[2017] Ahjumma’s Dramas Awards

 

2017 Ahjumma’s Dramas Awards

11 dramas later, here are my personal winners, based on the shows I’ve seen:

Best Overall Drama: Chicago Typewriter

Best Drama: Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People

Best Action/Thriller/Suspense: Voice

Best Rom-Com: Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Best Historical: N/A – I only watched 1 saeguk

Best Actor: Go Jun Pyo [Chicago Typewriter]

Best Actress: Honey Lee [Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People]

Best Villain: Kim Jae Wook – Mo Tae Gu [Voice]

Best Idol Actor: Park Hyung Sik – Ahn Min Hyuk [Strong Woman Do Bong Soon]

Best Couple: Do Bong Soon/Ahn Min Hyuk [Strong Woman Do Bong Soon]

Best Costume: Chicago Typewriter

Best Secretary: Secretary Kim – Goblin. Runner Up: SWBDS

Best OST: Chicago Typewriter

Best Ensemble: Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People

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[2017] Year In Review

***At the time of this update: I’m reviewing the shows based on memory of how I felt, so you will notice that some of them will not have detailed reviews.***

105, tv dramas, and 22 webcasts premieried, I was only able to watch a handful [11], some made an impact in my daily life [like I didn’t sleep], some I dropped along the way.

GOBLIN

Though there were supernatural, fantasy, and fusion dramas that aired in Kdramaland over the course of time, Goblin is unique in its own way. To be able to connect the past, present, and future through the memories of our Goblin and Grim Reaper in 20 episodes is a feat made possible by this show. From the cinematography, special effects, script, soundtrack, directing, and acting, this show had everything going in the right direction to near perfection. This should’ve been a made a movie.

In the end, however, we were divided because of how the show did/didn’t end. The other half was disappointed that Eun Tak had to be reincarnated, the other [including me] were accepting of the fact that her life has to come full circle. I guess you can call it an open ending for our titular hero who waited another lifetime for his bride to come back to him.

Other than that, the ending didn’t change the fact that Goblin is one of the most popular kdrama of 2016-2017. This drama shot up to the top of my all time favorite show. You definitely missed out on an AWESOME show if you didn’t watch this one. The entire world was swept up with the Goblin Syndrome with every other brand promoting their products within the show. If you didn’t even hear about this show, I don’t know which tunnel you’re living in from. I suggest you stop reading my post, and start watching this now.

Ahjumma stars: 5

Voice

Well, this was an unexpected show. I know it’s a crime thriller since it’s an OCN offering, and this genre is purely their bread and butter. It was mentioned during the finale that this show was written in hopes to aid in getting faster response times to emergency calls that citizens make, so I watched this thinking it’ll be a weekly show of rescuing people on time because one gifted officer can hear things we can’t, while a detective needs to be on a team that will redeem his past behaviors on the field. What I didn’t expect is how psychologically thrilling this show was for me. For a weekly dose of emergency rescues, and one major storyline, the show got me hooked. The writer was smart to end the show with a call, and a cliffhanger. The writer is even smart knowing that it can only last for so many episodes. Sometimes I wonder about the writers and the producers of this show thoug…. what went on their minds as to how they collaborated into making the crimes as close to real as possible.

If there’s one major flaw that I could think of, it would be the script. As I read the subtitles on certain scenes in three different versions, I asked myself each time what was the writer thinking? It doesn’t fit the scene at times, but it’s there and I start to wonder if it’s in the editing that it was flawed. As would any dramas, there were characters that were underutilized after they made their 15 minutes of fame and made it in the Golden Time team. Then again, there are really so much an emergency operator can do aside from taking those calls. Their characters required them to be sitting down, and watch their leader finish the call with a confirmed rescue. Another thing they can do though is go to Subway and share a sandwich.

In the end, the mystery was solved, and citizens were saved by our city heroes. The criminal got the karma he deserved since justice wasn’t really given.

Ahjumma stars: 3

Missing 9

The premise of the show was intriguing enough to pique my interest. Unfortunately, what started out as a potentially great mystery/action show, lost me midway through the series. There was a certain part of the show that was dragged into what seemed like an eternity of the same pattern [Bong Hee always a step behind from Tae Ho], and made me lose hope that she will ever come out of her ordeal unscathed. Eventually, I came back with a different mindset, and finished the series. I didn’t realize it until the end as to why the show changed their focus from their time on the island to the lengths a corporation/politician will go to cover up a major crime.

It dawned on me in late March/early April, that they didn’t write/produce the show for entertainment purposes. There were similarities between the show and this calamity that lead me to believe, that this show was written to mirror the Sewol tragedy. It’s intent is to let us know what’s really been going on and why we still don’t have answers.

Just an FYI, this is my own “conspiracy theory”. The show had 9 people missing, Sewol has 9 bodies unrecovered. The show focused more on the corruption between CEO’s and politicians instead of uncovering the truth regardless of who will fall, which is a whole lot like what happened after this event. Of course, I won’t be able to confirm this hunch, but because I’m on the outside looking in, I think the premise of the show is what got a green light to be produced, it was written long enough to get some viewers interested, and veered its course and became more of an awareness/expose of what’s going on in reality.

