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Fans of k-dramas... please help

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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 5:02:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2012 3:07:10 PM PDT
Adnana says:
Thank you for your post about "Moon Embracing the Sun"; after the awesome "The Princess' Man" I'm very interested in watching another historical drama, if it has a well-constructed plot and an epic romance. "Moon Embracing the Sun" sounds very intriguing and I'll definitely give it a try -- though I'll probably wait until it finishes airing and is completely subbed.
Any other sageuk dramas that you would recommend?

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 5:08:53 PM PST
Adnana says:
Currently, I am watching "Myung Wol the Spy" and really enjoying it. The plot is a bit silly at times, but I get the impression that this is mostly deliberate, as if the writers are purposely making fun of classic kdrama clichees like for example when the heroine's 'parents' try to manipulate the Hero by telling him about how poor the family is, that the father is being chased after by loan sharks and will probably have to sell his organs to settle the debts. (it is all a lie, to rouse the Hero's sympathy so that he will let the heroine live in his house)
Anyways, the drama is about a North Korean spy (the heroine) who, by a series of coincidences, becomes entangled with a South Korean Hallyu star (the Hero) and is then ordered by her superiors to seduce the hero, get him to marry her and have him voluntarily cross over to the North, where his talents as an entertainer are sorely needed. As I said, it sounds a bit silly, but how this situation develops is a real blast to watch. The heroine is a well-trained, mission-oriented and emotionless operative and the hero is an arrogant, spoiled actor who is actually quite different from the shallow person he appears to be at first.
The hero & heroine have great chemistry and, even though the hero is a real ass towards the heroine in the beginning, after he finally falls in love with her, he is utterly devoted and loyal to her and would do anything for her. And the heroine, who has only ever strived for a military career and is clueless in matters of the heart, is very funny to watch in her attempts to get the hero to fall in love with her.
So far, I like this drama much better than "Full House" (another drama with a famous type hero).

Posted on Mar 3, 2012 7:08:31 PM PST
cbela says:
i agree mws kdrama is good! it's funny.. sweet..action. and heart tugging moments. i have rewatched the entire drama. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 7:44:06 PM PST
Yes, I loved how my heart tugged at times during Myung Wol the Spy. One of my favorites!!

I have watched about 3 eps of Full House. I love the premise of the show but I just can't get into it. I'm sure some point down the road I will watch all of it though. Did you know that in a few months Full House 2 will be airing? The lead is the vet from My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. I'm excited to give that one a try.

And Moon Embracing the Sun looks great as well. But I am waiting for the last episode to see how it ends. When I start my dramas I always watch the last one first. I've got to have a happy ending before I watch. With as much time that is invested in them, I like to make sure I have no heartbreak at the end :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 8:29:48 PM PST
cbela says:
if u liked loved "mws"...the actor eric also stared in an earlier kdrama "que sera sera"... it was funny .sweet. moments of being frustrated annoyed with characters. but .HEA :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 3, 2012 8:39:39 PM PST
I am a little nervous that the end of Moon Embracing the Sun will not be a HEA, but without giving too much away, with all the tragedy in the early episodes I hope that we finally get a happy payoff.

This is my first Seguek, but I have heard that The Princess' Man and The Tree With Deep Roots are both excellent. I've also heard that The Return of Iljamae is wonderful, but although it is historical I don't know that it is classified as a Seguek.

I don't know if you all have heard of Dramabeans, but they have recaps of a bunch of dramas as well as ratings for dramas they've watched. A great place to get a feel for a drama before investing a ton of hours watching it only to be disapointed. I don't always agree entirely with their assessment, but for the most part I think they have a pretty good sense of what makes a satisfying drama.

Posted on Mar 4, 2012 4:30:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2012 3:34:30 PM PDT
Adnana says:
Thank you for the historical drama titles that have been mentioned; I'll look into them.

What about action dramas? I LOVED "City Hunter" and it would be great if I could watch something similar to it. But please, there has to be a happy ending (unless it is a really spectacular drama that is a must-watch regardless of the ending)! For example, I'm reluctant to start IRIS, which is a very well rated action drama. But I heard that it has no HEA?

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 9:19:40 AM PST
Lovely D.M. says:
I've watched "Flower Boy Ramyun Shop" and it was okay, heavier on the comedy than the romance. But the ending left me confused, I didn't like that.
As for the "Moon That Embraces The Sun", I might check it out since it seems to be highly recommended (I'm not sure I'll enjoy a historical, but we'll see). I will wait for your reports concerning the ending first. I too don't want a sad or a disappointing ending.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2012 2:00:50 PM PST
jak says:
Adnana, there aren't many modern action dramas like City Hunter, as most dramas with action are historicals, sagueks, with lots of battles and fighting.

