Korean Drama notes

I first watched a Korean drama in February, 2015.
I had first heard of them in May 2014, at Alex Polikowsky's house (or before then, from Alex, but she showed me a scene from Faith, and fed me Korean food she had made).

Anniversary notes:

February 8, 2015, a Sunday, I started watching Faith. All day Monday, I watched that show. Keith brought me food. I finished it Tuesday, February 10.

Notes about similarities in Faith and Healer (both by the same writer, Song Ji-na)
DON'T GO THERE if you haven't watched both shows, because there will be spoilers,
but what I wrote about Faith and Healer (linked at left) are safe and spoiler-free.

Similarities in Good Manager (Chief Kim) and The Fiery Priest (both written by Park Jae-Bum)

Links are to my own writings elsewhere.

Shows I have finished watching:

  • Faith (finished 2/10/15, written by Song Ji-Na)
  • Faith (2/18/15, second time—discovered a note with that date 2/10/20
  • The Moon Embracing the Sun (finished on or before 2/25/15)
  • City Hunter (3/11/15)
  • Healer (finished somewhere around mid March? written by Song Ji-Na)
  • The King's Face (3/22/15)
  • Sandglass (4/3/15, written by Song Ji-Na; older, darker)
  • Shine or Go Crazy (4/8/15? or 4/7—watching while it was new; not planning that again)
  • Warrior Baek Dong Soo (4/10/15)
  • The Legend (on dramanet, 4/17/15)
  • Kill Me, Heal Me (4/21/15)
  • Misaeng: Incomplete Life (on Viki; not smooth, finished 4/26/15)
  • Boys over Flowers (5/1/15 #12)
  • Tree With Deep Roots (5/10/15)
  • Secret Garden (finished 5/16/15)
  • Fated to Love You (finished 5/19/15)
  • Rooftop Prince (finished 5/23/15)
  • Shut Up, Flower Boy Band (5/27/15)
  • Emergency Couple (finished 5/31/15)
  • Coffee Prince (6/4/15)
  • The Master's Sun (6/8/15)
  • watched Healer (for the third time) and then Warrior Baek Dong Soo (second time) 6/8-6/22
  • Nine: Nine Time Travels (6/25/15)
  • My Love from Another Star (6/29/15-started it over right away to catch some end-of-episode bits)
  • Greatest Love (started 7/2; finished 7/5)
  • It's Okay That's Love (7/10 #24) [don't know what I was watching between 7/10 and 7/13.. tried some of Empress Ki]
  • Chuno / The Slave Hunters (7/13-7/26, watched most of Healer and some of Faith partway through)
  • Orange Marmalade (7/26-7/28 early a.m.) 12 episodes, good
  • Late Night Restaurant [it's still airing, but I've watched the first six, eight thirteen half-hour stories]
  • Personal Taste (7/30 - 8/2/15) [went to Chama for a few days]
  • One Sunny Day (8/8/15, 2.5 hours or less altogether)
  • watched Faith again while I was sick with pneumonia and some Late Night Restaurant
  • re-watched Personal Taste, but didn't take notes; sick
  • Oh My Ghostess (8/26/15)
  • re-watched City Hunter (finished 9/4/15, liked it better 2nd time, but don't *love*)
  • Heirs (9/8/15)
  • Secret Garden (second time, finished 9/20/15)
  • My Love Eun Dong (9/24/15)
  • My Love from Another Star (third time, all the way through to the epilog, finished 10/8/15)
  • Twenty Again (10/20/15)
  • Kill Me, Heal Me (second time, finished 10/25/15)
    Notes on things to CONSIDER WATCHING
    (lined through means I've finished it) Recommendations from January 2021:
    • Devilish Joy
    • You're all Surrounded
    • The Good Detective
    • A Witch's Love [not Witch's Love—that's a different show]
    Definitely Neighbors (with Shin Sung-rok)
    2010; not available in my area in March 2021

    • Queen for Seven Days
    • Black
    • The King: Eternal Monarch
    • Convenience Store Saet Byul
    From a quora list in 2020, of top ten. Great list, with one H haven't seen so watch:
    Jealousy incarnate Also, have not yet watched Uncontrollably Fond, recommended below (or if I did, I didn't add it to the list).

