5 Foods All Kdrama Fans Want to Try

You know what I’m talking about. You’re watching a drama, feelin’ your feels, and then all of a sudden…

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*gulp* Your stomach realizes that it’s a hollow cavern, and that THING ON THE SCREEN is the only thing that will satiate it!

This happens to us Kdrama fans all the time. We see something in a drama that looks unbearably delectable, and we. must. devour it. So believe me when I say that I had a hard time only picking five tasty treats to share in this post.

5.) Kimbap

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I know this looks like sushi, but don’t be fooled! Kimbap is basically like a fancy Korean sandwich, and you see it in dramas when they are eating lunch, or going on a picnic, or want something fast and easy to eat. I think the most appealing part about kimbap is that you can pretty much put whatever you want between that rice and seaweed wrap.

My hankerings for this munchy munchable increased ten-fold when I was watching Healer. Ajumma really sold that kimbap to me.

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4.) Kimchi

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Obviously. I mean, come on, everyone in Korea eats it, and it seems to go with everything. That delightful crunching sound the characters make when they’re munching on their kimchi? OH EM GEE I want it so much! Especially if I can make it with Lee Min Ho. I wouldn’t complain about that scenario.

By the way, I found that kimchi is an acquired taste for me. I was overwhelmed when I first tried it, but now you wouldn’t catch me without it when I’m eating a bowl of ramen.

3.) Jjajangmyun

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Every time I see a character scooping up those black, chewy, slurpy noodles, I want to leap through the screen and steal their chopsticks right from their hands. IT LOOKS SO GOOD. This seems to be the “Big Mac” of Korea. It’s fast, it’s fairly inexpensive, and apparently, it’s awful for you.

I’ll take two.

2.) Ramen

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It’s really not a Kdrama if there isn’t a ramen scene, right? And while I know we have access to ramen here in the states, we don’t necessarily have Kdrama ramen. Theirs looks so delightfully spicy, so salty and red and satisfying, that I just know I’m missing out on something.

Turns out, I was right. My friend from Korea brought a giant box of food with him, and with it? Yup. Ramen. It was so good that it ruined “American ramen” for me entirely! No wonder they eat it so often.

Also, anyone else really want to eat it in one of their convenience stores, with the bar stools in front of the glass-front windows? Yeah. Sign me up for that.

1.) Bibimbap

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I think the best thing about seeing bibimbap in Kdramas is the fact that it is always eaten with ginormous, ladle-sized spoons and shoved into people’s mouths in a perfect spectacle of gluttonous feasting. Characters eat bibimbap when they are emotionally unstable, or half-starving, or in a “who gives a flying fart, let’s just get fat” mood. It’s the emotions on their faces when they shovel that orange cacophony of side dishes and rice into their open mouths that makes this my number one must try Kdrama food.

And I did of course. It’s mind-blowing.

And that does it for my top 5 Kdrama “must try” foods. There are many, many more, and I will have to do a follow-up post to this one, because it was dang hard to choose only five. 

What Korean foods have you wanted to try? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments!

-Devon-

P.S. I know I made you really hungry. #SorryNotSorry

Man Candy Monday: Park Hyung Sik

Today’s eye candy is inspired by my love of the currently airing show, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. It will be ending this week, and I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to these characters! Regardless, I felt like actor Park Hyung Sik needed some spotlight love.

Also I need to ogle him. Let’s do this.

First of all, Park Hyung Sik is a real life chaebol. It’s like he walked out of a Kdrama and onto our computer screens right here.

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And even though he’s a new actor, it hasn’t taken me long to become a fan of his. One fantastic role as a lead chaebol (now we know why he pulls it off so well), and I’m smitten. You don’t mind if I post gratuitous beauty shots of you, do you, oppa?

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See? You heard the man. MOAR PICTURES!

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He looked good in his Sageuk gear too, even if I didn’t manage to finish Hwarang.

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All in all, I’d say that Park Hyung Sik is the cutest kind of man candy imaginable. He’s like the gummy bears of K-actor-land. *squish squish*

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Can we please get the cutie more lead roles? #Kthnxbye

 

What We’re Watching: April

It’s been a while since I did one of these! There’s a lot happening on the other side of this screen, so my Kdrama time has been cut down dramatically. However, we are still watching three dramas when we can!

