Recess: One Shot Drop Dramas

You know, I’m going to have trouble convincing people that I really like Lee Min Ho, given that it’s pretty much three-for-three in me striking out with his dramas. I finally watched Faith yesterday, both episodes at once, and the verdict is a solid “dislike”. It would veer into hate but for the fact that I like Min Ho’s character, and that’s about it. The acting from the two leads ranges from apathetic and devoid of nuance (Min Ho) to freakishly shrill and shrieky from his leading lady Kim Hee Sun (so bad she can give a class on “how not to act”), plus they have no chemistry.

Forget the age difference concerns, watching her almost turned me homicidal. The special efforts were oddly lame and overall I just find the story more interesting than the execution and delivery. I think Faith has so much potential in its mystical fantasy elements mixed with sageuk construct. But I think its miscast in both Lee Min Ho (decent in modern dramas but so far really lacking in sageuk presence) and Kim Hee Sun (just a bad actress, period). It’s a sayonara Faith for me at this stage, this a clearly a drama much better suited for others to enjoy rather than me following along and driving myself batshit insane. However, I realized that I also checked out two episodes into City Hunter (whereas I stuck with probably the worse drama of the lot in Personal Taste because of Son Ye Jin and a desperate hope it would redeem itself – it never did). Noticing this trend led me to wonder – what dramas have been dropped on first impression alone, never to be picked up again regardless of the drama possibly getting better down the line?

This phenomenon I’m discussing isn’t watching a drama until one loses interest somewhere down the road, but genuinely catching one or two episodes and actively deciding not to watch anymore for whatever reason. A few recent notables drama drops for me are:

1. A Gentleman’s Dignity – Hated/loathed the first two episodes, so much immaturity and self-aware wittiness that was in truth witless.

2. Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – Really turned off by the first two episodes, didn’t like the two leads characters or the directing.

3. I Need Romance 2012 - Found the first two episodes just terribly set up and executed, and a love story where I don’t care if the OTP fell into a wormhole means it won’t work for me.

4. Rooftop Prince - Loved the premise and the OTP, but hated the execution and the ridiculously evil second leads.

5. Thousand Day Promise - Almost put me to sleep in between the makjang, and since I couldn’t stand the heroine and hers was the story I was supposed to root for, I realized I batted for the other team and needed to leave the game.

6. Heartstrings - I was soooo excited about this one, but the spastic PD camerwork and the lackluster story left me lukewarm.

This list is merely a snapshot of the dramas that have stayed in my memory as actively annoying me right off the bat. There are a lot more dramas I watch and find okay so I continue to trudge along, only to gradually fade away for me until I either forget to keep watching or stop somewhere down the middle and then it promptly disappears into my mental blackhole. At least those dramas on top left an impression with me, albeit a bad one. On an upside, as much as Faith left me cold and activated an all-consuming desire to snark at it, I just watched the first episode of Arang and the Magistrate and found it so utterly perfect and amazing and OMG-I’m-swooning here. And even the first episode of To the Beautiful You isn’t bad at all (Really, it’s quite decent!), so I realize it’s just a matter of aesthetics on what I love and what I don’t. So what dramas left you cold right off the bat?

© 2012, ockoala. All rights reserved.


Recess: One Shot Drop Dramas — 155 Comments

  1. Woah, there’s whole lot of dramas i dropped, because i couldn’t stand totally insane storyline/the leads/crappy directing.