If you want modern action dramas, you might want to try Runaway: Plan B with Rain. I heard it's pretty good. There's also A Man Called God, but I thought it was corny. Spy Myung Wol might work, but there's not that much action in it. I can also think of others, but they don't have HEA.

You could try Dramafever, which has the dramas listed by genre.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 10:09:52 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on May 28, 2012 3:38:46 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2012 1:18:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2012 1:36:00 AM PST
cbela says:
hey gmb! i did watch "wild romance"... but at parts the "suspense crazy" parts fast fwd. lol i still need to watch the last two episodes. too. like you said i liked the silliness n seriousness of mv... i just didnt like the "thriller" aspect. lol...i can say ill rather rewatch "my girl"...but i do love the ost song "painful" in WR.

In regards to "soulmates"... i loved the music connecting them, as well.

right now... im into watching dream high 2. i have yet to watch the latest two episodes... but im rooting for yoo jin n hyesung.

what are your fav or rewatched dramas?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2012 3:30:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2012 3:38:59 PM PDT
Adnana says:
What I said earlier... about really wanting to wait until "The Moon That Embraces The Sun" has finished airing before I try it... Well, I'm eating my words now. My lack of restraint is phenomenal, it seems. ;)
Last week I gave in to temptation and started watching TMTETS. By the end of the first episode -- or maybe even, already after the first time that the young H & h met -- I had fallen in love with this drama.

*spoilers* follow
I really loved the first part, with the young actors, and I thought that the transition to the adult actors was very well done -- nearly seamless, imho (such a beautiful and well chosen cast, both young and adult!). And this motif of a first-and-forever love that you can never stop yearning for really appeals to my romantic side, especially as the H & h are so well-matched and obviously destined for each other. It's really awe-inspiring (as well as heart-breaking) how much the King still loves his true Crown Princess, even 8 years after losing her. I cheered with him so when he finally got her back -- the scene, after he has her escorted to the Palace and then goes to her and he just has to hug her and hold her really tight and he keeps repeating her name as if unable to believe that he finally has the h back in his arms, is incredible.
*spoilers* end

Trouble is, I've already finished watching all currently available episodes, the story has reached its climax, and with 2 episodes still to go I'm boiling with impatience. It's the first and definitely the last time I start watching an unfinished drama. :)

ETA: I'm not worried about the ending at all; the drama is inspired from a book and the book has a happy ending.

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 6:17:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2012 6:32:48 PM PDT
Usagi7777777 says:
Adnana, never never watch a "good" Kdrama that's unfinished -it'll absolutely kill you since all worthwhile Kdramas pretty much end every episode with cliffhangers, thus torturing viewers. Do the leads in "Moon embraces the sun" have chemistry? Since the essence of Kdramas is always romance (that's what they're best at), I always need the leads to have chemistry and I've heard complaints about the main girl's wooden acting and how the child leads had more chemistry than their adult counterparts, which I hope isn't true. But you seem to love it and the ratings are phenomenal, so maybe I'll watch it if you feel they have chemistry. I've been waiting patiently too, hoping for this to be an "it" drama.

By the way, if you want to watch another epic historical drama, check out "Dae Jang Geum" (aka Jewel in the Palace). It's a 54 episode epic historical drama about a girl who starts out as a palace lady cooking for the king and eventually ends up as his personal physician (the first female one in Korean history). There is a romance subplot involving her and a scholar and even tho it's secondary, I loved their sweet relationship! He's so gallant/noble and is totally in love with her. I watched this drama back when it was insanely popular, peaking in ratings, and was absolutely captivated. The main girl's whole journey was extremely intense, not to mention addicting to watch and this was the drama that got me into Kdrama historicals. It stands as my favorite historical of all time. There's so many twists and turns, you won't even feel the length as it's so fast-paced. So, if you ever find the time, watch it!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 12:52:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2014 11:17:28 AM PDT
Adnana says:
Hui Chi,
Remember how you said (in your post about "Meteor Garden") that when we become truly absorbed in a drama, we just enjoy it without judging it for its negative points, whereas when we aren't really captivated by the drama we're watching, we are liable to nitpick at every little issue. I agree with you. ;) And that's the thing with TMTETS: though undeniably good, it's not perfect -- not by far (the ratings it's received are insane and I don't think they can be justified when compared to the much lower ratings some other really good dramas have gotten). But because I like this drama, I chose to ignore its faults, though I am by no means completely blind to them.
It's true that the young characters had superb chemistry with each other; that part of the drama (ep. 1-5) is the one I love most (together with the last part, starting with ep. 16). And because that first part got me 'addicted' to the drama, even just because of it I would have continued watching until the end (as long as the drama retained even a fraction of its original charm--which it fortunately did).
The adult counterparts, as well, are some of the best chosen I've ever seen; very soon after they appeared on screen, their images superimposed themselves in my head with those of the younger versions, which I considered quite a feat. My only (slight) disappointment was (at the point of the transition) with the heroine. But even though she at first compared unfavorably to the young actress (imo), I eventually came to appreciate her in her own right. And truly, the King is so great in his role that it also makes the h shine (or as near as) in their scenes together.

