Leila’s TOP FIVE K-Drama of 2016

I’m excited to share my year-end list with you! As you know, 5 is just the right number to keep you invested in my thoughts. Short but sweet!

I will admit, I’ve only managed to watch a handful of k-dramas this year. To be fair, I’ve chosen my favourites from it that made this list easy for me to rank. I just went with what my heart told me. I’ve enjoyed the mix of flaws this year. It was the kind of imperfection that made drama watching more than just spending unforgettable time recapping with.

IMO, Signal is the only show that is exempted, though I think it deserves to be in my list! I don’t want to be swayed by public opinion, so let me delve into this goody for later. In the meantime, are you ready to read what I loved the most this year??

As a bonus, let Nell serenade you while you read this list. Have fun and reminisce with me!

FIFTH. Cheese In the Trap

Don’t hide things anymore. I want to see you the way you are. – Seol

The conversations are on point! It can’t get more real than this. Seol wanted Jung, just as he is. On top of every nonnegotiable ideal list a woman have for a boyfriend. Isn’t it best to be accepted, just the way you are?

I especially love the scene where Seol questioned Jung about the meaning of what a relationship is. I was thinking, “is she just going to follow him even if she doesn’t understand why?” I cheered for Seol in that moment! Finally, someone was brave enough to ask questions rather than become a stupid follower! Kim Go Eun showed an extraordinary heroine in Seol.

Park Hae Jin stirred my mind to oblivion. I love that they broke the norm of how a lead guy should be through him. Yoo Jung is not perfect, he is a ruined structure. He made terrible mistakes. He had wrong decisions from the past that influenced his core values. Knowing Hong Seol and having her in his life was a breath of fresh air. He learned to adjust and realise his mistakes thru Seol. Sadly, they led us to a crossroad where people just pass by unnoticed.

So having said all of these, why is it in the list?? This drama is made special because I recapped it with my fellow CK lady Rinchan. I think I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it if I wasn’t sharing my thoughts with her. Honestly, I was loving the show already that I didn’t notice the viewers reactions were getting awry. The noise was buzzing loudly, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I had to know the reason behind it. I think this made my experience turn from great to forgettable. This drama left me hanging with nothing to hold on to. If I’m going to set aside the ending, Cheese in the Trap is the drama I’d still recommend. There are more moments that I loved here compared to moments I’d rather trash. I’ve kept the fond memories Jung and Seol had when they learned to hold each other’s hand and stayed happy that way.

I will shamelessly admit, it was Seo Kang Joon who had my heart on this one. He showed me more than just the usual unrequited love. My heart was rooting for Jung and Seol to have their own happy-ever-after. Only for the reason that I’d prefer In Ho’s company for myself.

FOURTH. Moonlight Drawn by Clouds | Love in Moonlight

Destiny is neither created because you wish it to be.. Nor avoided because you wish to.

Park Bo Gum slain me on this one! And Kwak Dong Yeon. He made Kim Hyung so lovable and manly. He successfully made an army out of his own. What a hunk! Forgive me, people.

This one is a light sageuk drama, compared to what I’m accustomed to. Politics is politics, a sageuk wouldn’t be complete without it. Though I’m happy to note that the love line and brotherhood was a highlight. This made me more invested. I found myself cheering for the trio’s friendship, sometimes even more than Prince Young’s emotional squabble to be with Ra On. Don’t get me wrong, Kim Yoo Jung and Park Bo Gum can stay inside a room and stare at each other, I won’t complain. But Prince Young’s battle to be the King with a difference made me endear to him. And the way he trusts Kim Hyung like his very life depends on it, stabs my heart whenever this very trust is tested.

Jin Young (B1A4) as Yoon Sung also had me at a glance. Not just because he was able to decipher Ra On’s identity and like her as is, but he had me yearning for his friendship with Prince Young to be reconciled. Whenever he defies Minister Kim’s principles and chose to fight with the Prince, he was just adding reasons for me to love him. Yoon Sung and Ra On was a wrong fit from the start. It was easy to let it go. That love wasn’t the kind of battle he’d win anyway. However, seeing how his destiny led to an event I don’t want to recall nor write in words, I couldn’t help but cry again knowing he deserves better.

Amidst all the palace turmoil, and whirlwind romance, I was content as if I’m holding Prince Young’s hand. I lingered on his touch, and just let destiny fall as it may. Allow yourself to be led the same way, for those who have yet to watch this.

THIRD. Jealousy Incarnate

Everyone loves, but not everyone can protect that love.

This was purely for FUN. I left logic out of my window and watched with no expectations. Writer Seo Soo Kyang also wrote Pasta, so I’m already assured I’d love this. Besides, Jo Jung Seok and Gong Hyo Jin as the main OTP?! How can I say no? Watching this is the only option left.

This drama lived up to its name. Do you want to understand jealousy? Where it comes? How it transpires inside a person? Where it leads the people involved? When it will stop? For the curious, watch this! Jo Jung Seok showed jealousy in multiple ways. I think I’m crazy to still love him more even after watching this. Hwa Shin isn’t the type of man I’d fall for. Yes, I’m insane, I blame it on Jung Seok. He successfully danced his way into my heart, as if he was entering it for the very first time. Only Jo Jung Seok have the power to move me in a way that throws my sanity away, and it is fine. Gong Hyo Jin as Pyo Na Ri was the weather forecaster who chose to belittle herself rather than stand-up as a dignified professional. Most viewers misunderstood her approach at first, but Gong Hyo Jin managed to steal everyone’s heart despite of that. I think she’d continue to do so, no matter what role she plays.

