Part of my recently created Korean Dramas 2012 list composed by The Good, The Bad and The Best Of kdramas of 2012 are also these. The Out of Date ones. They are dramas I watched in 2012 that were not aired in that year.
Looking at this now, I realize it could also be named 'The Lee Beom Soo Drama Appreciation List'. I watched all of these because of him. 'IRIS' included. Surprisingly, I did not regret watching any of them, which just makes his role in 'Dr. Jin' even more painful. The first time a drama of his sucked (as fun as it was to watch).
The first drama bellow, the fantastic 'Giant' is also among my Best Of for this year. And its own year. And in general.
Let's get to it then. The Out of Date dramas viewed in 2012, by yours truly.
Click on the titles for more info.
I hate melo and its buddy makjang. I do. I cannot be moved by melo, because it is usually overdone, riddled with cliches and mechanisms built to force the audience to tears and tuning in next time (thus becoming makjang). I also don't like the premises of most, the overdose of evil mother in laws, birth secrets and such. So you can be sure that I wouldn't stand 60 episodes of it.
I did start 'Giant' because of the team behind it and because the premise sounded more dire than "my mother in law hates me". I was hooked from episode 1. While it does have melodrama and it's not entirely free of cliches, the talented team manage to present them in a much less facepalm-inducing way than usual. The villain is a villain. He's a murderer and trying to take over the country, piece by piece. His actions messed up an entire family and the children of that family want him stopped.
Yes, he is handsome. Yes, you will hate his guts.
The fact that this was about the corporate world and politics as well as a revenge story was what got me so hooked. I can't take family turmoil or romartyr (romantic martyr or Noble Idiocy) loves seriously, because of the way they are done (too soapy), so the fact that the romance and domestic issues weren't that much of a focus here was another plus for me.
'Giant' took me through such a thrilling, painful and ultimately cathartic journey that I watched it twice, with pleasure. A truly great production team, excellent cast and well-developed story that did not run on repetition and cliches alone made this dramatic without making it feel like a soap-opera. This is definitely a favorite of mine.
The short review for that can be found here.
I have been clear about this on numerous occasions. Ever since I read an article about the writer, Kim Eun Sook and her take on pre-produced series (in short: she won't do it to keep up with trends), I really dislike her. I have lost all interest in her work. I'm sorry, but if you're fine with people suffering just because you like ratings instead of telling stories and don't want to displease trend-crazy netizens, you're not a writer or an artist, you're a businesswoman.
That said, I watched this for Lee Beom Soo. It had its boring parts and I can't say it's one of the best series I've seen, but it did shed some light on what goes on when filming dramas. And yes, it is sad that the woman who wrote about how grueling and hard a process it is for all involved is now defending how things are done. It's an interesting watch and I think it's worth checking out, if you're interested in the industry. There's some romance too.
Surgeon Bong Dal Hee
A pleasant surprise. I was expecting a lot of crying and death and crying and more death. However, this went for a less melo approach than I was expecting. It also wasn't purely a career drama. It had a nice mix of everything and romance too. Also, finally a series where cancer has a place and is used well. For all its illnesses and ups and downs, it's quite a light, entertaining drama.
You will get the 'Dr. Jin' vibe from Miss Bong for a while, in the sense that she is butchering medicine, but at least she is supposed to be starting out as a useless rookie. It's intentional and does get her scolded from those around her. Quite a nice cast, good overall story and nice characters one can connect with. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it's quite a pleasant watch. Well, as pleasant as a series about hospitals and the sick and dying can be.