    Also from a great Quora list: Cheese in the Trap (didn't love it) Full House Playful Kiss

    Recommendations May 2018:

    A Gentleman's Dignity (Alex)
    Ji Sub movie called Always from 2011 (didn't love)

    Grand Prince (Stephanie Beth Currier)

    Genie Maples recommends:

  • Just between Lovers,
  • Fight My Way
  • Radiant Office
  • Fantastic
  • Dear My Friends
  • Jugglers
  • Marriage Contract

    Shining Inheritance / Brilliant Legacy (Jen Fernandez)
    Hello My Twenties (Jen Fernandez and Stephanie Beth Currier) ++++++++++++++OLDER++++++++

    Movie: Mai Ratima (2013) - junk shop owner

    Three I had not watched from a list called Ten Best Halloween Korean Dramas

    • White Christmas
    • Scholar who Walks the Night (fun!)
    • Let's Fight Ghost (Joyce recommended it)

    Hwarang which came out this past yr... Only other drama I've seen that dealt with Hwarang/Flower Boys was Queen Seondeok, one of my all time faves.

    Save Me, about a cult

    Mirror of the Witch
    Chief Kim

    Zo In Sung was also pretty sexy in That Winter, The Wind Blows. (Alex says)

    Mary Lewis says "The Sound of Your Heart is funny."

    Riders: Catch Tomorrow (to see Choi Min who played the secretary in Cinderella and Four Knights)

    "Loved [Jun Ji Hyun] in My Sassy Girl especially. " (Mark Choy)

    If you haven't watched it and are in the mood for a high school drama with lots of music I highly recommend the drama Dream High (Marcella Chester)

    From Dramabeans ten-to-hook-your-friends article, those I haven't watched:

    • My Name Is Kim Sam-soon (2005)
    • Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
    • Nice Guy (2012)
    • I Hear Your Voice (2013)

    'Candle in the Tomb' has history, archeology, and some spooky fun. (Chinese; recommended by Gail)

    (and I lined through what I've watched from the list)

    Handwritten list and I don't know why:

    That Winter, the wind that blows
    Hello, Monster / I Remember You
    You're Beautiful (already watched)
    Two Weeks

    Jen Fernandez wrote:
    Cinderella and the Four Knights - ...Loved all the male characters and the lead female is cute.

    Shopping King Louis -...super sweet and the classic tropes were not really there in the usual way. One of the male leads is Oska from Secret Garden.

    Cheese in the Trap - This was very different for me. Rather darker then I usually go for. That's all I'll say. I'd love to discuss it more if anyone else watched it.

    Hello My Twenties (aka Age of Youth)- ... it is interesting to see certain social issues through Koreans eyes.

    "You're Beautiful has church in it because Go Mi-nyeo is planning to be a nun."—Mary Lewis

    "Uncontrollably Fond (Lightly Ardently)... usually-evil elf-like Im Ju Whan from Oh My Ghostess and Shine or Go Crazy playing a so-far cute bushy-banged bespectacled young second lead..."—Genie Maples

    Also Genie Maples recommendations:

    Beautiful Mind (Jang Hyuk)

    My Beautiful Gong Shim - Very enjoyable, funny, tons of cute. Some tropes, but you can see an attempt to rein them in. Adorable male lead. Adorable female lead. Sunbeam-smiley second male lead.

    Same for Lucky Romance - Totally adorable male lead - one of the most endearing dorkiest characters ever and a great performance.

    "Viki now has Queen In Hyeon's Man, which is often cited in people's tops lists and is a time travel romance story." —Stephanie Currier

