Big – Starring the delightful Gong Yoo (my future husband). It’s the Freaky Friday concept – a quirky teen swaps bodies with an older man (Gong Yoo). The reason everyone doesn’t love this drama as much as Goblin or Coffee Prince is because the writers shot themselves in the foot. We, the watcher, 100% fall in love with “Gong Yoo acting like a teen,” but when the souls return to the correct bodies, who are we supposed to root for? Gong Yoo, or the teen? Trouble is, we kind of want neither. Wouldn’t the heroine feel the same way? Tough to pull a satisfying ending out of that hat.
You’re Beautiful – One of Park Shin Hye’s earlier works (Inheritors/Heirs, Memories of the Alhambra) and about music, so I 100% loved it. Novitiate PSH is found on her way to Rome and asked to take her twin brother’s place in a superfamous idol group. Of course she can sing (what TV nun can’t?), and of course all the other members of the group eventually fall in love with her in their own ways. And everyone is beautiful. Loved it!
A Piece of Your Mind – This was a perfect drama for the rainy day on which I watched [most of] it. Quiet, sweet, and technically sci-fi, though the SF element is so tiny that it may as well be magical realism. I was surprised at just how much this one was everything I wanted it to be.
She was Pretty – I will watch Park Seo Joon in literally anything. In this, the heroine was pretty as a child, but grew into a ruddy-faced mouse after adolescence. So when formerly chubby PSJ seeks to hook back up with his childhood first love, she takes one look at his utter handsomeness and chickens out, setting him up with her hot friend instead. And then, of course, the two MCs end up working for the same fashion magazine. A delightful office romance ensues! (Bonus: some great kissing, and Choi Siwon who is *chef’s kiss*. Follow him on TikTok.)
Fated to Love You – I mean…sometimes the hero is just ridiculous. And the heroine is a quiet Mary Jane. And…it kind of works? I dunno. Good but not great.
I Hear Your Voice – I’m 100% here for any Noona Romance starring adorable Lee Jong Suk (see also: Romance is a Bonus Book). The rest of the plot is sort of Why Her with a magical While You Were Sleeping-type element. Loved it, but def. more a legal thriller than a romance. (& way less sexy than Hwang In Youp in Why Her. *fans self*)
I Am Not a Robot – Our adorable heroine from A Piece of Your Mind is asked to pretend to be a super-advanced robot (for complicated genius ex-boyfriend reasons). Our male MC (who owns and is testing AG-3) is a picture-perfect Byronic hero, tortured even further by his disturbingly deep feelings for a robot. This light SF romp is utterly delightful . 10/10, would watch again!
Hotel King / My Girl – I’m lumping these together as “Lee Dong-wook classics.” (Gong Yoo may be my future husband, but LDW is the love of my life.) Both are those campy K-Dramas that contemporary dramas make fun of, and both star Lee Dong-wook and Lee Da-hae. My Girl is to Lee Dong-wook as Boys Over Flowers is to Lee Minho. In my opinion, of the two, My Girl is better (and shorter).
PS: I was asked to be an Affiliate for the DAEBAK subscription box service! (K-pop, K-drama, K-beauty, K-snacks…💜) Click here to check it out! 💙
Subscribe to my newsletter for more in-depth K-Drama roundups!