Stone Cities Year in Dramas: Halfway There

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You are cordially invited to the best party you will attend all summer. Yep, here at Stone Cities we be having a summer party the only way we know how- by kicking up our feet (louboutin clad feet that is), sipping mojitos, talking about the state of dramas this year and chilling with our guest MC. Did someone say guest MC? *Nail biting anticipation commences* Please welcome our Master of Ceremonies for Stone Cities Year in Dramas: Halfway There celebration!

The one and only………

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Heechul!

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Now an opening monologue from our Master of Ceremonies! Take it away Heechul!

Um….thanks! I think. Time to dive into the dramas that have aired in the first half of the year with a rundown of what has rocked our drama boat, made us seasick, and just plain left us out to sea. Cheers!

Let us sail the seven seas forever! AKA Loved it

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Secret Love Affair

Secret Love Affair

Lore: Rawwwr. This was one sexy, morally bankrupt drama. And I loved almost every minute of it. From engrossing cinematography to amazing acting on the part of our leads I was sucked into this show as fast as I run for the break room come doughnut delivery time. Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae were amazing – he a piano prodigy she an ambitious art foundation director. When they found each other and engaged in an illicit love affair I should have (by all moral standards) judged them to the moon, instead I found myself rooting for their relationship.

This drama was all moody – long shots and drawn out scenes. While I usually find myself bored at shows that try to play up the day to day interactions for an hour with extended cuts and slow progress I found myself completely engrossed in this story and where it was going. I would highly recommend this show to anyone, because I loved it so (from start to finish).

Ekun: Sexy Yoo Ah In, intrigue, and an affair! What is not to love about this show? I cannot give all that I want to say because I need to finish the rest, but it is definitely in the top 10 of 2014 to watch! I do love how it deals with the complexities of human nature and the simplicities. When basic needs are not in whatever capacity, we try to make up for it whatever ways we can. Anyway, I love it!

You from Another Star

You Who Came from the stars

Lore: Loved it. This drama had comedy aplenty and a love story to die for (or is that beam up for). From the acting to the writing this show had me at the word “Soooorry”. Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Ji Jyun were amazing as the star crossed lovers (get it, hahahaha- I seriously crack myself up sometimes) Min Joon and Song Yi. The supporting cast, Yoo In Na and Park Hae Jin, along with fresh faced noona killer Ahn Jae Hyun, were no less entertaining to watch.

After looking back at this show I have come to the conclusion that the strength of this drama is in the characters (and the writing/ acting by extension). While the entire premise is larger than life, the characters were able to pull it off and make the show easy to watch with a feeling of logic behind the craziness. Even when the villain was too cray cray to comprehend, even when the “rules” were eyebrow raising, I still had faith in the characters and was invested in where they were going. It will be hard to find another rom-com from this year that I like this much (cough- that is a challenge to you next six months)!

Ekun: Who doesn’t want to marry Do Min Joon after this show!? Anyway, I adored this show for so many reasons but the best thing was how much I love Song Yi as a character. She was strong willed, realistic, and simply a girl hopelessly in love with a guy. She was a bit neurotic at times, but it fit perfectly with her character. 

The acting was amazing– Kim Soo Hyun redeemed himself from the tragedy that was Moon Embraces the Sun, I got to know Park Hae Jin was *new crush dance*, and gained a new puppy in Ahn Jae Hyun!

Trot Lovers

Trot Lovers

Lore: One sweet rom-com. Eun Ji delivers as does Ji Hyun Woo.The leads have great chemistry. So far the story is well paced, adorable yet emotionally investing. And I never knew I liked trot music, but I do.

Ekun: Love, love, LOVE this drama so far. Ji Hyun Woo is the first actor to ever really make me feel his pain, desperation, and despair in a suicide attempt scene. Even though this is a rom/com the dark undertone really does it for me. Eun Ji is delightful to watch always and long standing boo Shin Sung Rok amazes me again with his eccentric character.

