Coffee Princess K-drama Roundup – April 2023

A Gentleman’s Dignity – A fun drama about four male best friends who are now in their 40s. The actors’ chemistry is fantastic and the first 8-10 episodes are really great. But then it gets kind of drawn out until the relationships almost become tiresome. I would have rather had far more about the guys…the older generation and the younger! (Why would anyone waste my dearest Kim Woobin like that, I ask you…)

Weak Hero Class 1 – A short (8 ep) drama about 3 male school friends dealing with bullying and gangs. Major violence warning, to be sure. Park Ji-hoon is phenomenal. This drama is meant to be a prequel to a hugely popular webcomic. Despite its glowing reviews, it has yet to be greenlit for Season 2.

School 2013 – Still on the topic of gangs and bullying, but set in the world of the famous School series (School 2017 is my favorite, but I see why 2013 is a classic). Besties Kim Woobin and Lee Jong-suk shine through with all the fabulous bromance.

Hospital Playlist – This drama is like…if an AU version of the Reply 1988 cast was now 40 and starring in [a tamer and less anxiety-inducing] Grey’s Anatomy. Only they also play in a band together, which OF COURSE I LOVE SO MUCH. So glad both seasons are now available – I would have been super angry if it had ended at Season One. Definite classic.

Life – (because I didn’t want Netflix to purge another LDW classic while I wasn’t looking – still mad I missed Strangers from Hell) Like Why Her, Life opens with a dead body that’s fallen from a great height. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? Only the problem is…HOSPITAL POLITICS ARE SO BORING. Even LDW can’t save them. I gave up after 3 eps. And that says a LOT.

Uncanny Counter – While on Netflix, I clicked on anything to save me from LIFE. This next title on my watch list was Studio Dragon and Kim Se-jeong, two of my faves. OMG IT WAS SO GOOD. Counters are like special grim reapers who capture rogue evil spirits. Just watch it! Will be returning in 2023 with Season 2.

King: 2 Hearts – Lee Sung-gi is an adorable troublemaker. And you fall in love with his older brother even though you know something bad will happen to make LSG the king. It was really good BUT… My two issues with this are how much Jo Jung-suk (Hospital Playlist) is kind of wasted, and how the ending left SO MUCH TO BE DESIRED. I mean, come on.

The Greatest Love – Gong Hyo-jin and Yoo In-na (love her to bits) were members of a famous K-pop team back in the day. The first fell victim to gossip and scandal; the second rose to stardom. But an even bigger star (Cha Seung-won, Hwayugi) gets so tangled up with the charismatic unpopular girl that he falls in love with her. An interesting story unfolds around the various “levels” of stardom, what that means, and how it is overcome. I really enjoyed this one.

He is PsychometricLoved it. Whenever Jinyoung (Yumi’s Cells 1-2) touches someone, he can see a memory. This ability started during an apartment fire when he lost his parents. Now he wants to work with the police to catch bad guys, and the woman he finds himself working with is the daughter of the man who was accused of setting the fire. (Of course he was framed!) Very well-woven storyline. And BONUS POINTS for the best Goblin Easter Egg moment ever! I laughed and laughed…

A Korean Odyssey (Korean: Hwayugi): By Episode 5 I thought this was going to find its way into my Top Ten of All Time, but by the end it just…unraveled. So many fabulous side characters developed and then completely wasted. Always a pleasure to watch Lee Seung-gi and Cha Seung-won chew the scenery, tho.

Hit the Spot (Korean: FantaG-Spot) – NSFW. 8 short episodes about a best friend duo who get roped into hosting a podcast about sex. IT’S ADORABLE. 10 stars.

Kangchi, the Beginning: I mean…Lee Seung-gi. I’m still waiting to have a favorite of his. I have to say, I almost stopped watching this show because the 2-episode backstory was super triggery and SO EVIL. I’m not kidding. Nothing good happens to anyone for EIGHT EPISODES, and by then I almost didn’t care. In Ep. 9, the forces of good FINALLY start getting a foothold and it turns into a wonderful sort of Avatar: TLA-esque story. But was it too late? I’m still not sure.

…but because I was on a Lee Seung-gi kick anyway (PS: congrats on the marriage!) I clicked on Peak Time. I swear it changed my life…

CLICK HERE to see my Top Thirty-eleven K-Dramas of All Time!

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