Tag: Watched in 2021

My Year in Review: 2021 in K-Dramas

Posted January 4, 2022 by Rowena in Dramas | 2 Comments

If you know me then you know that I’m a huge nerd. I track the shit out of everything that I do so that I can keep track of what I’m spending my time on. When I was reading a hundred books a year, I tracked what I was reading, what genres I was reading the most and least of, and now that I’m really into watching k-dramas, as you can guess, I tracked my k-drama watching.

This is the second year of me watching pretty much all Korean dramas and I’m pretty sure that this blog is going to turn into my little k-drama blog so please look forward to that. When I first started watching k-dramas, I binge-watched dramas back to back to back. I never watched any of the dramas that were airing weekly but 2021 changed that. This last year, I mostly watched the newer dramas that were airing new episodes every week. I’m pretty sure I’ll be following that same format in 2022 as I like having episodes to look forward to.

Anyway, let’s break this year down, shall we?
Quick Stats of the Year
Dramas Completed: 42 | Drama’s Put On Hold: 2 | Dramas Dropped: 10 | Dramas Re-Watched: 0
Dramas Watched:: 54 | Episodes Watched: 637
Favorite Drama: Racket Boys | Least Favorite Drama: Nevertheless
The Breakdown

By Month


January: 3
February: 4
March: 4
April: 1
May: 4
June: 3
July: 4
August: 10
September: 4
October: 8
November: 4
December: 3

I spent less time binge-watching shows even though I was always watching shows. I watched the most shows in the month of August, did I finish all of those shows? Nope, but I did try to. In April, I only watched one show but that makes sense since I was knee-deep into watching the anime Haikyuu around that time. So I averaged around 3-4 shows a month. That’s not bad.

By Genre


Contemporary: 29
Drama – Suspense: 8
Dystopian: 1
Fantasy: 8
Historical: 5
Horror: 2

As you can tell, I really enjoy modern-day storytelling so a huge chunk of the dramas that I watched this past year was contemporary. I love romantic comedies, high school romances, college romances, and just all of the romances. I do take brief breaks to watch dramas, crime thrillers, and some horror stuff so it’s not all sunshine and rainbows or anything like that. I’m wondering if that theme will carry on into the new year since I’m a lot more into horrors, fantasies, and historicals lately. I guess I’ll see…

By Source


Disney +: 0
iQiy: 2
Netflix: 25
Viki: 29

Most of the shows that I’m watching are on Viki. I do watch a fair share amount of dramas on Netflix but it’s not surprising to me at all that I watched the most shows on Viki. I’m making my monthly subscriptions well worth the money I’m spending on them and I’m good with that.

Overall, I didn’t really have a goal for how many shows I wanted to watch last year. My vibe was more, do what I want and I watched a good mix of shows that were quality ways to spend my time so I’m not mad at all.

Here’s a look at my favorites and least favorites of the year…
My Favorites and Least Favorites of the Year

Favorite Dramas



Racket Boys
Taxi Driver
The Uncanny Counter

These are my top shows of the year. I adored and enjoyed each of these so much. Racket Boys was such a wholesome show that I looked forward to every week. Taxi Driver made me cry a lot but I really came to love the Rainbow Taxi crew, most especially Kim Do Ki and I’m looking forward to season 2. The Uncanny Counter was another show that I enjoyed every minute of. I can’t wait for the second season.

Least Favorite Dramas



Nevertheless
So I Married an Anti Fan
Penthouse

I tried to watch all three of these shows and failed. I couldn’t connect with the characters, I hated what was going on in the show and I felt pretty confident that they weren’t for me pretty early on so I quit them all. Yeah, just not my jam.

