When I decided to become a full-time housewife, I was thinking of ways to spend my free time when my husband is in the office and my child is sleeping since I’m used to doing office work. Will life at home be as challenging compared to the competitive world in the office? But with the help of my precious Sony Vaio and my trusty internet service, I was able to find ways to pass my free time. I’ve now discovered my newest obsession: Korean TV Dramas.
I don’t know why but I find these productions so enticing and entertaining that before I knew it I was already building a steady collection of DVDs. My latest count would total to 370 DVDs, a mix of Japanese, Taiwanese/Chinese and mostly Korean titles. My husband couldn’t hide his dismay on what he calls “waste of money” collection since he said I’m only going to watch those dramas a couple of times only.
Here are some of my favorite K-Dramas in random order (synopsis and photo credit: http://www.koreandrama.org):
1. Prosecutor Princess (2010)
Main Cast: Kim So Yeon, Park Shi Hoo, Han Jung Soo and Choi Song Hyun
Synopsis: Ma Hye Ri is a woman with an excellent memory and ability to focus, which allowed her to pass the bar exam with ease. Despite her talents, she is more interested in being fashionable and dislikes hard work, so she is far from being an ideal prosecutor and has doubts about her suitability for her job. Through her conflicts with senior colleages and struggles with difficult cases, however, Hye Ri gradually matures into a brilliant prosecutor with a sense of duty and justice.
2. 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (2007)
Main Cast: Yoon Eun Hye, Gong Yoo, Lee Sun Gyun and Chae Jung Ahn
Synopsis: The life of Go Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hye) is not easy; she works many jobs to pay off debts and even gave up her feminine image. Choi Han Kyul (Gong Yoo) is the heir of a big food company, but his grandmother wants him to settle down, so she arranged many dates for him. After Eun Chan bumped into Han Kyul and was mistaken for a boy, Han Kyul decided to hire Eun Chan to be his gay lover in order to avoid the arranged dates. Desperately in need of money, Eun Chan had no choice but to accept. Han Kyul’s grandmother also made Han Kyul in charge of a filthy coffee shop in danger of being bankrupt. Eun Chan begged to work at the coffee shop, and not long after, feelings start to spark, except, how would Han Kyul accept his “homosexuality”?
3. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010)
Main Cast: Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah
Synopsis: Cha Dae Woong accidentally releases a gumiho, a legendary fox with nine tails that eats the livers of humans. When he finds out that she is a gumiho, he ends up doing crazy things to prevent the girl from eating his liver.
4. Dae Mul (Currently Airing)
Main Cast: Go Hyun Jung, Kwon Sang Woo, Cha In Pyo and Lee Soo Kyung
Synopsis: Seo Hye Rim is a hot-tempered news announcer who was fired by the broadcasting company, but is later elected to the National Assembly and became the first female president of Korea. She faces political pressure and potential impeachment from Kang Tae San and his followers, but survives with the aid of the prosecutor Ha Do Ya.
5. Personal Taste (2010)
Main Cast: Lee Min Ho, Son Yeh Jin, Kim Ji Suk and Wang Ji Hye
Synopsis: Jeon Jin Ho is a straight guy who pretends to be gay in order to become a roommate to his female friend, Park Kae In. His hobbies include organization and ironing, and he’s known for his stoic poker face. He’s a stickler for cleanliness, but he also has a talent for figuring out women’s feelings. Kae In is very trusting even though she has a habit of being betrayed. However that doesn’t stop her from giving people the benefit of doubt and Jin Ho is no different. How will Kae In react when she finds out that her gay roommate is not actually gay at all and that he has fallen for her?
6. Princess Hours/Goong (2006)
Main Cast: Yoon Eun Hye, Joo Ji Hoon, Kim Jeong Hoon and Song Ji Hyo
Synopsis: Goong is a story about young love in face of tradition, politics, and intrigue. In the imaginary world, modern-day Korea is a constitutional monarchy and the Royal Family lives in a grand Palace, the Goong. Story opens with the sudden death of the reigning the King. Faced with the decreasing popularity among the public for the Royalty, a grand wedding for the Crown Prince, Lee Shin, is decided to be the best publicity move to improve the image of the Royalty and at the same time prepare Shin for immediate succession. The intended bride? The headstrong, awkward, and sweet spirited Shin Chae Kyung that just happens to go to the same exclusive art school. Chae Kyung was betrothed to become the next Crown Princess by her grandfather and Shin’s grandfather.
