The Fangirl’s End of Year Countdown – Best Dramas of 2017

We are so close to the end! Our second to last End of Year review is one everyone is curious about. Namely our favorite dramas of 2017. So come join us as we count ours down and see if our list matches yours.


Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People –  This drama just made my heart soar when I watched it.  We also had some great bad guys who you loved to hate and everyone got what they deserved in the end (both good guy and bad.)  It is rare that you find such a satisfying historical ending.

Tribes and Empires – I know that this one is still ongoing, but we are already half way through and any show that brings my feral grassland hottie into existence deserves to be on my top drama list. #TeamGrassland4Life

Queen for Seven Days – This drama made me care for the characters (both young and older versions) and exploded with sizzling chemistry.  It is one of those must watch dramas that I think was a sleeper hit.  If you have not watched it yet, than there is no time like today to start.


Weightlifting Fairy-this was an underdog drama that totally kept me on my seat the whole time.  We had some off the charts good chemistry between the OTP, awesome friends, and believable obstacles.


Weightlifting Fairy- I second CLKYTTA’s choice. Technically, this drama started in 2016, but it ended in January of this year, so it totally counts. Our heroine’s a chubby (by Korean standards, but in America we just roll our eyes at her normal, healthy size) weightlifter, and our hero is the hot, swimming jock who literally starts skipping for joy when he sees her. Seriously, the way he lights up whenever she’s around is a beautiful thing. Squeeful chemistry and supportive, quirky friends made this drama a must watch. And it was underscored by a sweetly, poignant soundtrack. I give you the lyrics of the song “Dreaming” to illustrate my point:

I’m dreaming, I hope there will be green days ahead
Even if cold wind blows over to us
I’m dreaming, I hope there will be more smiling days
Than days wet with tears

I think this slightly bitersweet, but ultimately optimistic vibe left my face wet with tears as the final credits rolled. Bok Joo and Joon Hyeong stood strong together, ready to face whatever comes, and they left me with a grateful, drama-warmed heart. Swag!


Forest of Secrets- The acting is amazing and there is so much plot detail that fits together throughout the show. It begins with a prosecutor walking in on a murder scene, which leads him to uncover a whole trail of crimes. He collects a Scooby Gang and they follow through that tangle of cases. It’s a very exciting show; it grabs you from the first episode and you ride that tidal wave through to the end.

Chicago Typewriter- I saw a few episodes and dropped it. When i picked it up again I binged the rest in two days. It had gotten to the part set in the 1930s and it suddenly just became really good! It is more than a story of modern-day people who start remembering their past lives. Characters are betrayed by family members or abandoned as children. Koreans betray their country and support the Japanese invaders. The old 1930s Chicago gangster-era vibe is the best part of the show, and it sweeps you along into the modern era with the characters  who are trying to find out what happened in the past.

Karie the Maknae 

If we’re counting Goblin, then it’s Goblin for me all the way. It was my introduction to kdramas and is my permanent addiction — I’ve watched it five times through so far, and I have no plans to give it up. The hilarious bromance between Reaper and Goblin, Eun Tak’s sunny optimism in spite of EVERYTHING, Sunny’s hair flip and whip-smart insights–I love this ensemble the most. I recommend it all the time.


Drama Geek

Picking the best dramas of the year is always hard. Many make my heart flutter while they air,  but then fade away after a few months. Which is why the dramas that air closer to the end of the year dramas tend to get a lot of the attention. Or like last year, Goblin hadn’t completed its run when we did our posts and so I couldn’t put it on my list, but now most readers don’t really think of it as a 2017 drama. It stole my heart and has stayed with me, but I will leave it off my list. I think staying power is important, but  dramas that thought outside the box deserve to get a lot of love too. Especially in a drama landscape full of very similar setups. And, of course, we have the swoon factor to take into account.

Father is Strange-  (swoon factor + staying power) I have never watched a weekend drama and held out for a pretty long time even after the fangirls were constantly babbling about how good it was. 52 episodes that spans over 6 months is a long commitment. I joined in after almost half the drama aired so it didn’t drag out that long. My favorite dynamic of this drama was the family. I grew up in a family with seven children so the sibling relationships really spoke to me.  I also loved how much attention was given to the wonderful relationship between the parents. They already had four love lines with the kids, but the longer episode count made time to highlight an older committed relationship that was super delightful. I’m not sure I’ll watch that many weekend dramas (too many MIL situations for my taste) but I will be on the lookout for gems like this one.

Circle-(out of the Kdrama box) Kdramas and sci-fi do not go hand in hand. Thankfully, for this geektastic fangirl this show did not disappoint. They focused more on the technology aspect and not so much on the alien side, and I think its what helped them create a tight sci-fi story that didn’t seem hokey. The format was also innovative where they split the hour into thirty minutes in the present day timeline and thirty minutes in the future. The actors in this put forth some great performances and I look forward to what this writer might have in store for us next.

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People-(swoon factor and staying power) This drama had my heart from the first episode. The tale of Hong Gil Dong branched out to so many people that it is hard to separate my love for all of them. The cinematography, the music, a whole cast of characters that you either loved, or loved to hate. The styling and wardrobe for Lee Honey was breathtaking. So many memorable performances were given. It is probably my favorite historical drama to date.

So many great dramas mentioned this year.  Did your favorite make the cut?  Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out all our previous END OF YEAR REVIEWS.

Til next time,

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “The Fangirl’s End of Year Countdown – Best Dramas of 2017

  1. Weightlifting Fairy, Best Hit, Live Up to your Name,
    Secret Forest, Defendant
    Father is Strange, My Golden Life
    Go Back Couple,Because This is my First Life, 20th Century Boy and Girl
    Rebel: Who Stole the People
    Best OTP: Park Hyung Sik and Park Bo Young
    Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyun
    Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong

  2. I love these kinds of posts because they make me go and review my MDL currently watching show list. I came to the realization that I haven’t finished anything Korean from 2017.

    I already know that Money Flower will be on that Best Of list but not until 2018. Upon quick review, my highest rated 2017 MDL shows are General and I at 8 (which is totally based on how much I loved the novel it was based on and the fact that I can go and rewatch the sad parts – my faves! – over and over), and then a three-way tie for 7 with three Thai shows.

    With these three, I might even rate the Thai version of Fated to Love You, You are my Destiny, even higher but I’m letting that settle in my head first. The other two are La Ong Dao (a period-style remake with a beautiful theme song) and Kluen Cheewit which is a horrible, modern day style slap-kiss with a totally believable OTP and a satisfying ending. If you can handle emotional and physical abuse in a show, Kluen Cheewit was a tight production with excellent acting.

    Maybe I’ll bring myself to do some “End of the Year” watching to bring my completed list up to speed.

    Happy Holidays!

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