Jacqueline’s Brain Thoughts On 2015 Dramas (AKA The Crappiest Title Ever)

Posted by Fangirl Musings on January 2, 2016

Reviews

End of the Year Post

So I typically do the drama-thing on my YouTube channel where I fangirl and rant in equal measures, mostly about dramas (but sometimes romance novels.) However, because Stephanie is an awesome best friend, who apparently felt the need to torture her readers, she invited me to projectile-spew my brain-thoughts about this year’s dramas at y’all. (That’s right. I’m from Kentucky. I say y’all. FIGHT ME!) But, alas, I’m a strict marathon-only fangirl and “I shan’t ever live-watch” is my corny-ass motto. As such, I’ve not touched a ton of 2015 dramas. Truth be told, just a measly 21 shows were attempted in total, with 17 having made it to the finish line. But, hey, that’s something, right? So…here’s something for that something. Keep your expectations low, and your offense meters on the down low. It’s gonna get weird.

Rage Against The Bad Dramas

Brace yourself for Jacqueline going rant-tastic. Here are the top 3 dramas that activated my rage button in the worst ways possible.

THE VILLAGE

The Villag e3

Drama Lesson: Avoid small towns at all costs. Also bring a nut cracker.

What To Know Before Watching: It’s gonna hurt. Like, a lot.

What I Loved The Most: That it ended.

What I Hated The Most: Its butt-stupid heroine with her shittastic inability to even human.

Favorite Character: The serial killer. That’s a sentence I never dreamed I’d write.

Most Hated Character: Mrs. Insufferably Evil Pterodactyl Mom. Yep. That’s totes her name.

Most Memorable Scene: No. Just, no.

Romance Yay or Nay: Um, go home category. You’re drunk. Wrong genre, dude.

Biggest Flaw: Everything…? Plus weak characters jammed up a boring plot.

Biggest Strength: The adorable Beta police officer, AKA Mr. Cute Puppy for short.

Drama Ranking: 500 out of 500 Bloody Knives In My Back.

Grumpy Cat

You know those evil humans on planet Earth who you wanna hear scream ouch? Well, just chuck The Village; Achaira’s Secret in the torture toolbox, and BAM! Wish granted! This sleepy town, dead-body-figure-it-out mystery about a chick and her long-lost adopted sister that goes MIA is the biggest snooze fest you’ll ever trudge through. The drama is plagued with a cast of too-damn-many characters as the script spends most of its time obsessing about who is whose baby momma, ghosts that won’t pipe the hell down, and blah-blah serial-killers blah-blah-blah. Ever wonder how a murder mystery can demystify itself, or how a show about rape, death, and life-long secrets could have less emotional resonance than a Sponge Bob episode? Well I got one word for ya: this damn show. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Or, wait…you know what? On second thought, DO take my word for it and spare yourself this insipid dog poo. You’ll thank me later.

The Village: 2015’s Best Anal Gouging Experience.

MASK

Mask

Drama Lesson: Don’t ever be the coincidental spitting image of an evil rich guy’s dead mistress. Just DON’T.

What To Know Before Watching: You’re gonna get bored. Then grumpy. Then apathetic.

What I Loved The Most: The adorable house servants being the only joy found in this cold, dead drama.

What I Hated The Most: The script being a whole-lot-of-nothing-ever-happened yawn fest.

Favorite Character: The murderous, monstrously evil in-law. (AKA Literally the only interesting character.)

Most Hated Character: The heroine and her wet-cardboard personality.

Most Memorable Scene: *Struggles to recall anything from this POS.*

Romance Yay or Nay: More like meh.

Biggest Flaw: A script that was all talk and no walk.

Biggest Strength: The villain. Hmm. I’m sensing a pattern here.

Drama Ranking: 5 therapy sessions out of 5.

GTFO

What’s Mask, you ask? A psychological romantic thriller where a chick who looks like this other dead chick gets forced to pose as said dead chick to marry this rich dude and…well look, the evil mastermind didn’t exactly think his plan through all that well, okay? Just know Mask is a doppelganger crazy-sauce makjang mess where the bad guy threatens, then doesn’t really do anything until the verrrrrry end, and only then because the scriptwriter forced him. And everybody dies. I kid, I kid…that’s a lie. The bad guys get their comeuppance, the leads get their happily ever after yada-yada-yah. Mask’s biggest problem is that it had a GREAT set up, then dropped the ball harder than New Years in delivering a story that ever does anything. Almost all the characters, excluding the bad guy and his deluded wife, were one dimensional, boring wastes of oxygen. The story failed as a thriller ‘cause it wasn’t thrilling, failed as a psychological because Dr. Seuss’ PhD was more psych than this drama, and failed as a romance because no. Hell to the damn no.

