Year in Dramas 2018

As people have probably noticed, I haven’t been doing a lot of posting this year. Mostly due to lack of time as I’ve been a lot busier with Real Life than I used to be. That’s not the only reason though. As time goes by I’m finding it much harder to find dramas to watch. I don’t think my taste has dramatically changed but rather I’ve become more and more picky and less forgiving for some of the flaws even decent dramas inevitably have. I’ve started and dopped SO many dramas this year and there are even more that didn’t interest me enough to even check them out.

There are now more dramas produced than ever. This doesn’t necessarily mean more quality content though, as it often feels like lot of the dramas are hastily strung up, trope filled constructions just aimed to grab a share of the dividens. There seems to be much more mediocrity, or even downright rubbish to shift through to get to the fiew gems. Even the somewhat good ones have proved to be quite elusive. It hasn’t been a total bust drama year for me though as I was able to find some dramas that I truly liked but alas, none of them was one that I loved to bits. I’m still waiting for a drama that would grab me and hold me hostage, in a good way. Yeah, one of those rare unicorns that come about once in a blue moon. Guess it’s a bit greedy to hope for one per year. 🙂

I finished total of 11 kdramas, which is actually couple of more than I originally thought. So much for making a lasting impression, ha. The best of the bunch are Life on Mars, My Mister and Just Between Lovers, all of them exellent in their own way. Just behind them are Prison Playbook, Children of a Lesser God and Goodbye to Goodbye, which were pretty good but just lacked that certain something to take them to the ‘top’. I’m still watching God’s Quiz ~ Reboot and Red Moon, Blue Sun and liking both a lot atm, but as they are ongoing, jury is still out on them. There are also couple of finished 2018 dramas on my ever growing List of Doom, that I aim to tackle one day. Whenever that might be.

It was kinda slim pickings with cdramas as well. Many of them start out fine, only to get extreamly draggy later on. I get bored and never finish them. Then there are those that lose their way competely and then crash and burn in the end. Thankfully I avoided those but going by the comments around the internets, many weren’t as lucky. Most Chinese dramas are just way too long, which generally means filler, extra padding and often flashback galore as well. That combined with a plot that is stretched beyond breaking point makes for a bad viewing experience. There are not many stories that can fill 60+ episodes, or even 30+ come to think of it.

As with kdramas, I tried several but only managed to finish 3 cdramas this year. Those being Guardian and Caught in the Heartbeat, both entertaining but nothing spectacular and Moolight and Valentine, which had it’s moments but the execution kinda sucked, especially towards the end (it got cut and the scriptwriter was actually writing the last epis while they were filming o_O ). The dramas that I truly liked either were stalled, are on hold or are ongoing. I loved what I managed to see of Sand Sea before the subs petered out and I had to stop because this is a drama that really needs subs to be properly enjoyed. Still waiting for Viki to release it. Eagles and Youngster was a nice surprise, as I really had no expectations on it. But the subbers took a long break about half way through, then I never found enough time to finish it once subbing was on again. I will get back to it though, as the story was pretty interesting and I liked the young cast. Ever Night is still my ‘go to’ cdrama these days and I love, love, love how gorgeous it looks. The story isn’t too bad either and for once 60 epsiodes is merited as there is a lot of ground to cover. I haven’t been bored so far, nor found the drama getting draggy, like some seem to do. In fact many of the more quiet and contempletive parts have been my favorites. The 2 shifu’s passing had me in tears, the way that was handled was lovely. The world of the drama is rich and the plot moves along in lightning speed compared to the novel, which I’ve been reading too btw. That said, there are characters that make my eyes glaze over and I tend to FF through their parts. 🙂 TPTB also changed fiew things in the plot (verus the novel) that I think would have been better left undone. That hasn’t spoilt my enjoyement of the drama though.

Finished 5 2018 jdramas. That was bit of a surprise as for a mad moment I thought I’d only watched one, ha. The best were definitely Unnatural and BG, both well constructed procedurals but with a bit different setting and both featured a great Team that I just loved, with a wonderful and supportive Boss. I wouldn’t mind if they decided to do S2 for both.^^ Honorable mention goes to Ossan’s Love which was mostly hilarious and kinda crazy but had it’s moments of sadness too. The last epi was a bit… iffy (they should have just skipped some of the stuff all together) but otherwise I had lot of fun with it. Tanaka Kei was great as the hapless Haruta with his two suitors. I also watched Joshiteki Seikatsu (surprisingly thoughtfull) and Kuragehime (just silly). I was really anticipating S2 of Cold Case but it’s now stalled at ep 3 ’cause it took ages before the rest of the epis became available.

So, this concludes my Year End Drama Grab Bag. Happy New Year!

