Swapping Our Best and Worst Rated Dramas

Here we will be shamelessly exploiting the creative ideas of EVERY drama writer. That is throwing two polar opposite humans into a single story. You call it cliché, we call it a strategy! Enny and I found ourselves becoming friends in no time. However, we soon discovered that our drama watching habits are completely diametric, as we politely declined each other’s recommendation every time XD. The difference in genre preference could be a reason, even though we watch almost every kind of story, but if the exact drama is made by some Korean production house and a Japanese production house, we will be going diverging ways. So by using this article as a motive, we will be trying some dramas out of our comfort box by swapping our best and worst rated dramas. Please note that our worst-rated dramas are not the most terrible dramas we have seen, since we didn’t drop them.

The article is based on our opinions about the respective dramas, and we do not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments (including each other) nor do we intend to speak ill of any country or drama-trend, so please don’t be offended as liking or disliking something is a subjective matter, and we as viewers are just exercising our right to choose! On our part, we have tried our best to keep the roast reasonable and rant in limit, but if somewhere it does sound otherwise, please forgive us as we mean no harm (we are assuming a little messing around would be fine, after all it’s a friendly article). Also, this article contains spoilers of the dramas discussed. So please refrain from reading about dramas that are on your radar. All set, let’s go ~

“Enny’s Top Rated Dramas”

Aehsassy: I initially thought of choosing the shortest one among them, but these are Korean dramas, y’all, which believe in 16 hours of watching and 8 hours of sleep. So I went for the one with superheroes, The Uncanny Counter, because I may be an adult, but I still get excited watching our local vintage shows like Shaktimaan & Hero. Also, Enny assured me that it has plenty of action scenes for someone who DMs her almost every day to watch the High & Low series.

Thoughts – [Rating – 8/10] What to expect from a psychic drama? Let’s say an indestructible lead, a big bad guy, and some challenges in between to reach the showdown of the story. The Uncanny Counter had it all, but still, for some reason, I couldn’t enjoy what it meant to be. Instead, I started to see it as some big chronicle of politics and corruption. They had the liberty to use any kind of phenomenon even if it was inexplicable by natural laws, but they wasted it by solely revolving around their past puzzles. However, a few fight segments left me speechless, the growing affection between counters after every arc of the story was visible in their teamwork.

So my watch-list has a good share of Korean dramas, most of them being released between 2008-2016. I thought I knew the basic formula of every K-drama irrespective of its genre, but The Uncanny Counter shattered this confidence of mine. Rather than showing an overly perfect male lead, they gave him many flaws, and instead of falling for the ML, I found myself fangirling over Do Ha Na. What surprised me most was that from episode one to sixteen, I was waiting for that forced K-drama romance which will appear out of nowhere and will contribute to the climax by suddenly showing a romantic patch-up after a nonsensical break-up in episode 15. But except for some slight hints, we get nothing in particular. It was refreshing to watch the distinctive attachment of So Moon with all the members. My favorite has to be Chu Mae Ok and her motherly caring for So Moon. 

As for the disappointing parts, I guess the incident that convinced ML to join the counter squad got my hopes high. I thought they would be digging into the lives of different people every time they went out to catch the evil spirits, but foolish me didn’t know that they wouldn’t even explore the lives of the leads, let alone the random people on the street. However, toward the end, all the flashbacks of Ji Chung Shin (evil spirit) and his behavior toward orphan kids got me thinking that he was the most well-written character in the story, or maybe I just get easily attracted to negative characters lol. I felt that it had too much filling. The real story, if executed properly, could have turned out to be a classic two-hour-long movie, but despite all these factors, the final run and chase got me suddenly hooked to the plot. This drama is not epic but has a vibe. Filled with tons of action, many heartwarming moments, top-notch production value, and precious visuals of Kim Se Jeong. It deserves the popularity it’s getting right now.

Still, Enny’s top-rated drama is not something I would pick myself unless it’s recommended. I would have dropped it on episode 8 if we hadn’t planned to write this article, because it certainly was slow-paced for me who watches Japanese dramas.

“Enny’s Worst Rated Dramas”  

Aehsassy: Since I have seen My ID Is Gangnam Beauty once and rated it 8.5/10, I thought it would be nice to revisit it and to see why it’s among Enny’s worst-rated dramas. Please note that my thoughts contain major spoilers from the Japanese drama Black Cinderella

Thoughts – [Rating- 8.5/10] I remember I watched this drama when I was in my final year of high school. My pace was slow since I had too much going on and my exams were approaching. It’s blurry in my mind, but this drama was something I didn’t drop, even after having long breaks after every episode. I want to express my initial thoughts before the re-watch, even though they aren’t well organized. For some reason, rather than focusing on the basic premise of the plot, I was more engrossed in FL’s character. With a super cool wardrobe, she was an unbalanced mixture of boldness and awkwardness. I found her interest in perfume so fascinating that I planned to buy every single variety of them after I enter university. 