    My Girl (2005-06)
    You're Beautiful (2009)
    Full House(2007)
    Playful Kiss (2010)
    Fantastic (watched but I didn't mark when)
    Doctor Crush
  • Bachelor's Vegetable Store (10/28/15)
  • Arang and the Magistrate (11/3/15)
  • Healer (fourth viewing, 11/9/15)
  • She was Pretty (11/14/15 #36—in these third-dozen days, I re-watched several))
  • The Story of a Man, a.k.a. The Slingshot, or A Man's Story (12/5/15—written by Song Ji-Na)
  • The King of Dramas (12/13/15) (a.k.a. Lord of Dramas)
  • What's Up? (12/19/15—written by Song Ji-Na)
  • Tamra, the Island (12/27/15)
  • Oh My Venus [in progress—started it before it was completed and had to wait, 1/8/15]
  • Angry Mom (1/7/15)
  • Splash Splash Love (1/7/8, it only has two episodes)
  • finished Oh My Venus (1/8)
  • Personal Taste (third time through, 1/18/16)
  • KARA: Secret Love (1/21/16, five separate stories, two hours each)
  • Grandpas over Flowers Investigation Team (2/1/16)
    ___________ Year Two:
  • Answer Me 1988 / Reply 1988 (2/17/16)
  • I Have a Lover (2/17/16-3/12/16; 50 episodes, busy month)
  • Fool's Love / Ho Gu's Love (3/17/16)
  • Rooftop Prince (second time, 3/21/16)
  • The Merchant: Gaekju 2015 (41 episodes, don't watch it again, 4/12/16)
  • Page Turner (4/12/16, good, three episodes)
  • Healer (4/18/16, fifth time through—still catching subtleties)
  • It's Okay, That's Love (second time through, 4/29/16 A note, if you have seen it; avoid otherwise )
  • Snow Lotus Flower / Lucid Dream (5/1/16, two episodes long; nice!)
  • Faith again. It just gets better, and I added a couple of similarities to Healer than I hadn't seen before. (5/9/16)
  • Secret Garden (third time, 5/16)
  • Descendants of the Sun (5/21/16)
  • Moorim School (5/27/16)
  • ** (Movie not series) Secretly Greatly (to watch one of the leads of Moorim School; 4th viewing)
  • Dramaworld (5/30/16)
  • Answer Me 1994/Reply 1994(6/10/16)
  • Thank You (6/14/16)
  • Answer Me 1997 /Reply 1997 (6/26/16)
  • Healer again, better than ever (sixth time, 7/10/16)
  • Noble, My Love (20 15-minute shows, 7/11/16)
  • Signal (took forever, wasn't done when I left for England, last 90 mins I got by recap, 9/13/16)
    break in service, went to England for 6.5 weeks
  • Secret Garden, episode 6 on, in England, between things, as it's one of the only ones available there
    9/27/16, back from England, but then to a conference in Arizona,
    so... still, break...
  • Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (10/22/16)
  • Fantasic (11/5/16)
  • You're Beautiful (11/14/16)
  • The K-2 (11/17/16)
  • Uncontrollably Fond / Secretly Ardently (11/22/16)
  • Beautiful Mind (11/29/16)
  • Beautiful Gong Shim (12/5/16)
  • Scarlet Heart: Ryeo (12/15/16)
  • Healer (12/7/16 Seventh viewing)
  • Full House (1/6/17; long build-up, nice end, but some irritation and some humor in the middle notes)
  • W: Two Worlds Apart (1/11/17—liked it lots, but needed to pause and recover and think sometimes)
  • Pinocchio (1/17/17, lots of favorite actors, picks up in episodes 9 / 10 and zooms)
  • Shopping King Louis (1/22/17)
  • Goblin (1/29/17)
  • Legend of the Blue Sea (2/4/17)
  • Cinderella and Four Knights (2/8/17) [#75, finished on my second anniversary of watching shows]
    ___________ Year Three
  • Secret / Secret Love (2/13/17) others have similar names; I watched this one
  • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (2/17/17)
  • It's Okay, That's Love
  • (2/22/17, third time)
  • My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2/27/17) the film director is the best character
  • Big (2/..? 30?/17) Too frustrating; don't watch again.
  • That Winter the Wind that Blows (3/7/17)
  • Coffee Prince (3/14/17, second time)
  • Voice (2017) (finished 3/27/17, but in the middle watched the next-listed one)
  • The Sound of Your Heart (on Netflix, not very long, fun and funny) (3/21/17)
  • Riders—Catch Tomorrow (4/5/17)
  • [Maybe I watched one in here and maybe I didn't; Keith was hurt, and I got distracted)
    MAYBE it was Reply 1988, because I know I watched it again, and didn't leave a note here.
  • Mirror of the Witch (5/3/17)
  • Because it's the First Time (5/8/17)
  • Love in Trouble (Suspicious Partner) (in progress—started while it was airing)
  • Faith, all the way through (with interruptions twice for new episodes of Suspicious Partner), officially my 5th viewing (all the way through, I guess) and I still found two similarities to Healer I hadn't seen before. (6/3/17)
  • Chicago typewriter (6/24/17 — eh... half good. Slow.)
  • Two Weeks [7/11/17 (private group, but I'll be able to see this link later)]
  • Suspicious Partner, started watching while it was still airing... (7/15/17, finished)
  • Defendant (7/21/17 same lead as Kill Me, Heal Me)
  • Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (8/3/17)
  • The Best Hit (8/15/17)
  • My Sassy Girl (8/27/17, Sageuk with anachronisms, not time travel, but modern references)
  • I Am (8/27/17, short, android story)
  • Fated to Love You (2nd time, 9/10/17, Viki)
  • W: Two Worlds Apart(second time, 9/10/17)
  • Man to Man (9/26/17 on Netflix)
  • Good Doctor (10/3/17)
  • Save Me (10/8/17)
  • Yong Pal (10/11/17)
  • Queen In Hyun's Man (10/17/17)
  • I Remember You (Hello Monster) (10/20/17)
  • The Master's Sun (2nd time, 10/27/17)
  • Healer (8th time, 11/3/17)
  • Hospital Ship (11/23/17) ← took long because of new project
  • Revolutionary Love (12/5/17)
  • Goblin (2nd time, 12/20/17)
  • Robber (1/1/18)
  • Because This Is My First Life (1/7/18)
  • My Lovely Sam Soon (1/12/18)
  • Secret Garden (1/20/18 on KOCOWA to get a third set of subtitles; fourth time through full)
  • Gu Family Book (1/29/18) ___________ Year Four:
  • Hyde Jekyll, Me (2/6/18)
  • Madame Antoine (2/12/18—don't watch again notes)
  • Hwarang (2/17/18)
