Jeana’s Unpopular Opinion: Hype Busting Super Popular 2021 Dramas

As the title suggests, this is a UO = unpopular opinion. If I have unfortunately fired shots at your favourite drama/character, I apologize, but I gotta tell it as I feel it is. If you disagree with something, try to state your opinion civilly. Enjoy!

Hi, my gorgeous readers! Are you ready for some tea? 😉

Sometimes, I feel like I am the resident harbinger of bad news around these parts. Nobody likes wet bread, trust me, I know. However, today I can’t help but be one and rain on all of your parades. 😀

Today, we are gonna talk about some of the most liked, fangirled over, and glorified dramas of 2021. For those of you who are part of the hype train, my apologies. I tried to like them, I really did… and failed. If you can look past the red haze of fury that takes over anytime someone comes for your favourite drama, maybe you’ll find yourself agreeing with me on some counts? Who knows? It might as well be the start of a beautiful friendship!

On the other hand, my fellow picky wet pieces of bread, let’s have a moment of bonding here, shall we? Let’s get this thing started!

Move to Heaven (9.2/10)

It’s funny because I can almost hear the gasps through my screen. Move to Heaven? Yes. See, I appreciate the message this drama set out to give. They did a good job of portraying mental illness. It had some gold comedy moments. Moreover, it also had everybody’s favourite Sang Gu Samchon (Lee Je Hoon) with his prickly but lovable personality. So, what went wrong for me?

Unfortunately, 70 % of the drama is a snoozefest. This is an episodic drama and it features stories of different diseased people every day. I thought there was nothing new in those cases or the way they were shown. Just stories we have seen a thousand times in K-dramas before with the same sappy format. It had a pointedly, in-your-face sad and sentimental vibe and sorry, but I couldn’t help yawning. The sad piano in the back was obviously overkilling it for me. So there’s not much in terms of plot.

Acting-wise, nothing much to see aside from the two male leads. In ten episodes, so much time was given to the individual stories that there wasn’t as much character focus as there could have been. Aside from the obvious mental illness plotline that defines Gue Re, his character doesn’t see much depth. The plot also moved at a snail’s pace so it was kind of neither here nor there.

While I do give it a B for effort, the drama was mostly boring for me. It felt like the longest ten episodes of my life and I took a lot of breaks during it.

Did I cry? Not. Even. Once.

My Rating: 6.5/10


Navillera (9.0/10)

Aww, look at those two, everyone said. I am looking. They are cute but that’s not enough for me. Sadly.

Navillera is the show that everybody talked about when it came to shedding tears and feeling sentimental. When I played the first episode, I had a big tissue box and an ice cream jar by my side. I thought this was going to be the end of me and it was. Just not the way I expected. One episode in, my tissue box was left untouched, my ice cream had melted and I was upside down on the couch snoring my hot booty off. Seriously.

Guys, manufactured emotion is a thing. I feel sad when things feel personal. Things start to feel personal when you develop a bond with the characters and then sad situations happen. Navillera goes the other way around. This is a drama comprising of 12 episodes of sad situations, character bonding with the viewer is an afterthought. It was almost like this so-called tearjerker expected me to cry as if it was a given. Again, sentimental dialogues, sappy music- you know the gist. Honestly, that felt manipulative to me.

If I wanted a slow-paced spiritually healing show with excellent character development, badass old people, real tearjerker moments, and a drama that makes you bawl, I would go rewatch Dear My Friends.

It doesn’t help that half of the two people equation is Song Kang. Now, I know that you all love the guy but in my humble opinion, he can’t act to save a baby llama’s life. Bad acting + OTT sap = Disappointed Jeana. 

I forced myself to be awake for 4 long hours before I gave up. Some of you would say, oh but THAT is when the real story starts. Oh, but how can you rate it when you didn’t finish. Oh, but and but. All I can say is I wasted hours of my life on it and it didn’t connect with me. I skimmed through the rest of the episodes to see if it got better, well not in my opinion. That means I gave it a good shot and it didn’t land. My wasted four hours say I can rate it the way I want to. ^_^

Rating: 4.5/10

Dropped at episode 4.

The Devil Judge (8.8/10)

It breaks my heart to put this drama on the list because this show started with a bang. It had all the perfect ingredients: Bromance, an edgelord Alpha Male Lead, pretty shots, a crazy and intriguing female lead, action, and a whole lotta smarts.

When I first started watching, I was in love with the show. I binged around 6 episodes without batting an eyelash but then things started to go downhill. Somewhere along the way, my rose coloured glasses came off and I stopped being enamored by all of Yo Han’s (Ji Sung) Aha! 657 IQ moments. They started to feel unrealistic and dumb to me. The chest puffery and the evil genius trope started to fall flat. Some plotlines (ahem doppelgangers ahem) were quite ridiculous and as it does when I stop being impressed by a drama, I quickly revert to my default setting: boredom.