Favorite Characters



Kim Do Ki from Taxi Driver
Yoon Sae Bom from Happiness
Lee Dam from My Roommate is a Gumiho

There were quite a few characters that I loved this year but these three were my top 3 favorites. I adored each of them for different reasons. Kim Do Ki’s story was a hard one but man, the person he was in Taxi Driver and seeing him care for those that couldn’t care for themselves and throw himself into danger left and right to make the bad guys pay just..gah. I loved him. Yoon Sae Bom was the girl version of Kim Do Ki. She had a strong moral compass and she did what was right no matter how unpopular that made her. I loved her relationship with Yi Hyun and Seo Yoon and I loved how fiercely she loved and cared for them. Lee Dam wasn’t a fighter like Do Ki and Seo Bom but she loved and cared for her loved ones just as fiercely. I loved that she wasn’t perfect but she tried to do right by everyone. I just loved her to pieces.

Honorary Mentions: Yi Hyun from Happiness, Chief Hong from Hometown Cha Cha Cha, and Choi Taek from Reply 1988. I loved all three of these guys.

Least Favorite Characters



The Building Rep from Happiness
Joon Young’s Mom in Uncontrollaby Fond
Yoo Jin’s brother in Just Between Lovers

I spent a lot of time wanting to smack the shit out of these three characters. The Building Rep in Happiness for being a piece of shit human who didn’t care about anyone or anything but keeping secrets. Joon Young’s Mom in Uncontrollably Fond made me want to throw hands every single episode she was in and don’t even get me started on Yoo Jin’s brother in Just Between Lovers. Just…I hated all three of these bitches with a fiery rage of a thousand suns.

Favorite New to Me Actors of 2021



Lee Je Hoon
Jang Ki Yong
Lee Jun Ho

Favorite New to Me Actresses of 2021



Lee Hye Ri
Krystal
Kim Ji Eun

Do you track your k-drama watching each year? How did your year in dramas look? Share in the comments!

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Review: Signal

Posted March 30, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Signal

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Suspense, Time Travel
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Mood Browse

Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school, and Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student at that time, witnessed the crime. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and the police were not able to find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police.

Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han, and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
I found this drama while I was browsing through Netflix. I’ve seen the woman actress in this show around so I stopped to check the summary out. I was sold after reading the summary but I didn’t immediately start it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that I waited for a while to get to it but I’m glad that I watched it because from beginning to end, I was invested in all of it.

There were parts that were pretty slow in terms of engaging me (the viewer) but overall, this was a really interesting drama that did a good job of telling Park Hae Yeong’s life story.

Let’s break this show down, shall we?
Main Lead: Park Hae Yeong
Actor: Lee Je Hoon
Social Media: Website | Instagram

Park Hae Yeong is the victim of a wrongful arrest though he wasn’t the actual person that was arrested. His older brother was accused of rape and was let down by the entire local police department because of course, his older brother was innocent but because their family wasn’t as rich as the real culprit, Park Hae Yeong’s older brother paid for a crime that wasn’t his. Park Sun Woo (Hae Yeong’s older brother) was one of the good guys. He was a great older brother to Hae Yeong and he cared about his family, his friends, and his future. He was helping Hae Yeong bring his grades up and in the process of helping a girl study as well.

What happens to Sun Woo makes a huge impression on Hae Yeong and as Hae Yeong pieces his own investigation into his brother’s case when he’s older and a cold case profiler, things really heat up. He discovers a walkie-talkie that communicates with an officer from the past. A detective that could possibly help him find out what really happened to his brother. Maybe if they worked together, they can right some wrongs and get some things right. Hae Yeong’s story is a huge part of the show and I thought Lee Je Hoon’s portrayal of Park Hae Yeong was probably my favorite part of this show. Lee Je Hoon has some serious acting chops and I felt everything he felt throughout this entire show. Hae Yeong’s story is an emotional one and though I didn’t get the ending that I wanted for him, I was still satisfied and would LOVE a second season.