The flawless scene when Kang Mi Rae’s father expressed his anger and sadness over her plastic surgery got me on an emotional roller coaster. It was not something very simple and the same as why some random user on the internet thinks that plastic surgery isn’t the solution to your issues. Instead it was about how devastated a parent was when he understood that his child hated their appearance all these years, struggled to adjust and ultimately gave in. Also, I guess the love story was cute. I can recall their rooftop gatherings loud and clear, the stay-over when Chan Eun Woo thought Mi Rae’s father was watching them, and their matching clothes in the last episode. 🙂

Now then, after finally re-watching this drama, I have a few thoughts. Like the drama True Beauty, this show lost its idea midway and focused too much on romance. Even when its message was clear from the start, it still couldn’t pull off the conclusion. Just like how it’s easy to write on a complex topic, but gets harder if the topic turns too simple. I still loved Mi Rae’s character, as she wasn’t like a typical changed girl after a makeover who’s all confident now and doesn’t think too much about how she used to be. I guess what kind of offended me was Cha Eun Woo’s character. Not talking about his acting skills here, but his overall POV. Since he was shown as some super attractive guy who doesn’t care for physical appearance, it was too convenient for him. He never gave much thought to beauty standards portraying how humans should be, but they aren’t right? Even though they wanted to show the world of attractive people through him and Hyun Soo Ah, that even they suffer from constant pressure and anxiety due to unwanted attention, it didn’t sit well with me. 

Rather than showing no emotion as if that problem doesn’t exist, it’s more real to react to it and understand how other people feel. I can explain it through a Japanese drama I watched recently, Black Cinderella. Tachibana Keigo is the most attractive guy in the school. Kamiya Manaha is his classmate who aims to enter the beauty contest, but after an accident her face is scarred. She loses her self-confidence and decides to back off. Tachibana tries his best to convince her to enter the competition, but Manaha thinks that it’s easy for him to say as he’s gifted with the best looks. It’s when Tachibana confesses that it’s all after plastic surgery on his face, and she’s a lot stronger than him who couldn’t bear the societal pressure of beauty standards. After this confession, all his confidence in his good looks felt refreshing. When his secret about Plastic Surgery got out, all his praise turned into trolling, but he didn’t change his positive attitude. Also, instead of making Manaha feel that “she got him, what else she needs”, he tried to boost her confidence to find self-happiness, even if it was regarding falling in love with some other boy.

My ID is a Gangnam Beauty tried its best to make a likable male lead, but it didn’t work for me. But still, I won’t change my rating as my past self loved it, and it worked as relief at those times of board exams.

“Aehsassy’s Top Rated Drama”

Enny: Well, stories about failure and doing your best for your dream are just something I’d choose without a second thought, and when I saw something like that on Aehsassy’s fav drama list, how could I choose anything else over Hajimete Koi wo Shita Hi ni Yomu Hanashi?

Thoughts- [Rating – 6/10] I’ll begin by telling you my rating of 6/10. Because everything I say further will be an attempt to justify that rating to you all, and to Aehsassy as well (sometimes over-explanation saves the day). So, as I said, the premise sounds my taste, and it being on Aehsassy’s fav drama list I already had my hopes up. Even though I am not a fan of reverse harem, I still decided to go with this, ignoring everything including the student-teacher relationship idea. (I am not against age gap romances, but a student-teacher relationship is something that just doesn’t sound right in my head). I enjoyed the part about studying, being a weird adult, trying to move on after failure, being a rebel for all valid reasons and that’s that.

I find the prejudice that bookworms are supposed to be clueless about romance extremely annoying, and how FL couldn’t figure out the meaning of almost-spoken proposals by the other two leads, but could see through ML’s gestures extremely illogical. Other than that, I couldn’t understand why ML started to fall for her, like liking her for being a different adult is something my brain can accept, but anything other than that doesn’t sit well with me (and that’s what was happening throughout the show). The end was quite disappointing because every annoying cliché was displayed, like a break-up when you like each other, lying and even using someone else just to make the other person give up, implicitly assuming the other person hates you (for some selfish action of yours) and avoiding them, realizing everything all of a sudden just 2 minutes before the episode ends because you want the show to have a fairytale ending. Need I mention more to justify my rating? (well, I guess I’ll do)

The only sensible person in the show was that school teacher. He’d say things on time, he’d never hide anything, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it’s all thanks to him our leads got together. But no, the writer couldn’t bear that I had started liking a character, they had to mess up – and they did. Suddenly this person realizes that he loves someone else, and, like some annoying amnesia trope, he forgets that he was liking FL and starts chasing someone else. Don’t even say that he had already liked his ex-wife from the start and just got confused about his feelings for FL, because I ain’t buying that shit. He did like FL, and this sudden change was just because the writer wanted to throw the best choice out of the picture (so ML doesn’t have a competent fellow competing against him).

