Couch Kimchi’s 30 Day Drama Challenge: Part 1

As part of our First Year Anniversary, we are sharing more of our Drama cravings with you. We would like for you to get to know us more so we’ve answered the 30 Day Drama Challenge, with a twist. Well, we’ve covered not only our favorite Korean dramas but from other Asian countries as well. Since we are “spreading the Asian drama addiction”, the ladies of CK will share different insights on our all time favorites. So, hope you’ll enjoy reading this!



leila  |  Coffee House. It tops my all time list. The story for me was memorable. There were cliches but added with a twist. It drove me crazy but satisfied my cravings like never before. What I really love about it is the EUNSOO OTP because their love was shown with no sugarcoating, no usual PDA scenes we often see, no hand holding whatsoever, but the sexual tension is uber palpable. The story purely showed Jin Soo loving Eun Young in his own eccentric ways. This series has this kind of love that never fades in time, it simply grows. I know that the story is complicated but underneath that is something you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

clockwatcher  |  My Lovely Sam Soon. I saw this when I was still relatively new to Kdramas and thought it was so great. I did a marathon from Friday evening (and cancelled my plans) right up to Saturday morning. I wonder if it will still hold up these days but I will always save a spot in my heart for this drama. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Sam Shik but I liked him only because Sam Soon liked him and I wanted her happiness. I ran the whole gamut of emotions that exist watching this drama which is rare for me.

goodange  |  My Lovely Sam Soon. I saw it almost a year after its release, and it was my first Kdrama. In fact, it was my first Asian TV drama. I had a preconceived idea that it was going to be extremely melodramatic, like a soap opera, but I was pleasantly proven wrong and fell in love with it. At that time, the set-up felt fresh, with no villains to ham up the plot. The characters, the situations, and the dialogue felt real and relatable to me, and for those reasons, I watched the drama non-stop. Thereafter, I’ve pretty much campaigned for friends and relatives to view it. I’m proud to say I’ve made some early converts who are more avid Kdrama viewers than me. I believe this show is the perfect introductory piece to Kdrama virgins. 😉



leila  |  Lee Jin Soo. He is indeed the most infuriating character I’ve ever seen! But that made him stand out. He is complicated and his facade is far from who he really is. Only Eun Young can understand him though his Secretary was also a key point to knowing him. He is my favorite because he’s uber witty and fun.. He is unforgettable too because for the first time EVER, I wished that the male lead will suffer an excruciating pain like nobody ever had. For a character like him, it’s so much fun that way.

clockwatcher  |  I had to think long and hard about this one. I think it might be Han Kang from 49 Days. His love is unrealistic but that’s what makes Korean dramas so memorable. How can someone love so hard and deep that they can recognize their love in another body? Plus he was so giving without expecting anything in return. Loved him! Lee Jin Soo is another favorite because he’s so infuriating yet lovable. That’s a very rare quality to possess. Plus he’s got Kang Ji Hwan‘s smile.

goodange  |  The first character who comes to mind is Lee Jin Soo because he’s an amalgam of complexities and contradictions. He is crazy frustrating, but I adore his passion and commitment to Eun Young and to his idiosyncrasies and irrationally high standards. He’s practically an anti-hero, which is a major draw to me. He doesn’t fit the Darcy-esque quality for which K-romcom male leads are known; in fact, he’s worse than a Darcy. And I have to agree with clock, Kang Ji Hwan’s smile is a plus!



leila  |  Eun Song (Shining Inheritance). She may be the usual Kdrama heroine but unlike others, she viewed her life with glass half full and managed to stand up again. Han Hyo Joo is charming in her own ways. I love that she fights back and that her character showed that one can be angry in a righteous way. Meaning, one can still feel angry but not sin further.

clockwatcher  |  Noda Naoko in Anego. Actually, I pretty much love this actress in everything she’s in but particularly in Anego where she was a lively, bold yet insecure and somewhat desperate woman.

goodange  |  It’s a tie between Kim Sam Soon in My Lovely Sam Soon and Coffee House‘s Eun Young. Sam Soon lacks refinement, but she makes up for it with her self-assuredness, adhering to her values and beliefs. Having her heart broken by a worthless cad didn’t pull her confidence down. She built on that experience, solidifying her long-held beliefs, not settling for less than her standards. She became smarter about sticking to that while working hard to make something of herself.