    1. Secret Garden – naaah, not my cup of tea – i’m stuck with episode 1, not even a half, maybe 15 minutes into ep. Somehow, i can’t find it enough interesting to watch. Maybe there’s something really wrong with me :D
    2. Gumiho – I still have 3 maybe 4 episodes left and i can’t make myself to watch it. It got sooo boring that i just dropped it and have no desire to get back.
    3. KOIZORA – Sweet Lord in heaven, that’s my arch nemesis. Watching this shit hurts my eyes and soul. I used to watch this as a punishment for bad grades. However, i’ve watched only 3 episodes of this insanely bad production.
    4. BIG – Episode 12 is the last episode of this drama for me. I’m not going to finish it. Never. It breaks my heart, because i really loved this one, and it turned out to be very BIG disappointment to me, too.
    5.ISWAK – NO. NEVER. I barely made it through episode 1.
    6. Hana Kimi 2011 – I’ve wtched 8 episodes or so – I can’t remember exactly, because it was so boring that i literally fell asleep a few times.
    7. Shining Inheritance – so boring it hurts. Even though I love LSG… no, I just can’t. It’s bad for my mental health.
    8. Rescue – LOL, that was a good one – those boys as a firefighters, srsly? I dropped it on episode 5 maybe 6 – I don’t even remember.
    9. Rooftop Prince – naah – 20 minutes into episode 1 and i was already bored to death. So… no, thank you.
    10. Proposal Daisakusen – no matter how much i love YamaPi, it hurts my eyes and i have no desire to finish it.

    These are the more significant ones – I don’t even count such amazing productions as Muscle Girl, Switch Girl, etc. [These are really crappy]

    However – as a decent person I’ve made myself to watch till the end some of the dramas you’ve mentonied before.

    1.Love Rain – all 22 episodes. So. Boring.
    2. Personal taste – Geez, don’t even ask. It was really bad.
    3. Playful Kiss – I actually love this one, even tough KHJ should stay away from acting :D
    4. MSOAN – I like this one – sometimes it gets boring and totally shitty, but still – main leads are just ADORABLE <3
    5. I've also finished Binbo Danshi with Oguri Shun. And… If you haven't seen it – good for you, don't even try to start watching this crap. Storyline is just absurdal. Totally unrealistic, but not in the good dorama way – it's just stupid.

    Well, I guess it's all. Koala unni, i really, really love your blog! It's so nice!

    Oh, and sorry for my not so good english :D Greetings from Poland! <3

  2. Faith is “sayonara” for me too. The acting is just bad, though Lee Min Ho looks so handsome. I want a drama where the leads are not just good-looking and are not just acting for the sake of acting. I want to feel their acting. I want to feel the emotions of the character they represent. I know that to make actors act out someone they aren’t is lying, but I want the actors to lie really, rally bad when acting so the scripts can come to life. If FAITH can convince me that they can fly with the characters and not drag them down, then I will continue to watch…

  3. Chinese: Mainland and Taiwanese
    Ru Yi
    Bu Bu Jing Xin- I loved Gong and seeing a sane, nicer 4th prince was odd especially when I was so used to Yang Mi and Feng Xiao Feng. I’ll probably watch it again once the oddness that I felt seeing a different pairing wears off.
    Tokyo Juliet- couldn’t stand Wu Zun’s dubbed voice. I also found the plot illogical.
    Prince Turns into a Frog- I was always more of a Qiao En and Ethan Ruan fan just because I saw Fated to Love You first, but I also couldn’t stand Qiao’s En character in the first two episodes. I keep meaning to come back to it because everyone loves it and I simply can’t get past the first 5-6 episodes and yet I love Ming Dao and Qiao En separately.

    and kdrama cliches apply to Taiwanese dramas… quite a bit. I can name several Taiwanese dramas that have the main lead doing an illegal u-turn at some point… oh and the love square which always drives me up a a wall.

    Also.. mainland wise.. wuxia ones.. some at least. I need to be in the right mood to watch wuxia and then I’ll usually marathon several back to back, which is why it’ll take me forever to watch them because I’m not in the mood. I usually watch wuxia when I want more serious stuff. I still need to finish Young Warriors of the Young Clan but since I know what happens to them historically there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to continue just because I know there won’t be a happy ending.

    As for XuanYuan Jian.. still watching it.. and I’m not quite sure why. I watched it purely because I loved Chinese Paladin and thought this may have the same vibe except it doesn’t.. and yet I still keep watching it for some random reason I don’t know. It is starting to get interesting in the later episodes though.

    - Lie to Me: I usually like most stuff Yoon Eun Hye is in, but I actually really disliked her character in it and after a while, the plot itself and the gaping holes in it made me abandon it completely.

    MSOAN- the insanity of the plot, enough said.
    Creating Destiny- couldn’t stand the main female lead’s family.