After 14 years of living in England with his mom, Lee Yul appears all of a sudden. He is Shin’s cousin as well as the former Crown Prince. Everything seemed to be going normally until Chae Kyung’s optimistic spirit wins the heart of internally lonely, Yul. As the Crown Prince Shin and simple-minded Chae Kyung’s relationship appear to developing deeper feelings, a series of scandals are exposed to the public right after the pair were officially announced married. Will love prevail all in a world of political pressures and martial hardships? Or will being in the spotlight of the public be too much for the young newlyweds to endure?
7. Oh! My Lady (2010)
Main Cast: Choi Si Won, Chae Rim, Lee Hyun Woo and Park Han Byul
Synopsis: A spunky 35-year-old housewife, Yoon Gae Hwa, takes on the job of manager to prickly top star Sung Min Woo in order to earn enough money to regain custody of her child from her ex-husband. Romantic hijinks and hilarity ensues when they find themselves in an awkward living situation as Min Woo pays Gae Hwa to take care of his daughter, Ye Eun.
8. My Name is Kim Sam Soon (2005)
Main Cast: Kim Sun Ah, Hyun Bin, Jung Ryu Won and Daniel Henney
Synopsis: Kim Sam Soon (Kim Sun Ah) is a baker who has a talent in making pastries and cakes. On Christmas Eve, she caught her boyfriend, Min Hyun Woo (Lee Kyu Han), cheating on her and breaks up on the same night. On that same night, she accidentally went into the men’s restroom and met Hyun Jin Hun (Hyun Bin), a somewhat callous fellow but sometimes considerate guy. By sheer coincidence, Jin Hun needs a baker for his restaurant Bon Appetit and Sam Soon is unemployed. Sam Soon is hired as the restaurant’s chief baker and the two fights like cat and dog. Nevertheless, they started to have feeling for each other and Sam Soon agreed to post as Jin Hun’s girlfriend so his mother would leave him alone. Things got complicated when Jin Hun’s ex-girlfriend Yoo Hee Jin came back from the States intending to win him back.
9. Smile, You (2009)
Main Cast: Lee Min Jung, Jung Kyung Ho and Lee Chun Hee
Synopsis: Seo Jung In is the second daughter of a chaebol family, whose family suddenly meets financial ruin. She is dumped by her husband, Lee Han Se, after their wedding ceremony when his family finds out about her family’s financial problems. Her family is then forced to move in with their longtime chauffeur’s family. The once rich and spoiled daughter and her family must now learn how to adjust to life as commoners in the Kang household.
10. Delightful Girl, Choon Hyang (2005)
Main Cast: Han Chae Young, Jae Hee, Uhm Tae Woo and Park Shi Eun
Synopsis: “Sassy Girl, Choon-hyang” is the 2005 interpretation of the “Legend of Choon-hyang”. The story begins when Lee Mong-ryong is transferred from Seoul to a high school in Namwon, North Jeolla Province. Chun-hyang does her best to help Mong-ryong, her first love and the son of the Namwon Police Station chief, to enter a prestigious university. However, after meeting with Mong-ryong’s first love, Chae-rin, Mong-ryong’s love toward Chun-hyang is shattered, although Chun-hyang’s love remains unwavering. One day, Byeon Hak-do, CEO of a famous entertainment company, appears in her life. He exudes confidence that he can make any woman fall for him. But as Chun-hyang shows no interest in him, his self-esteem is damaged profoundly. Byeon Hak-do is determined to make her love him.
11. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
Main Cast: Micky Yoo Chun, Park Min Young, Song Joong Ki and Yoo Ah In
Synopsis: Sungkyunkwan Scandal is set in Sungkyunkwan University in the late Joseon era during the reign of King Jeongjo, revolving around the exploits and love stories of four youths. When her younger brother’s illness worsens and their family is in danger of being evicted from their house for lack of money, Kim Yoon Hee enters the school under his name, disguised as a boy in her desperation to support him. There, she becomes friends with the intelligent and upright Lee Sun Joon, the playboy Goo Yong Ha and rebellious Moon Jae Shin.
I really couldn’t understand why I’m so hooked with it that I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning just to see the latest episode of currently airing dramas. It was until one day while talking to a friend on the phone that my questions were answered.
My friend who happens to love Korean dramas as well said that the reason why we loved these dramas was because the lives of the female characters on those dramas were those we wanted to have. Her statement struck me like lightning! Maybe that’s it!
So with that, I don’t have any qualms about my obsession. How about you, what’s your obsession?