In terms of looks and wealth, Eun Young is Sam Soon’s antithesis. She’s a rich businesswoman, who is not at all an insecure, nasty bitch, but like Sam Soon, she has a confident and fearless demeanor. Jin Soo may ruffle her temperament, but in all, she is cool when it counts. I find this to be Park Si Yeon‘s definitive role, winning over many fans, some of which used to either dislike her or be indifferent to her. Si Yeon infuses Eun Young with so much substance, making us in awe of the character’s confidence, laugh at her exasperation and childlike haughtiness, feel for her vulnerability, etc.



leila  |  Moon Jae Shin and Yoon Pil Joo. Swimming in the second lead territory can never be this dangerous. I tell you, loving these guys can really destroy the OTP for me! Haha. “Crazy Horse” can just whip his charms and I’m hooked, line and sinker. With Pil Joo, he’s perfect. With these guys in a drama, we can live a fairytale even for just a moment.

clockwatcher  |  My answer may differ on another day but right now the person that comes to mind is Jung Woo of My Girl played by Lee Jun Ki. In his first appearance in Italy or wherever, I thought I was watching a lesbian scene but as the drama unfolded, he proved to be all man. I just thought he was an awesome character who was sensitive, sweet and funny. I definitely preferred him to the lead even though I didn’t ship him with Yoo Rin. I also liked Oska in Secret Garden. So over-the-top yet endearing.

goodange  |  Maybe it’s Ikuta Toma that deserves a shout-out because he molded a winsome Shuichi Nataksu (of Hana Kimi). It’s a well-rounded character—nothing boring about him. Most of the time he’s crazy, losing himself in his thoughts yet unconcerned about his exaggerated expressions and schizophrenic appearance to his friends. Though he has an inflated ego, Nakatsu’s innately sweet, and I really like how he dealt with his struggle about liking another “man.” Fortunately for him, Mizuki is a woman, but regardless of her true identity, Nakatsu was ready to be in a gay relationship with her.



clockwatcher  |  Cha Song Joo from Capital Scandal. She’s less of a third wheel and more of a second lead female character but nonetheless, she’s my pick. I can’t say I paid that much attention while watching this drama (forwarded and skipped a lot) but her character was awesome. Beautiful, calm, collected, intelligent and resourceful. What more could a girl ask for? And the actress proved even funnier in all the BTS I watched where she couldn’t keep a straight face and kept making NGs. Sucks for the director but awesome for us. Right now, Na Yoon from Protect The Boss cracks me up. She’s the most entertaining third wheel I’ve encountered in recent times.

goodange  |  In the past, I would have said Coffee House‘s Seung Yeon, but Na Yoon from Protect The Boss has been so winning that she deserves her own sitcom. She’s not evil-to-the-bones. She’s just a bratty, childish, spoiled princess who eventually comes into her own. She’s a scene-stealer, and it has been a hoot to watch her impose a friendship on No Eun Seol and Lee Myung Ran, and in that group, she’s definitely a third wheel.



leila  |  Can I have five?? Someday by IU (Dream High), Yearning Heart (BOF), LaLaLa Song (Pasta), Without Words (You’re Beautiful), and Comfort Song (You’ve Fallen For Me). The reasons I LOVE these songs, not only are they catchy and easy to the ears but the lyrics are just superb for me! Without Words just captures a love that’s silently beating … so poignant. And the Comfort Song, I just melt into a puddle of goo hearing it. Lee Shin is too darn perfect!

clockwatcher  |  I’m a big fan of OSTs and often prefer them to the dramas themselves. There are many songs I love, usually the songs by 4men, SG Wannabe, Bobby Kim, G.Na and a host of others. But when it comes to my favorite song from all dramas, I think it’s Inside My Heart from MNIKSS. It’s timeless and gets inside my heart (barf) every time I listen to it. But the opening songs of My Queen and Long Vacation are my favorite theme songs.