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

I gave my first impressions on this drama, and they held strong! I’m still waiting anxiously every week for episodes, and my heart breaks at the thought that we are almost done. The humor in this romcom really made me cackle with glee, and although there are slow parts to the plot (those side characters, though…), I LIVE for the OTP moments when we get them.

My favorite part about this drama is how Min Hyuk reacts to pretty much everything Bong Soon does. He adores her. When she’s mad he wants to squish her, and when she’s upset, he wants to take the pain away. And a lot of times he actually gets overwhelmed with feels, and kind of fangirls about his supergirl. I can’t get enough of that!

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It’s safe to say, that this is my favorite, currently-airing drama.

I also went back in time to discover…

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I’m almost done with this one! I immediately understood the appeal it has had for so many people, and y’all had me on board with the very first episode! I stalled because of life happenings, but I’m still averaging about two episodes a week, just like Do Bong Soon. It’s the first drama I run to when I have free time!

I’m almost done, and I can’t wait for the OTP to get over their…what is it…6 year spat? Dang that’s a long time to go without talking to each other. Ah, youth.

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Other than the actual storyline, which is geniusI have to admit that I laughed the most at all the hilarious Kpop fan girl moments. I relate so hard to that, you guys.

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I will definitely give you all a detailed GIF review when I’m done with this little gem!

Last, and…well, yeah, least….

Radiant Office

I gave my first impressions of this drama when it first aired as well. It did pick up a little bit. Just enough to get me to come back this week. But time will tell if I make it all the way through this one. For the most part, my initial thoughts remain the same for this drama–there isn’t a lot of fun or hopeful chemistry to keep me interested. I kind of care about the office drama, but if they don’t give me some OTP soon, I might have to move on.

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Sorry, oppa. I do love you.

And that’s it for now! There is a lot of “writer Devon” going on over here, so “Kdrama fanatic Devon” has to take a chill pill just for a little while. Won’t stop me from blogging about what I can manage to watch, though!

Oh, and Cornwall scored us EXO tickets for the end of this month, so I’M FREAKING EXCITED YOU GUYS AND I’LL TOTALLY TAKE PICS AHHHHHH.

See what I mean about the fan girling? Relate. So hard.

Catch you K-Fans later!

-Devon-

Man Candy Monday: Ji Chang Wook

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This guy right here made my heart swoon. I still get a little flutter every time I look at him.

Ji Chang Wook stole my heart in “Healer,” which is one of my top dramas ever, actually. I can’t tell you why I loved it so much, but I’m pretty freaking sure it had something to do with that

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And that

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And a ‘lil bit of this

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This is where I’m supposed to insert a comment about his personality, because beauty is within. And it is. But I don’t know him personally…so all I know is he’s hot. And a great actor. And I appreciate the art that is his adorable face.

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Also that finely sculpted body of his. YOWZERS

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That’s what I call fine art.

Word is, he will be joining the army this year, but before he goes, I know he’s been cast in a new drama, “Watch Out For This Woman.”

And that makes me want to do another Kdramas Renamed post. What kinda name…

Well anyway, I love this guy, and can’t wait to see another drama or two before he disappears for two years! We love you, oppa!

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What a great start to our week, huh? Everybody, FIGHTING!

-Devon-

Radiant Office First Impressions

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Something of a black comedy with a slow start, but potential to grow into a decent story.

Honestly, I’m getting flashbacks of My Shy Boss right now–at least the feelings I had while watching it. That is to say, I don’t love the main girl, and I despair at the lack of chemistry between…well anyone.

This story starts off with a despondent female lead, Eun Ho Won, who is both frustrated at the literal years she has gone without a real job, and a lack of mental efficiency to change her circumstances. Did the writers intend for Eun Ho Won to look like HeiHei the chicken wearing a tie and applying for a job at a competitive company intern program?

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I’m not sure. But it sure seemed that way. Not only is she awful at interviewing, largely unqualified despite her insistence that she really really can do a good job, and rather prone to giving people the stink eye, she also gives up at the least resistance in her path. Her character says she’s patient and able to endure. She mutters it to herself constantly. But we don’t see a lot of that in the first three episodes. Or any of it?

