Tag Archives: ivy chen

End of Year Drama Review – 2012

31 Dec

Another year down and another end of year post – Thanks for everyone that dropped by and read our fangirling, ranting and rambles this year. We thought this post would be short and sweet but by the time we had gathered all of our thoughts on 2012’s drama offerings we had somehow created this mega drama post that sort of took on a life of it’s own, so we hope you enjoy it and of course, please feel free to add your own thoughts, it’s always more fun with company!

2012 reveiw banner

2012 was a really busy year for us. We didn’t watch as much as we wanted and certainly didn’t blog as often as we wish we could. Which is a shame because we adore nothing more than sitting down and fangirling our way through dramas. Having less time to dedicate to our habit and becoming more picky over the years has meant that we have physically watched fewer dramas this year and have found that we have shelved more dramas than ever before.

This years offerings have been a lovely combination of the good, the bad and the dramas you wish you could erase from your memory. With cable dramas holding their hold and giving the mainstream networks a run for their money, we’re pleased with the vast number of options we’ve had this year as well as a positive shift towards dramas pushing the boundaries in terms of genres and plots on offer, which is always a good thing in our book. With two of our favorite dramas of 2012 coming from cable networks, we certainly look forward to see what they can offer us next year, so come on cable give us some goodies in 2013!

Below is our list of noteworthy dramas we’ve assembled from everything we’ve seen and shelved in 2012.

Completed dramas in 2012:

Korean dramas:

Answer Me 1997 – The jewel in our 2012 drama crown

Despite completing this drama very recently it still finished off the year as our favourite drama of 2012.

For us Answer Me 1997 felt like it was made with so much love. The writing is heartfelt, seamless and by the time it ended we knew we had finished something special. Something that would stay with us for a very long time. As drama viewers we watch plenty of dramas throughout the year all in anticipation that it will be ‘the one’ and guess what folks, Answer Me 1997 is it!

Funny, romantic, sweet and old school in the best way possible. Watch it, you will love it.

Wild Romance – the prize for the worst hair cut goes to….

Okay, this drama was all over the place. At first it was pee your pants hilarious. It was wacky, zany and so much fun to watch. We didn’t know that Lee Dong Wook was capable of being so funny and more importantly who knew that he could work a porno moustache but he did! Sadly, the drama took a dark, moody twist where the lead lost her spunk and became all needy and pathetic and the story went from silly fun to downright creepy with a crazy stalker.

The genre change gave us a little whiplash but despite that, the drama is well worth checking out especially if you’re a Lee Dong Wook fan.

Me too, flower – Our messy pick of the year

Technically this drama was a mess. The plot fell apart towards the end and the characters lost their spark. However, the OTP kept us coming back week after week. We loved them, they felt like a real couple to us. They were two very screwed up characters that came together and were somehow functional as a couple. When everything else was a mess in this drama, this couple somehow made it alright. Both actors were brilliant, especially Yoon Shi Yoon. He was all wrong for the part but  he managed to carry this mountain of mess and made it work.

If you’re looking for an unexpectedly good OTP then look no further.

Nice Guy – The prize for the most screwed up couple goes to…

This drama was dark, depressing and intense. The writing, the acting and the way it was filmed was brilliant. That said, what was wrong with every single character in this drama???!!! Our heads hurt trying to rationalize their insane actions and there were multiple times when we wanted to punch a few of these characters in the face.

Reasons to tune in: Song Joong Ki

We’ve waited for so long to see him as a leading man in a drama and he delivered in spectacular fashion. Of course he was all kinds of hot but his acting was also wonderful. We look forward to his future projects where hopefully he doesn’t annoy the hell out of us.

If you like your dramas dysfunctional and screwed up in perfect Kdrama style, this one ticks all the right boxes.

Queen In Hyun’s Man – A nearly perfect moment in time

Nearly but not quite there.

