The Best of… 2015

2014 ATA logoVector Smart Object

All these end of year Drama Awards from MBC, KBS and SBS and famed Dramabeans have inspired me to make one up myself. I thought it will be fun, even though I did not anticipate it will take me hours to compile my own list of winners, and put up pretty images to go with it. The hardest, of course, is no doubt writing about it. That said, I tried my best, with the pathetic list of dramas I saw this year, and gave them all a recognition of my own.

Here goes nothing…

BEST DRAMA

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Answer Me 1988

The reason of choosing Answer Me 1988 is simple: it made me laugh, cry, nostalgic and missing my family. Healer may have kicked us off with a good new year—excellent mixture and balancely written in-depth and interesting characters with romance and politics; but Answer Me is the winner for its simplicity, stable and consistent writing. Although I would do less with the parents yelling at one another, but there are no major flaws, or time-constraint leading to the imperfection of story-telling (so far), in which both Healer and I Remember You are guilty of.

Runners Up:
I Remember You
Healer

BEST COMEDY

She Was Pretty

No doubt it had to be this. I hadn’t laughed out loud so hard watching anything until this one came along. A lot of its credit goes to Hwang Jung Eum and Siwon. The show continues to deliver strong funny scenes for the first half of the show, although the comedy took a backseat to allow more serious story-telling later on, it did not lose it’s fun or funny bits whenever the show can squeeze some in. A lot of the funsy must also be credited to the marvelous background music; without it, the scenes would not have been so quirky and hilarious.

Runners Up:
Oh! My Ghostess
Answer Me 1988

BEST SCRIPT

I Remember You

Can all crime-mystery-psychopath dramas or movies be this good and intelligent? I love how the writer fleshes out the villains’ characters; not only s/he is telling the story from the good guys’ point of views, s/he also presented us plausible reasons of the commited crimes from the killers’ point of views. A lot of shows only aimed at delivering the thrills, but the killers’ motif were never properly narrated, or even focused on. What is most interesting about this show is—we get to unearth the reason(s) behind the killings, understand the criminal minds, and relate to them (if we want to). I like that the show also explore the idea that we all have a monster living inside us. That It is our choice, whether or not, we succumb to this monster; it is in which what makes us different to these villains in the show. In conclusion, if South Korea can abolished that dreadful live-shooting system, I Remember You would have been a perfect 10/10.

Runners Up:
Healer

MOST DISAPPOINTING DRAMA

Yong Pal

The show started off fast pace, of Joo Won fighting against time to cure his patients, or running away from the thuds or cops. It was engaging, and the medical part is considered entertaining. But then the pace slows down tremendously once he gets promoted to the…13th floor. He stops saving people, or perform operation. Interest level 📉 immediately. It was soooo promising in the beginning, but how, how can it just plunged all the way down once Kim Tae Hee awakes? Joo Won and Kim Tae Hee’s loveline was a big mess, for their loveline were not given proper length of time to develop. In a span of two episodes, and few chit-chats, viewers are informed Joo Win is head over heels with Kim Tae Hee… what do you take the viewers for, writer?

Runners Up:
The Time We Were Not in Love
Scholar Who Walks the Night

I had trouble picking which of the 3 dramas are the biggest disappointment. It ended with Yong Pal, because few episodes in, the show was still entertaining and promising; unlike the Runners Up, where by episode 2-3, I knew they were going to be disaster in the make. But honestly, which is the bigger offender?—The more promising ones that later fail miserably, or the one that failed from the beginning and should not have been made in the first place?

BEST ACTOR

Ji Sung, Kill Me Heal Me

The title had to go to Ji Sung, even though it was tough to cross off Ji Chang Wook, whom I think delivers an impressive and powerful performance for Healer. However, character(s)-wise, tackling on 7 personalities is no easy task, and Ji Sung did it splendidly, and seemingly without any hardship, especially joining the production team so much later in the filming stage. Besides, we can’t discredit the sacrifice he made in portraying Yoona; thus, he deserves some recognition, in which I hope he will win a Daesang in MBC Drama Awards tonight.