*spoilers* may follow
The main problem with the middle part of the drama is, imo, that the heroine character's itself is written as much less interesting than in the first part. She is now without her memories, without her status--just a lowly shaman (in her own words) who, even worse, is turned into a living talisman (not considered anymore as first and foremost a person) for the protection of the king. So that zing of when the younger heroine was crossing verbal swords with the Crown Prince is missing. It's not that the adult heroine is less brave or less intelligent than when she was young; it's just that, in her new role, socially far below the King, she can't interact with him on the same level as before--which was, as (more or less) his equal. So with her loss of confidence, with her current unassuming and quiet demeanor, the heroine becomes less interesting than before. But again, I don't think it's the actress' fault, necessarily; she just worked with the material she was given.
After the heroine recovers her memories and thus regains her true self, the drama definitely picks up again. Yes, it's too bad about all those episodes in the middle, but even they aren't without their redeeming qualities, of course. My real dilemma, regarding this middle portion, is due to the fact that, when the King fell in love with the shaman, it was reluctantly and reservedly; there's always this question of does he love the shaman Wol, or does he love the image of his true Crown Princess reflected in Wol's features? He never forgets his first love--which is beautiful, but also tragic, because it keeps him from seeing that his first love has actually come back to him. And in the end, he's willing to let Wol go, whereas he would have never given Yeon Woo (the Crown Princess) up. So on the one hand I'm happy that the H keeps faith with his first love and doesn't want to renounce it in favor of someone who he thinks is another woman. On the other hand, I (the viewer) know that it is actually the same woman, so it becomes frustrating to watch the heroine, for the better part of the drama, in the guise of someone whom the King can never fully accept.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 8:33:23 AM PDT
Adnana - Thanks for the rec for Myung Wol The Spy - I found it very enjoyable, especially the first half. Please let us know if TMTETS ends with a HEA.

I also recently watched and enjoyed Soulmate. It was different (in a good way) from any other Kdrama I have watched.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 1:46:52 PM PDT
Adnana: You and I are in the same boat...YAY! Hate to say I told you so...but I did. Moon is just so GOOOD in the first part of the story and the adult actors are also so good that even when the story dragged for a couple of episodes I was so invested that I didn't care. I love the king so much both young and old. I agree that Yean Woo (the h) is harder to judge. I think the little girl was so sweet and just shined with life while the older girl has lived a life filled with hardship and completely no memory of her past. And her treatment upon returning to the kingdom doesn't make her burdens any less.
You mentioned that the king was willing to give Wol up, but I don't really think that's true. He sends Woon to check on her over and over after she's banished. And when he finds out that Yang Myang is there too, he goes to visit himself and sees them together. I think he's so confused and shaken that he just doesn't know what to do. His head tells him that his love is dead, but his heart recognizes her. And there are two other characters I just love in Yang Myang and Woon. I'm terrified that the prince is turning to the darkside, but I just feel so bad for him in that he's never received anything in his life that hasn't ended up becoming the Kings. And Woon is just the best guard/friend ever, and his road is so hard trying to be loyal to both guys. He understands both of them, and I think he sympathizes with them both. Although his loyalty is first to the King now.

Waiting for these last two episodes has been rough. They were supposed to air last week, but due to a labor strike we had to wait until this week. I can't wait to see how it all comes out.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 5:46:55 PM PDT
Usagi7777777 says:
Adnana, Thanks so much for your heartfelt response! As long as this is one of the "addicting, crack dramas that you can't help but want to keep watching despite its flaws" with characters you just LOVE, I'll watch it. As long as I'm truly invested (as in enthralled and captivated by their dynamics) in the characters and the drama's well-paced, I can forgive almost anything. As for the girl, as long as she's not wimpy and pathetic (desperate for the guy's love), I'll be fine. I just can't stand begging girls.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 7:58:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2012 12:48:36 PM PDT
So for those of you wondering episode 19 of Moon Embracing the Sun is 99% subtitled and 20 is already 70% subtitled at

Hui Chi, I know you were talking to Adnan, but I just wanted to add that the h is not wimpy and often with the H kind of puts him in his place. But she's VERY proper and reserved. She's not a spunky fiesty h. She's more of a deep thinker and gets her point across with thoughtful words more then actions. She NEVER begs and is definitely strong but there were times when she suffered from being too good.

