Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Year In Review: What I Missed 2013

Rosie hasn't watched WHAT yet?!?

Another year nearly gone, and you know what? I feel I've watched less airing dramas than I did last year! I blame this partly on the overall lack of interesting dramas. But the truth is I think I've become a tiny bit more jaded, and therefore way pickier when choosing what to watch next. Also, mid-year I tackled about 5 airing dramas at a time and that burned me out. More often now I will wait until a series has aired and then marathon it (or drop it..) Maybe it loses some of the excitement that way? Oh well- I like a duller lifestyle. :P

Comparing my stats from 2012's Year In Review, let's line up my progress this year.

Approx Total Dramas Watched (or sampled): 55   (65 last year)

Dramas Watched (or sampled) from 2013: 20   (12 last year)

Verdict so far? I have watched LESS dramas, but attempted more from this year... How did I fair keeping them up though?

Dramas Watched AS THEY AIRED that Weren't Dropped: 9   (6 last year)

Marginally better. However if I could generate a stat for the number of hours spent watching shows, all these numbers would be significantly lower; my trend for 2013 was to actually watch less Kdramas and more of the offerings from Japan and Taiwan. Jdramas = shorter and easier to watch. Kdramas = more time/dedication necessary to complete. Cheating much? Maybe so. 

I'm no longer hiding out in a little drama bubble - having reached out to more people in the community, and made more drama friends. (Hooray for drama buddies!) Also- my mom and sister are now dedicated drama addicts (Hooray for my conversion rate!) and my husband is always watching at least one drama with me (I made him watch Nine about 1 week after I marathoned it by myself, and we completed the rewatch in 3 days flat. My eyes were burnt red and watery for a week after). 

But being more aware of the blogger community, and general drama world means I have followed the progress of more dramas than I've cared to watch.  And the list* includes a shocking amount of crowd favorites that for whatever reason, I refuse to try at this time, or this year. Some are already on my Plan To Watch list; others may need a little persuasion... 

*Kdramas only. I'm not qualified to even note how many grand and/or atrocious Jdramas or Twdramas I may have missed this year. 

Nail Shop Paris 

Is it shameful to say I'm shallow and none of the menfolk in this drama grabbed my interest? Not even with the extra dose of idols in the cast. Plus, nail art doesn't appeal to me. I keep mine short and trim (and not always perfectly clean).

Seems the general consensus once it finished was of a slightly audible "wtf.. huh." ending. Chances of this being added to my completed list are slim to none.

Cruel City 

The drama this year I noticed that had everybody on edge! Yet I was already melo-ed out by this point (Is it just me or were there a LOT of dark melos in 2013?)

I'm pleased to say I avoided all spoilers, and there's a high chance I'll get around to watching it in the early part of next year. Hmm, depends on my mood though.. And my moods have been fickle all year long.

Good Doctor 

Joo Won? Moon Chae Won? How could I not! Well, I'll tell you why not. Yes I adore the actress, but Joo Won still gives me bad Bridal Mask vibes. I also don't have the energy to watch more than one medical drama a year, and I attempted one too many during the early part of 2013 (White Tower... alas, in vain).

BUT people loved this show, and I hear the acting was phenomenal. I'll get around to it. I promise! (When I'll get around to this though is a different matter entirely.)

When a Man Loves 

Keke.. I think this was the snark drama of the year! Song Seung Hun has never impressed me much as an actor- I barely tolerated him during his two roles in the Endless Love series, and that more because I was in the mood for depressing love (and his leading lady) than because I liked him.

I actually read partial recaps. Until even those became boring. It's a no forever... Sorry dude. You're just not that pretty enough, shirt or no shirt. 

7th Grade Civil Servant 

Who doesn't love a good spy-thriller-romance!? ME! Especially when I'm not fond of the leads, AND the first impressions coming through the blogosphere sounded lame.

Maybe if I'm in the mood for a lame story with bad execution. But I seriously doubt I'll ever bother to think of this drama again.