Joseon Gunman

joseon gunman

Lore: I love this show. Everything about it so far. Seriously. From the acting to the story to the directing to the person in charge of making sure Lee Jung Ki’s skin is amazing to stare at- I love it all. There are plot overtones that make me flash back to Princess’ Man with ease (one of my all time favs). While there is a lot left of this show, I have high hopes – because so far it is perfect (and I do not throw out a compliment like that very often).

Ekun: How much does ExtraKun love Joseon Gunman? If I could have this show’s baby… I would be pregnant! The end.

Golden Cross

goldencross

Ekun: This drama was consistent until the end. There was nothing new, nothing, extraordinary, but I loved it. Kim Kang Woo knocks it out of the park once again. I was disappointed with Lee Si Young’s character, but she did a decent job. The show left an impression on me: Sometimes to attain the thing you need most, you have to let go of the things you want. True statement for the masses in this show.

Three Days

3 days

Ekun: I loved this show! It was devastating this was airing the same time as the Ferry Incident, but it did what I wanted it to do. The only thing we needed to see more of was Tae Kyung and Bo Won!  Even though it had a slow start, I highly recommend everyone watch this show. It is too good to let slip pass the radar.

Kang Goo’s Story

Kang Goo

Ekun: A sweet story that is just what is needed for a quick kdrama fix. Wookie is wonderful as always. Interesting turn of events and despite the sad outcome, I really liked it. I would watch it again.

Looks like our MC has something to say:

Let’s be friends that call each other every ONCE in a while

AKA Liked it

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God’s Gift- 14 Days

Poster Gods Gift

Lore: I was not happy with God’s Gift 14 Days when it ended. Not because I was sad to see it go, I will be honest- the ending blew. The rest of the drama was largely watchable, exciting, and fascinating – till that last episode. While I cannot forgive the crappy ending to this otherwise good drama, absence has made my heart grow fonder; I realize how many things this show did right.

The story was supernatural thriller fare- murdered child, time travel, conspiracies at every turn. Korean dramas have been on a thriller kick this year, so I have watched a few good and a few bad ones. Considering what has been released in 2014 I consider God’s Gift one of the good ones. The plot twists were unexpected and paced decently well and the actors did a great job. But that ending. Maybe in another year I will recognize this drama for what it was, ending aside. For now I am just happy I was able to recognize this as a good drama and not a bad one.

Gap Dong

Gap Dong Poster

Lore: This show had a lot of potential, which it lived up to in every way other than pacing. Mysteries were revealed far too soon, which ultimately played into the psychological theme of this show (though in a way that sacrificed the stories potential) . Yet it felt like a disservice to know too much too soon- largely because the writers could not seem to find a way for the purely psychological mind-f**k  to carry this story.

I was super impressed with Lee Joon’s acting in this show, and overall I liked the characters. I guess I just wanted more from this story because it always felt like it was on the cusp of delivering greatness. It is too bad in the end I was happy with some of what it had shown me and yearning for everything I thought it could deliver. I will say it again- if this drama had figured out its pacing I believe it would have been one of the top shows of the year.

A Witch’s Romance

Witchs Romance Poster

Lore: Cute, cute, adorable, cute, a long drawn out stupid ex-boyfriend plot, more cute. Dawwww. Let’s erase the ex-boyfriend part and this drama would be a great rom-com. The “I left you at the altar because I was in some sort of war torn country then forgot to call you for six years” bit left me just a tad skeptical of this story, but the cavity inducing love between the leads (not to mention the smoking chemistry) had me dolling out forgiveness in heaps.

I came into this show looking for cute and sweet, and I found it everywhere but the main conflict of the plot (which seems to be intuitive, but really the conflict dragged anything remotely breezy and rom-com like down to the sewers to dwell among the mutants I assume live there). Maybe it is a tad bit stupid, but I didn’t need that main conflict to like this show. I could have been happy with the main conflict being the age difference between the leads, or just the leads figuring out how to make it work. I did not need ex-boyfriend jerk face returning other than to see our heroine’s heart heal (and I would have been happy if she had found healing through simply letting him go). In other words, this drama had a major low point which knocked it down a peg in my opinion, but it saved itself in the end.

