With the many, many kdramas that start airing every other week, it can be very hard to pick what to watch. This is especially difficult when almost every drama seems to have one or more appealing elements and hence I tend to be every picky about what I dedicate my time to. I mostly steer away from fantasy and/or historical-not consciously, I swear! They just don’t appeal to me as much as reality-based, contemporary ones do. This applies to books as well, but I digress. I knew I had my work cut when I saw the many tempting dramas set to air this year, so I decided beforehand that I’d give priority to dramas starring leads I’m familiar with unless something particularly promising came along. And so it was quite obvious to me what I would watch for the first quarter of the year. The Light in Your Eyes, Romance is a Bonus Book and Touch Your Heart all starred one or more leads had seen something of before, and so I dived into them right away when they started airing!
The Light in Your Eyes
PREMIERED February 11, 2019
RUNTIME 60 mins
GENRES Fantasy, Drama
Kim Hye-Ja hopes to become an announcer. She is honest and has a positive personality, but she suddenly becomes a 70-year-old woman. 70-year-old Kim Hye-Ja gains the special ability to manipulate time. Lee Joon-Ha wants to become a reporter. He has worked hard to achieve his dream, but he now lives his life hopelessly. He gets involved with Kim Hye-Ja.
After the disappointing Bride of the Water God, I was so ready to see Nam Joo Hyuk in a drama that was deserving of him. I absolutely loved him in Weightlifting Fairy and refused to believe he was a one-hit wonder. He deserved better, and this drama looked as good as any for him to put those acting chops to use! I wasn’t wrong- this drama gave him ample opportunity to shine, but the real stars were Han Ji Min (not surprising, really) and Kim Hye Ja. Given the nature of the story, we get to see the 70 y/o Kim Hye Ja more than that of Han Ji Min’s, but the latter managed to outshine pretty much everyone else every time she was onscreen. I just love her, okay?
The story itself was unexpectedly very poignant. I was expecting something funny and entertaining, and while this was all that, it was still so much more. Quite bleak at times, and heartbreaking too, the time manipulation factor and subsequent reveals worked marvelously for the story. A special mention goes to the friends and the brother character. They all contributed a lot towards the story and were some of my favorite parts of the drama. I’m definitely glad I decided to give this one a chance, and would recommend it to anyone on the lookout for a unique, beautiful story that uses the time travel trope brilliantly.
Romance is a Bonus Book
PREMIERED January 26, 2019
RUNTIME 60 mins
GENRES Comedy, Drama, Romance
Cha Eun Ho is a genius writer and the youngest chief editor ever at his publishing company. He is smart and handsome. He is also even tempered at work, but he has a warm heart and a reasonable personality. Kang Da Ni used to be a popular copywriter, but she is not anymore. She is now broke and unemployed. Even though she tries to find a job, due to her impressive career and excellent educational background, she is unable to find a new job. Finally, Kang Da Ni gets a job at a publishing company by lying about her background. Cha Eun Ho is the chief editor at that publishing company. They begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.
Lee Jong Suk is pretty much the only reason why I decided to try this drama, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover I loved pretty much all the characters once I got to know them. Kdramas usually make me drool over a wide range of career choices, but this one completely took the cake. A publishing company, y’all! I was simultaneously over the moon and pretty bummed about this because damn, I want that too! The characters, most of them editors or the likes, were unique and fun, and while the story itself left me wanting, I’d say the setting itself is reason enough to try this one! That, and the leads, and the second leads. All heart eyes!
Touch Your Heart
PREMIERED February 6, 2019
RUNTIME 60 mins
GENRES Comedy, Romance, Legal, Drama
A legal romance drama about the love of a successful lawyer and his secretary, who is actually a fallen top Hallyu actress in disguise. It depicts the success and happiness of two formidable people.
This was undoubtedly the drama that surprised me the most so far this year. I went into it expecting to like it okaaaay, and by the time the last episode rolled around I was positively crying for more. Having seen both Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na in Goblin before, I wasn’t sure they had anything more to offer, especially paired together again, but boy, was I wrong! Their characters are quite very different from the ones they played in Goblin, right from their careers to their temperament, and I definitely loved them more this time around, both individually and as a couple.
The rest of the characters, barring the bad guys, obviously, were a lot of fun too, be it Oh Jin Shim’s manager or Kwon Jung Ruk’s colleagues at work. There was lots to like and laugh about, and this drama eventually turned out to be the one I was looking forward to the most every week. Definitely recommended, especially if you liked the leads in Goblin and wanted to see more of them. They are downright adorable here, I tell you! #Goals alright.
What are some of the TV shows you have gotten around to so far this year? Have you perhaps watched any of these? Let’s talk in the comments below!