On top of sucking at life (doesn’t this show sound uplifting?), she finds out that she might have a terminal illness after she unsuccessfully tried to kill herself. I’m not putting a spoiler alert there because it’s in the premise of the show, and all the trailers, so I figure you know that going into this. This plot point is the one that annoys me the most.

It is SO PAINFULLY OBVIOUS that a simple visit to the doctor would clear up her uncertainty about how long she has to live, or whether she’s even truly sick. But is that sort of logic found here? Of course not! They use all kinds of excuses to keep Eun Ho Won from going to a doctor. She’s too poor, or she doesn’t want to know, or she prefers living her life like she’s dying. It’s super fun!

And I’m sure that the writers have something in mind here, but the choppy excuses to keep Eun Ho Won from the doctor isn’t suspenseful. It’s dumb. And it doesn’t make sense. Or does it? We are talking about HeiHei the intern, here. Darwinism at work.

I will say, that as exasperated as I was for the first three episodes, just hanging in there and waiting for Eun Ho Won to make good on her many promises that despite what it looks like (over and over and over and over and) she is a capable human being worthy of someone’s respect, they did finally give us a glimpse of her fabled work ethic. Episode four showed Eun Ho Won pulling herself up by her bootstraps and fighting for her job.

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Expectation met, kiddo.

And if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned any male leads or romantic interests, that’s because there are none.

I mean he’s there. His name is Seo Woo Jin, and he has all the personality of a generic Birthday card with a Visa giftcard inside. He’s her boss, and so far, he has done nothing but…well…be her boss. There’s not even anything simmering or bubbling beneath the surface here.

There was one small romantic interaction with the second lead, who is a doctor. Who offered Eun Ho Won a free physical. Which she turned down.

Because she’s a chicken brain.

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But other than that, I guess I will have to wait for this aforementioned “romantic interest” that may or may not develop.

As far as the office drama plot goes, it’s really not too bad. I like the company, and so far, the little challenges they have faced have been enough to keep me interested. With the glimmer of hope given to us in episode four, I’m willing to hang in there to see Eun Ho Won grow a backbone that hopefully extends up to her prefrontal cortex so she can start making rational decisions that don’t make me want to poke attack her through my computer screen.

Two more things:

1.) Eun Ho Won is also maybe schizophrenic? Wtheck is with those weird visions she keeps seeing?

2.) Does everyone in Korea live in rooftop apartments? What do they do with all those rooms underneath?

And that’s pretty much it for my first impressions! I’m glad I waited until watching all four episodes before reviewing it, because believe it or not, this whole rant would have been at least 12x more scathing.

I ended up dropping My Shy Boss, so I’m really hoping Radiant Office picks up and adds some spice to their characters.

Have you watched it yet? What are your thoughts?

Have an awesome weekend, peeps!

-Devon-

 

Tasty Dude Tuesday

As you can see, my “man feature” posts are at the mercy of my inconsistent posting schedule. So we will be doing a Tasty Dude Tuesday this week instead of Man Candy Monday.

I do what I want.

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This week we will sing the praises of one of my favorite Korean actors. I’m talking weak-in-the-knees, don’t care what he’s acting in, yes please let me watch him doing anything and everything…

Gong Yoo

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First of all, it’s that cheeky smile that really won me over when I first saw him in Coffee Prince. But upon closer inspection, one cannot help but notice his smoking…

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Hot…

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Personality.

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For real though, post-military abs aside, that smile is what really melts our hearts.

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Also, it must not be overlooked that he is the best kisser in all of Hallyu. I’m not even accepting opinions on that. He just is.

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And he’s not just a pretty face. He’s got some serious acting chops, and his role in Train to Busan absolutely blew me away.

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And I really did know that in Coffee Prince when he fully convinced me that he had fallen in love with someone he thought was a boy, and was fully prepared to love her anyway. Hence, that infamous “I don’t care if you’re a man or an alien” kiss. He was so confused. And so attracted to her. He just went for it.

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Yeah. He is sheer perfection.

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Don’t be bashful, oppa! It’s the truth! *happy sigh*

What do you all think? Gong Yoo yes? No? Not your cup of tea? Never mind don’t answer that. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Happy Tuesday!