2012 is most certainly the year of the time travelling drama and this drama is definitely up there as one to watch. We loved everything about this drama, it was beautifully executed, the OTP owned us completely and the plot was excellent throughout its run and then came that ending. Sighs* It was almost too good to be true and we were hoping that this would be that rare drama that was perfect but sadly the ending left a distinctly bitter taste in our mouths.

A lot of people loved the ending but for us it felt like a cope out. It was far too convenient and it killed some of the magic for us.

Don’t get us wrong, we gave this drama 9.5 out of 10, so we’re not going to complain that much, it’s just that it was sooooo close to being that perfect drama for us. The rare gem that we would love forever and having seen so many dramas of the years now, it’s no easy challenge to fall in that category.

Watch this drama, you won’t regret it, in our opinion it is one of the best romantic dramas to come out in a long time.

A Gentleman’s Dignity – Overgrown boys, bratty sisters who needed a slap and the realisation that we have no idea why we bothered tuning in…

Seriously, thinking back now, we don’t know what drew us to watch this Ahjussi drama where pretty much nothing happened across 20 episodes.

All we can really remember about this drama is our very strong desire to murder Im Me Ah Ri. She was a freaking grown woman that acted like a spoilt brat that cried and stomped her feet throughout the drama’s run. Groan*

The drama has left no real impact on us as viewers and there are no real moments that stick out from the dramas run.

Would we recommend it??? We’re not sure, we can’t actually remember.

Japanese Dramas:

Rich Man, Poor Woman – Our unexpected crush goes to…

This was our favourite (and only completed) Jdrama of 2012. It reminded us exactly why we love Jdramas and that maybe we shouldn’t give up on them just yet.

As well as being our favourite Jdrama, it also opened our eyes to Oguri Shun – why, why have we failed to notice this guy before???

The winner for unexpected crush of the year most definitely goes to Oguri Shun. He oozed chemistry, charm and strangely worked dodgy haircuts. Trust us, this drama has made fangirls out of us. heheh.

Back to the drama – the story was a simple love story between a socially awkward millionaire genius and a smart graduate who happened to end up working together and of course falling in love. The plot and the execution of the story was nothing to write home back but it was a pleasure to tune into every week. We were comfortable in the knowledge that the drama would make us smile and satisfy our  fluffy drama needs in the best way possible.

If you’re looking for a decent Jdrama look no further, this one will steal your heart.

Taiwanese Dramas:

Skip Beat! – Our surprise delight of the year

Who would have thought that this would be the only Tdrama we completed in 2012? Definitely not us!

The drama had so much going against it – a very loyal and obsessive fan base for the manga, two Korean actors in a Tdrama – wtf?, terrible dubbing and our expectations in the gutter before we even began.

The drama wasn’t a ratings winner but we adored it. Once the drama fixed the dubbing issue and found their feet, this drama was great fun. Ivey Chen was fantastic as the crazy but lovable leading lady and Siwon made us even bigger fangirls after his brilliant performance as Ren/ Du He Lian. He played cold and damaged so well. Considering he could only act using his facial expressions, he was pretty wonderful.

When a drama has a broody Siwon and Donghae looking hot being bad – what are you waiting for?

Shelved Dramas:

Miss Rose – Another Roy Qiu drama we just couldn’t finish..

We know, we know, what is wrong with us? It’s not you Roy, it’s just everything else that ruins it for us!

Why are all of Roy’s leading ladies so hesitate to fall in love with this HOT HOT man? Why do we have to sit through so many episodes watching these annoying leading ladies cry over past loves or cry over the fact that they are scared/ poor/ stupid???

We were so excited by this drama but it got draggy so quickly. We wanted to love it but we just couldn’t.

We have no doubt we will one day finish a Roy drama but until then we’re more than happy  to keep watching perving our way through all of his dramas until we find one. heheh

Shut up flower boy band – The best cameo in a drama goes to…

Oh, Lee Min Ki you came and went so quickly but we’re pretty sure that you made everyone that watched miss you just a little bit.

Not completing this drama is strictly an oversight on our part. All of the ten episodes we completed were brilliant. The drama was so good we made a freaking GIF out of the famous hug scene and considering we’re incredibly technically challenged that’s definitely saying something!

