First of all, Valentine Day to me is just a day for all of us to articulate our love for our loved ones, it can be our spouse, boy/girlfriend, children and best friends – even our beloved extended families at work or at school. It definitely should be just one day in 365 days that we articulate more of our loves. They all deserve more than that, after all they also give their loves to us not just 1 day in a year but every single day in the year.
However, to pause on 14th February of our busy lives and then spend time to watch something that makes us and our loved ones happy, you gain beautiful memories and de-stressing time. So what not, right. To accompany for those who loves Kdrama, here are some series that you can pick (even just watch one episode together) to make the moments truly memorable.
Dali and the Cocky Prince
This is probably one of the most underrated drakor romcom I came across which is truly well made. Even my husband who is absolutely not into Korean drama, appreciate Dali and the Cocky Prince as one romcom (and he has little love of romcom of any kind unless they are well made, he is more into noir and cycnical comedy as well more serious celebral stuff) that has little story gap and well acted.
The story is about Kim Dal Ri (Park Gyu-Young) who runs family art museum which is near to bankruptcy. Jin Moo Hak(Kim Min Jae) is as gauche as businessman (who run a global F&B business started as gamjatang diner) as can be and somehow stuck with with Dal Ri. It is a quadrangle love story with Dal Ri ex fiancee, Jang Tae Jin (Kwon Yool) still ache for her while Chak Hee (Yeon Woo) likes Jin Moo Hak still. Even its supporting cast such as Joo Won Tak (Hwang Hee) and Hwang Bo Ra (Yeon Mi Ri) truly made up for great cast. It is in a stellar cast. This is probably one showcase of Kim Min Jae comedian performance on top as top notch male lead for romantic drama. As well Director Lee Jung Sub also directed Healer.
Love story for Dali and the Cocky Prince is not just between Moo Hak and Dal Ri, what’s make it interesting also how Dal Ri persisted to defend the legacy of his father as backstory. In addition, there is another backstory of complicated relationship between Moo Hak and his father, which makes us wonder about parental love and guilt.
It is a truly fine romantic comedy with nearly equal emphasis of romance and comedy, and amazingly consistent throughout its 16 episodes. It has great costume (love all Dal Ri stylish fashion) and strong backstory around arts, reasonably well researched, makes this series truly a fine series that people will over time rewatch happily.
Dali and the Cocky Prince still plays in Netflix and Viu.
This is one series that require no review at all. It is by far one of the finest sageuk particularly on romantic comedy with flavor of time travel and mystery. At its airing period, it was one of the highest rated sageuk drama that everyone go crazy.
The story started from curent period when Jang Bong Hwan(Choi Jin-hyuk), A Korean Chef who cook for Country’s top politican including in Blue House, experience accident and time travelled to Joseon period, woke up in the body of Kim So Yong, a young Queen. Then the story focus on dynamic within the palace with her husband the reigning king, King Cheol Jong, who seems to be gentle in nature.There are players in the Palace as dangerous as can be amongst other are the late King’Queen (Queen Dowager) Sun Won and her brother, Kim Jwa Guen. There is complication with Kim Byeong-in who loves Queen Kim So Young and played important role in the Palace. Without doubt Kim Jung-Hyung comedic forte he displayed in Waikiki grew more masterful in Mr Queen, it was probably one of his best performance. He encountered personal difficulty in his life so it may take sometime before he can get back into this level of performance so it will be sometime before we will see him again this strong. Director Yoon Sung Shik directed Saeguk classic Hwarang, you can sense his craft in Mr Queen.
Love story in Mr Queen talked about how far one can go for love and love can start in many ways through ups and downs. It has breathtaking backdrop location and as always with well made sageuk, beautiful costumes. I like the fighting scenes, they are well made and Na In-Woo acted them well.
Overall beyond a mere romantic comedy and cross genre into drama – action, it is one of the Korean series that combine many genre well into credible storyline. Well acted, well crafted and nicely choreograph in costume, fighting and location, if there is only one Sageuk you want to watch, this probably is it.
Mr Queen still plays in Netflix and Viu
So I Married an Anti Fan
Classic Korean drama typically has Chaebol and Idol backstory. God knows how many of them out there and can really be cliche depending on who acted on it. If the male lead handsome enough, it really is doesnt matter how cliche and badly acted, it still is going to be series some peoeple enjoyed given typically the songs, dance and classic love scenes will always be entertaining enough, it is something Korean entertainment business master well well.
