When it comes to Korean dramas, I usually watch light hearted, teen romantic comedies, but in 2012 I decided to branch out and watch other genres (because I was running out of school dramas to watch!). Here are the three dramas that I felt had story lines that were mind-bogglingly amazing, despite the little romance involved. Though I mainly watch light hearted romcoms, I found these three complex dramas to be entertaining and intriguing.
49 Days (2011)
This drama is about a young woman who has it all: wealth (meaning she doesn't work), two best friends, a supportive family and her dream fiancé of whom she met in a coincidental, charming way. Yet an unexpected accident lands her into a coma. In a world of the afterlife, a scheduler, played by Jung Il Woo, gives her 49 days to find three people outside of her family to cry genuine tears for her, all while living in the real world as a depressed convenient store cashier.
The storyline of 49 Days is so unique and complex. Even though this drama is considered a fantasy, the ideas behind it are believable and not once did i stop and doubt or question the rules of the Scheduler. The romance is so subtle in this drama, making every interaction in the relationships even more meaningful. I always have trouble predicting even the most obvious endings, but this drama really did have a twist! I was surprised and had no idea how the 49 days journey would end.
The Moon that Embraces the Sun (2012)
This drama is about a crown prince (Kim Soo Hyun) who chooses the crown princess, Heo Yeon Woo, he was destined for. Yet many others want another girl as the crown princess, and go as far as faking Yeon Woo's death. Yeon Woo doesn't recall her life as a crown princess and is raised as a shaman from here on. Several years later Yeon Woo comes back to the royal palace as the king's shaman with no recollection of her past. The present king (Kim Soo Hyun) believes his shaman is his dead crown princess and does everything he can to give his princess her rightful place.
I first watched Kim Soo Hyun in Dream High, but it wasn't until I watched Moon Embracing Sun that I really saw Soo Hyun's talents for emotional acting and moving an audience. Playing the role of such a manly king who would do anything to regain his rightful queen showed me why people call Soo Hyun such a flower boy. Besides the acting and romance, the story line is also impeccable and borderline fantasy, yet still believable. I am not a fan of historical dramas, yet this drama is outstanding in every aspect. I must admit that this drama did take some time for me to get into it (the first five episodes are of a younger cast), and there are slow political/governmental scenes throughout the drama, but it is all bearable and worth it for the development of the initial story line.
Nice Guy (2012)
This drama stars Song Joong Ki as Kang Ma Roo, who has revolved his life solely on revenge. His childhood girlfriend Han Jae Hee, leaves Ma Roo to be the mistress of a conglomerate. Ma Roo decides to take revenge on Jae Hee by dating her new step-daughter, Suh Eun Gee.
I am on episode 18 out of 20, and I am speechless! Each episode added an unexpected twist to Kang Ma Roo's relationships with Suh Eun Gee and Han Jae Hee, always leaving me wanting to watch the next episode. This is going to sound very shallow, but I have never seen such a good kissing scene (I should clarify, there were multiple scenes) in all of my two years of drama watching. Song Joong Ki is...breathtaking.
For anyone looking for complex dramas that make you think, or romance dramas that shy away from the teen schoolgirl genre, I highly recommend these three dramas!