Life happened and we just never got around to finishing the drama. Maybe this drama will be in next year’s review or may be not…

I need Romance 2012 – When love rivals make you switch off

We switched off for one reason only – the loval rival made us want to vomit into the nearest waste basket. He was so sickly sweet and was such a soppy puppy that we just wanted to kick him. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that he shared ZERO chemistry with the leading lady. How is that possible – two attractive, young actors and still they failed to generate any chemistry between them- none, zero, zilch, how???

The King 2 Hearts – We know what you’re thinking, are we mad???

Yes, yes, we hold our hands up and question our sanity and poor taste in dramas for not having the desire to complete this drama. It just didn’t click for us. We didn’t have that emotional connection with the characters and as a result didn’t really care what happened to them.

Plus, watching the leading man shot his OTP in the chest sort of kills the romance for us. Just saying…

Big – The biggest disappointment of the year?? Possibly, maybe, yes…

How is it possible that the Hong Sisters could make such a boring drama???

Why did Gong Yoo  have to look so damn hot in this drama?

 (you’re welcome)

For that reason alone, we’re gutted this drama was a complete waste of time. Sob*

Other notable dramas for 2012:

Rooftop Prince – The other time travel drama


What is with his horrible hair???

It was a toss up between this and Queen In Hyun’s Man at the time and we picked the latter. Frankly was there any point starting another time travel drama after you’ve completed something that was so nearly perfect? Anything we watched after that epic, romantic drama would have just been crap.

Gaksital/ The Moon that embraces the Sun – When leading men turn you off…

Sorry Kim Soo Hyun and Joo Won, we’re just not fans.



– We’re sorry!!!!!

It’s the strangest thing. Pretty much everyone loves these guys with a passion but we just need to know their name is attached to drama and it’s a pass from us.

Maybe we will grow out of it like we did with Hyun Bin but until then it will take something seriously special to make us tune in or a shiny sequined tracksuit…

Time Slip Dr. Jin – We found the car wreck of the year

Thankfully we saved ourselves from this nightmare. We confess that it was endless fun reading the hilarious bitching and disgust at this poor excuse of a drama. Muhahah.

Final rambles for 2012

As you can probably tell from this post, this year hasn’t treated us too badly but of course heres hoping 2013 gives us a few more drama gems worth fangirling about.

Thanks for popping by and joining us in our rambles this year, we hope you return in 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!


The Musthavesubs girls, xoxo


Skip Beat! Series Thoughts

10 Apr

We were complete suckers for this drama and we are totally gutted that it’s ended. We even delayed watching the last episode because we didn’t want it to end so soon. Sob* Yes, we know what you’re thinking- what losers! Hahaha. We won’t deny it, it’s true.

We’ve read quite a lot of grumbles about the ending and in our opinion we thought it was as good as it could be considering the actual manga hasn’t finished yet and the drama’s arc ended at a random point in the actual manga.

For us, the most important thing about the ending was the fact that it remained faithful(ish) to the original manga but still satisfied our fangirl ways. We got a kiss didn’t we- sure the kiss was in her mind but still it was an actual physical kiss between the OTP (that is more than we got in I am Legend and It’s okay, Daddy’s girl). We also got an admission of feelings from them separately. For us, we felt that the ending was hopeful and uplifting but most of all, it made us want to watch more. Why can’t this drama become an annual thing? We would happily tune in every year and watch these awesome characters evolve. The ending was so obviously geared towards establishing a sequel and we know for a fact that if this drama was more popular, we would have easily got one. Now that is saying something considering how much we hate anything resembling a drama extension, sequel ect. Damn it, why do we always fall for the unpopular dramas that make us miserable when they end… Alias anyone?

A couple weeks ago we moaned about the slow progress on the romance front between Gong Xi and Lian but after episodes 13-15, how glad are we that we waited for all the good stuff to come all at once. The role play scene at Lian’s house was so hot! We had to fan our faces when Lian asked Gong Xi if she wanted him to teach her how to kiss. Heeeee.