The most anticipated watch of 2013 that I'll probably watch in 2014! (Something like that.) I'll admit, I really want to see this, but I've been too moody and/or plain grumpy and when I see every body jumping on the Secret bandwagon, I get all stubborn and refuse to bite.

There's no getting around though how consensus says this is a top crack drama. When I decide to get off my high horse I'll watch it. And probably marathon watch it, if what I hear about the intensity and pacing is correct.

Who Are You

Not even for Waffle Boy Kim Jae Wook did I start this one. Taecyeon probably has a lot to do with that, and coming after his lackluster appearance in WGM Global, I wasn't in the mood to stare at at him again. OK so I feel bad about that!

Seems this show has mixed reviews, but my mom watched and loved it so I'm obligated to give it a shot sometime soon. :)

Incarnation of Money

I'll do this one only for Kang Ji Hwan. Someday. I don't admit to being terribly inspired... Law and money, love and passion, and loan sharks don't always appeal to me, but then again you never know when I'm going to get sick of the Kdrama rom-com.

Ignored by half the drama watches worldwide, this one's got a niche following by people who absolutely loved it. I'd like to see what all the fuss is about.

Dating Agency Cyrano

Another drama I skipped just for its hype. I'm kind of sad I did because I love half the cast, and the cameos I read about were numerous!

A definite future watch - just waiting for the mood to strike me right.

Iris 2

Well I never finished the first Iris - I think the best we can hope for the sequel (by most accounts not that good) is that I won't be up for it. Not even for the idol cast.

The best thing to come out of it is probably the OST from Beast. I listen to that one all the time and feel badass. Who needs the drama version?


Hooray! Another drama I avoided all spoilers for! Add it to my ever growing list of revenge dramas I need to watch. Have I mentioned I really love Son Ye Jin (probably not). Well I do. Also... I hear great things of the actors and I've never really given them the time of day either.

You never know. I could start this one right now. Or.. not. But soon. Someday, next year, two years from now.. Or something like that.

Reply 1994 

Could anyone NOT have heard about this drama? This time last year I was skeptical any sequel to the brilliant 1997 would work, and seems everyone tried this with slim hopes it would distinguish itself. It's not over yet at the time of this post, but from all accounts it's a grand WOW.

Soon as it's done airing, you can bet your house I will be marathon-watching. Now to pick which team I'm on.. Is that how it's going so far? I've been keeping my eyes half shut to all tumblr spoilers.

Medical Top Team 

Yuck another medical drama! I swear I really just don't have the time or inclination to watch this one. That is all.

Looking at stills of the cast is all I need. Next!

Suspicious Housekeeper 

So for every snob not on board with this last season's crop of overly hyped dramas, there was Suspicious Housekeeper. Intense and mysterious, with scream-inducing cliff hangers (so says my mom), this Jdrama remake sound fabulous.

I will try it out very soon. Kids or no kids, it sounds wildly different than the majority of Kdramas I've yet to add to the watched list.

The Queen's Classroom 

Airing on the peripheral margins of my drama scope, here's another supposedly darker and grimmer look at Korean schools. Darker and grimmer and without the bromance of School 2013, is what I actually hear.

I'm not sure it's something I'll actually watch though - unless I get a good deal of persuasion to do otherwise. Dramas featuring real kids aren't always to my taste.


Here's a short series I swore to watch right away! (says me several months ago). At 4 episodes only, this investigative conspiracy plot sounds like an overly long movie- or, like a shorter and more tightly woven drama.

It's a must watch. Right now. (Give me a few more months - Seriously, I will watch it.)

The End of the World 

I don't know anything about this drama except that a few people watched it, and the ones that did were impressed. Devoid of all the fluff of the Kdrama standard, this epidemiological investigation drama sounds like a serious change of pace. 

Will I watch it? Who knows. But I'd like to stay positive and claim it someday.