I liked some dialogues here, and some points of view had me reconsidering decisions in my life. I’d certainly like to give some of them a mention …

 “I am nowhere near being who I wanted to be, despite that, I’ll still keep trying.” 

 “Even if they don’t like you back, or stop liking you, you can still be glad that you experienced love. Find someone who’ll make you feel that way.“ 

 “What does happiness even mean? – You don’t think about what it means when you are truly happy.” 

“Aehsassy’s Worst Rated Dramas” 

Enny: Aehsassy once told me that Kento Yamakazi is one of the most popular Japanese actors, so I thought why not watch his drama when I am getting the chance XD. So, without further ado, I picked Suki na Hito ga Iru Koto.
Thoughts – [Rating- 4.5/10] Any trope you have found yourself biased towards? I am sure each one of us has one such trope, well, so do I… For me, it’s when the show talks about dreams, giving it your all for something you love, for your passion.
It is usually said that if you love something you’ll be good at it, but from where I see it, in reality, you need to work hard for anything and everything in life. Yes, if you like your work, the enjoyment and happiness during the process of achieving your goal will make it easier, but efforts are still irreplaceable.
This show is about something similar. This is the story of Sakurai Misaki, a pastry chef who dreams of someday working for a renowned Pâtisserie overseas. She’s hardworking and loves her work to the core, but yeah, hard work doesn’t pay off all the time, and usually things don’t go the way you want them to. So when it all gets messed up, she somehow ends up at her school crush’s seaside restaurant. Meeting the sibling trio, and the turn of events that summer rekindles her passion.
As people, when efforts don’t bear fruit, we forget why we started to do something, and at times we need someone to remind us that we didn’t begin this for the sake of acknowledgment but for love for our work. This show goes the same route and with this, we sum up all the good points (it should technically be “point” cuz there was only one but anyway)… I haven’t told you my rating yet, have I? Well, I gave the show 4.5/10, and I have a ton of reasons. I loved the premise, and not to mention the synopsis had my hopes high. But since ep 1, this show never made me forget the fact that I was watching Aehsassy’s worst-rated drama. With an overdramatic female lead possessing some insane level of talent but no EQ or IQ, a cold male lead holding a stupid bias against someone he just met, a slow-paced story, screen-time-wasting side characters, birth secrets (oh well, J-dramas have it too), ex-girlfriend coming back for no good reason, misunderstandings, and last but not least an extremely convenient plot this makes it nothing but a quite ordinary and easily forgettable watch.

I don’t have anything against the actors, they did their job just fine, but the write-up was so messed up that I really couldn’t like any character, nor did I feel connected to any character. By the end, I was just watching for the sake of finishing, in hope of finding something likable other than the premise, because I didn’t want to write a review for a drama I dropped. I’d like to mention that I don’t hold against clichés as it might look. I always blame execution. If incorporated well, even clichés make an amazing watch, but if not executed well, even a great story won’t make it to my good books.

Every drama watcher is unique and so are their drama watching habits and choices. While everyone appreciates a well-made show, be it by any country, at the end of the day we all like to stick to/ prefer one country over others. In Enny’s case it’s South Korea, in Aehsassy’s case it’s Japan, and somehow we feel this goes for everyone in general. But if we stick to just one country, aren’t we missing those well-made gems? But how to find them when you don’t have enough ideas about general drama-trends of any country? Well, it’s simple, just find friends who have, and ask them for recommendations. This, however, does not mean that those recommendations would fit your taste (take us for example).

But isn’t it better to have a shortlisted idea of what could potentially fit your taste than to randomly take a shot in the dark? So how about dropping some potential targets for your friends in the comment section, and let us know if you agree with our opinions, and if you don’t, why? We’d be looking forward to hearing your opinion on this article and our idea of swapping best and worst dramas. And with this, we’d like to bid goodbye until we meet again through words, hope you had fun reading.

Credits: We do not own any of the images/gifs except the screenshots of our conversation; credits go to their respective owners. Source for gif: Tumblr (All gifs/images are linked to their sources). Source for Drama posters: Mydramalist.

Edited by: Tine (1st editor)

my id -gangnam beauty
uncanny counter
kento yamakazi
yokohama ryusie
black cinderella

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