-Devon-

GIF Review Shopping King Louis

It’s that time again!

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That’s right! It’s time for a GIF review! Today, we are giving our thoughts on the popular 2016 drama, Shopping King Louis.

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I had my reservations about this one, since “spoiled rich guy who shops too much” didn’t sound terribly appealing to me. And my fears were nearly justified when at first it seemed like Louis truly was just a spoiled, ungrateful weirdo.

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But then. Oh, then, he lost his memories, and had to live with an impoverished young woman until he figured out who he was. That was when he unleashed his CUTENESS on me!

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And Bok Sil unleashed her sweet, kind, generous, beautiful soul on me. Who else would take in a strange, homeless kid with a shopping addiction and no idea where he came from?

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I spent the rest of the drama completely in love with both of them as they tackled the challenges of their past while trying to make enough money to survive in the present!

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Then the side characters developed, and ALL their plot lines had me loling so hard:

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The sad parts really did break my heart. Poor Louis! Poor Bok Sil! Poor Halmoni!

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But then just as soon as they broke my heart, it would be mended with a sweet Louis and Bok Shil moment that had me laughing out loud again.

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I guess the one negative I might give is that while Louis was affectionate enough for the both of them, Bok Sil didn’t exactly invite “skinship,” so their physical chemistry suffered a little bit. Just a little.

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But who the heck cares. Look at how adorable they are:

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Also the way that Louis reacted to bugs lol

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All in all, two big thumbs up from me! This drama made me super happy!

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I guess I’ve really been in the mood for those sweet, sugar rush dramas lately! This definitely fit the bill, and while it did have moments where it slowed down a smidge, or it suffered from Kdrama filler scenes, it always picked right back up. And best of all, it ended so nicely, with loose ends tied up, and happily ever afters established. Yay for fluffy love!

I would highly recommend this drama, so add it to your watch list!

Peace out, drama fans.

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-Devon-

 

5 Kdrama Titles Renamed

We all love our Kdramas, but let’s face it: Some of those titles are weird!

Whether it’s because the exact translation has no English equivalent, or because the translators wanted to preserve the purity of the interpretation, the result is often the same. Completely confusing!

That’s why I wanted to try something fun, and have a go at renaming some of these titles so they make more sense to the American viewers.

Now, granted, I know that the translators who officially Americanize these titles are just doing their jobs–they’ve been asked to take Korean words and find the closest equivalent in English. But just for the heck of it, I think I can find some alternatives that you know…actually mean something when we read them.

1.) Boys Over Flowers

Okay, okay. Here’s what happened with this one. This was originally a Japanese manga, and the author of said manga made a title that is a pun in Japanese. They have a common expression that, translated, says, “dumplings before flowers.” Apparently, it refers to a flower festival they have, where people flock to the food first, and totally ignore the flowers, which were the reason they were supposed to be there in the first place. She changed the character for “dumpling” to be “boys,” which I’m sure is quite clever.

In English, it don’t make a lick o’ sense.

So, in keeping with the original meaning of the title, which really tells us to put what we love above all else, I give to you…

Love First

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If I’m being honest, I wanted to do something five hundred times more corny, but my husband wouldn’t stop laughing, so I went with his suggestion. It’s short, it makes sense, and hey, it’s what the author meant to say!

 

2.) Something About 1%

Even after watching this drama, I do not fully understand what they were trying to say here. There was a whole monologue at the end about how 1% of people are…really awesome? Or there’s a 1% chance you’ll find love? Or something? I brought my husband into the living room and made him watch the speech, and even he wasn’t exactly sure what they were going for. I am absolutely (100% haha) certain that in Korean it’s profound. In English translation it’s an odd title.

So after finishing the drama, and getting the general gist of what they were going for, I vote that we rename it:

 

You Are My 1%

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It’s a slight change, really, but I think it makes all the difference. Not only are we playing off the idea that he is the 1% financially (i.e. rich as Croesus), but we are going with the theme of the show, which is that she is the 1% in terms of rarely found selflessness, love, and true compatibility.

3.) My Love From Another Star/My Love From the Stars/My Love From the Star

We seriously could not agree on a title for this drama, could we? I’ve seen several variations, and all of them were really just trying to preserve the original translation. I give them points for exactness, but it’s a mouthful to say. My suggestion?