Pyo Na Ri made Hwa Shin feel the kind of love that he won’t let go off even after cooking 1000 ramyeon. Their love was more than just a commitment, but moreso they loved each other just as one deserves to be.

BTW, the OTP kiss scenes here are proof why sometimes jealousy isn’t a bad thing. Go and reminisce!

SECOND. Shopping King Louie | Shopaholic Louis

I’m just happy to know that someone is on my side. – Bok Sil


Just when you thought you’d get drenched by rain, someone waited and bought an umbrella for you. Just sweet. This kind of story is my cup of tea. It did present a “whole new world.” The world of Louie & Bok Sil is something that sent me to a red carpet ride. I enjoyed watching this beyond the amnesia and k-drama staples. It’s like how the piggyback ride was shown here. They broke the cliche and made this gesture sweeter because the leads aren’t drunk. The story is so familiar, but it was presented in the sweetest way possible. Case in point. Remember that orange rose Louis paid for with coins? It was so precious, even if petals was all he has left to give. I just want to melt witnessing that moment! This classic way of making a story will always have my heart.

I’ve known Nam Ji Hyun since Angel Eyes. She’s one of those actress who exudes innocence and purity with a natural fierceness neatly tucked in her heart. And Seo In Guk, how much he has grown? From the young character in Reply 1997, to the man he is now. I’m a happy witness for him! This man is more than just ideal.

I enjoyed the story as it is. You know how it feels like to find who you are? Amnesia aside, we sometimes find ourselves in that situation just like Louis. And in times when we feel betrayed, confused and the weight of the world seem too much to handle — we can still find ourselves sitting beside someone like Bok Sil with a cup of coffee in hand.

I won’t mind living in this world.

FIRST. Oh Hae Young Again | Another Miss Oh

Let’s go as far as my heart takes me. Let’s not hold back, and just go. – Do Kyung

I only have LOVE for this show! It comes as no surprise for it to be a top favourite this year. Why?? When you found love, it sticks to you. No matter how hard you tried to get rid of it. This love, it is not going anywhere.

At first I wondered, “Did Park Do Kyung (Eric Mun) suddenly had the power to see his future?” The answer is, no. Love just occurred to him like that. He was totally clueless, he was only defined as a man incapable of emotions. His heart and mind’s coordinates were astray. How can he mistook love and pity as something similar? When he met Oh Hae Young (Seo Hyun Jin), he finally learned the difference. In the end, Park Do Kyung defied what could have been and made his heart count!

Oh Hae Young was uniquely herself. No other heroine could ever come close. She had a drive to prove herself as a woman of value, who aimed to be better version of herself. This crazy girl, danced in her own music like nobody’s watching. It felt like this woman have drunk a river of liquid courage to just go after what she loves, with an enormous energy to leap with faith. She did this without fear of falling. It’s either you’d ignore Hae Young or come and dance along. Choose the latter. Park Do Kyung did and he found love.

This love story may look like the OTP were trying to pick out shattered pieces of themselves that was destroyed by love. Little did they know, instead of rebuilding their heart, they were starting something new — the kind of love that the more it remains UNSEEN, the further it enriches itself. IMO, this story was beautifully written. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it more than I should if not for Eric and Hyun Jin. I recapped this with a heart full of happy thoughts.

Love without filter nor measurement. Don’t allow your love to be just ordinary. In your journey, you might find yourself on the street and meet your own Eric Mun. When that happens, gurl, don’t hesitate to go all the way. And don’t forget to hug him tightly!

Let’s all welcome the year with a grateful heart 💚 See you all in 2017!!



  • Teleri says:

    I’d say these are a good choice for best dramas of the SECOND half of 2016. Wasn’t SIGNAL a 2016 drama? I mean, just unbeatable really. SIX FLYING DRAGONS???? Remember Me 1988? And Dear My Friends as well.
    As for Cheese in the Trap, it was good, but marred by what felt like a rushed ending. Any of the above were better.

  • martha says:

    I love Nell (*_*)/
    Shopping King Louie is my favorite drama for the last half of the year. Signal was my favorite for the first half. At the moment Goblin is my favorite LOL I’m fickle.

  • Sandra says:

    I still re-watch Another Miss Oh when I get bored with dramas. The chemistry of Eric-Seo Hyun Jin was top notch that I seriously think they were in love for real. And the awkwardness during TVN award just makes me more curious of this two really has ‘something’ inside their hearts because c’mon….you won’t act awkward when nothing happen between friend or co-star. See how comfortable Eric with Jung Yumi or Hyun Jin with Yoo Yeon Seok in drama awards. But when this two together, I could see the shyly awkwardness just reminds me when I was in high school whenever my crush boy was around lol.

  • gustave154 says:

    Oh Hae Young Again is my favorite drama too! Still listening to the OST haha

  • soyjade says:

    You had me at, Nell <3 <3 Thanks foe sharing your list!

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