2012. For me it has been the year of the K-drama. While I have dabbled in Korean Dramas for awhile now this year was the year (dare I say it) that my addiction came into being. 2012 is the year I said “Marathon! Sign me up”. In the spirit of my own year of the K-drama I would like to remember the shows that call 2012 home, the dramas that debuted and made my inner fan-girl shriek in delight with my new found obsession.
While I did not watch every drama that debuted this year I tried to catch as many as possible. Henceforth are the shows that captured my heart, had me screaming at the TV, and just made me happy that 2012 was the year I became part of K-drama addicts anonymous. And please let me know which dramas had you fist-pumping- I am always looking for those I have missed and love the lively conversation.
After much consideration the award goes to….tvN’s Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I based my decision on what SUFBB made me feel and think- it is rare that I watch a drama, movie, or other form of media that makes me happy, sad, bitter, and ecstatic in equal turns. This drama accurately captured what it means to be young- the adolescent emotions and angst were displayed powerfully in ways that many other dramas cannot match. The decisions made by the characters never failed to capture the youthful hurtles they were faced with. While it was tough to pick a best of the best I realize that I will be thinking back and comparing other coming of age dramas to SUFBB for years to come.
Best Character- Male Lead
So many great characters, however 2012 is in my mind the year of Kang Maru of KBS’s Nice Guy. Song Joong Ki pulled this role off to perfection. A desperate man, a calculating man, and a character that is hard to predict. Kang Maru faced heartache, disillusionment, and enough exposure to heartless people to kill any kind of soul he possessed. Yet he was anything but unlikable, which makes this character my favorite male lead of 2012.
Best Character- Female Lead
H.O.T. H.O.T. Tony Oppa’s wife. tvN’s Answer Me 1997 gave us the ultimate gangster fan girl, Sung Shi Won, and my favorite female lead of 2012. A dreamer, a fighter, and a person that makes all of the boy band fans of the 90s fondly stare off into space, Shi Won is a character that is hard to dismiss. I love her for her passion; I love her because she is not the smartest girl or the prettiest girl. She is the coolest girl. And she knows everything about H.O.T. Everything.
Best Secondary Character- Male Lead
Honest to a fault, incorruptible, tragic. I think of the preceding when I remember Eun Shi-kyung of MBC’s The King 2 Hearts. I have major love for this drama. And the bodyguard that stood as the morally upright protector- I have major love for him as well. So much so that I can no longer watch Kevin Costner pretend to be a bodyguard, Whitney Houston needs a Shi Kyung instead.
Best Secondary Character- Female Lead
I can’t see ghosts! I can hear ghosts! Now I can see ghosts but not hear them! WTF Joseon style. Such is the peril of my favorite shaman, Bang Wool of MBC’s Arang and the Magistrate. When this show turned too emotionally heavy for its own good Bang Wool never failed to deliver a comedic element. Plus Bong Wool kind of let Arang finally find happiness…as a mother in law. Ha.
This is easy- tvN’s Queen In Hyun’s Man gave us a couple that sizzled on screen and off (sigh). Choi Hee-jin and Kim Boong-do led the time travel bonanza of 2012, with some of the best romantic scenes (to die for kiss) and a decently played out storyline. I love this couple, both in this drama and in real life.
“It’s something I have, that you don’t.” Sanity? No wait-a decent hairstyle?A realization that you love Lee Seung Gi as much as I do? No…duh, it is people. Such is the question and answer game that the hero and my favorite villain engaged in. I have loved this character from the first moments he told Bon Bon what to do. Bong Gu, the bond villain of K-drama. MBC’s King 2 Hearts gave us the bat-shit crazy Lee Seung Gi loving freak that tops my 2012 villain list. I count John Mayer as one of the best villains that I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Ever. Here is hoping 2013 can come close.
How Did I Miss This?
After reading reviews I still find myself asking, how in the hell did I miss this one? KBS’S Gaksital, which sounds awesome, appears to be awesome, and from every review I read is awesome- how was I too busy for this? 2013- We have a date with this drama.
Fan service anyone? I feel like the bazillion fans of KBS’s Nice Guy called the writer in a weirdly impossible conference call, asked for the ending and got it. Loved it. Fan girl loved it.
I like this drama but the ending was like a weird slap in the faced (and no I am not counting the Hong Sister’s 2012 drama Big in this category, it is just too terrible all the way through to focus on the ending). SBS’s Rooftop Prince, a joy of a comedic ride, came to an ending that left me wondering- WTF? Really?! So loneliness is the order of the day for one of our leads? No matter how great it is introducing omu-rice to the Joseon era, no matter how much the present day can be great, this is just freaking disappointing.
Nixon and Robespierre: Their Vote
After a year of watching dramas with tricky Dick and the architect of the French revolution I have learned some things. Like how to let them have their own opinions, never question the guillotine, and understand that paranoia is just a part of Nixon’s about me section of his Facebook.
Nixon final verdict– Thinks Kang Maru is weak and cannot follow through. Thinks all characters are weak. Except for Bong Gu. Loves him-like a brother.
Robespierre final verdict– Outlawing all forms of time travel he has seen in K-dramas this year based on paranoia that people can escape the wrath of equality and justice. Considering we have all forms of illogical time travel mechanisms in 2012 dramas I wish him luck. Viva le revolucion!