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Top 5 Dramas for 2003

These are my picks for the top dramas that I’ve seen from 2003. If you are wondering why I’ve skipped 2004, it’s because I really can only talk about 2 dramas so until that list becomes complete, I’ll not include that year…yet! Again, they not are arranged in no particular order as I love them all equally and are not limited to Korean dramas alone. Compare it with your list for 2003:

Good Luck!

Good Luck!

Stars Kimura Takuya and Shibasaki Kou. Having achieved his life-long dream of being a pilot, Hajime (Kimura Takuya) is first officer on an international jetliner and is now working to become a captain. He can’t seem to please Captain Koda, who has become an exacting taskmaster since an air incident many years ago. To complicate matters, he begins a relationship with stubborn and straight-talking mechanic, Ayumi (Shibasaki Kou), whose parents died many years ago in the plane crash for which Captain Koda feels he is responsible. What follows is a story of 21st century love, dreams, and passion.


This is a different kind of drama! In total JDrama fashion, this is a different type of story about people in general and their daily lives. This centers around pilots and attendants of the All Nippon Airlines. I love how in all Asian dramas, the terminology is defined for you. I also liked this drama because it focused on different human interest stories…from a man on a flight to save his business to a doctor trying to return to save a child.

The acting of Kimura Takuya as usual was great. I guess I have to say that I am an official fangirl of his!! Even though this is an older drama and it does not focus solely on romance, it is still a really, really great story! Well worth the 10 hours to watch!!

All In

All In

Stars Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Kyo. As a kid, all Kim In Ha (Lee Byung Hun) ever did was follow his uncle around and help him cheat in gambling. As a high school student, he hung out with his friends at the basement of a theater. As Kim In Ha gets to know Choi Jeong Won, a model student and also the son of a very rich family, In Ha tries to tempt him into doing mischievous deeds. . Then, he meets Su-yeon (Song Hye-Kyo) and falls in love with her. However, he is accused of a murder due to an incident and flees to the US. In L.A and Las Vegas he gets to know a poker professor and enters the gambling world.

Overall, this was not the best drama ever but what I did like about it was that you, the viewer, got to explore the world of professional gambling. Not too many dramas take on this subject matter and shows you the danger and excitement that the gambler can experience. This was one of the first dramas that I’d seen which was filmed both in the US and Korea. The acting by the main and the supporting cast was good. This introduced me to Ji Sung for the first time and made me look into other dramas that he acted in.

A Jewel in the Palace

A Jewel in the Palace

Stars Lee Yeong-Aeand Ji Jin-Hee. About 500 years ago during the time of Joseon Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure. Set in this period, “Jewel in the Palace” is based on a true story about a legendary girl (Jang Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang Geum  (Lee Yeong-Ae) overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king. She was even given by the king the title “The Great Jang Geum.” The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. “Jewel in the Palace” is sure to touch your heart.

There are too many dramas I’ve watched over 50 episode; hell, over 30 episodes that I’ve marathon watched. But, watching this one was simply a privilege! It had been on my watch queue for a very long time and once in a awhile I get into these must watch historical drama moods! Lo and behold, 5 days later, I completed this drama and now I am simply in love with Ji Jin Hee!! This was my first drama watching him as well as Lee Yeong-Ae who seems to be quite famous in her time. 

The love story between their characters; Sir Min and Jang Geum is simply one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever seen! The chemistry, the portrayal of these characters by the actors was simply amazing!! Amazing! Amazing!! I loved the story, it helped peak my interesting in learning more about the art of food and healing. It truly was a well told story with beautiful cinematography! This is a 2003 drama so if you are new to dramas, it will seem very different than the more modern ones; however, after watching this tremendous jewel, I now know what the ratings during its broadcast times was well into the 50% range! Excellent! Excellent! Stupendous! I will never forget this love story ever!

1% of Anything

1% of Anything

Stars Kim Jung-Hwa and Kang Dong-Won. Kim Da Hyun (Kim Jung-Hwa) is a young and sincere middle school teacher, who has little interest in money. She is also extremely warm-hearted and loves to help other people. When she helps carry an elderly man’s belongings from the train to another location, the elderly man is extremely thankful. This grandfather turns out to be the extremely rich owner of a well known conglomerate. His grandson, Lee Jae In (Kang Dong Won) is a quick-tempered businessman who rivals his grandfather, but in an almost comical way. In an order to “tame” his favorite grandson, the grandfather agrees to give his entire fortune to the person who marries Da Hyun, therefore forcing Jae In to meet the girl whom his grandfather chose.

I already know that a lot of people simply didn’t like this drama; however, what I liked most about this drama was the lack of conflict between the characters and their love interest. This was a simple story about four people as they fell in love. Sure, the grandfather was the catalyst (or glue) for one of the relationships but it was really nice to see that rare KDrama where there is no antagonist/love triangle or some other ridiculous story line to send this drama down the makjang drama hole! 

Even though the acting probably wasn’t the best (I’ll be the first to admit that Kang Dong Won does better in movies), it was simply the story that made this one of my favorite re-watch dramas to this day!

Country Princess

Country Princess

Stars Bae Doo Na, Shin Seong Woo, Kang Dong Won, and Kim Yoo Mi. Two girls with a twisted fate, born on the same day, Lee Eun Hee (Bae Doo Na) and Lee Keum Hee (Kim Yoo Mi) live their lives as sisters. Living a life of poverty with their family, kind and considerate Eun Hee sacrifices her educational chances to better herself for her older sister Keum Hee. 

Eun Hee’s true identity unbeknownst to her, one day a wealthy older man comes to their home requesting the return of his long lost granddaughter. Due to an accident that caused the death of her husband, in spitefulness, the girls mother returns the wrong granddaughter to the older wealthy man and leaves the real granddaughter in a life of struggling and hardship.

Let’s just say Keum Hee got too much forgiveness at the end! I watched this for Bae Doo Na as Eun Hee who did an extraordinary job in acting! Extraordinary! She was funny! She made you sad. Boy, I lost count how many times I cried with her. I was pleasantly surprised with Kim Yoo Mi as Keum Hee; I never thought I’d hate someone so completely! And little would I know that years later, I would see her return as one of my favorite characters in a drama, Lee Jin Sook in Cruel City!! 

As far as the male leads, even though I love Kang Dong Won, it was an okay role; not bad. I felt Shin Seong Woo did a great job as the cold-hearted In Woo. To watch his transformation, okay, I know, you expected it but dang it, it was enjoyable to watch. He truly was despicable at the beginning! Watched this drama in 3 days. I did not expect that and for a 2003 drama, it was one of the best I’ve seen in awhile from this era.



So What Are Your Top 5 for 2003?
Let me know in the comments!
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