This story is slighly unique as it talked about Anti Fan, a concept I did not even know before watching this series. Albeit there is another typical Korean storyline (not only Korean actually because Cdrama also as this classic storyline) of contractual relationship, but it was done very well.
Hoo Joon (Choi Tae Joon) is a top idol who is having difficulty with his image and Geun Young who is magazine reporter who got fired due to accidentally vomit on Hoo Joon. They get to spend time together as they were offered and accepted a reality series of Idol and his Anti Fan to live together – and fell in love in the process.
I was not very sure in the beginning on watching this series. Especially Choi Tae Joon has not had opportunities in the past to become male lead, he is second male lead and supporting cast specialist despite his good look and his strong acting chop. Soo Young on the other hand is more experience having acted in Run On and 38 Task Force (another underrated good series). However, this is one of those underrated cliche that work well (another great idol series is Shooting Star with Kim Young Daeand Lee Sung Kyung – impossible to go wrong with these casts) that is a must see.
So I Married an Anti Fan still play in Iqiyi
I do not particularly like melodrama as life is hard as it is, my entertainment needs to either have streak of excellence like wuxia movies, intense celebral mystery just like how I like my book or funny light hearted romance. So 39 is not something I automatically want to watch. However story about friendship with 3 ladies, given I have mine, it is interesting. Just like how girls identify with Sex and the City characters.
People always think love is either romantic or maternal / paternal mostly, but love with your dearest friend is equally a strong story. Friends we get to chose and we can leave anytime, the fact that we have friends that chose to stay through thick and thin. The story revolves around the friendship of Cha Mi Jo (Son Ye Jin) who leads dermatology practice in Gangnam, Jung Cha Young ( Jeon Mi Do) who ended up becoming acting coach and Jang Joo Hee ( Kim Ji Hyun ) who is a department store cosmetics manager. They have their own love stories, headspinning complicated to keep up as the series build 3 parallel love stories, Cha Mi Jo with Kim Seon Woo (Yeon Woo Jin), Jun Cha Young with married Kim Jin Seok (Lee Moo Saeng) and Jang Joo Hee with young Park Hyun Joong (Lee Tae Hwan). One of this friend was severely ill and the story goes further beyond love stories between the girls and with the boys, but love in the face of death.
If you found the story flow very nicely in a melancholy way, Yoo Young Ah as script writer has done Encounter who is also very nicely done (this is Park Bo Gum and Song Hye Kyo series – despite the age difference, it was not bad at all !). Son Ye Jin is undoubtedly one of queen of Kdrama who headlined Crash Landing on You and Something in the Rain. Jeon Mi Do also strong actress who headlined equally classic Hospital Playlist series. Even the supporting casts like Yeo Woo Jin and Lee Tae Hwan despite they are young, they are experienced and even played main leads in some of their series. A bonus to see costume is well choreograph albeit not as great as Dali and the Cocky Prince or WWW (that is one of the most fabulously costumed kdrama !).
39 can still be viewed in Netflix
Valentine Kdrama series should have at least one school-age story and True Beauty is one of the classic series. It is a story of nearly cinderella story – a modern version. Lim Ju Gyeong(Moon Ga Yong) become famous due to her beauty mastered via youtube that cover her weaknesses. Handsome Lee Su Ho (Cha Eun Woo) – who is aloof boy with a past – is the only boy who has seen her bare face. Han Seo Jun (Hwang In Yeop) is a classic bad boy who underneath kind and equally like Lim Ju Gyeong. The story revolves around the dynamic between these three characters with bullying backstory.
What I like about this series is that it is very relevant in teenager life and a good way to understand teenager dynamic, on top of course feasting on Cha Eun Woo and Hwang In Youp flawless visual. Despite its rather typical teenage stories, it is a well structure story given that Director Kim Sang Hyub also directed another hit, Extraordinary You (in which its four actors now becoming mega actors in their own right). It is also series where the costume is so well done that there are many reproduction of what Moon Ga Young, Cha Eun Woo and Hwang In Yeop wore.
True Beauty still play in Netflix and Viu.
There are many more choices series that can articulate your love to beloved ones, honorable mention including Under the Queen’s Umbrella (read my review in..) talks about mother son love and Crash Landing on You talks about loves can happen at funny time and place. Happy Valentine !