    Jewel Bibimbap- abandoned around episode 20 something ish.. and that was because while I found it interesting, all the family members annoyed me and I had no interest watching them bickering continuously for 50 episodes.

    Bad Guy- actually abandoned it toward the end, right around episode 11.. just because of how bad the plot was going. I ended up watching the 2 episodes to see if it was worth watching and the ending. It could of been so good, the acting was superb, the cinematography was pretty dang good as well and yet.. it went down the drain so fast after the main male actor got conscripted.
    Heartstrings- Yong Hwa’s acting… it was just bad.
    King2Hearts- wasn’t in the mood for it at the time. I was in a wuxia kick when that drama aired so at the time.. I just wasn’t paying much attention to Korean stuff and if I did.. it geared more toward action and not romance.
    Dream High 2- Dream High 1 it was not.
    Manny- dropped within the first 10.. wasn’t the right time for me to watch it…
    Take Care of Us, Captain- I watched the first episode.. hated how melodramatic and un-realistic it was.. and stopped watching. Also.. found the likelihood of a really young genius co-pilot highly unlikely if not impossible so the illogical-ness of that bothered me as well.

  4. Oh and

    other Taiwanese ones…

    Romantic Princess- It bothered me how skinny Angela Zhang was in it.. I also don’t usually like most stuff with Wu Zun just because of how bad his acting is. Hana Kimi is an exception because I loved that one.
    Hi, My Sweetheart- over-acting on Show Luo’s part and on Rainie’s part.
    Drunken to Love You- I know everyone loved this drama, but I ended up not really liking either character or even really caring about what happened to them in the long run and thus abandoned it half-way through.

  5. I am no quitter. Thus I would watch a drama until the finale just in case, you know, the ending would save it all. Quite rare, actually. Even in my k-drama addiction era.

    Yet since my time is not expendable and my emotions quite precious, I don’t start a drama unless I have enjoyed the first episodes’ recaps. Usually this kind of experience amounts to merely a few throughout a whole year.

  6. Faith is all right. Not great but all right. The character of Min Ho is written as unmotivated, slacking warrior; he just hasn’t found what to be passionate about. I think his wounded pride might lead for more animation in the future. The first two episodes were kind of disjointed.

    I regret watching Big and I do, I do. I watched Beloved until the end – huge regret about wasting 16 hours just in memory of Alone in Love, which I enjoyed.

  7. However … Good dramas, bad dramas. Does it really matter that much? All are basically a waste of time. My life is still the same, whether I’ve finished watching a good drama or dropped a bad one.

  8. I just watch Faith. Due, to I like the cast except the main lead and lead actress. Therefore, I am just gonna watch it just to see if it good and pray to the kdrama gods that it will not be dr. wtf jin 2.0

  9. Haven’t watched all that many dramas but secret garden I dropped after second episode. A gentleman’s dignity . Also i do i do, although am indifferent to IDID rather than hate it outright. Both SG and AGD cos can’t stand the female leads

  10. Miss K unnie!! Hello!! *waving like a 5 year old* Mhahahha I love your recess, because they always make me think and do some “soul research”…

    The question here is, the dramas I drop right off the bat, right? Well if that is the case…None! But, I have watched a few that really; really give me the creeps…. But first let’s talk about yours, shall we??

    [I][B]Faith [/B] [/I] haven’t watch it…Not verdict yet Btw why he have a this era police shield? Is he going to play time cop on me? Really? Weird and totally awkward…

    [I][B]A Gentleman’s Dignity [/B] [/I]-Totally love it! Except how they (I mean the characters) managed the whole I-have-a-19-y/o-kid-I-dump-you-coz-I-know-you-will-dump-me…Eh really? It wasn’t supposed that they are “adults and grownups” and they can manage that kind of things better than anyone else?? Another thing that I really didn’t like was the proposal in the final episode…When that drama becomes a musical? Except from those 2 things, to me this drama was wonderful…But that is me, right… Nuff said!!