Back to the show, now that I think about it this way, it made sense why the script is all over the place. There were characters featured during the teasers, and trailers, but were not even useful in the show. There were revelations within the characters that I wish would’ve been told in the beginning. All in all, the idea behind the show is there, but the execution was wrong, and it left me wanting more answers than I had when the show started.

Ahjumma stars: 2.5

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

This was a truly enjoyable and loveable show. It’s been a while that I enjoyed a rom-com like this. It’ll probably be a while before another rom-com can beat these standards. Ahn Min Hyuk and Do Bong Soon are the very definition of #couplegoals. Everything was natural about this show when it comes to this two. Yes, the show is scripted, and the directors most likely advised our actors how skinships would be portrayed. But how it was scripted, directed, and acted out is what was natural to begin with. I like rom-coms without the awkwardness that it comes with. Park Hyung Sik, and Park Bo Young nailed their character portrayals. Because of them, and their natural expressions, the characters are believable. It sure pulled me along with their journey. I cried with them, I was terrified with them, I was glad I was part of their happy ever after. I would actually need to remind myself that this is just a show.

There were times that scenes tend to get a little bit too serious, but it comes with it. With the help of the supporting characters, those scenes are soon replaced with hilarity once again. There are some plots that weren’t neatly wrapped up at the end, but I’m probably the only one wondering about them, so I looked the other way and looked at the pretty, and the funny hijinks the show offered. Overall, this show delivered. From the history of how Bong Soon’s strength has been passed down in generations, to how she and Min Hyuk met, the issues/challenges surrounding them that solidified their relationship, they even gave us a wedding ceremony and babies.

Ahjumma stars: 5

 

Rebel: Thief Who Stole The People

This is one of those dramas that I watched diligently up to episode 14 of the series, then let weeks go by almost forgetting the show. If it wasn’t for Dramabean’s recaps, I probably wouldn’t have been inclined to watch the rest. Their writing made me want to feel what they’re watching, and thankfully, I did finish the entire show and appreciated it. Mind you, there was a point in this series that I just want to give it up – it’s not perfect, and sometimes it feels like it’s the same story, different episode. I’m glad I stuck it out even with a little break in between. I feel bad that I ended up not posting my final review for the show, but here it is….

Historical accuracies [or lack thereof?] aside, I really did like this show. Despite the deaths, and the repetitiveness of some plot lines, I usually feel empty when a saeguk ends because there is never a happy ending, or there’s a bittersweet ending. This show is different in a way where our heroes got a chance to change the world, one person at a time, and still lead a happy life. That’s a gem to me to see our heroes win and get to live out the rest of their days.

This ensemble could not have been cast together any better than this. From the portrayal of Amogae, Yeonsangun, Nok So, our quirky “Justice League”, Ga Ryung, and Mori. This cast makes up for whatever writing/creative holes that was left open, so I won’t go in detail on that. Everyone probably is amazed at Honey Lee and Kim Ji Suk’s performances, as I am too. For me though, there are two characters that got to me, and I cried when one had to die: Amogae,  and Mori. Kudos to Kim Sam Joong, and Kim Jung Hyun for their amazing performances!

Ahjumma stars: 4

 

Chicago Typerwriter

This was a really good show. I love me some supernatural fantasy dramas that actually work. From the writing, acting, soundtrack, and to the special effects, this show was it for me. I felt that I was in this drama too.

Ahjumma stars: 5

Man To Man

The show started off to a good start for me, but it fizzled when they started to focus on the romantic side of the story.

Ahjumma stars: 3

Suspicious Partner

This was a filler drama for me. I’ve skipped episodes here and there. I still yet have to watch a really good law drama – sadly, I’m not getting any younger. Overall, it was a good show – entertaining to get me to come watch the episodes of the week when I’m home trying not to get depressed. I probably would’ve like it more if I had watched the show diligently.

Ahjumma stars: 3

Strongest Deliveryman

Well, that was a good drama. A little bit of angst, violence, comedy, romance made this work. I like a good ensemble drama where your hero is a group – not just one person. Yes, it took a leadership of one, but it takes more than that to capture the heart of the people. I appreciated the fact that heiresses, and chaebols are willing to sacrifice their life’s inheritance for the sake of life. What I love the most, is the hope that there is still some people out there who’s not in it to profit by himself, but to share the wealth with good friends – family.

Ahjumma stars: 5

Save Me

I was anticipating this show soooo much, but I ended up dropping this after episode 2 due to personal reasons. Who knows, I  might watch this when I can in 2018.

Ahjumma stars: N/A

Because This Is My First Life

Beautiful. If this show taught me anything, it’s that humans are complex beings, but love isn’t. I am glad I decided to watch this show.

Ahjumma stars: 5

Black

My last Kdrama of 2017. I really, really loved this show despite the many questions I still have unanswered, or that ending. I guess Joon was really that in love with Ha Ram that he went and foregone the justice he deserved in order to give the life he wanted Ha Ram to have. If that is not true love, I don’t know what that is. Not the ending I wanted, but I understand where the writers were going with this.

Ahjumma stars: 4