Kmuse’s Musings: Down With Romance

Unless you are hiding under a rock, you are aware it is Valentines Day tomorrow and have been bombarded by hearts, khotties, and sweet romance in all its many forms.  So I decided to go in a different direction and make a list of kdramas that are decidedly unromantic.  These are the ones to avoid if you are looking for a good OTP, or in some cases, are better just avoided altogether.

 The Devil

I really enjoyed this drama, in a revenge suspense, kind of way.  However, if you were looking for any kind of romance you will be sorely disappointed.  The story teases a romantic possibility in the first half, but by the second, the leading lady is simply there to help move the plot along.  Literally a plot device, since she is a psychic who can see things when she touches people or items so the only time they tug her into the show is when a character needs to “discover” something.  I guess that the whole, I know your darkest secret anytime I touch you, can be a turn-off.

A New Leaf

I was so excited for this drama to air.  Girl meets jerk lawyer.  Jerk Lawyer loses memory.  Jerk lawyer becomes a better person and girl falls in love with the new and improved lawyer. Sounds simple right?  WRONG.  It begins really well.  The cute main girl  meets our Khottie while drunk which results in her spending the night with leading man.  Turns out that our leading man is one of the bosses at her new workplace and when he loses his memory, our leading lady is put in charge of keeping his secret.  They have a few moments of cute banter and she even moves into the apartment next door….and then nothing.  The show literally loses any bit of romantic hijinks and turns into such a lump of vanilla. I sometimes had to watch an episode multiple times since I kept falling asleep.  If you are looking for romance, just turn away from this drama since the only thing it is good for is as a sleep aid.

When A Man Loves

If you are looking for a drama that has a 100% dysfunctional romance storyline that results in you hating all three of the leads after 20 hours wasted…well, then this is the drama for you.  It has a pretty good premise.  Gangster meets poor girl (in her teens) who inspires him to go legit.  Ex-Gangster pays poor girl’s way through college.  Poor girl meets sweet 2nd lead at exotic vacation destination and he falls in love.  Poor girl begins working for Gangster, hooks up with Gangster, and has the usual romantic ups and downs.  Then Poor Girl passionately makes out (one of the worst make out scenes ever) with 2nd lead in the bedroom of the Gangster.  Things just go downhill from there.  By the end, you don’t want either man to end up with the leading girl.  Or really with anyone……ever…….they all should just buy a bunch of cats and become spinsters.  It is the only thing that will make wasting those 20 hrs worth it.


The cast for this drama was so pretty and the cinematography was just so, well, pretty.  Unfortunately all the pretty in South Korea could not make this mess of a script worth watching.  Lee Elliya had the same amount of personality as a mannequin and should avoid historical scripts, or really anything that requires her to emote, at all costs.  She was such a turnoff that we viewers were left with a total disconnect to any of the romance.  It maybe would have still been worth watching with a strong focus on the basketball aspect, but that also fell apart.  What we are left with is just a drama that is, well, lacking. 

Endless Love

If it was physically possible to reach into the computer and smack the back of every writer, director, and actor’s head that had anything to do with this drama, then I would. This drama should have been called simply “Endless” because it had nothing to do with love and it went on and on and on.  The worst part is that it kept teasing that something would be happening and by the time I realized that no love was going to take place, I was already a good 30 episodes in.  By that time I finished just to give it a low score on MDL (my drama list) and I remain cranky about it to this day.

The Royal Gambler

This is one of those dramas that botched the romance right off the bat.  I wasn’t ever sure who the writer actually wanted the leading lady to end up with.  It didn’t help that the leading lady’s personality and character development roamed all over the place and rarely made any sense.  If you want talented actors attempting to make a bromance work than you might like this drama.   But if you are watching it for the romance you might as well call it a dud from the get go.  There is no romance for these royal brothers.

The Entertainer


Ji Sung and Hyeri didn’t have an ounce of compatibility with their styles of acting.  This OTP was doomed to be a dud from the moment of casting and the actual drama didn’t prove me wrong.  Save your time and watch literally any other Ji Sung drama and you will be much more satisfied.

There you have it. The top of the top dramas that lack all sense of romance.  What do you think?  Did I miss any?  I thankfully have put these behind me and I hope that by warning you all, you can avoid the good 100 hours of crankiness that I was forced to go through.

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Til next time,


**This is a previous post I published on a different blog a few years ago.  It has been cleaned up and updated.


0 thoughts on “Kmuse’s Musings: Down With Romance

  1. Other romantic misfires: Madame Antoine, Hyde Jekyll & I, Divorce Lawyer in Love, I Order You, Yong Pal. One quibble: Valentines Day is February 14, White Day is March 14.

    • Yes! Madame Antoine was terrible. Ugh And Yong Pal was so bad I couldn’t even finish it. I wanted to love them but No. I loved both the original Maou and The Devil though but yeah no romance in either one.

  2. I watched Daebak & Entertainer – I liked both up to a point. Daebak, well, no romance. Just a historical suspense & decent acting. Entertainer – I’m GLAD the Ji Sung/Hyeri thing never got off the ground cause it made me cringe. But leaving that aside the rest of the story was fine.
    Now, The Devil…. This is a GREAT piece of television. Shin Min Ah (the psychic) basically is the glue holding the story together & giving the viewer perspective. I truly loved this, great suspense, good mystery & revenge plot, intelligent ending. But yep, no romance. Which BTW is fine. I like a variety of types of stories.

  3. I agree about the entertimer I kept waiting for the second least to get the girl but sadly that didn’t happen.
    Add phantom detective to the list to hot men in one body but no real romance

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