It’s been a year. Since last summer I have tried, and failed, to get back into Korean dramas. I found myself watching a lot of Scandinavian shows and a few made in Germany. But 2020 and now 2021 have been nothing if not strange times.
More Korean dramas are popping up on Netflix, which is great, and I’ve renewed my Viki subscription to get more variety. Slowly but surely I’ve found several that I’ve enjoyed enough to review – and a few I completed but haven’t bothered to review cause there’s not much to say about them (such as Lovestruck in the City).
But overall it’s been a lot of ship jumping.
These are some shows I started but did not finish… and most likely never will. In alphabetical order, for my OCD and your viewing pleasure.
100 Days My Prince – ep 1 – cutesy and not my style.
Absolute Boyfriend – ep 20 – I honestly don’t know why I watched so much of this… it was just kinda on in the background. It felt like a cartoon.
Abyss – ep 5 – certain aspects of this show annoyed me considerably… though I like both actors, I was not charmed by the body swapping shenanigans.
Alice in Borderland (Japanese) – ep 2 – eh. Killer escape rooms is kinda a worn out concept at this point, isn’t it?
Angel’s Last Mission: Love – ep 3 – too cutesy for my taste.
Beauty Inside – ep 9 – what the…? Did we just stop trying, Korea?
Beyond Evil – ep 8 – sigh. Shin Ha-Kyun and I just don’t mix, apparently.
Born Again – ep 6 – what a waste of potential. Felt like a day time soap opera.
Devilish Joy – ep 2 – meh.
Doctor Prisoner – ep 16 – It was exciting but unfortunately it spent all its time trying to be exciting. You can’t stay on Code Red every minute of the day, Doctor Prisoner. Without some calm to contrast your high stakes over zealous plotlines, it’s just cheap tricks. You know the music they play in game shows, right before a contestant chooses and they’re building the excitement and tension? They played it like that the whole hour, episode after episode. It was exhausting.
Doom at Your Service – ep 11 – another show that thinks two attractive leads is all it takes to charm an audience (which apparently is true from how many positive reviews this got). The plot line is paper thin. With some script development this could have been a more interesting and beautiful story – the outline is there, but right now it’s just a child’s coloring book and not a work of art.
Find Me In Your Memory – ep 9 – I like it and I wanted to keep watching… but this drama is soooo long and not enough is happening. My time is precious, people.
Flower of Evil – ep 10 – The sadness of the wasted potential! These are the kinds of story lines that generally suck me in. But… not this show. To be honest, I will probably try to finish this one at some point cause I do love a psycho killer story and Kim Ji Hoon is fun to watch. (update: I finished it. The ending was fun. 8/10)
The Good Detective – ep 7 – meh.
The Guest – ep 2 – really wanted to like this one. Shaman, Catholics, demons, and murder? Sign me up! But it felt unfocused and after the second episode ended, I hadn’t been hooked. Is there a plot? Or just an idea of a plot? Should I give it a few more episodes? Has anyone watched this one?
Guardian (Chinese) – ep 2 – not my style.
Hello, Me! – ep 8 – very cute idea and overall not a bad show… just not that good either. Love the leading actor, Kim Young-Kwang, in particular, though he seemed pushed to the background in this show.
Hotel Del Luna – ep 7 – decent concept but felt like someone just cut out characters from better dramas and didn’t bother to try to make them work for this particular show.
I’ll Go When the Weather is Nice – ep 6 – I generally adore slow melodramas but this one just didn’t grab my emotions.
Into the Ring – ep 2 – meh.
The Last Empress – ep 2 – dreadful.
Less Than Evil – ep 7 – started out okay but I’m not a fan of the male lead…
Kiss Goblin – ep 1 – ack, no thank you.
Live Up to Your Name – up to ep 7 – time travel comedies are hit and miss, and this one was a miss for me.
Mad for Each Other – ep 8 – fun concept but not quite funny. It’s Okay That’s Love or Heart to Heart are far superior, if you like love and mental health stories. Kill Me Heal Me is also a zany romantic comedy that was better. I dunno… this felt like something slapped together over a luncheon. 2020 was a tough year, though, so… it is what it is.
Melting Me Softly – ep 11 – snaps for a fun plot line but thumbs down for not putting any real effort into how to hold up such a plot line with narrative structure and intrigue.
My Country : The New Age – ep 11 – it wasn’t awful but kept reminding me how superior Six Flying Dragons was.
My Strange Hero – ep 28 – the show that is just one head-shot after another. It’s like a teenager who can’t stop taking selfies of itself. Soooo many giant heads on the screen. And I just don’t care to watch even one more minute of these continuous, tedious tight close ups of people’s faces. We get it! They’re attractive! Geesh – just back up, man!
My television is eight feet from my couch and I felt like my personal space was being invaded by this show. I snapped. Honestly, it’s not a bad storyline… and the actors are good. I just couldn’t take one more close up – to the point where I don’t care how this show ends, even though I only have about two hours left. I can’t! Call it a protest.
Private Lives – ep 3 – nope. This is gonna sound mean, cause maybe it is… but Ko Gyung-Po does not have leading man charisma… he’s awesome as a second lead, though. Anyways… dropped it.
Psychopath Diary – ep 6 – cute but sadly does not have a complex enough plot to justify the run time. If they would have developed the whole angle of the killer/cutie weirdness… then yeah. That was truly complicated and strangely sexy and just… wow, what a fun concept! But nope, they hopped over that before it even warmed up. Just watch Me Too Flower or one of his other shows if you wanna see Yoon Si-Yoon be adorable.
School 2017 – ep 9 – School 2013 is far superior in every aspect.
School Nurse Files – ep 1 – too camp
Sisyphus – ep 8 – I’m hard pressed to think of a show where the leading actors had less chemistry. When separate their storylines are interesting but together they just drag this show into a dull sci fi landscape.
Sky Castle – ep 7 – I might give this another shot eventually… maybe… I do love scheming rich ladies.
Start Up – I made it through the first 3 eps before I realized what direction the love story was headed. This is not to say this drama is bad – it may very well be awesome… but I kinda fell for the second male lead, apparently, and I just can’t support a show that created a leading character who is not the leading love interest.
Tale of the Nine-Tailed – ep 7 – ugh.
Tell Me What You Saw – ep 2 – overacting anyone?
Train – ep 7 – nice idea but lackluster execution
True Beauty – ep 2 – Did we need an entire show about the power of makeup? No, no we did not. We still have access to the old YouTube video Contouring 101 by Sailor J… and that’s all we need on the subject.
The Uncanny Counter – ep 1 – too goofy for me. (Update: I finished this and absolutely loved it… so first impression was wrong on this fun gem of a show. Rated 8.5/10)
The Untamed (Chinese) – ep 11 – I tried, ya’ll. This is as far as I have ever gotten with a Chinese drama. I love some smoldering gayness, but gheesh, these plotlines… I just can’t get into it.
Vagabond – ep 3 – I love an action drama but… not this one.
Vincenzo – ep 2 – I love this actor but could tell I was not going to vibe with this drama.