Another thing that irked me was the bromance. I defended this aspect in the earlier episodes but the more I watched the more orchestrated and inauthentic it felt. The show uses random plot devices just to create this superficial love/hate dynamic between the two male leads that isn’t organic at all. It’s like they tried to jump on the Beyond Evil bandwagon but missed and instead landed face-first on the road.

A lot of wasted potential in this one.


Dropped at episode 8.

Doom At Your Service (8.4/10)

It’s hardly a secret why anybody would pick this drama up: V I S U A L S. This drama has three extremely hot men and two gorgeous women in the main cast. Everything about this show is pretty; it has pretty shots, pretty kisses, pretty people, pretty clothes but that’s pretty much it. 

The drama has a severe lack of substance. The plot is completely random and filled to the brim with tropes and cliches. It’s emo just for the sake of being emo. The relationship between the characters is hardly well developed and there’s also a supporting love triangle on the side that is pointless as hell. The acting is mediocre at best.

This is the poster child for cheap entertainment and that’s okay. I mean I have enjoyed superficial dramas like The K2 and have no regrets. However, it’s ok only as long as the show doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Doom‘s biggest problem is that it is dumb that believes it is smart.

The characters talk like they are in a 13th-century parody of Romeo and Juliet. They think they are spouting Shakespearean but it’s just gibberish passed off as “woke and deep” sh*t.

Today the moon is shining bright. The banana peel on the floor mirrors my desolate soul; discarded and stepped on without guilt. I am thirsty but you are the coke in the fridge in another town that I cannot lay my hands on. The night smells of dandelions, oh how I wish this mask I have laid upon my face for protection against the deadly evils of the world wasn’t blocking my path to olfactory euphoria.”

^ If you think this shit makes sense and is something profound, you’ll probably love this drama because most of its dialogues are like this.

Rating: 4/10. 

Dropped at episode 6

Mysterious Love (8.1/10)

Oooh, lookie here. We also have a little C-Drama nugget on our hands. Wow well, this show was just terrible, laughably bad, and cringeworthy in my opinion. I mean I started it for casual watching but it still amazes me how completely most Chinese modern rom-com dramas are off the mark. Where is the depth and excellent storytelling that you can find in Chinese Historical dramas?

I read people calling the male lead swoon-worthy, a bad boy, and what not but honestly, he acted like a wounded puppy 70 % of the time and a stomping toddler for the remaining 30 %. He gave me the same vibe your best friend’s annoying little brother would give. As in permanently in the brother zone; a fidgety teenager who has just hit puberty and is not at all confident in his skin. Which is fine but not when you are trying to come off as this real hotshot baddie who nobody can mess with. The acting is terrible and superficial as expected.

There is skinship and yeah Asian dramas have us starved enough that our drama d*ck stands up when we see the slightest contact between the main leads but as thirsty as we are, in my opinion, it still doesn’t deserve the praises it’s gotten. A brainless and pretentious rom-com that’s good to trash watch in 2x speed with a handy FF button so you can watch every 30 min episode in 10 mins and call it a day. 😉

Rating: 0.1/10.

Dropped at episode 16.

Now, How About a Drama That’s Not as Hyped but Still Excellent?

Hot Stove League (8.7/10)

To end this on a good note, I want to mention a decidedly underrated drama. Sure, is it something you have never heard about before? With an 8.7 rating? Not by a long shot. Still, you won’t find people talking about it as much as the other mentioned shows. They weren’t doing so in 2019 and they aren’t doing now. At least, not as much as it deserves. So, I am just gonna give this a quick shoutout.

This has to be hands down one of the best-written shows out there. The script is king. Dialogues are excellent. The story flows beautifully in a realistic way with almost no plot holes. There are real complications that seem impossible to solve and then the characters always brilliantly overcome them. 

Nam Goong Min is a real badass here. This is the role that will make you fall in love with him. With brilliant character development, beautiful bromance, and friendship, Hot Stove League packs a surprising punch and is heaven for your peepers. Trust me. Go watch it.

My Rating: 9.75/10


Anyway, that’s it. Hope I haven’t hurt any feelings. 🙂 Remember, this is just one prickly woman’s opinion. If you were able to love and enjoy these shows, that’s awesome! You do you. 

Are there any popular shows that everyone loved but you? Is there something I am missing in these dramas that you picked up? What are some extremely underhyped gems that you are hiding? I would love to hear your answers to these questions.

The comment section is yours, baby! 


Edited by: Nymphadora (1st editor), BrightestStar (2nd editor)

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