I really enjoyed the character growth from child to man for Park Hae Yeong. He had every reason to turn to gangs and a life of crime with his experience with cops and yet he grew into a man of the law with a clear conscience of what was right and wrong. Did he always get things right? Not at all. But he learned from every experience and used the experiences to be a better person.
Main Lead: Cha Soo Hyun
Actor: Kim Hye Soo

Cha Soo Hyun was the first female police officer in her department and though she seems aloof and completely reserved, she is fair and a good senior to Park Hae Yeong. Professionally, she tried to do what was right even when it was hard. Personally, there were times when I wanted to smack this woman upside her head. Did I understand where she was coming from when she would pop off in the middle of a case because Park Hae Yeong seemed to know an awful lot about the only man she’s ever loved that disappeared years ago? Of course! Did I want her to put her feelings away and get the bad guys before grilling Hae Yeong? YES!

Even with all of that madness, I still really liked her character and I thought Kim Hye Soo really did Cha Soo Hyun’s character justice. She acted her tail off and it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing an aloof and cold character that isn’t really any of that. I liked how smart she was and how loyal she was. She was good at a lot of things and seeing her as both a fresh rookie cop who was unsure of herself, her worth as a police officer, and then a strong and fiercely determined detective was fantastic. She played both parts well and I was rooting for her to find her man throughout the entire show.
Main Lead: Lee Jae Han
Actor: Jo Jin Woong

Holy cow did I like this guy. Lee Jae Han was such a compelling character that fought the good fight even when he had every cause not to believe the weirdo on the other line of the walkie-talkie. Seeing him fight against his very own bosses to bring justice to those wronged by the police force, the exact police force that is supposed to protect the victims made me love him to pieces.

His story was another emotional one because his personal life took a back seat to his professional one and it was hard on everyone around him. From his father to the woman he was starting to like and his friends, he missed out on a lot trying to right the wrongs that just kept right on coming to his front door. I wanted so much to see this guy in the end and we were left with a big ol’ question mark with everything but even without a solid ending with a solid wrap-up of all the things, I still really enjoyed learning about Lee Jae Han. My heart for him when he tried to get to Sun Woo before it was too late, freaking body falling apart but getting to Sun Woo was more important than his stab wound and that was just one of the many reasons that I loved this guy. He didn’t know how to give up and when he didn’t get things right, he was so remorseful that it hurt my heart and made me cheer for him and Hae Yeong even more. Gah, so good.
The Cast
There are a lot of familiar faces that make up the rest of the cast of Signal and I enjoyed seeing them all again. These two guys are probably my favorite familiar faces and the most memorable of the bunch, outside of the villains. I also really liked the guy that played Park Sung Woo. As I said, there are a lot of familiar faces and that’s probably my favorite thing about k-dramas. There are side characters that pop up in every single k-drama and it’s always a treat to see a cast with great chemistry. This wasn’t the kind of show that showcases strong friendships but we got a strong team that really comes together as the show progresses and I was here for Hae Yeong and Soo Hyun’s team.
The Story
So Signal is about a detective from 1989 and a cold case profiler in 2015 working together through a magical walkie-talkie to solve and prevent crimes from happening. Solving them in 2015 helps prevent them in 1989 and through trial and error, Lee Jae Han, the detective from 1989, and Park Hae Yeong, the cold case profiler from 2015 figure out what went wrong and how to fix them in their own times. The concept behind the show is was initially drew me to watching it and I’m glad that I did because the actors really brought this story to life. It totally made sense to me that there was a magical walkie-talkie helping a man from the 80’s help a man from 2015 solve crime and beat the bad guys.

I also thought that the cases that they worked on together were interesting. From the kidnapping case to the rape case, to every other case, each story really stood out and had me thinking about them long after I turned the final episode off. These characters really go through it personally and professionally and they had to overcome so much to get to that end. There were times where I had to walk away from the TV because what was happening was too much for me and my blood pressure but I will say that the villains played their roles really well in this one because I hated their asses so much.

Overall, there were moments when certain characters and cases made my blood boil but I’m glad that I stuck with this show because it was a solid suspense drama and the time through walkie-talkie business was one of the highlights of the show for me. I love the friendship that blossomed between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Yeong. I thought the way that their friendship grew and grew with each case that they worked on was just so stinkin’ great.
The OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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