  • started watching Empress Ki (watched the first four, but the site didn't have the rest in English)
  • Father is Strange (3/13/18, 52 episodes, top 10, I think)
  • Empress Ki (4/11/18, spoiler-free report here)
  • Misty (4/19/18—twisty mystery... talking, talky)
  • Lucky Romance (4/24/18)
  • Shopping King Louie (2nd viewing; quite sweet; 4/30/18)
  • Mother (5/8/18 — dark, good, but not for re-watching repeatedly)
  • Sweet 18 / Little Bride (5/14/18) someday find another show with the male lead
  • Pinocchio (second time, love... 5/25/18)
  • Shining Inheritance (6/13/18 Writer: So Hyeon-Kyeong, 28 episodes)
  • My Golden Life (7/6/18, 52 episodes; watched because same writer. 52 episodes)
  • Lawless Lawyer (7/21/18)
  • Wok of Love (8/15/18) (I watched an American series, "The Good Place," in there)
  • My Name is Gangnam Beauty (9/23/18 — started while it was airing, so watched second half of Warrior Baek Dong Soo while I waited)
  • The Miracle We Met (10/2/18)
  • Healer (10/13/18 9th full viewing, still noticed a new similarity to Faith for this collection)
  • I was watching "What's Up?" by Song Ji-Na for the second time, when DramaFever closed down (10/16/18)
  • On the Way to the Airport (11/4/18)
  • What's Wrong with Secretary Kim? (11/16/18, worth watching again)?
  • My Secret, Terrius (started 10/16.... still airing... finiished 11/17)
  • The Sound of your Heart (Reboot) (11/29/18, on Netflix)
  • Bring it On, Ghost (12/9/18)
  • I am Not a Robot (12/30/18)
  • Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter (1/16/19)
  • Encounter / Boyfriend (1/24/19) ___________ Year Five:
  • watching Faith again, sometimes (jan/feb/march2018)
  • Reply 1988 3rd time along with Alex's 1st time (2/28/19)
  • Memories of the Alhambra, on Netflix, sometimes when the baby is asleep (3/24/19 NOTES, no spoiler)
  • Beauty Within (series, not film "The Beauty Within," but a related aspect, finished 4/2/19)
  • While You were Sleeping (4/21/19 good! worth watching again) Similarities between this and I Hear Your Voice—SPOILERS maybe
  • I Hear Your Voice (4/25/19, same writer as While You were Sleeping and Pinocchio)
  • Healer, tenth time, new subtitles (5/7/19, watched on Viki, Kocowa subtitles maybe?)
  • Sky Castle (5/13/19)
  • Secret Garden (5/30/19, fifth complete viewing)
  • I Hear Your Voice (6/6/19, second viewing; first was last month)
  • Her Private Life (6/19/19)
  • maybe I left one out here? maybe not
    Probably Hwayugi / A Korean Odyssey, which I did watch, but can't find it in the list.
    Maybe Queen for Seven Days, which I've watched but didn't list. (I went to watch it in March 2021 and it was all familiar.)
  • Hello My Twenties (season 1, 7/10/19)
  • Hello My Twenties (seasons 2, 7/14/19, Netflix)
  • Angel's Last Mission: Love (7/20/19)
  • Goblin (8/7/19, third time)
  • Mr. Sunshine (8/19/19, Netflix, 24 episodes, watched concurrently with listening to Man in the High Castle)
  • Queen In Hyeon's Man (8/26/19, second time)
  • My ID is Gangnam Beauty (9/12/19, 2nd time, to watch male lead of Rookie Historian)
  • The Heirs (second time, 9/23/19)
  • Doctor John (9/5/19)
  • Rookie Historian (10/9/19 (notes))
  • Page Turner (second time, 10/11/19)
  • Tunnel (10/21/19, watched because Steve M. liked it; good!)
  • I Remember You / Monster (second time, 11/10/19)
  • Melting Me Softly (11/21/19)
  • When the Camellia Blooms (11/29/19)
  • Vagabond (12/1/19—don't watch it again; if there's a season 2, maybe watch that)
  • Welcome2Life (12/24/19; detectives, mystery, prosecutor, lawyers, alternate timeline, pretty good)
  • Encounter / Boyfrend (1/7/20, second full time through)
  • While You were Sleeping (1/16/20, second time, and then watched the last two episodes again)
  • Five years; sixth year begins
  • Hotel del Luna (2/5/20)
  • Crash Landing on You (2/17/20)
  • Crash Landing on You (2/28/20, second time)
  • Marriage Contract (3/7/20)
  • My Holo Love (3/15/20; sweet enough, nice male lead)
  • The Bride of Habaek (Bride of the Water God)(3/23/20)
  • Itaewon Class (3/26/20)
  • Hyena (finished 4/19/20 [4/10/20, I got to the end of 14, and the last two weren't ready; started over])
  • Descendants of the Sun (second time, 5/8/20 my only complaint)
  • Personal Taste (fourth time, 5/13/20 Notes, review w/out spoilers
  • Revenge Note 1 (5/22/20)
  • Designated Survivor (6/1/20 Good characters, but irritatingly bad medical details)
  • W: Two Worlds Apart (6/8/20 third time, taking a long time; the end is way too draggy (last five episodes))
  • The King—Eternal Monarch (started 6/10, finished 6/16)
  • Misaeng: Incomplete Life (second time, 6/25/20)
  • Mystic Pop-Up Bar (7/1/20)
  • Healer (a few new subtitles at Viki—expansions, and there were new "bad words", 7/25/20 11th viewing)
  • My Unfamiliar Family (7/29/20)
  • Itaewon Class (second time, 8/7/20) one of the songs, expanded
  • It's Okay to Not Be Okay (8/12/20)
  • My Love from the Star (fourth time, 8/16/20, on viki, and extended epilogue on youtube)
  • Train (8/22/20)
  • Queen In Hyun's Man (8/29/19, third time)
  • My Shy Boss (7/7/20—slow, good)
  • Hospital Playlist (8/12/20)
  • Cheese in the Trap (9/18/20... nah)
  • The Scholar Who Walks the Night (10/1/20 ... could watch it again someday)
  • Flower of Evil (new; same lead as above, 10/9/20)
  • Memorist (10/18/20, don't watch it again)
  • Familiar Wife (10/27/20)
  • Record of Youth (11/7/20)
  • My Mister (11/23/20)
  • Alice (12/3/20) not again; too ponderous and nonsensical)
  • [maybe another one in here? Maybe just caught up on Master in the House]
  • Protect the Boss (12/26/20 REALLY GOOD)
  • Black (1/12/21 -- comedians playing serious characters humorously, but convoluted, repetitive, padded, confusing)
  • Flower Boy Next Door (1/21/21 same male lead as "Train")
  • Devilish Joy (1/30/21; liked it pretty well; has "Daniel" and Healer's teacher)

