Magical Radios, dramatic soldiers, blended families and lots of great friendships: 2016 a year end review  

Hello again!!! I finally got the girls (Nelly and Erl *waves*) back for another combined post. After “W” I was afraid we would never work together again.

My Love for end of year list is humongous, I read every single one I see. So I was very excited to put this one together.

The rules were simple: 1. Any show that aired in 2016 2. It can be SK, Taiwan, China and Japan 3. only get 2 picks per question and one honorable mention ( I suck at following my own rules).  Lastly 4. Only shows that have finish airing. I have tons of love for mermaids, weightlifting fairies and goblins, but they can’t be in this list! Also keep in mind, these are our opinions, life would be boring all loved the same things. Lastly guys there may be spoilers so please beware. Let’s get it started! 

1. The biggest disappointment of 2016 ( dramas wise guys! No politics!)

  • I want to start the drama early! My fist would be Descendants of the sun, I know many of you loved it & really wanted too myself. I been waiting for a Song Joon-ki comeback for a million years like the rest of you. Yet other than thinking he was very good looking and the cinematography being beautiful nothing else made me want to watch the rest. I left after 4 episodes.
  • My #2 would be “Moorim School” I know, I know why was I looking forward to this? I adore Lee Hyun-Woo, I want him to  have a good drama. Yet this looked like a mess from the start. No story and horrible actors made me so angry. This one I’ll admit to watching till the end. Yet I hated every moment of it.
  • Honorable mention… I think I’ll go with “My daughter, Geum Sa-wol” This show! The main cast was made of 3 actors I love to pieces. I still cant believe that the combination of Baek Jin-hee, Yoon Hyun-Min, and Park Se-Young made me suffer so much!

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Descendants of the Sun: Seriously, this show rubs me in the wrong places. I love the Song couple but the writer did not do her research job thoroughly on the military topic. I was disappointed and dropped it.
  • Beautiful Gong Shim: Wow, this show lost its mojo after few cute episodes. WTF, y’all! I was seriously disappointed and FF to the final episodes. I simply couldn’t handle it.
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Revive: This Chinese drama would have been awesome had the Chinese government did not censor half of the show. I was lost in the middle and simply don’t get why they have to deny such beautiful homosexual relationship. I finished it but regretted watching it. Can I have my hours back?

Erl’s Choice:

  • Jackpot: I tried, I really tried my best to finish it but in the end even if I love for both Jang Geun Seok and Yeo Jin Gu, I had to drop it.
  • Moorim School: I was genuinely excited for this drama, so excited that when all hell broke lose, I listened to sad songs for days. I mean it could have been good. Oh well.
  • Honorable mention goes to Beautiful Gong Shim. I loved the cuteness but that’s about it. I was really thankful because there’s a FF option otherwise I would have lost my marbles about the same time the show did.

2. The drama that you had no expectations for but loved to pieces 

  • Five Children-Good weekend dramas are so hard to find! This one was soo good, it gave us two adorable otp’s in the leads and the leads younger sister and her golfer boyfriend.
  • Back to 1989- Go back in time to find your dad, fall in love with your moms best friend, and then figure out how you can be together when your OTL is 20 years older then you! Yes, this drama was a trip!
  • Honorable mention mention: Beautiful Gong Shim- Two weirdos meet and fall in love, whats not to love?

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Signal – this thriller drama got me hooked from start to finish. Koreans don’t produce good thriller dramas; Signal was a few exceptions! I had no expectations from this drama and I completed it and begged for more! MORE! MORE!
  • The Good Wife – I have never seen the American version; I gave it a watch out of curiousity. But dang….. The show got me hooked right away! If you haven’t seen it, please add The Good Wife to your watch list.
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Marriage Contract – Yeah, I was iffy in the beginning. I was not expecting the chemistry from the OTP. I was wronged. And the show left me in tears. It was a beautiful drama… *wipes tears*

Erl’s Choice:

  • Shopping King Louis – I remembered I watched this because I got curious with all the GIF of Seo In Guk afraid of a spider and the rest is adorable fluff and cuteness history.
  • Signal – Nelly recommended it to me and I’m really glad she did. It was so good that whenever an episode end, I found myself begging for the next to come.
  • Honorable mention goes to Drinking Solo. Because we all need a drink every once in a while – solo or not.