I really hope you watch it. I'd love to know what you think. I'm off to watch the last two episodes, and then I'll report back my impressions.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 10:02:11 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jan 3, 2013 3:52:39 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 9:52:25 AM PDT
So I've watched the last episodes of Moon Embracing the Sun, and it does have a HEA for the H and h. But wow did I shed some tears. Now that it's all over, looking back I definitely see some weakness in the story and things that should have happened differently. But watching each episode in the moment, I was satisfied. The end was heartbreaking and heartmending at the same time. I think the key to watching this and loving it is seeing it as a romance story between H and the h first and foremost. From the moment they meet they are completely devoted to eachother, and everything that happens is what had to happen for them to get their HEA. But wow there is a lot of suffering along the way. I did love this drama even though it isn't technically the BEST drama. I fell in love with the H and h, and just had to see them be happy.

If you liked My Girl, you may want to try some other dramas by the Hong Sisters. I would reccomned You're Beautiful and Best Love/Greatest Love.

It's hard to find a drama that compares to My Name is Kim Sam-Soon. That one kind of set the standard for fiesty, strong, independent heroines.

You could try Boys Before Flowers, the h there is pretty fiesty and strong. This drama is not without it's faults. The acting from some is either a little over the top, or not enough. But the H carries the story, IMO. But it's a drama with a bit of everything and a HEA.

I also really love City Hunter, but this drama is more of an action/revenge drama. But the romance element is strong and the h is wonderful. She actually saves the H a few times. The H is great too, and the revenge plot is wonderful. Really the whole thing just has a lot of heart to it. It's one of my favorites.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 12:04:38 PM PDT
Lovely D.M. says:
Okay since the reports are good, I am adding "The Moon That Embraces The Sun" to my "want to watch" list :)
Hopefully I'll enjoy it.

Right now I am watching "Secret Garden". I had put off watching this drama/romance for a while because of the "body swap" thing. Also because the heroine is a "stunt double", I thought that she would be the annoying/feisty type. But so far I am enjoying this series, and I thought the body swap part was very funny, and it helped them understand each other better. I am also glad that the heroine is not annoying or feisty so far, she's still vulnerable and has a sweetness about her.

I am at episode 14 now, and I really like how in love the hero is with the heroine (and he's got a strong character). On a side note, I love the theme of fairy tales that seems to be going through this drama. I can see that it has the potential to become my second favorite K-drama/romance so far, behind "You're Beautiful". We'll see once I've watched it to the end though. I'm glad that these shows are available on-line with English subtitles.

Quote: when we become truly absorbed in a drama, we just enjoy it without judging it for its negative points...

Reply: I agree, since no tv show or movie is perfect. This is why I've been having a hard time trying to decide if I should just "up" my rating to 5 stars for "You're Beautiful" and "Hana Yori Dango", because I really enjoyed them.

Anyways... happy drama/romance watching everyone! :)

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 1:29:59 PM PDT
Usagi7777777 says:
Thanks Rashell!! As long as the h stands up to the H and isn't desperate/clingy, I'll be fine. I don't necessarily have to have the "feisty" heroine (sometimes they end up really annoying me); my favorite heroines are ones who have a lot of spirit and a will of steel. But foremost, they all have to have the spine to stand up to the H. "Moon embraces the sun" definitely seems to be THE drama, one that has a lot of heart and I'll watch it when I get the chance.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 3:30:54 PM PDT
Melanie says:
Question for Netflix members.....Netflix seems to have some k-dramas available for streaming. Any opinions on a few good ones to start with? Thanks!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 4:46:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2012 5:41:46 AM PDT
Melaine - try

My Lovely Sam-Soon
Boys Over Flowers
Hana Yori Dango (movie)
Playful Kiss
My Princess

City Hunter
Secret Garden
Protect The Boss
Shining Inheritance
You Are Beautiful (AKA - You're Beautiful)
Scent of a Woman
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
Prosecutor Princess

Most of these have been discussed on this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 5:41:22 PM PDT
Melanie says:
Thanks so very much....I am off to netflix to explore these! Cheers!
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Initial post:  Jan 14, 2012
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