18 thoughts on “Year in Dramas 2018

  1. Wow…11 kdramas…that’s great! Oh and I’m adding Red Moon, Blue Sun to my list! My Mister is on my list…have read so many good things about it 🙂

  2. So you did end up getting in a pretty good amount of dramas when combing all the countries 🙂 And you seemed to really enjoy several of them. Of course, I really enjoyed Just Between Lovers from your list. Such a well done drama. I hope to eventually give Prison Playbook a look. I know that one could go either way for me though. Hope you have a good 2019 for dramas!

    • Oh yes, in the end I did watch more than I initially thought of. The dramas were just so far apart that at first kinda forgot those from the beginning of the year, ha. Prison Playbook is pretty solid, though I think that the epis are ridiculously long. 😀

      Here’s hoping for a good drama year 2019!

  3. I would’ve liked “Life on Mars” if it wasn’t a retro drama. The nostalgic-ish genre has become such a turnoff for me that I couldn’t bring myself to watch Cdrama “When We Were Young,” which I heard rave reviews. “Guardian”is crap. Period. The cases in “Unnatural” are surprisingly tearjerking. Something I didn’t expect from a Jdrama procedural show.

    • Awww… such a pity about ‘Life on Mars’. It’s such a good adapation of one of my all time fave western shows. The original is already set in the past, so there isn’t really much one could have done about the ‘retro’ part. Initially I had my doubts about the Korean version, so I’m really happy it turned out just fine. I guess there has been a some sort of retro boom going on in dramaland. What is it about the nostalgia that you are finding so distasteful now?

      Not all japanese procedurals are cold and hard hitting. Unnatural is a Akiko Nogi penned drama so the ‘feels’ were sort of expected. 🙂

        • Ah, so that’s how it is. When one feels this strongly about something, it is best left alone.

          I’m old so most of the ‘retro’ is my actual past. Which is probably why I generally find these shows fun and nostalgic for reals. Besides, I’ve always liked reto fashions, just as long as it’s not what I actually used to wear way back when. Even nostalgia wouldn’t have me dressing up in the ’80 threads now, once was enough, ha.

    • Unnatural is definitely the best of those I watched in full. It was solid all the way through, at least I think so. I’m rather curious to see what you make of Ossan’s Love. 😀

      Hope you have a good drama year 2019 too, with little less to rant about.

      • Haha, but there’s fun in ranting. I guess I’m just more critical than most. Years of drama watching does that sometimes. I’ve heard good things about Ossan’s Love, and I’m quite partial to Tanaka Kei, so here’s hoping for the best.

        You plan to finish Cold Case season 2?

        • Well, there’s that too… 🙂

          Yup, I plan on finishing Cold Case S2, just don’t know when. It’s on the queue, so I suppose I’ll get to it at some point. Besides, I need to adjust the subs to work with my external mediaplayer, which means I’ll be fiddling with them for a while. It’s time consuming drugery and I sit on the computer way too much as it is.

  4. Aw, yay that you found some dramas that you enjoyed this year, Timescout! I know how that’s always a challenge, with the volume of dramas being put out lately. Glad that My Mister, Prison Playbook and Life On Mars got mentions! I really liked those ones this past year! ❤

    Also. You make Ever Night sound intriguing. I mean, I’ve come to expect a lot of filler with most C-dramas, so to hear you say that 60 eps is warranted with this one? Color me curious! 😁

    • There may be fiewer dramas that appeal to me these days but with my limited dramatime, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 🙂 Yes, I’m happy there is still some good content around.

      Ever Night has it’s flaws but it really has been surprisingly engeaging. There is not much filler imho. The original novel is extra wordy and there is pages and pages of stuff I generally tend to skip over after a cursory glance. 😀 It’s still ongoing too! So, the makers of Ever Night actually condesed a lot of the narrative to make the story flow better. I might put together some sort of post on Ever Night after I finish with it, time permitting. I’m actually tempted to post about the OST right now, as Drama has some lovely and evocative songs in it. Hmmm…. we’ll see.

      • That’s true! If you had lots of good shows that you wanted to check out, but not enough drama hours to do it in, that would be a very different kind of frustration! So, silver lining, the dramas fit your hours! 😂

        Ooh, I like the idea of a show actually cutting out filler to make its story flow better! I realize that story integrity is a big thing for me, and I’m now even more intrigued by Ever Night. Perhaps it’s time to bump it up the list..! 🤓

        • Dang, I went ahead and made it… the Ever Night OST song post. Your fault I’ve now been ‘lost in music’ for ages. 😛 The songs really give a feel of what the drama is about, even if you don’t watch the actual video but just listen to them. None of the vids are particularly spoilery imho, even though they have several brief scenes from the drama. I’d call them ‘appetizers’. 😉 But the scenery! Gosh, so gorgeous!

          • Woo! You did it! 😀 Tee hee! I’m sure you had a nice time making the post, since you enjoy the music so much, so.. you’re welcome? ;D Thanks for putting in all the time and effort, I’ll be sure to check out the videos! ❤

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