3. The drama that got you all excited in the first half then lost you in the second? 

  • The K2- Seriously how do you give me a kick-ass main character, a very fun villain and the most vanilla female lead in the planet?
  • The Mystic Nine-Once again, the cast of this was amazing, the first episodes where so much fun. Then it went insane.
  • Honorable mention: Jealousy Incarnate- I left after the main characters kissed, I could not handle that. It was so against character, especially for the male lead that loved his best friend so much, yet it did not stop him from kissing his girlfriend?

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Jealousy Incarnate – got pulled into this drama because I was told that my obsession of Bogummy was (and still is) too strong! I couldn’t fall for the show even though I heard so much raves! The show keeps playing merry-go-round with me. After awhile, I had enough and bid my goodbye.
  • Mirror of the Witch – It started pretty strong until the villains came to the picture. It just suck when the villains have 9 lives. I completed it but my heart was not into it. Cinematography wise, though, was beautiful.
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Cheese in the Trap – Where is the cheese, man? Needless to say I was fooled by the cheese. What a waste of my time!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Doctors – I really thought it was a good combination, a rebel becoming a doctor but that’s about it. Although I admit I completed it, it was mostly because I fell in love with the dorky second lead.
  • Cinderella and the Four Knights – It started really sweet for me, I mean the angst and rebellion but then all the noble idiocy and a character that I really can’t take that it turned completely bland towards the end.
  • Honorable mention goes to Descendants of the Sun – I watched for the beauty and that’s about it.

4. Favorite NEW actor 

  • Gong Myung from “Drinking Solo”/ Shin Hyun-Soo from “Age of Youth”- Puppies!! Give me more puppies
  • Marcus Chang from “Back to 1989”- Brooding is his specialty
  • My honorable mentions are both very shallow: Yang Yang from “Love O2O” and Actor Zhang Yixing from “Mystic Nine” One can’t act but is so pretty I can stare at him for hours, The other surprised me as an actor and is also worth staring at for hours.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Park Bo Gum from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – isn’t it obvious? lol
  • Yang Yang from Love O2O – are you surprised? You shouldn’t!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Han Ji Sang from Working Mother, Babysitter Dad – he is a musical theater actor and this daily is his second role in small screen. I always look forward when he sings!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Yang Yang from Love O2O – Yeah, I was smitten. ^_^
  • Park Bo Gum from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – because he’s so lovely.
  • Hoonorable mention goes to Ji Soo – I know, he’s not new but I’ve watched so many of his dramas this year

5. Favorite New actress 

This one is easy for me, I know that technically a few of them are not new actresses but they were new to Me. The whole cast of “Age of Youth”

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Jeon Do Yeon – she is not new but I only discovered her this year through her movies. I’m so in love with her acting!
  • Han Ye Ri from Age of Youth – there is something mysterious about her that I cannot take my eyes off of her. Love her style of acting – casual yet emotional.
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Girl’s Day Min Ah from Beautiful Gong Shim – love her to death. Her raspy voice, her witty acting. I really enjoyed her acting gig.

Erl’s Choice

  • Min Ah from Beautiful Gong Shim- I love her voice and surprisingly she’s a decent actress. Who knew?

6. Favorite second lead (male) 

  • My beloved aka Kang Ha-Neul in “Scarlet Heart” Yes he was a coward and did not deserve the girl, but when he was trying to get the girl, he was dreamy.
  • Seo Kang-Joon in”Cheese in the Trap” Omg is that boy beautiful!!! I would have him play the for me everyday.
  • Honorable mentions goes to: Lee Soo-Hyuk he played the second lead in two dramas this year. He never HAD A CHANCE IN EITHER! Yet he was a good second lead. Plus he is beautiful to look at.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Seo Kang Joon from Cheese in the Trap – I was mesmerized by his gorgeous eyes!
  • Lee Seo Hyuk from Lucky Romance – for the obvious reason! His deep voice!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Kang Ha Neul from Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. He was seriously gorgeous and a pain. I endured part of the show for him.

MariD: Lol did Nelly and I just pick the same guys but in a different order?