Star-Kissed Love

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The story is all about their love, and it just happens to be twinkled with a touch of starry space background. I think this title evokes romance, without focusing too hard on the fact that he’s an alien. Exactly like the drama.

4.) City Hunter

If you just said “sh***y hunter” in your head, then congratulations–you know why we really can’t call this drama City Hunter with a straight face. I know, I know, I KNOW. In the drama that’s what they call him. They even say it over and over again. “SH***Y HUNTER!” (For those of you who haven’t seen this one, the Koreans pronounce “City Hunter” like “sh***y hunter,” and it is impossible to ignore.) But even if THEY are saying “city hunter,” that doesn’t mean we have to. Especially because it’s an awesome drama, and it deserves a title that doesn’t cause me to giggle every time I say it.

Seoul Hunter

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Seoul sounds like “soul,” which makes it sound more bad-a. Add to that the fact that the main character is actually hunting down the men whose dirty souls managed to kill innocent people, and it’s just too perfect.

Seriously SBS. Call me. Anytime. I’m here for you.

 

5.) Moonlight Drawn by Clouds/Love in the Moonlight

This is another title that was wildly different from translation to translation, and I’m sure they did their best. But even the better title “Love in the Moonlight” doesn’t make a lot of sense. It just didn’t sit well with me. And since I happened to really enjoy this one, I’m going to rename it. Because I can.

Chasing Moonlight

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As best as I could figure, the symbolism for this drama had the prince compared to moonlight. So the original title–I think–was meant to be something like the fluffy white clouds (our main girl) chasing the moonlight (our prince). Alternatively, it could refer to the prince chasing moonlight, as in a brighter future for his people. Either way, I feel like this grabs the feeling of the adorable drama more succinctly.

So there you have it!

Not that the original titles are bad, per say, but I like to play with words. What do you think? Any that you like? Are you cursing me out for messing with the classics?

Or, do you have some Kdrama titles you’d like to see rewritten? Let me know!

Cheers,

-Devon-

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon: First Impressions

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Quick Verdict: Fast pace, lovable characters, and promising intrigue.

Last week, the new drama Strong Woman Do Bong Soon premiered, and I’ve been waiting for this one, so I jumped right on it. And it was actually better than I expected it would be! Which is saying something, because I’ve been desperate for something to love after Shy Boss and Tomorrow With You kinda let me down. I had high hopes for miss Do Bong Soon!

For starters, Do Bong Soon is flippin adorable. Look at this cuteness.

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And while we’re on that scene, this whole word play was hysterical.

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She asked if he offered “stop motion,” when she really mean “stock options.” Aigoo, I love it when their word play is English-based so I can get it!

As far as the story goes, I like that her abilities are supernatural. She’s the Korean Supergirl, with super strength that disappears when she uses it selfishly. I’m sure that will be a great plot point later on. I also like that she kind of wants to use her super strength, but it mostly just causes her anxiety, and she uses it sparingly.

The humor in the drama, so far, has been a little slapstick. I confess, that kind of stuff makes me giggle! Bring on the silly.

The lead guys are hot, but I don’t know which one I like better yet. They’re both quite stoic, which is unusual for Kdramas. The second lead acts like he doesn’t like her, and the main lead, of course, just things Bong Soon is nuts. I’m looking forward to how that dynamic plays out!

The bad guy is CREEPY AS SIN.

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I mean, sweet baby cheez-it, who thought of this monster? ALKjla;jdsfljsdijfkdj

So even though this drama is quite silly at times, and definitely plays up its aegyeo factor, it also has an intriguing plot that is sure to keep me interested for the time being.

Overall, I love it, and I’m hoping the pace can stay strong! Especially when its second episode left off with a classic double wrist grab and two hot guys fighting over one cute Supergirl!

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Yes please. More please. Thank you.

Have you watched this one yet? What did you think? Thanks for stopping by, Kfans!

-Devon-

Kdrama Beginner’s Tour: Rest of the Best

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Woot! Woot!

Here we are at our last stop in our Kdrama Beginner’s Tour! Thank you so much for riding the newb train with us, and I hope you’ve found some entertaining Korean Dramas to get you going with your addiction.