You’re All Surrounded

Youre All Surrounded Poster

Lore: The ensemble cast is fun. The story is very episodic with a heavy dose of flawed logic.. Basically our baddies are baddies for some interesting reasons (that a small child could see the black and white of). You’re all Surrounded is not the most thought provoking show but it can be really fun and cute at times. The over arching conspiracy has a tendency to take a backseat at times, but the characters make up for it. I like this show, I just don’t love it.

Ekun: Lackluster ending, but all and all an okay show. Disappointed I didn’t see enough of Cha Seung Won’s abs, but I will live (I think…). This was a good role for Lee Seung Gi– Besides the King 2 Hearts. I hate to typecast a kid, but he should stick with roles like this or he could go back to singing. I digress, Decent show. Just that.

Big Man

Big-Man

Ekun: I cannot clearly explain how stunned I was with this show. They tried to kill and steal a man’s heart, but when he lived, they were upset and claimed he was their family! It was hard to process since I did not read the premise beforehand, and it got even more ridiculous as time went on. Despite the lengths people would go, it was not a horrible show and I did enjoy several aspects. Daniel Choi can never be viewed the same in my eyes.

Emergency Couple

Emergency Couple

Ekun: I liked this show because of the strong performance given by Choi Jin Hyuk. It also showed how a couple who constantly played the blame game for the divorce, came to realize things are not all they seem to be. While the ending was completely plausible, I felt like I needed something more. Overall I liked what the show was trying to convey about relationships, marriage, and love.

The Full Sun

Full sun

Ekun: I simply liked the story. It was so basic and simple some would think it is boring, but this really showed more humanistic characters instead of constant plot twist and dramas. If you want to see a basic revenge drama, I would watch this one.

Sly and Single Again

Sly and Single

Ekun: Do not make the mistake of comparing this drama to Emergency Couple! While the premises seem similar, it is its own baby. At first I was very wary of the drama, but it had several moments that were sweet. Then it pissed me off again with the second lead characters. This is another drama that is okay to watch or leave depending on your drama watching needs.

Prime Minister and I

Prime Minister and I

Ekun: Yet again another show that derailed my attention because of a nonsensical plot twist and ending. I was very weirded out by Lee Bum Soo being paired with Im Yoona but they unexpectedly were the best part about this show. Who am I kidding, Lee Bum Soo can be paired with a gremlin and I would have stars in my eyes. If you watched this show, cool. If not, you are not really missing a lot.

Alright- you know what time it is! Take it away MC!

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I’m sorry, who are you again? AKA Trying to forget it aired

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Dr. Stranger

dr stranger poster

Lore: Let me count the ways this show sucks. Oh, oh, oh! I know the first one. How about the fact they dragged out a mystery about the hero’s “first love/ reason for living ” into a complete nonsense plot point (cause he knew it all along- uh- okay)?! Yep. Oh, did I mention the surgery contests? Because that is completely in line with the Hippocratic oath- right?! Exactly. Aish. Don’t even get me started on the ending…because it made no sense either. If this show had figured out what it was, a thriller a melo or a medical drama, it might have been something and figured out the definition of consistency. Instead it slung episode after episode of poor logic and craptastic plot drivers at viewers. Not like I am bitter or anything.

Ekun: Glad I saw Park Hae Jin and glad I ultimately dodge this bullet. YAY EKUN!!!

Inspiring Generation

Inspiring Generation 6

Lore: Well. Um. There was some eye candy. And that is about it.

Ekun: *Censored* *Censored* *Censored*! And *Censored*.

I Need Romance 3

INR3

Ekun: Why is it that I have yet to see Kim Seo Yeon play a character I can get with?! If it wasn’t for the ridiculousness of her character, I might be able to forgive the show.

MC  you have anything to say?

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Thank you for attending the party! If you need us we will be in the Mediterranean Sea, aboard the I Love Master yacht, sunning ourselves with parasols made of venetian silk and diamonds. Peace!

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