For the small-ish list of dramas I did manage to watch this year, you can see my list here. If you think any of the above shows (or even those not listed) should be added to it, I'll all ears. Or.. eyes.


  1. What does it say about me that your didn't-watch posts of some of my all time favorites on the dramaweb? ;)

    My hours spent watching dramas were also way down this year, thanks largely to my discovery of Tumblr. From this list, I'd say that Cruel City is the most essential—it's incredibly good and would be perfect to watch with a husband. (Not that I know anything about that, but whatever.)

    Here's to another drama-filled year!

    1. What can I say. I tread a different path.. *marches haughtily off into the virtual distance" ;)

      Cruel City - got it! I'll have extra marathon time this winter (if can keep myself from rewatching my faves over and over again.. hehe)

      I've had such a bipolar drama year, and tumblr's only to blame for.. let's say the last month. One one hand I don't love Kdramas as wholeheartedly as I did before, but I'm nowhere near thinking of giving them up. I'm too invested. I think I will be for years, if only to see the landscape change and the actors mature. Honestly I can't wait for another drama year. What goodies will there be! Even if we have to sort through the rubble to find them all. xD

  2. I'll be watching Reply 1994 once this sucker wraps (yup, jumping back on the drama wagon - finally the interest and motivation creeps in again!), so we might just be watching at the same time, yay!

    PS Also tempted to live-watch something... or everything... but we'll see.

    PPS I want to do a year-end review too but I've watched so few 2013 ones I feel I'm not qualified o.o

    1. Year end reviews seem like a ton of work to me. That's why I do this instead - no real intellectual thought required :P

  3. I haven't watched most of that list as well. I actually stopped watching Level 7 Civil Servant and for me, that's a big deal. I never drop dramas, even though I keep telling myself I really need to start, lol. But Civil Servant, i just gave up. I read the recaps so that i could sort of finish it anyway though. Actually, thinking about it, I probably would have kept watching if I didn't have the recaps. Geez, there's something wrong with me, I swear, lol.

    With Cruel City, stay away from spoilers, and marathon it. It's the best way to watch that show. Actually, it's the only way. If i had watched it as it aired, the wait each week would have killed me. Start watching it on a saturday when you have no plans for the weekend.

    Oh, you know what drama is really funny? She Is Wow. Betsy mentioned it on her blog the other day, and it's definitely a show to watch. It's quite short as well, which makes it even better.

    1. OH yeah! I plan to give She is Wow a try. I forgot it was from this year too. There's so many!

      I don't really care for recaps, at least for ongoing dramas. I only read them if I drop something, or if it's an older drama I suddenly need some clarity on.

      Cruel City - ok ok.. maybe before the end of this year then!

  4. I haven't seen most of these dramas either, but I agree that Cruel City is definitely worth watching. It was the most wildly addicting drama I've seen in a while.

    Dating Agency Cyrano was pretty cute. It's a good stress-reliever, and the guy who played Ah Rang was adorable. :3

    1. Yup. Cyrano is definitely on my future watch list. :)

  5. That's an interesting idea for a year-end review - dramas that you didn't watch. Love it :D

    I was a slower drama-watcher this year and didn't complete nearly as many shows as I did last year. However, I sampled a lot of them and I am still planning to finish a pretty good amount of shows that aired this year. It's just that 2013 went by too quickly, and now I have to postpone them into 2014.

    A weird thing is that I didn't really watch any sageuks this year. I was interested in a couple of them, but I later found out that pretty much all of them sucked. A bad year for sageuks.

    The one show I would tell you never to pick up from this list is IRIS. I only watched the first episode and it was boring as hell. I don't think anyone enjoyed that one.

    1. Yeah! How come this year went by so fast! It's unfair. I already feel like I'm behind on drama watching, and then so many come out all the time - It's an impossible task. Truth is I'll probably get around to maybe 3 or 4 of these ^ this next year.. bc no doubt 2014 will harass me with even more dramas.