Mask: 2015’s Most Likely To Punch You In The Face. With Sleep.

THE LOVERS

The Lovers 2

Drama Lesson: Relationships are complicated, yo.

What To Know Before Watching: Brace yourself, awkwardness ahead. Proceed with caution. And a helmet.

What I Loved The Most: The gay boys. GOD BLESS THE GAYS!

What I Hated The Most: Screamy Couple and their petty, dumb faces.

Favorite Character: Jeong Yeong Jun and his precious Noona-loving heart.

Most Hated Character: What’s-His-Face whiny Room 609 dude.

Most Memorable Scene: Three words, “Wall. Boys. Lips.”

Romance Yay or Nay: Technically yay, but truthfully nay.

Biggest Flaw: Too damn many poop jokes and shitty characters.

Biggest Strength: Anthology/omnibus storytelling style. (AKA Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.)

Drama Ranking: 3 toilet plungers out of 5.

The Lovers

The Lover is a unique experience, one that attempts to infuriate as much as it does entertain, much like reality television, except worse. Way worse. On the one hand, here’s a story about different couples living in the same apartment complex all living their lives and crap. On the other hand, here’s a story about a bunch of adults acting more like giant babies who can’t properly relationship. This drama confounds me, because the more mature tone is big fun…but the show’s execution and utilization of irritating characters cued too much damn brain-pain. Add in the fact that the storyline I cared MOST about (the adorable gay boys being adorable and…well…un-straight) got the least amount of screentime. Still, there were enjoyable moments scattered here and there, so that’s…something. I guess.

The Lover: 2015’s Best Worst Drama

Hot Then Not, Then Dropped

Sometimes dramas suck so bad, you can see the suckage coming at ya a mile away. When that happens, I jump ship and swim to safety like I got Jaws hot on my ass. The following are two dramas I was all “YEAH BUDDY!” then quickly thought…

Better Not

HIGH SOCIETY

High Society

Drama Lesson: Rich people are annoying.

What To Know Before Watching: Brace yourself for stilted acting and wooden performances.

What I Loved The Most: The sismance between our leading ladies. BLESS THEIR LOVE!

What I Hated The Most: The fact that the script was stuck on the express lane headed to Angstville with no off ramp in sight.

Favorite Character: Interesting second-hero Mr. Playboy and his squishy, happy heart-eyes for second-heroine!

Most Hated Character: The hero and his unheroic ass.

Most Memorable Scene: God bless weak shirt fabric, man.

Romance Yay or Nay: *Laughs for the next 37 years.*

Biggest Flaw: The acting. The two leads had as much emotional depth as a puddle.

Biggest Strength: Its supporting ship. WHY WASN’T THE DRAMA ABOUT THEM DAMMIT?!

Episodes Survived: 7

Drama Ranking: 100 burning money bags out of 100.

High Society 2

This drama started off soooOoooOOOoooooooo good. We had this interesting ensemble cast with a heroine who was tough but damaged, a hero who appeared to have juicey layers, and two interesting secondary characters who seemed like they were gonna get as much screen-love as the leads. Alas, the drama turned everybody into a frown emoticon and then I said, “Oh HELL to the no!” Somewhere along the way, the heroine stopped being vulnerably strong, and just rocked the cry face. The hero never EVER peeled back any emotional layers, though whether this was the fault of the actor or writer I still ain’t got a clue. But, worst of all? The secondary ship got pushed to the sidelines because of dumb reasons I can’t even be bothered to recount or recall. Either way, I dropped this butt-fest at episode seven, and never glanced back. Someone, for the love of fluffy bunnies, PLEASE refund me my seven hours or Imma complain to my Congressman.

High Society: 2015’s Whiniest First-World’s-Problem 1%

BLOOD

Blood

Drama Lesson: Vampires suck.

What To Know Before Watching: Don’t.

What I Loved The Most: Ahn Jae Hyun’s face.

What I Hated The Most: The boooooooooring plot.

Favorite Character: The robot one.

Most Hated Character: Ummmmmmm, so about that.

Most Memorable Scene: Shhhhh. I got a secret.

Romance Yay or Nay: No, really, like…you’re not gonna believe this.

Biggest Flaw: Okay fine, I’ll tell you.

Biggest Strength: But only if you promise not to tell anyone else.

Episodes Survived: ………2

Drama Ranking: 10 hemophiliacs out of 10.