goodange  |  I don’t have a sole favorite because I like so many of the songs the same—they’re equally stirring. I wish I could list them all, but I’ll keep to the rule of 3 and name Pasta‘s Unmyeong, HeartstringsStar by Kang Min Hyuk, and Someday’s theme song by Jin Young.



leila  |  “Be Happy.” Lee Jin Soo (Coffee House). I still cry a river of tears whenever I watch that scene. Yes, until now.

clock  |  “Minami.” In Long Vacation, if I recall correctly, this was the first time Sena called her by her first name and was his way of telling her that he loves her. Also part of this scene was after he asked her to go to Boston with him, he threatens to kiss her if she doesn’t say yes. So she padlocks her lips and he does just that. Love it!

goodange  |  “Eat an egg and lay one,” or something to that effect. It’s my favorite line from Mong Ryong in Delightful Girl Chunhyang. (Awww, I miss Jae Hee!) The line’s not tied to anything meaningful, but it was just Mong Ryong throwing a typical, childish retort at Chun Hyang after she refused to share her hardboiled egg with him. The line cracks me up, and it has become an inside joke between me and my sister.



leila  |  Go Eun Bi’s line in the series The Musical really touched me. She was asked by Jae Yi why she loves the musical, and she answered: “I feel like I’m being struck by lightning. It’s like a million volts running through my body. It’s such a strong feeling.”

clock  |  “People seem to walk around with their eyes closed, but they can spot their other half,” or something like that. Seo Eun Young to Lee Jin Soo upon hearing of the manager/secretary romantic relationship.

goodange  |  Meng Kerou’s poetic closing in the Taiwanese film Blue Gate Crossing:

Shihao, seeing your colored shirt going away, I’m thinking … In a year, 3 years, 5 years … where will we be? You’re kind, cheerful, uncomplicated … you’ll be even better. I can see you years from now … you’re in front of a big blue gate in the afternoon sun. You still have a few zits. You smile, and I run towards you. You nod at me. 3 years … 5 years later … Later, much later … What kind of grown-ups will we be? Like the PE teacher? Like my mom? I can’t see myself even with my eyes closed … but I can see you.

Because of Meng Kerou’s sapphic feelings, her best friend, Yue Chen, ends their friendship. On the flip side, despite having feelings for her, Zhang Shihao accepts Meng Kerou for who she is and what he is to her. The closing narrative conveys the true and lasting friendship Meng Kerou has found in Shihao. It’s an optimistic vision of her relationship with Shihao, as they make the transition from teenagers to adults.



leila  |  “You…you little…from now on, you stay in my sights at all times. Wherever you go, whatever you do, stay in my sights. Because I thought I was losing my mind.” Moon Jae Shin’s line in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I know I was already in love with Jae Shin before then, but that scene, he killed me there. The worried look of Jae Shin just blew me away. It was so sweet, so manly, so caring … you’ll wish a duplicate of Jae Shin for yourself.

Also, Shin Woo hyung’s line in You’re Beautiful: “Even if the object of somebody’s love doesn’t know, there’s no such thing as love that is nothing …” It was a scene where Shin Woo hyung (Jung Yong Hwa) sang the I’m a Fool song to Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye). It happens to be the day of his confession as well that turned awry. A brokenhearted guy like Shin Woo hyung makes second leads endearing … why so? The reason we I love them.



leila |  Seung Yeon (Coffee House): “Even if the situation doesn’t change, feelings do … There’s a difference between you knowing and NOT knowing how I feel … I think there’s a huge difference …” Seung Yeon’s words are like a sword that can really penetrate the wall of Lee Jin Soo. Most of the time her words simply makes Jin Soo think of his situation and serves as a turning point for him. In this particular scene, Seung Yeon has been fired by Jin Soo and she just simply wants to clarify things. In turn, Jin Soo realizes about his situation with Eun Young, thinking that the past can’t be changed but he CAN DO SOMETHING with their current state. Hence, he beats the crap out of Ji Won and makes that one minute kiss soo memorable.


Photo Credits for Cha Song Joo, Sena & Mong Ryong  |  |  |


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