Runners Up:
Ji Chang Wook, Healer
Jo Jung Suk, Oh! My Ghostess

BEST ACTRESS

Park Bo Young, Oh! My Ghostess

It was such a pleasure to watch Park Bo Young on TV each week, and it isn’t just Jo Jung Suk that could not resist her cute charm, even as a girl, I could not too. There is just something very special about her that one cannot take their eyes off of her on-screen. What is impressive is, there is no hiccup in the transition of timid Bong Sun to bubbly Soon Ae, and notably it matches with Kim Seul Gi’s version, too. She completely owned the two characters. Being so young, she’s so full of energy in her performances, and so damn good at acting. She is the kind of actress I wish all other actresses are like in all dramas; and one worth of mention is, it is her first time doing romantic scenes in Oh! My Ghostess, but she shows no inexperience or flaws like other actresses do. Everything she does, she does it at ease, and naturally. Bravo, my ultimate Top Leading Lady.

Runners Up:
Kim So Hyun, School 2015: Who Are You?
Park Min Young, Healer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Park Seo Joon, Kill Me Heal Me

There are strong contenders for this category, but to me, the one soul that deserves a mention is Park Seo Joon‘s Oh Ri On. Other than being the best in supporting role, he is also the Best Oppa in the whole wide world. As much as I enjoy watching Ji Sung morphing into 7 different people, it was Ri On’s existent that kept me afloat, and not get too sucked in no the melodramatic part, which I hate. The show got a little too emotionally heavy for my liking in the latter stage, so Ri On kept me sane and normal, like he provides emotional support for Ri Jin. I love him for his sacrifices. I love him for his selflessness. I love him for just being there: as a friend, a brother, a lover, and a family for Ri Jin. I also love watching him squeal when Yoona glomped him, LOL.

Runners Up:
Yoo Ji Tae, Healer
Choi Siwon, She Was Pretty
Park Bo Gum, I Remember You
Choi Won Young, I Remember You

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kim Seul Gi, Oh! My Ghostess

Kim Seul Gi is a gorgeous, cute girl who proves herself to be a leading lady material all on her own in Oh! My Ghostess. She will definitely be the most unforgettable ghost to date (Haha), and more impressively, acting alongside Park Bo Young, she stood on her own ground, neither gets outshine by Bo Young, nor steals Bo Young’s limelight. They were equally interesting to watch, and are unique to their own performance.

Runners Up:
Ra Mi Ran, Answer Me 1988
Hwang Suk Jung, She Was Pretty

Kim Mee Kyung, HealerIU, The Producer

BREAKTHROGUH PERFORMANCE

Park Bo Gum, I Remember You

I have so much trouble trying to pick the best image for this. It is all because Lawyer Jang Sun Ho / Lee Min is a faceted character who has many different faces and expressions. Looking through my collection, I was stumped—I didn’t know whether I should show an image of the evil smirk, or that innocent face attempting a weak protest against his brother’s love; or just that little brother is in pain and hurt look.

Park Bo Gum really shone through this year by taking on the challenge to play Min. He isn’t new, yet isn’t very experience in acting, but I am continuously at awe at the layers and depths he brought on in his performances so far, particularly in I Remember You and Answer Me 1988.

Runners Up:
Kim Seul Gi, Oh! My Ghostess
Jo Soo Hyang, School 2015: Who Are You?

Ji Soo, Angry Mom

 

BEST CHARACTER & SIDEKICK

Kim Mi Kyung, Healer

Healer going undercover, or harbouring 7 personalities may be challenging to play; however, no one is as memorable as Kim Mi Kyung‘s rendition of Hacker Ahjumma. No 50 years old female can be this spunky, this high-tech, this cool and awesome as this Ahjumma. At such an age, it tends to be difficult getting interesting roles to portray in dramaland, but under the pen of writer Song Ji Na, nothing is impossible. As sidekick, she is a mentor, an advisor, ears and eyes of Healer. Without her, Healer is a nobody.