Six years; seventh year begins
  • You're All Surrounded (2/8/21)
  • The Good Detective (2/16/21)
  • Mr. Queen (2/23/21)
  • True Beauty (2/28/21)
  • Live Up to Your Name (3/12/21 very good)
  • SKY Castle (second time, 3/16/21)
  • To My Star (3/17/21 short, viki has the series version and movie)
  • Pinocchio (3/4/21, third time)
  • A Witch's Romance [A Witch's Love] (3/28/21 + liked it)
  • Gentleman's Dignity (4/3/21, and I reviewed it here, though it will only show to group members)
  • Good Manager / Chief Kim (4/11/21 notes at Alex's group)
  • The Fiery Priest (4/18/21 same screenwriter as Chief Kim)
  • Good Manager (second time, 4/29/21)
  • The Fiery Priest (second time, 5/15?)
  • Vincenzo (5/24/21; same screenwriter as the two above)
  • The Great Queen Seondeok (6/30/21, 62 episodes)
  • Backstreet Rookie [7/12/21(interrupted When The Camellia Blooms to watch it on Youtube)]
  • When the Camellia Blooms (2nd time, 7/17/21)
  • Doom at Your Service (7/28/21)
  • Pride and Prejudice (... August 2021)
  • Mouse (9/11/21)
  • Reply 1994 (10/2/21) 2nd time, not nearly as good as Reply 1988)
  • Squid Game (10/9/21—biggest show on Netflix this week)
  • Romance is a Bonus Book (10/22/21)
  • Hospital Playlist, Season 2 (11/6/21)
  • Squid Game dubbed into English (watched parts, late October, not most of it)
  • Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (11/16/21, sweet)
  • Zombie Detective (11/24, 12 episodes, "Daniel" is the zombie, it's okay; good for what it is)
  • Faith (8th time—hadn't watched it for nearly four years)
end of dramas


