Ha! You really thought my love for the daily dramas had waned? Au contraire! As I had said before, my life for 2016 was the pits! I hardly had the time or patience to write but I did make time for my dailies and other dramas to take me away from reality. It worked sometimes and sometimes not.
One thing for sure, 2016 marked the first year since I started watching dramas as well as since I began watching Korean daily dramas that almost every single daily for that year was subbed! HALLELUJAH! I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was to pick and actual choose which ones to watch. Strangely, what you won’t see is the ones I started and dropped (talking about you, You Are a Gift, Witch’s Castle) or put on hold and haven’t returned back to them (Iron Lady Cha, Love Is Drop by Drop, The Shining Eun Soo). We are so lucky to be in this age of a plethora of dailies to choose from! So, without further ado, these were the 3 that I finished in 2016 and lived to write about them.
Jun So Min as Han Seung Ri, Song Won Geun as Na Hong Joo, Choi Phillip as Cha Sun Woo, and Yoo Ho Rin as Seo Jae Kyung
Rest of cast list can be seen here
A delightful growth story of a woman who fights the adversities and overcomes them with fierce struggle, as she tries to keep her family business running.
Running Time: 35 min
First of all, I did not write that synopsis! This was far from a “delightful” tale! However, what I give high praise for is the romance in this. A lot of dailies gloss over the romance and make it nonexistent. This had romance! This had intrigue! This had the screaming B*tch that you just wanted to kill! Wait! This had the devious B*stard that you wanted to kill! Anything to rile up us daily drama watchers, this had it in spades and didn’t spare our emotions, thoughts, and curse level (talking to you, my drama buddy and friend, Nelly). As usual, with this drama, we moved ourselves to Twitter DM so as not to pollute the airways!
As this drama got extended from 120 to 130, there was plenty of drag period. What’s a daily without the drag; however, I have to give the writer BIG props in making me sympathetic to one of the most hateful shrews in this, Seo Jae Kyung. For 3/4 of the drama, we totally hated the air that this woman breathed; but, the turnaround was done in such a clear and precise way that I had to bend my rules and forgive her.
She turned out NOT to be the worse human being in this drama planet! That distinction is left to Cha Sun Woo, her obsession and husband. It took the man to go nuts with his delusions and ridiculous way of thinking that the world owed him something for the drama to end. Seriously, I couldn’t garner any sympathy for the man, even in the end. Overall, I would STILL recommend this drama to anyone that can bear with the silly season, occasional screeching and evil doing of the main evil duo. And mercifully no freaking love triangle! YES! WIN!
Seo Jun Yeong as Kang Tae Joon, Lee Yoo Ri as Lee Na Yeon / Baek Do Hee, Song Jong Ho as Park Hwi Kyung, Lee Jong Won as Jang Kyung wan, Park Ha Na as Jang Se Jin, and Yoon Bok In and Yang Mal Sook
Rest of cast list can be seen here
Bright Na Yeon supports her boyfriend Tae Joon, who is from a poor background, and has even given up entering a university. But Tae Joon dumps her for his success and goes with Se Jin, who is a granddaughter of Baekdoo Company president. Arrogant and tough Do Hee, Na Yeon’s twin sister, works as a reporter at a weekly magazine and is dating Hwi Kyung, the successor of Baekdoo Company . As she digs into Tae Joon’s background, she discovers about Na Yeon’s institutionalization. A fire engulfs the hospital, but only one twin comes out alive….The perfect backdrop for revenge.
Running Time: 35 min
Truly a drama that had the potential to be perfect in execution and revenge. First, it had a main character that deserved retribution for herself, her sister and especially for her daughter. It had the perfect cast with Lee Yoo Ri, Seo Jun Yeong, and Song Jong Ho. It had a talented and diverse supporting cast. So, what did go wrong? First of all, the revenge was semi-weak. I felt that a lot of the parties involved really didn’t suffer in comparison to our lead damsel. I felt her sister, Baek Do Hee and Lee Na Yeon’s sweet little daughter wasn’t revenged enough. Though the romance between Lee Na Yeon and Kang Tae Joon was well shown, the romance between Park Hwi Kyung and Lee Na Yeon was obviously left on the cutting room floor. And that basically covers the negatives.
However, once you get past all of that, I thought this was a daily drama well worth watching. There cannot be any complaints on the acting. Park Ha Na, once again played a character that I remained unsympathetic with, even to the end. It is sad that some writers like to go the “All is forgiven” route when some characters just shouldn’t be. I guess the thought process is that as long as one person suffer the consequences of their actions, all else is good. No, it is not. After suffering with the characters for many hours and over 100 episodes, I want to see blood.
Lee Yoo Ri did an excellent job in playing two distinct characters. It was with sadness that only one could survive for the drama ending. I had much love for Baek Do Hee and Lee Na Yeon was such a sweetheart but the mending of the two strengths of the characters, Lee Yoo Ri literally played 3 characters! I just wish the build up we had for her relations with Kang Tae Joon had been just as good with Park Hwi Kyung. Sometimes, it’s just actors just don’t have chemistry with each other. Maybe I’ll contribute it to that. But I love seeing Song Jong Ho in a lead. Maybe next time.