So far, we’ve looked at gateway dramas, young love dramas, action dramas, and sageuk (historical) dramas. For our last stop, I wanted to throw out a bunch of my other favorite dramas that didn’t make it to the previous lists.

Introducing…

The Rest of the Best

Let’s kick this off with a classic. I have seen this drama three times all the way through, and after looking for pictures to put in this post, I might be tempted to watch it a fourth.

Secret Garden

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This beloved drama. There are so many things that put this one in my top 5 dramas of all time, and still holding. At the time, a lot of the Kdrama “tropes” were still new to me, and the plot felt completely original.

This drama is about a wealthy CEO who finds himself captivated by a poor stuntwoman. At first he chases her based on curiosity, but then mystical forces intervene in their lives, and ZAP! Body swap. The body swap was hilarious, don’t get me wrong, but it’s their chemistry and interactions that made this one of my top dramas. Hyun Bin plays the CEO jerk-turned-besotted-lover extraordinarily well. Hawt.

My next random, must-see drama is one that recently finished airing. I might be taking a gamble in posting this now, because I’m still swooning over the feels from the show, and might not be clear-headed about it. But I don’t care. I know you’ll enjoy it.

Goblin: The Great and Lonely God

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Wow, how do I count the ways I loved this show? The music was entrancing. The scenery was jaw-dropping. The love story was epic. I really couldn’t ask for anything more!

Goblin is actually the story of a dokkaebi, which is a Korean supernatural creature that we don’t have a good word for. Someone decided “goblin” would be a good translation, which I don’t agree with, but oh well. It is what it is. The dokkaebi is an immortal being, cursed to live forever with a blade in his heart as punishment for the thousands of men he killed as a soldier 900 years ago. The only way he can pass on to the next life is if he finds the goblin’s bride, and she pulls it out for him.

As you can imagine, the tragedy of finding his bride is that he loves her, only to have the sword ripped from his chest, and his life ended. How does one overcome this????

That is the epic love story told in this drama, and I loved. it. Loved it.

My only word of caution is that the pacing is a little slow-ish. They spend a lot of time focusing on pretty imagery and inner conflict in the middle of the plot, but personally, I didn’t mind one bit. Because they were nice to look at, and I enjoyed the characters so much.

But if epic isn’t what you’re hankering for, I’ll give you a hilarious comedy, and see if that grabs your interest.

Marriage, Not Dating

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The main girl in this drama is a hoot! She’s completely outrageous, but her antics gave me several hours of laughter. Also the skinship in this drama is pretty significant, and I enjoyed their chemistry as a whole. Looking back, the plot is really simple, but the shenanigans they get into were too much fun to pass up! Basically, a successful plastic surgeon has parents nagging him to get a wife, so he presents this crazy chick as his girlfriend to get the ‘rents to shut up. Only, it backfires, and she turns out to be just the kind of mania he never knew he needed.

Also in the RomCom category, and not to be missed is this one:

Personal Taste

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Oh baby, there’s that Lee Min Ho guy again. Can he do no wrong? (Heirs…>.>)

Here we have the hilarious, but heart-felt RomCom about a young woman who is a little strapped for cash, and puts out an ad for a roommate in her lovely, one-of-a-kind home that her father built. It just so happens that an architect who is desperate to get into that house, sees the room for rent. In order to live with her, he allows our main girl to mistakenly believe that he is gay, so she doesn’t feel uncomfortable about the whole thing.

The thing I really loved about this show was that it was initially built on a silly pretense, but quickly built into a memorable relationship that is chock full of romantic gooeyness. Also, this is the drama with the infamous “game over” kiss.

That might be a bit of a spoiler, but I’ll bet you’re wondering what “game over” means, and how they even got to that point right? Right?!

Right.

And that, my friends, is the end of our journey together!

Of course, after you’ve watched a few of these, and find yourself intractably gripped with all things Korean, you can hop right back to our blog and follow along as we review dramas and give you updates on our Kdrama-inspired romance novel!

So how about it, friends? Did you watch any of the dramas we suggested? Let us know which ones are your favorites!

And thanks for visiting our blog!

-Devon-

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Gateway Dramas

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Sageuk Dramas

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