Are you sitting at your computer thinking that you have nothing to watch? If you are a drama addict, probably not, since there is always new shows to check out. But maybe, just maybe, you want to see something that isn’t on the normal top drama lists. If so, you have come to the right blogpost! Join Clkytta and Kmuse as they give you their secret list of underrated must watch drama gems. (Originally posted in April 2016)
Kang Goo’s Story
I found this one on a rainy day and fell in love. I love a good underdog story, I’ve probably mentioned that a time or two, or twenty. This is a story built on layers, lots of subtle layers. Kyung Tae is a man with a past who suddenly arrives in Kang Goo’s town and begins to form an attachment to Kang Goo and his mother. This is not necessarily a romance, there is romance, but it’s more about family and the promises we make.
This one may not be a hidden gem, it just wasn’t originally on my radar because it was a Tiawanese drama. Jiro Wang is a mail order boyfriend, but there’s a twist, he’s also a robot! This drama made me laugh, roll my eyes and even cry. It’s based on a manga, and I typically enjoy dramas based on mangas.
Late Night Restaurant
This was probably the best hidden gem of them all. It’s kind of like a Korean Cheers, with your loyal bartender and regular bar patrons. The premise is that this restaurant is open only at night, so you get people from all walks of life coming in throughout the night. There is no menu, so people order what they are in the mood for and if he has the supplies, he will make it. The stories are all entwined and they are based on certain dishes of food that bring forth a memory for the person ordering it. I’m really hoping for a Season 2 for this one.
I’m Going to admit that this is a guilty pleasure drama for me. A fake family is created when a little girl develops amnesia after a tragic accident. This ragtag family is pieced together from people literally pulled off the street and there is a lot of friction. As time passes they grow closer and become a real family. Think Annie, only backwards, the orphan is the rich one who changes the lives of the people who take care of her.
Boss & Me (Shan Shan Comes to Eat)- It goes by both names if you are searching for subs on various sites.
I know, you might be screaming, “This isn’t a kdrama!”. But good TV is good TV and if you are at all interested (or even if you are not……….trust me, you will love this) in trying out a mainland China rom-com than this is it. It has a sweet plucky heroine and a kind understanding non-jerk chaebol. And get this, there is almost little to no angst and it still rocks. I have
forced encouraged all my kbesties to watch and they all loved it. Hopefully, you will too.
As you can probably guess from the picture, this drama is a bit older than most dramas that are suggested. There also might be some effort involved when hunting subs (if you have problems, just IM me and I will share some links). This drama has some of my favorite tropes! Forced cohabitation, noona romance, and dramatic makeovers all combine to make this a great rom-com. Perfect for the person who thinks they have seen it all.
Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy
This is actually a series of 3 Japanese movies, but you won’t even notice that it is not in drama format once you start. This is the story of a warrior who is trying to give up fighting and wanders the countryside, but he must rejoin the world to protect the innocent he meets on his journey. Rurouni Kenshin is 6 hours of amazing action scenes and a great plot. I highly suggest you give these movies a chance. They are also perfect for getting guys to watch along with you. They will love the action, and you can enjoy the action and the Jhotties. It’s a win-win.
I am not even going to bother giving the synopsis since it really sucks and doesn’t at all explain the depth of what this drama is about. If I only had a dollar for every person who said they passed on this drama because of the boring synopsis, I would have enough money to buy a foam bat and hit them with it. This drama is AWESOME! It has characters (from the leads to the lowliest thug) who are well developed, an engaging Ocean 11 style story, and great action scenes. I would even say that quality wise, this drama might beat our Heartless City as my favorite Noir drama and is a must watch. So ignore the description and just go hit play. I guarantee that by episode three you will be hooked.
Thanks for joining us as we shared some of our favorite dramas with you. If we didn’t give anything that fits your taste, feel free to ask us in the comments for suggestions that fit your preference. I love going through my list and finding the perfect show for the viewer.
Til next time,
4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Hidden Gems in Dramaland (April 2016)”
Thanks for this posting. I haven’t gotten into any of the March dramas, so a look back any any I have missed is just what I needed. I’ll try Snow White – some of these older ones are real gems. BTW, one of my all time faves and one that my husband really enjoyed was LAST and Bad Family was a hoot. Good to get these out there again and on kdrama watch lists.
The original version of Late Night Restaurant is the Japanese Midnight Diner which on Netflix. That being said, Late Night Restaurant was excellent and so is the original.
I’ve only seen Kang Goo’s Story from this list, and it is definitely a hidden gem of a mini drama. Such an emotional story!
I originally skipped Absolute Boyfriend because of Ku Hye-sun, but decided to check it for Jiro Wang. I ended up really liking the drama even though I still don’t like Ku Hye-sun as an actress. Jiro was so endearing and charming as the robot boyfriend. I cried buckets watching the finale.
For Jiro Wang’s dramas, I also liked Fabulous Boys from 2013. I liked this adaptation more than the K-drama version You’re Beautiful. His supernatural fantasy drama Rakshasa Street (2017) was also fun with a great story. Subbed episodes are available on YouTube (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZZZLpfFwcBqm_34dSPWSFFi5S02hTMWg) and Viki.
Boss and Me was one of those dramas all my friends loved and I couldn’t finish. It is Gu Man’s weakest novel IMO and the added filler did not help the story at all. And Zhang Han was absolutely terrible as Feng Teng. This Chinese reviewer did a great job outlining how bad he was in this YouTube clip, https://youtu.be/35txvxYSmrY (with English subtitles), comparing him to a JPEG while Zhao Liying is a GIF. LOL. Denny Huang was a much better Feng Teng in his Love O2O cameo.