Again, this is a worthwhile drama to watch especially for those lovers of daily dramas. KBS has been pretty weak in the daily drama arena but this managed to set aside that opinion this time around. Check it out! You will enjoy! Ask Nelly!
Park Gun Hyung as Kim Jae Min, Hong Eun Hee as Lee Mi So, Oh Jung Yeon as Kim Ye Eun, Han Ji Sang as Cha Il Mok, Shin Eun Jung as Yoon Jung Hyun, and Gong Jung Hwan as Park Hyuk Ki
Kim Jae Min is a sweet husband who will do anything for his wife Lee Mi So. Mi So has a bright personality, but she learns that she is pregnant with their second child. Even with just one child, she has a hard time raising their child and working. Kim Jae Min decides to submit for a maternity leave at his work and begin to raise their child and do house chores. “Working Mother, Babysitter Father” is a comedy-drama about working moms and babysitter daddies who cry and laugh because of their children.
Running Time: 35 min
What’s not to love about a drama on families and raising children? Normally we see dramas where the children are so stressed by their parents and surrounding to just learn and not have any children fun moments that some of us had or used to. I loved this drama because it was basically stress-free to watch. It featured 3 different parents with basically 3 different parenting styles. Of course we had the over-achiever parent, played brilliantly by Gong Jung Hwan. His treatment of his wife as well as his beautiful and intelligent daughter, Park Eun Sol (played by little miss cutie Go Na Hee) was horrendous! I had no idea how the writer would turn his character around. But not only did she turn him around but made it believable and incredibly fun to watch! By the time you get to the end of the drama, you like him just as much as everyone else.
Our dad for Kim Bang Geul (played by another miss cutie Gu Gun Min) was the Dad of the drama Played by Park Gun Hyung, his role was to bring to light the possibility that dads too can stay home from work and be the care-giver for his children. Why? Obviously in South Korea, the trend of men taking maternity leave is still in the stone ages as well as women being able to work and have more than one child, still isn’t the norm. It was a great vehicle for the writer to bring this to the screen for all to see. Maybe it will help bolster the birth rate some. Who knows?
But I have to say that mine and Nelly’s has to be this actor here, Han Ji Sang. As Cha Il Mok, his parenting skills are definitely the most relaxed, something you never see in dramas but this theater actor, in his second drama ever (Rosy Lovers is first), won our hearts over the minute he was on the screen! C’mon! A man who cleans, cooks AND wants to stay home to take care of the kids isn’t all that bad! Il Mok just couldn’t cut it with the politics of the University environment but as an excellent cook, he wanted to spotlight what he does best. But as a wonderful dad to his son, Cha Min Ho (played by chubby but adorable Go Seung Bo), there was no question he loved his child and wanted him to have the life he didn’t have. A life that obviously didn’t include studying, I know. A rarity!
The big mystery was his wife, Ye Eun (played by Oh Jung Yeon). Jung Yeon, a TV Announcer and Presenter in her first ever role, managed to make us wonder what in the world did Il Mok ever see in the woman. This was definitely a case of opposites attracts to the 100th power! She was snotty, nasty, and down right mean in the beginning; however, once again, the writer did a pretty decent job in humanizing her character and making her over into a human being. Good job, writer!
Rounding off the female cast were the more season actors playing Lee Mi So (played by Hong Eun Hee) and Yoon Jung Hyun (played by Shin Eun Jung). I loved this two characters as well as the actresses playing them. Being the two more mild-manner characters; one married to a super husband while the other married to a chauvinistic one. Lee Mi So was the pushover at work, especially by Ye Eun. Of course the big big secret (got to have one) made them step sisters in the end but it really was the love and care that Mi So gave to her dongsaeng that helped to reshape this woman.
Yoon Jung Hyun’s character? I don’t know how she survived in her marriage for 10 years with Park Hyuk Ki! It wasn’t a love match, for sure. Theirs represented the ‘arranged marriage’ setting whereby Dr Park didn’t believe in women working outside the home and totally suppressed Jung Hyun’s creativity! As I said, his turn-around was a blessing and truly fun to watch! Best scene ever was when Hyuk Ki and his daughter was taking the father test. Each were given the same questions and depending on how they answered, it would rate Hyuk Ki as a father. His rating? Zero! Zilch! Not one point! The look on his face and the shameful, pitying looks of the women in his family was priceless!
I cannot end without talking about the grandmothers of the drama. Kil Hae Yeon (Lee Hae Soon [Jae Min’s mom]) and Lee Kyung Jin (Ok Soo Ran [Ye Eun and Mi So’s mom]) were a hoot! Jae Min’s mother had to have her own drama come around moment too! Or she just grew on us as she was harsh, straight talker and took no prisoners. Unlike her total opposite Ok Soo Ran, a sweet and gentle woman who only wanted to find her daughter and be a mother to her step daughter who even refused to acknowledge her as a mother. These two women also added a lot of fun moments to the drama.
The bottom line is this represents one of the most stress-free daily dramas that I ever watched. I actually looked forward to it each week and fell heads over heals over a not so new but new to drama land actor. The kids were cute, the story was fun and I don’t think I was ever truly bored.