Drama

Drama Recommendations: 2004 to 2013

HELLO –
I hope everyone is having a pleasant day.  Today. I want to give you a few old drama recommendations. Now when I say old I don’t necessarily mean that old but in this article, I’ll be covering dramas that I loved which were released from 2004 to 2013. Shall we go ahead?

1. MARS

COUNTRY: Taiwan YEAR: 2004 GENRES: Thriller, Psychological, Romance, Melodrama 

Han Qi Luo, our female lead played by
 Barbie Hsu, is a shy and reserved artist who doesn’t really interact much with those around her. As fate called it, she meets our male lead played by Vic Zhou. What happens when she meets him, an outgoing and popular character quite opposite to hers? Watch as their relationship grows from strangers to something more, two people so different with tragic pasts as they find comfort in each other.

(Please note that this drama contains the themes of sexual abuse and suicide, proceed with caution.)

This drama tackles many dark themes and so it’s definitely not an easy watch, but I was satisfied with how the story developed and was kept occupied to the fullest. There was a lot going on but everything was balanced out quite well.
Something I greatly loved about this drama is how it makes you feel for the characters as if they were your friends. The “opposites attract” trope is really fun to watch and I also like how they never made the male lead’s character a bad boy.
Although Mars was released almost 17 years ago, the story still remains spectacular and unmatched, so when you have lots of time, please give it a try.
A long time ago when you or Sei would cry, I really wanted to do something. But when Kira cries, I just… don’t know what to do. It makes me want to cry, too.

2. BUZZER BEAT

COUNTRY: Japan YEAR: 2009 GENRES: Music, Romance, Sports 
The ML, Kamiya Naoki played by Yamashita Tomohisa, is a professional basket player while  Shirakawa Riko, played by Kitagawa Keiko, is an aspiring violinist. They happen to cross paths and eventually become friends while Naoki has a cheerleader girlfriend and Riko is being actively courted by the basketball team coach. Will they find each other and succeed to go after their own dreams? Well, once again you have to watch to find out.
Buzzer Beat is one of my all-time favorite Jdramas, which I find myself re-watching every now and then. With only a total of 11 episodes, this drama can be binged easily.  Since the main leads start off as friends and it’s not your typical fall in love at first sight magical moment, it adds a realistic element to it. The love triangle plot started to piss me off at some point but I didn’t find it completely unbearable. In conclusion, I enjoyed the collaboration between sports, music, and youth.
I’ll become stronger, win the competition, go for the Olympics while you become a great violinist and hold a concert in some music hall.

3. A GENTLEMAN’S DIGNITY

COUNTRY: KOREA YEAR: 2012 GENRES: Comedy, Romance, Drama, Melodrama 

This drama follows four men in their forties who have been friends for almost a lifetime as they go through their own stories with romance, family, and life in general.

Let me start this off with: don’t be misled by the picture I chose. This is not about four men falling for one girl, ok, moving on. I watched this not so long ago and this has to be one my favorite watches of 2021. This one is made for you if you enjoy friendship, romance, and a lot of good comedy, and the story doesn’t bore you one bit. 
Thinking from a non-watcher’s point of view, I almost skipped this because it’s literally about people in their 40’s, come on, what fun could it be? Well, let me stop you right there, do not make that mistake because this made me laugh so much, and there was enough balance of heartfelt moments to call this one a splendid work. One final attack to make you watch it is the ever so wonderful bromance.
Boys don’t mature. They just age. But aged boys know, to flow with a different destination, and to shine with a different color. 

4. AUTUMN’S CONCERTO

COUNTRY: Taiwan YEAR: 2009 GENRES: Romance, Drama, Family 

Ren Guang Xi, played by Vanness Wu, is a rich and popular playboy. He then crosses paths with our female lead, Liang Mu Cheng played by Ady An, who sells bento in the school cafeteria. What started as a bet to make Mu Cheng fall for Guang Xi eventually turns into something more. Their love story is put to a great test as Ren Guang Xi is in need of brain surgery and loses all of his memories. including Liang Mu Cheng.