    [I][B] Flower Boy Ramyun Shop [/B] [/I] – I love Cha Chi Soo… I mean that man(the actor) do something so beautiful with his eyes, that he catch me…even if the whole drama was down hill, I couldn’t stop myself from watching… Cha Chi Soo, had me at I-hate-women-that-cry!! Really!!! Mhahahhaha And Chef and the other characters wasn’t bad at all…well teacher was always in oblivion but that is who she is….And I totally love, when the main lead is a heart-cold-ice-prince-premium-jackass and by a joke from destiny, with a little pain and whole lot of love, become this prince charming worth dying for….ala Secret Garden, You’re Beautiful, Greatest Love…I am a freak…*whispering* I know!!!

    [I][B]I Need Romance 2012 [/B] [/I] – Haven’t watched. No verdict yet.

    [I][B]Rooftop Prince[/B][/I]- I love it…But it was my love for the entourage, and what they face daily that get me going… The whole mystery and the death of the princess, really was a little dragged till the end…but over all I like it and watch it all… And the premise that a love that can last centuries is my kind of drama… I know, I am a hopeless romantic…there is too much twisted suffering in real life, to find it in dramas too…My dramas are an escape from the real world…so please don’t make them suffer…much….And the “evil second leads” where over the top!! Really, how much you can hate some one? Is hate a feeling that can last centuries too? Is hate so powerful?

    [I][B]Thousand Day Promise [/B] [/I] – Haven’t watch it. No verdict yet.

    [I][B] Heartstrings [/B] [/I] – Haven’t watch it. No verdict yet.

    This are the ones that I put on hold… for some reason, I don’t find myself to continue watching…But I don’t find it in me, to “just give up” on them!!! I really don’t understand why…
    [I][B]Big[/I][/B]- I put it on hold after watching 8/16 episodes…And for some reason I can’t force myself to keep watching…Even I know how it ends and all the story (coz, I read the recaps, but actually watching it, I can’t do it) Still thinking if I dropped or not.

    [I][B] City Hall [/I] [/B]-Happened the same, but this drama I found it interesting, but I put it on hold. Episodes watched: 8/20

    [I][B]Drunken to Love You [/I] [/B]-Episodes watched: 9/18. Can’t watch anymore, even if I know the ending! What the hell was with the guy with an UFO in his head?? Really??

    [I][B]Gokusen [/I] [/B]-Watched and love the anime version…the live version not so much… Episodes watched: 1/12

    [I][B]Lie to Me[/I][/B]-Exactly the same as [I][B]Big[/I][/B], can’t watch it anymore, even if I know the ending and commented in the recaps! And I was demented about this one, but having to wait till-next-week killed me-not-so-softly. Episodes watched 8/16.

    [I][B]Manny [/I] [/B]-I lost the love of this one…but for some reason I don’t find the courage to drop yet… I want to end it…I just don’t know how. Episodes watched: 12/16.

    [I][B]Mary Stayed Out All Night [/I] [/B]-This one, I know you love it Unni, but I couldn’t continue watching…Can’t drop it, though… I don’t know why?? I know the ending… The whole I’m married to you, but I live and love another man, it was just too much for me… Episodes watched: 10/16

    [I][B]P.S. Man [/I] [/B]-I love this drama, is just that I don’t find a site where I can end watch it. The drama sites I know, doesn’t have it. Blue Lan’s character was good… I’m kidding!! Mhahahhahah I think!! Episodes watched: 5/21.

    [I][B] Prosecutor Princess [/I] [/B]-I really don’t remember why I stop watching this one… Episodes watched: 6/16.

    [I][B]Que Sera, Sera [/I][/B]-I love this drama, but for some reason the whole, I love you but I want to be with her, for Money…was stupid and make puke all over the place…But at the same time, I just wanted to slap some senses to Eric’s character…he was the most obnoxious of all… Episodes watched: 9/17

    [I][B]Sunny Happiness [/I] [/B]-I love this drama, I even know the ending, but for some reason, I couldn’t find it in me, to keep watching…10/25.