Erl’s Choice:

  • Kang Ha Neul from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. The transition of his character was a sad reality and I loved how he portrayed it.
  • Yoon Kyun Sang from Doctors. He’s just so adorable. I loved how he went from hating to loving the the main actress.

7. Favorite second lead (female) 

  • Moon Jin-in in “Doctors” she was technically not the second lead but she was the leads best friend and completely loved her. It’s so rare to see girl friendships in dramas that it needs to be recognized.
  • Another assemble the leads best friends in “One more happy ending” made up of Yoo In-Na, You Da-In, and Seo In-Young. Another group of girls that were always there for each other even if sometimes they did not like each other.
  • Honorable Mention: Shin Rin-Ah, the little girl in “Marriage Contract” this girl help her own in this show.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Chae So Bin from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – I have never seen a pure heart second female lead until her character as Ha Yeon! Love her to pieces!
  • Mao Xiao Tong from Love O2O – She’s not only beautiful and cute, her personality as Er Xi was outstanding! I would like to have a bubbly girlfriend like her!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Park Eun Bin from Age of Youth – she is a darling! I hope to see her more in future.

Erl’s Choice:

  • Lee Sung Kyung from Doctors – one of the few second lead that I really loved and understood. True the character did some crazy things but it’s justifiable for me.
  • Chae So Bin from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – up until the end, she’s an angel and that was very admirable.

8. Favorite established actor 

  • Ahjussi!!!  Jo Jin-woong in “Signal” this man! there’s not enough words to express how good he is at his job. I love his character, I cried, I scream, I cried some more! I’m still waiting for a season 2
  • Lee Je-Hoon also from “Signal” Once this kid learns to control his eyes! ( yes, I know he tends to overact!) he will be big! Park Hae-Young!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Honorable Mention: Yoon Si-Yoon in “Mirror of the Witch” this kid, every single time he looked at her!!! It was all in his eyes!!!

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Wow, this is hard to choose. There are so many from young to old. It is too difficult to decide! But let’s be real, Jo Jin Woong stole this year’s ultimate established actor of all time! His stunning performance in Signal was the talk of the town! Hand’s down the ultimate well-established actor for 2016!
  • Yoo Ji Tae from The Good Wife. Despite  his cheating character, he delivered!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Lee Je Hoon. This is my first drama with him. Well, I lied. I saw him in Fashion King but I dropped the show – so yeah. I really loved his performance in Signal. He was so believable! This musical actor should take up more roles in small screen!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Jo Jin Woong! He’s soooo good, I don’t have the right words to describe how much. His performance in Signal is expectacular.
  • Yoon Si Yoon – I know, I’m biased but he did great with Mirror of the Witch, like I hoped he would for his come back project.
  • Honorable mention goes to Lee Joon Gi because his 4th Prince still makes me cry every time it crosses my mind.

9. Favorite established actress 

  • The one and only Kim Hye-Soo in “Signal” The scene where she is kidnapped by the serial killer and has to escape with the bag over her head!!! This scene will give me nightmares for the rest of my life!
  • These two girls are both Honorable mentions because the goddess is above and they are both still growing into their acting chops. Kim Sae- Ron in “Mirror of the Witch” and Kim So-Hyun in “Let’s fight ghost”

Nelly’s Choice:

  • This was easy! Kim Hye Soo. Again, another product of Signal. She was the best! I wanted to be her.
  • Again, I have to mention Jeon Do Yeon from The Good Wife. Can we have more of her? Please?
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Im Soo Hyang from Five Children. It was not her stellar performance but I am influenced by her old drama, New Tales of Gisaeng, Inspiring Generation and currently airing Blow Breeze.

Erl’s Choice:

  • Kim Hye Soo. Signal, yes, yes, I loved that drama and it’s so easy to root for a bad ass woman.
  • Kim So Hyun and Kim Yoo Jung. Let’s write them together because 1) I want to see them together in a drama again, 2) same age and 3) I seriously love both their dramas. And knowing that they’re still improving makes me really excited to see them in different roles.
  • Honorable mention goes to Kim Sae Ron.