We have to hand it to Siwon, the dude stepped it up a gear. He was rather stiff at the start of the drama but he came into the role really well. He managed to convey the cold, damaged side perfectly while presenting his unexpected crush on Gong Xi in a realistic manner. You could totally believe his feelings for her and watching him deal with them was a delight because he looked so damn cute when he was conflicted.

We also liked how Gong Xi realised she had feelings for Lian. She was oblivious for so long and then suddenly she had feelings she couldn’t work out. We like how she was the one that missed him when Dark Moon ended and more interestingly she was the one that envisioned their kiss. The writer gradually built it up and it felt like a natural development over the course of the drama rather than a last minute job to satisfy the masses.

Small grumbles in a sea of gushes:

We would have liked to have seen more of Shang…only a little more though. The oh so brief moments between Shang and Gong Xi left us wanting more of the same. We loved their hostile tension, the fact that you could see their shared history written all over their faces whenever they looked at each other and most importantly we loved how we spent the majority of the time wishing Gong Xi would punch him in the face one moment and make out with him the next. As much as we adored Lian and Gong Xi together, Shang and Gong Xi stole the show in every scene they shared.

We would have liked more Qin and Gong Xi time as well. Personally, we didn’t like the fact that Gong Xi already had some random friend that worked at the restaurant with her because it defeated the purpose of having a character like Qin. Qin is purposed to be Gong Xi’s first real friend and that is why Gong Xi is so over the top and possessive of her. Putting this fact aside, we loved watching their friendship develop throughout the course of the drama. We were worried when we heard that Bianca Bai was playing this role, just because Bianca always played that miserable love rival that annoyed the hell out of us. Plus we felt that Ivy and Bianca would look odd together. However, we were pleasantly surprised on all fronts. Bianca was brilliant as the abrasive but funny best friend and their interactions were so much fun to watch.

The CGI graphics were also quite funny. When we say funny, we mean bad. Thankfully this drama wasn’t afraid to laugh at itself because otherwise it would be quite embarrassing.

Finally, we have to mention the dubbing issue. The first few episodes were soooooo bad. We can’t help but feel that an actor’s voice and their ability to present their emotions through talking/ shouting ect is a vital tool to their craft. For us, dubbing totally takes away from the impact an actor can have in their role and it makes us wonder what Siwon and Donghae would have been capable of if they didn’t have that barrier impacting them.

Props go to the two actors, especially Siwon who did a fantastic job in the second half of the drama. We can’t help but think that you would have twice as much work to do when you lose the ability to speak as an actor, especially when you have to present such complicated feelings with just your eyes and physical gestures. He has really impressed us and we look forward to seeing him in his next drama- this time as an actor rather than just eye candy as we shamefully did in the past…. Well can you blame us? He’s hot.

Okay, back to more gushes (Sorry for those people looking for an impartial review)

We adored Ivy Chen’s depiction of Gong Xi. She had the perfect balance of presenting someone that was utterly insane but managed to be remain totally lovable throughout. She made us laugh a lot with her dark twisted thoughts.

Funniest scene in the drama is still the bike scene – where she ordered her evil spirits to park her bike for her while she got ready to face Shang. It was soooo funny; we must have been laughing for about 15 minutes straight.

For those people that thought she was annoying and over the top – you can talk to the hand because we thought she was a brilliant leading lady and was a breath of fresh air in a dramaland where all the leading ladies seem to be far too similar to each other.

Okay, so we loved the characters, the writing- especially how it followed the original story pretty well and the way the drama was produced. We could watch Gong Xi with anyone in the drama all day, everyday – that is how much we loved her and finally even though we’ve heard that Solo song a million time already… it’s still good.

The drama was an unexpected treat for us and we are so glad we stuck around till the end.

If you are looking for a decent Tdrama with laughs, lovable characters and that isn’t totally dragged out until you want to pull your hair out… then look no further.

How much we liked it: 9/10

How good is it technically: 8/10 – we would have given it more if it wasn’t for the dodgy dubbing issue.