      I've been trying the whole sageuk thing, but the only one from this year I've tried is Empress Ki - we'll see how it all pans out. I'm a little skeptical I can make it to 50 eps but now I'm caught up it shouldn't bee too hard to see it through. (Long as it keeps my interest..._

  6. When I look at my year in review...it's my sense of accomplishment NOT in the dramas I watched, but the ones I recapped. I never sat really down and though really hard about the dramas I sampled or completed or dropped in the watching category.

    If you think my track records is decent in the recapping department, you should see just how dismal is really is in the actual watching department. Now I think I needs must really sit hard and think about this question.

    All the dramas on your list I've either dropped, refused to touched, or promised I'd get back to or added to a maybe watch later list. I'm horrible :P But...I've been getting pickier and picker and hard to please. I saw someone comment somewhere about how much they love dramas (not sure if it was K only or any type of Asian persuasion) and how they have never been disappointed. Wow. Never? I want to know what dramas they've been watching. I can say with much sadness that I wasn't impressed with a lot of dramas this year and of the ones I recapped completely...I actually ended up hating some of them, but did finish them. Go figure.

    1. "I want to know what dramas they've been watching." ME TOO! Truthfully though, I'm jealous of people who like everything they watch, even if it's just casually. I'm not that way, with anything. I think of all the bombs I watched this year, and it depresses me until I hit something I think is incredible above everything! And then I have something to compare it to, even if it ruins every other drama for me.. until I find the next best thing. This year, only Nine and Bu Bu Jing Xin did this for me. Not that I hated everything else, I just.. either didn't like them, or they were only a nice sort of distracting entertainment.

      I am genuinely impressed with your recap abilities. I can barely get out a review for half the dramas I watch, even if I DO really want to write about them. :D

    2. I want to know what dramas they're watching as well. They've never been disappointed? Lucky them!

  7. Is it sad to say that I've only completed one drama from this list and skipped through the other one!? Hehe. I might be a little bias but Secret is a really good watch. It'll keep you on your toes :)

    1. I'll definitely be watching that one too. Sounds like it's fun in an awesome crack-drama way. Plus, I feel bad being now one of the few people who hasn't seen it.

  8. It always baffles me how many dramas there are in a year. It's way too many. I think I've only watched a very small handful of dramas, mostly because I'm impatient and I'm bored of the same love stories told over and over again. I wish I can watch so many dramas, there are a few I actually want to watch and ended up not watching. But recaps are a savior. And 16-20 hours is too much time.

    1. I get overwhelmed each time a new 'season' begins and 4 or 5 dramas all start at the same time. Which one do I pick? Do I pick any of them?!? And so yes, I try to choose the more unique sounding one - but even then there's no guarantee it'll be decent. :(

  9. I keep forgetting about Nine, and then your posts keep reminding me that I need to watch it. I ended up watching most of last year's big dramas this year, so I compared a lot of them side by side. I have to say that, even though I didn't really watch that many 2013 dramas, what I saw seemed kind of lacking overall. I don't know that LOVED anything, especially in the romcom department.

    1. WATCH IT! Yes, that is me yelling. :P Especially good in marathon form, as I can attest to, twice. Hope you get the chance soon.

      You know I can really only compare 2013 in the most general way to the previous year(s) but it does seem that I enjoyed More dramas from the years past than anything that came out this year. Granted, I have only a small-ish amount watched from this year, but more things caught my eye and/or were on the above avg sort of entertaining from 2012. In the romcom department though... those are and always have been hard to grab me, at least more than just superficially.

  10. Cruel City is a must watch. I would leave out Level 7 unless you want to gauge your eyes out and hate life for an extended period of time. Iris 2 was a waste of time in my opinion. Wow, I feel like I got all negative :-) Seriously though, AM94, Good Doctor, and Cruel City are the shows I would highly recommend. Love this year end drama list btw!

    1. Thanks for the recs. Definitely confirmed that I need to watch these 3, and soon.