Runners Up:
Healer / Park Bong Soo, Healer
Oh Ri On, Kill Me Heal Me

BEST VILLAIN

Choi Won Young, I Remember You

Before I Remember You, my image of Choi Won Young is Kang Min Hyuk’s father who kissed Kim Ji Won’s mother in The Heirs. Not a great image eh? —and sure isn’t the best role to showcase his acting capabilities. At least not until I saw him in this drama. He plays a forensic examiner and an overly friendly neighbour to Hyun at first. But slowly, when more is revealed, he became more than just those mentioned above. His character was hinted to be evil very early on, no mystery there, but he was unreadable, both minds and motif—which makes him so captivating to watch, and want more. His character is also many more things all together: the smartest psychopath, a genius perhaps; a caring ahjussi to Min, and in some ways, a mentor to Hyun.

Worth Mentioning: That little tilting of his head to one side, OMG, how eerie.

Runners Up:
Jo Soo Hyang, School 2015: Who Are You?
Kim Tae Hoon, Angry Mom
Jung Kyu Soo, Healer

BEST BROMANCE

Seo In Guk & Park Bo Gum, I Remember You

I did not have to think hard to pick this one, because it just naturally had to be them. Their little counterparts were just as cute, and are the mirror-image of the Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum. Heh.

I Remember You under the microscope is so many things all together, including the tale of the lost brothers, who in the end, found their way back to each other. But sadly, their relationship and happiness were greatly damaged by the monster Hyun unintentionally invited. It’s compelling to watch Min tries every which way to get Hyun to recognise him, and when he finally does, their little reunion is so gut-wrenching, yet satisfying.

Runners Up:
Park Bo Gum & Go Kyung Pyo, Answer Me 1988
Park Seo Joon & Choi Siwon, She Was Pretty

BEST SISMANCE

The 3 Ahjumma, Answer Me 1988

They take care of each other’s kids and family. They laugh, cry and hang out together 24/7. They care and stuck up with one another through thicks and thins. They lend their ears for rant when need be, they lend a hand, cook a generous meal for all neighbourhood, they speak the truth because they love one another. No girlfriends are as great as theirs.

BEST ROMANCE

It’s a tie!

Ji Chang Wook & Park Min Young, Healer

I hate to say it, but these two are soulmates. Separated when young, but their bonds are so strong that their broken souls find their way back to one another. It’s other worldly, but I do love the interpretation of the existence of such strong bonds by Song Ji Na. I love the nuance, and the use of touch as communication she incorporated into the Healer couple. It is an enjoyment to watch Jung Hoo and Young Shin‘s relationship develop and heal each other, kudos to Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young working hard in creating that natural chemistry between the characters; and nothing is more exciting than watching the lovebirds go head-on against the villains whilst dating on the side-lines.

Park Seo Joon & Hwang Jung Eum, She Was Pretty

Sung Joon and Hye Jin are not soulmates, but they are best of friends turn lovers. They are very different to Healer couple, but similarly, they also find their way back to one another in the show, although this one is led by the heart, not the unforeseen forces from the universe. The Onion Couple is adorably cute and funny when in love, which is why I love them—they make me smile or giggle happily every time I tune in to She Was Pretty.

Runners Up:
Park Seo Joon and Ji Sung, Kill Me Heal Me
Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk, Oh! My Ghostess

BEST PRANKSTER

Kim Soo Hyun, The Producer

Pffffttt. We can’t leave this little devilish prankster out, can we? Little introduction is required for Baek Seung Chan, the little maknae who works at KBS in The Producer. He doesn’t dare to defy his sunbae-nim, so he beats around the bush with tiny revenges he so innocently planted on them. So childish. But so funny.

Runners Up:
Ji Sung as Yoona, Kill Me Heal Me
Choi Siwon, She Was Pretty

For Best Kiss Scenes 2015, move to LINK.

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