Apology

So I only completed two of the TWENTY hours in this hellhole, but please, put your slingshot-ready rotten tomatoes on pause, because in my defense? Actually no, there is no defense. Bad dramas get the axe when all of MyDramaList is practically begging me to love myself, and bail. I was forewarned this show had more set pieces than actual plot, an insufferably irritating female lead, a romance that was an insult to the word, AND boredom flying out the wazoo. Having sat through two hours of it, with one hour just being damn exposition and setup…? Having had the subsequent hour cut me with paperdoll characters and dry dialogue…? Suffice to say, I smartened up and got my cellulose hiney right the hell outta there.

Blood: 2015’s Most Likely To Commit a Felony. On Your Sanity. With a Pick Ax.

Tackle-hug of the Cracktastic Dramas

YAY, LET’S POP THE PARTY-POPPERS BECAUSE NOW IT’S HAPPY-FUN TIMES! 2015 wasn’t the worse thing to come out of Korea, so here are 3 dramas that gave my inner fangirl the workout of a lifetime.

CHEER UP

Cheer Up

Drama Lesson: Friendship kicks ass.

What To Know Before Watching: Crank up your expectations, ‘cause they ain’t high enough, my friend.

What I Loved The Most: The hella amazing pacing and evolution of the drama’s conflicts because YASSSSSS.

What I Hated The Most: My Second Male Lead Syndrome. I’m still detoxing from that ‘ship-wreck.

Favorite Character: The HEROINE AND HER AWESOME-SAUCE CAN I SCREAM MY LOVE AND LOUDER PLEASE AND THANK YOU

Most Hated Character: Stupid evil mom. She was a meanie. Boooooooo, crappy mom. Boo.

Most Memorable Scene: Two words. “Gummy. Bears.”

Romance Yay or Nay: All of the yay. (I just wish it had more screentime.)

Biggest Flaw: The romance? Only ‘cause it rocked, but since I’m a greedy bastard, I wanted more of it than I got.

Biggest Strength: Its phenomenal character construction with literally all of its humans.

Drama Ranking: A million diamond-gold stars out of a million.

Gummy Bears

Dude. How whackadoodle is it that a high school romantic drama about cheerleading not only made me coo-coo for happy coa-coa puffs, but actually landed a spot on my yearly review? Somebody call somebody, ‘cause this is shiznit I did NOT anticipate when I cracked open the first episode. Cheer Up gathers all the cliches we know and love, the tough, outcast heroine, the rich, popular hero; forced proximity, opposites attract, teenager shenanigans…It rounds up all our beloved tropes, sticks ‘em in the blender and says, “BE FRUITFUL AND AWESOME!” The drama walks this kick-ass fine line between realistic young adult subject matter, balancing those elements with fun, interesting leads, flawed but fascinating antagonists, and a second female lead trying to steal the hero’s academic ranking rather than stealing the hero himself! Yep. A high school rom-com does a better job at passing the Bechdel test than American TV. If you want a darker story that is as heartwarmingly uplifting as it is fascinatingly entertaining…? If you want the heroine and the bad girl to undergo substantial character growth over the course of the story…? Basically if you want a romance that’s gonna make you happy in your heart-place, then dammit, get Cheer Up in yo face.

Cheer Up: 2015’s Most Likely To Win Prom Queen.

SPLASH SPLASH LOVE

Splash Splash Love

Drama Lesson: Rain puddles are the TARDIS, yo.

What To Know Before Watching: Prepare to fall in love.

What I Loved The Most: That the story was the heroine’s!

What I Hated The Most: That it ended. Nooooooo don’t end come back please ahhh!

Favorite Character: The heroine with her quirky cool self! (I’m sensing another pattern here.)

Most Hated Character: No lie? None. Even the bad guys were good.

Most Memorable Scene: Three words. “Drugged. Horny. Heroine.”

Romance Yay or Nay: A quintillion yays.

Biggest Flaw: The fact that my ass doesn’t get to time travel to Joseon, too, dammit.

Biggest Strength: The awesome, awesome, AWESOME acting because indeed.

Drama Ranking: 16 cute kittens out of 16.

sSL1

So, there’s a problem. I’m in love with a drama. I wanna marry a Korean TV show and have 12 babies with it and grow old and die with it. Don’t tell my shrink but Splash Splash Love, a short 2 hour timeslip drama about an academically struggling high school girl traveling to the past to discover she’s smart and awesome while falling in love with a smexy king…? Well, that drama won my fangirl heart and refused to give it back. In 7,200 seconds I experienced all the feels. The funny, individualistic, interesting heroine had me laughing; the out-of-time elements had me smiling; the lovey-dovey mush-mush had me swooning; the plotting and pacing had me happy; the ending had me crying, then grinning! Literally ALL OF THE EMOTIONS! Part of me so wanted this show to be a full 16 episode extravaganza, so I could get more kissey-fun-time and character/story antics, and DEFINITELY get more Kim Seul Gi! But then another part of me worries it wouldn’t have rocked as hard as it did if it got shoved into the traditional drama mold. So, here’s me, forever fangirling about a drama that deserves ALL the cookies in the cookie jar.