    [I][B]Unstoppable Marriage [/I] [/B] – (series & drama) a movie, was somewhat good, a 100 + drama, ehhh too much!!! I don’t know if I really watch it…some day…

    These ones are the ones that I really drop it. And for the life of me, I want to erase them from the drama land forever *echo (ever, ever, ever)

    *Pause for dramatic effect*

    [I][B]Boys over Flowers [/I] [/B] Episodes watched 10/25. I really don’t know why the commotion about this one is. I really hate it! The main female lead; literally KILL the “drama fan” of me, in this one! I mean, not even, Robot Kid (from Playful Kiss), Lee Min Ho’s curly hair and the little angel in Padam Padam, keep me watching…She was so obnoxious that she really gives me the creeps…

    [I][B]Coffee House [/I] [/B] – Can someone please, explain this one to me, like I was a 5 year old…please!!!! Episodes watched 3/18.

    [I][B]Stairway to Heaven [/I] [/B]-Too melodramatic for my taste. Too much pain and suffering…When they were going to be happy…*grabbing PD, from the shirt collar* why they were suffering so much? Did they kill kittens in their previous life, to suffer so much in this one? Really? Too much for me, too much… Ottoke!!! Episodes watched: 6/20.

    From all the dramas that I watched, these are the ones that I definitely want to buy and have them with me, forever…

    [I][B]Oh! My Lady [/I] [/B] – I love how he struggles with his career, being a father and become a human being. I love how Gae Hwa was always beside him, not only to comfort him and take care of Ye Eun, and Min Woo, but how she always give him her 2 cents and she always managed to put some senses in his-not-so-good-brain! I love how he changed from a mediocre actor/human being, to this man capable to conquer the world and the woman who help him all the way!!

    [I][B]Snow White/ Taste Sweet Love [/I] [/B] – I love how in every moment of weakness, he was there for her. And how he was capable to find things that she even didn’t know she had. I love the fact that when he was hurting, she was by his side… I love that even when he took a step back, she did not. I love everything about this drama…

    [I][B]A Gentleman’s Dignity [/I] [/B]-I love it so much that I definitely want it!! This one keeps me on the edge of my seat…even if the plot twist were a little weak…

    [I][B] 9 Ends 2 Outs [/I] [/B] – Love it!! The whole premise of “friends who become lovers, who become friends, who become lovers again” was so wonderful to me, that I dream it about this drama! Watched in a marathon style in 3 days and even tell my brother about it… I love it!!

    So this are the ones I love, the ones I put on hold and the ones I just keep asking myself “why I do this to myself”??? Mhahahhaha

  11. For me, I think that Faith was more interesting than Arang and Magistrate. I just can’t seem to get into A&M. The first episode was alright but when I watched episode 2, I was playing with my phone half the time.
    To the Beautiful You was good, better than what I expected.
    But all three of these new dramas didn’t really spark much interest as much as Bridal Mask and Ghost did. Just watching the first episodes of those two dramas, I felt like I found 2 jewels! I knew I was going to love the two dramas…but I’m not so sure about these new ones.

    • Maybe you don’t watch “A&M” carefully or have the desire to like Faith more. Actually, “A&M” has a very interesting plot containing many mysterious things, superb cinematography and fun moments. These trades can totally attract most of the viewers who find & watch the interesting stories with great acting skills from the actors. Hope you can enjoy it in the near future. “A&M” is a must-watch for us now^^

  12. Gee! Why don’t you tell us what you really think? Love this…thanks. Getting ready to watch Faith and have already read a rave review, so am anxious to see where I will be after eps 1 & 2. Liked AGD, but it was 4 eps too long and had a juvenile ending. Wish I didn’t have City Hall and Joseon X Files to use as my standards for KDramas.

  13. wow I totally agree with you on all except I Need Romance 2012, on which I am still undecided :P I absolutely love Lee Minho but the first 2 ep of Faith was just….urk. Not fun. Arang and the Magistrate, on the other hand, was amazing from the get go.

  14. I think you should give a chance for ep.3 and’s totally worth it..
    I thought same as you for the 1st ep but more I watch it the more i like it..and LMH and KHS just got the chemistry on ep.3..
    I totally so into them in this drama..:)
    although the story it doesn’t make sense and same as Rooftop Prince,QIHM,and Dr.Jin but the story goes so well with the main character..

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