we have to do to succeed’ mentality they show.
Honorable Mention: Pasta
I really loved this one because, again, the main character wasn’t a ‘flower boy.’ It’s set in a restaurant where the new chef doesn’t want any female chefs in his kitchen. Cue the one female who refuses to leave, even after she gets fired. Their budding romance and interaction with the other chefs in the restaurant. My only gripe: not enough smooching. The main character, played by Lee Sun-kyun, also has a really deep voice. I loved it. ^^ This one is also definitely worth a watch.