Splash Splash Love: 2015’s Most Likely To Be Happily Ever After

HEALER

HEALER 2

Drama Lesson: Law breaking is sexy.

What To Know Before Watching: You are about to have a shit-ton of fun.

What I Loved The Most: THE SMEXY AWESOME ROMANCE AHHHH.

What I Hated The Most: Tbh, the mom-daughter thing not getting proper resolution.

Favorite Character: The Healer. DUH.

Most Hated Character: Man, even the villain was compelling. LOVED ALL THE PEEPS, I DID!

Most Memorable Scene: Two words. “Bedtime. Snuggles.”

Romance Yay or Nay: So much yay, I just broke the word.

Biggest Flaw: That Healer isn’t real and I can’t go spy on him and his wifey being cutesy-wootsey.

Biggest Strength: The INTERESTING story paired with fantastic acting.

Drama Ranking: Fourteen billion six hundred million thumbs up.

Healer

*MAKES TINY DINOSAUR NOISES OF SQUEAKY FANGIRL-HAPPINESS FOR 12 MINUTES BEFORE WRITING A SINGLE WORD.*

Well, with that sufficiently out of my system, I’m squeezing my all time extra-special-snowflake favorite drama in this list because it totally ended in February so HA STILL COUNTS SUCKERS! (Why I’m being so obnoxious, I’ve no clue. I’m an asshole. Forgive me.) Quite honestly, with currently 9,461 people having given an average 8.9 ranking for Healer on MyDramaList, I’m fairly confident we all know and love this show. And dude, a cool spy-esque Ji Chang Wook being the walking heart-emoticon for a spunky, likable heroine…how could we not fall in love with him–er, I might “it”? It was just a damn fine kdrama that hit all the sweet spots in all the best places. Action, comedy, romance, suspense, makjang, tragedy, thriller, drama; literally all the genres, rolled into one damn fine package of bad-assness.

Healer: 2015’s Best Most Perfect Slice of Amazing.

That's All

Actually that’s not all, since we are well aware I could throw more thoughts and dramas at ya, but if you made it this far then give yourself a pat on the back for enduring the most boring, uninformative End of the Year drama thingy-post you’ve ever trekked through! Hell, even I didn’t read this far, and I wrote the damn thing. If you found this to be marginally tolerable, you can check out my overly enthusiastic ass on my YouTube channel, Fangirl Musings. Shameless plug is shameless, AND awkward…and now I made it weird. Dammit.

6 Comments

  • Reply Molly in Kdramaland January 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Jacqueline – you are so cute! The way you write is so fun to read. 🙂 Anyhow, I pretty much agreed with the list – well, except I kinda liked Mask. But we are so on the same page about Cheer Up (totally cute), Healer (LOVED IT!!!!!!) and Splash Splash Love (perfection).

    • Reply Fangirl Musings January 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Awww Molly, thank you so much hon! I really like that my writing can still be entertaining, even when there’s disagreement :). I get the sense I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t like Mask, but I don’t mind that. It’s fun to be the odd man out hehehe. I decided to turn this post into a script for my channel, so YAY for future fangirling and ranting :).

  • Reply hariaharia January 3, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Really funny! Even though I don’t quite agree with everything you write – Mask, for instance, was one of the best melodramas of the year minus all the PPLs and the last-minute changes that destroyed the writer’s original work for the second time in a row. Poor man! – your descriptions are both hilarious and emotional ( Healer was one of the best stories in k-dramaland this year even without the sexy OTP; the writer’s initial story of the five friends was coming right from her days of the dark and much more political “Sandglass” which has always been my soft spot!)

    Happy New Year with more dramas and more inspiration ( not that you really need it but it’s still the beginning of the new year and we all need some sort of resolutions, don’t we? 😉

    • Reply Fangirl Musings January 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks for the comment Hariaharia! 🙂 I’m glad that even though we disagree about Mask, you still found the post enjoyable and fun! Your compliments about my writing are so sweet and appreciated, seriously! I script all my content for my channel, but admittedly I got a bit nervous putting it in blog form. LOL

      Happy New Year to you, too! May your year be filled with awesome dramas and copious fangirling! 😀

  • Reply Jade Faerie January 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Awesome and fun I can’t wait until we have a drink together!!

    • Reply Fangirl Musings January 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      😀 Thanks hon!!! I can’t WAIT to meet you IRL, and me either! I mean, I’ll pass on the alcohol but I can totes knock back the water with the best of ’em hahaha.

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