  • Mission Possible (rented online; spy comedy/farce; weird)
  • Parasite (in the theatre, didn't love it; saw it second time, with Brie, still didn't love it)
  • Gangnam Blues (watched as soon as it came on DramaFever; too rough, didn't like)
  • Secretly Greatly (6/29/15, watched to see the lead from My Love from Another Star, Kim Soo-Hyun. It's a bit rough, but very good)
    • watched again in early December, after "The Slingshot" to see one of the actors—Park Ki-Woong, who played the nerdy stock-market whiz.
    • Watched again to see Lee Hyun-Woo, who was one of two male leads in Moorim School.
  • A Werewolf Boy (August 2015; insubstantial and too sad)
  • Castaway on the Moon (didn't save the date, didn't like it)
  • A Man and a Woman (watched on the plane on the way back from England 9/26/16, wrote this)
  • "The Technicians," (a.k.a. Con Men), 11/20/16. It's good. Light. Heist, relationships, sneaking, printing, art, acting. Actor from Secretly Greatly and Moorim School in it.
  • Windstruck (11/30/16, with Jang Hyuk and Jun Ji-hyun, 2004) This has Jang Hyuk as an Arlo-Guthrie hippie, and a knight in armor, in fantasy scenes.
  • The Beauty Inside (2/9/17) worth watching again! Joyce recommended it; it's on Netflix.
  • Late Autumn (1/12/18), mostly English, commented here
  • The Piper (5/26/18 village, post-war, mystery, creepy, rats, don't watch it)
  • Always (Ji Sub, physical fist fight, tooo much)
This page was supposed to be a place for me to count how many shows I had watched, but there's a problem. I'm listing re-watchings. :-) And some things are movies, not dramas. And Late Night Restaurant is a bunch of short stories, not one long one. One Sunny Day is an odd very-short drama and shouldn't count. So it's a record of what order I've watched things in, I guess.
As of late August, 2015 over two dozen dramas and two movies.
End of December, 2015, I had finished 40 (nearly 41), and three movies.
Counted again February 8, 2017 (second anniversary), 75 dramas and seven movies.