10. Best villain of 2016 

  • Extensions and Live shooting 😛

Nelly’s Choice:

  • I can’t decide and torn choosing between Yoo Joon Sang’s character as Son Hee Sung in Pied Piper or Kim Eui Seong’s morphing to his own character as Oh Sung Moo in W. But I’m leaning towards Oh Sung Moo just because… Did you see him? What a whack!
  • Jun Kwang Ryul in The Royal Gambler. He keeps finding solutions to everything! I was so angry yet in awe of his quick thinking!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Yum Jung Ah from Mirror of the Witch. Another villain that continuously able to dodge everything!

Erl’s Choice:

  • I can only think of that villain from Mirror of the Witch – Yum Jung Ah. She was the bomb!

11. Worst villain of 2016 

  • Hello, No-face in “W”  You guys don’t want to hear my W rant again, I’ll spare you.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Undeniably Chun Tae Hwa from You Are A Gift. She is a villain that continuously hoping her plan is right. But hah, she’s always caught! Where are you hiding, Tae Hwa?
  • Jang Hee Jin from Mirror of the Witch. Worse Queen ever! Her selfish caused death!
  • Honorable Mentioned to Lee Jung Jin from The K2. WTF was he thinking? He’s dumb, dumb, dumb!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Hmmm, tough.. I guess it would have to be that villain W because yeah, I’m not impressed.

12. The biggest wtf in dramas this year? 

  • W- I’m still so angry at the writer for this show. You had so much good, then you just decided not to care? second option is that she was kidnapped by her doppelganger from another dimension and that person wrote the last 8 episodes.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Revive – A Chinese drama I saw earlier this year. The Chinese government censored this show too much that the story became so distorted! What is wrong with a homosexual relationship?

Erl’s Choice:

  • W. I won’t comment though and you can’t make me.

13. Actor or actress you wish would stop acting?

  • Hello Hamster!!! Son Na-Eun in “Cinderella and four Knights” please girl, please take pity on us.
  • Hong Bin in “Moorim School” this kid is just terrible, no amount of pretty can ever justify making him “ACT”
  • Honorable mention: Seo Ye-Ji in “Moorim school” Why is she still getting jobs? she was decent in her first show and it all went downhill after that.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • A Pink’s Son Na Eun – I saw her in Cinderella & Four Knights. Acting is not her future career!
  • Seo Hyo Rim from Beautiful Gong Shim – she continuously picking bad roles. Does she not know what she wants in life? I think she should just stick to hosting beauty show!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to SNSD Yoon Ah in The K2. She’s sweet and lovely. That’s all I can say. (because I love her!)

Erl’s Choice:

  • Son Na Eun – I hit FF whenever her scenes comes up in Cinderella and Four Knights, that’s  how unimpressed I am.
  • Yoon Ah. She’s pure sugar, that’s about it. I don’t like her acting but not gonna rant. 🙂

14. Actor or actress you want to see more of?

  • Kim Rae-Won who was in “Doctors” this year, I had not seen him in anything since “Attic Cat” and I love his performance
  • Ryu Joon-Yeol  who did “Lucky Romance” this year. I adore him!! come back to drama land soon!
  • Kim Seul Gi who had a small side character part in “Second to last love” this year. This girl is gold, casting directors please use her!

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Han Ye Ri from Age of Youth – her beauty and her style of acting got me intrigued! I would love to see her in a more mysterious character. She carries  herself well!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Kim Seul Gi – I miss her adorable self in my small screen. She’s one of those actress that really delivers.

15. Your favorite OTP 

  • The 3 leads of Signal!!!!! Time could not keep them apart!!!
  • Chen Che & Zhen Zhen the leads of “Back to 1989”  played by Marcus Chang & Ivy Shao. These two also did not let anything like time get in their way.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Super easy! Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung – despite the age difference, I do not mind because the age gap is within single digit!
  • Dean Fujioka and Kyoko Fukada from the Please Love the Useless Me. They are just darn cute!!!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Seo In Guk and Nam Ji Hyun from Shopping King Louis. They made me smile! A lot!

Erl’s Choice

  • Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung – they’re adorable.
  • Ok Taek Yeon and Kim So Hyun – I know there’s a big age gap and before the drama aired I was really against the idea but seeing them on screen, it looks cute. I think it’s because of the fact that they are of the same age mentally. ^_^

16. You guys got the wrong couple together!!! 

  • Dear Scarlet Heart: I hate you!!!