(Please note that this drama contains the theme of sexual abuse, proceed with caution.)

For starters, this drama is an automatic 9.5 to 10/10 for me, I think I rewatched this around thrice and every single time this drama managed to tear me apart and make me an emotional mess. This drama is definitely a major treat for romance and melodrama lovers, leaving you wanting to know what’s going to happen next after every episode. The acting was really well done and the chemistry was strong, so don’t worry about those things.
Termed as a classic, this is pretty heavy, so dive in with that in mind. Rich boy poor girl, bad boy good girl, amnesia, expect all these cliches, but sometimes cliches can be written to make something great and this drama is one of them. 
If you come across any danger in the future, you don’t need to scream until you lose your voice. You just need to call out the name Ren Guang Xi, and I will come to save you.

4. JUST YOU

COUNTRY: TAIWAN YEAR: 2013 GENRES: Business, Comedy, Romance 

This drama centers around the workplace. As the female lead, we have Cheng Liang Tan who’s leading a bubbly and cheerful life until a new boss comes as the CEO and turns the office upside down with his uncompromising rules, especially when he bans romance in the workplace. It’s up to Cheng Liang Tan to bring down this rule, will she be successful?

This is one of the first few dramas I watched, I loved it then and I still do, give this cute drama a try if you are in the mood for a nice rom-com. Yes, I know it’s the same cliched cold-hearted CEO and employee trope and I’m not even going to try and counter that because it’s true to expect a lot of cliches, but to the people who are able to bear with them, give it a try. It’s not a big cliche mess, it’s a simple and nice watch you can binge any day.

No matter how pretty a flower is, it will wither someday.

5. THAT WINTER, THE WIND BLOWS

COUNTRY: KOREA YEAR: 2013 GENRES: Romance, Crime, Melodrama 

Oh Soo, played byJo In Sung, is a notorious gambler who was abandoned by his mother. After the death of his first love, his life takes a turn for the worse. Oh Young, played by Song Hye Kyo, is blind after an incident in the past, and she’s the heir to the PL group. Oh Young has been looking for her brother Oh Soo, who was separated from her following her parents’ divorce.
When the ML Oh Soo comes to know that the PL group is looking for their heir who happens to have the same name as him, he decides to con the family to pay off his debts. The plan takes a twist as he finds himself falling for Oh Young.
We have a star-studded cast in our hands and they all did exceptionally well in my opinion. Jo in sung is an actor I never doubt. He can bring any character alive and always does a mindblowing job. Song Hye Kyo did an excellent job with her portrayal as well. Although her character was blind, she told the whole drama with her eyes alone. 
As for what to expect, it’s a romantic melodrama that will keep you engaged and invested. The dialogues were well written, too, I found myself paying very close attention to every single sentence being said. The cinematography was stunning and the OSTs were also well done, so if you’re a sucker for a good old melodrama, this could be your next show!
The only thing I didn’t exactly love was the ending. It was a bit ambiguous and left some questions unanswered but regardless, it was an amazing drama.
To live. Do you have a grand reason? Even if I don’t have a reason to live, I live because my eyes open in the morning. Because I still breathe. Why? If a person doesn’t have a reason to live, does that mean he can’t?
I, who want to live, met a woman who wants to die. We are clearly very different. But for some reason… at that moment, that woman seemed like me. For the first time, I became curious about that woman.

DRAMAS MENTIONED MY RATING
1. MARS 9/10
2. BUZZER BEAT 8.5/10
3. AUTUMN’S CONCERTO 10/10
4. A GENTLEMAN’S DIGNITY 9.5/10
5. JUST YOU 8.5/10
6. THAT WINTER, THE WIND BLOWS 9/10

That’s it for this article, thank you for reading all the way till here, and let me know in the comments if you watched any of these or are planning to!  Until next time.


Please note all pictures and gifs used do not belong to me, credits to rightful owners. Thank you to MDL and its editors for giving me this opportunity.


Edited by: devitto (1st editor) & Jojo (2nd editor)

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