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin from Cheese in the Trap – he is too old to act as a college student and she is too mature for her character. There was no chemistry between the two and I could not picture them as a lovely OTP.
  • You know the drama is heading to the wrong direction when you started wishing that the OTP would just break up already! That’s Yoon Ah and Ji Chang Wook from The K2!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to Park Ha Na and Seo Jun Yeong from Heaven’s Promise! Heaven couple my azz! But on the other hand, Park Ha Na is beautiful! I saw her in Incheon!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Yoon Ah and Ji Chang Wook – nope, just nope. Please!

17. Favorite dramas of 2016 

  • Signal- My favorite hands down!!!
  • Five Children- Good Weekend dramas are hard to find, this one was only a little messy in the middle, all 50 episodes were worth watching!
  • Honorable Mention: Age of youth- girls living together, growing up, learning, struggling to find themselves. Very sweet little show.
  • Honorable Mention #2: Another Oh Hae-Young- Im probably going to get crap for having this in my list. This was a terrible drama story wise. Those two should had never ended up together in rl. Yet I could not stop watching this show. I honestly enjoyed it.

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Signal – undeniably intense and awesome
  • Age of Youth – best girlfriend dramas I’ve seen in years!
  • Honorable Mentioned goes to currently airing Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu and Laural Tree Tailors.

Erl’s Choice:

  • Signal – Solid, gripping and worth the time.
  • Bring It On, Ghost – Surprisingly realistic considering the genre.
  • Honorable mention goes to Mirror of the Witch just because I really love Yoon Si Yoon

18. Favorite rewatch of 2016

This year I watched a lot less new dramas and more old ones. So if I had to pick the ones I enjoyed the most

  • Sunny Happiness- Mike He and that’s all I needed
  • Hello my sweetheart- Rainie Yang being adorable!

Nelly’s Choice:

  • Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – again, are you surprised?
  • Love O2O – all for Yang Yang!
  • Honorable Mentioned to Shopping King Louis – Louis!!!

Erl’s Choice:

  • Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – because I live for pain. LOL
  • Moonlight Drawn by Cloud – because yes, him and her, I’m still watching it. ^_^
  • Honorable mention goes to Love O2O because it’s a good adaptation.

Last words:

2016 may the year I finished the least amount of dramas since my obsession begun in 2012. The ones I did finish were either exceptionally good or I was being stubborn and torturing myself to finish them. Still I cant wait to see what 2017 will bring, I’m already very excited for the return of Lee Je-Hoon and Shin Min-A in “Tomorrow with you”

Nelly’s Comment:

2016 is a not a good drama year for me. Aside from my growing workload, I have less interest in watching kdramas. I spent most of my time watching Japanese dramas instead. You can say I am having a kdrama slump, if not, a worse kdrama slump. But I am satisfied with what I have seen. I was extremely engrossed with Moonlight Drawn By Cloud and Shopping King Louis. But I also want to say that my choices do not include my current favorite (still airing) dramas. They are, in random orders, Blow Breeze, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Goblin, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu, Laurel Tree Tailors, Japanese version of Cold Case, and Kaseifu no Mitazono.

I do hope for better dramas, in any language, next year. I already have a few in mind. I really hope they meet my expectations. Hmmm, now that I am thinking about it, it is best to keep my expectations close to nil. Just in case, right?

Erl’s Comment:

What a year! 2016 brought some really good and some not so good drama but all in all, I am happy. Even if I’m currently on a drama vacation until further notice or until I start working again, I’m enjoying glimpse of Goblin and LotBS. I still cry whenever I rewatch Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo and laugh at Shopping King Louis. I still enjoy the antics of Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, I have these to keep me entertained until that time.

I have high hopes for 2017, my girl crush Park Bo Young is returning to the small screen and of course there’s Hwarang. On that note, 2017, please be good to us!

4 thoughts on “Magical Radios, dramatic soldiers, blended families and lots of great friendships: 2016 a year end review  

  1. Hello girls,
    Hmmmm…I am glad you enjoyed writing this.
    Next time less questions…or more coffee for me. It was fun reading this.
    Keep up with a good work. 😚


  2. Pingback: Drama Awards 2016: Closing Thoughts | Cozybooks

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