2014 Year-end Asian Drama Reviews (with Dramapot, Shikidrama, Mydramatea)

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Give your round of applause to welcome the guest bloggers – Heisui@mydramatea, Kat@dramapot and Soori@shikidrama.

Heisui: Hi I’m heisui and I mainly blog j-dramas, tw-dramas, and c-dramas over at My Drama Tea.  I’ve gotten to know Caroline (carolies541) over the year and it’s been a lot of fun discussing tw-dramas with her!

Kat: Hello! I’m Kat and I watch/blog/fangirl about chinese language dramas (TW, HK and C) over at Dramapot.com. Thanks Carol for the opportunity to be a part of this mega post! It’s always fun to read a different perspective on a drama you’ve watched.

Soori: I’m Soori from shikidrama and I mainly watch Kdramas,Jdramas and TWdramas (and a little bit of Cdramas) – lately I’ve also started watching Thai dramas. Although I post review, I normally like to write my thoughts on certain dramas or scenes and characters.


For this year’s drama review, I decided to shake things up for a bit and invite guest bloggers to write their own perspectives on the dramas they’ve watch. With more bloggers writing, more dramas can be covered and readers can hear different opinions about the dramas they’re interested in. The rating system is further developed with a wider spectrum, instead of the old and simple”Strong, mild and weak obsession” rating system.

Opinions are always subjective so don’t refrain yourself from checking a drama you’re interested in even if our rating for the drama isn’t favorable. No drama will ever be perfect in my eyes but a good drama don’t need to be perfect, it just have to deliver the correct emotions and entertain me.

Comments are very welcomed, we would love to hear from you about the dramas you loved or hated this year!
BEWARE OF SPOILERS AND WEARINESS OF READING A LONG POST, PROCEED WITH CARE!

Rating system for this year:
STRONG OBSESSION, MILD OBSESSION, NEUTRAL, MILD DETACHMENT, STRONG DETACHMENT

List of Drama Reviews
Jump to Top of: Korean Dramas | Taiwanese/Chinese Dramas | Japanese Dramas
(In alphabetical order)

Korean Dramas: Angel Eyes | Bad Guys | Can We Love? | Emergency Couple | Glorious Day | High School King of Savvy | It’s Okay, That’s Love | MAMA |Marriage, Not Dating | Misaeng | My Secret Hotel | Plus Nine Boys | Pride & Prejudice | You’re all Surrounded

Taiwanese and Chinese Dramas: Apple In Your Eye (TW) | Boss & Me (CN) | Back in Time (CN) | Fabulous 30 (TW) | Love Cheque Charge (TW) | Marry or Not (TW) | Mr. Right Wanted (TW) | Pleasantly Surprised (TW) | Rock ‘N’ Road (TW)  | Shenzhen / Roommate Diaries (CN)  | Sound of the desert (CN)  | The Darker (CN) | The Virtuous Queen of Han (CN) | The Way We Were (TW)

Japanese Dramas: Alice no Toge | Boku no Ita Jikan | Border | Borderline | Dear Sister | HERO 2014 | Hirugao | Mozu Season 1 & 2 | Platonic | River’s Edge Ookawabata Tanteisha | Roosevelt Game | Shitsuren Chocolatier | Wakamono Tachi

– Toggle between tabs to check out reviews and opinions from different bloggers!
– Click on the spoiler buttons to expand/hide different review sections!


 

2014 Korean Dramas

In 2014, cable channels proved themselves to be powerhouses of the kdramaland (even the variety show world) by constantly delivering quality dramas. Not all of their dramas are great but the consistency level is much higher than the public channels. That’s probably because they had more freedom to explore on different themes, creating contents with diversity. As a viewer, I’m always thankful when TV channels offer more things to me and here are some of the dramas that I watched for this year.

Soori@shikidrama joins me for this year’s year-end review and she pretty much reviewed most of the kdramas listed below. Her reviews are actually more precise than my long-winded reviews (ha!) so feel free to check her reviews out for different opinions.

Jump to Top of: Taiwanese/Chinese Dramas | Japanese Dramas

CLICK TO EXPAND/HIDE KDRAMA REVIEWS

 

2014 Taiwanese & Chinese Dramas

New sub-section for this year’s end-of-year review – Chinese dramas. More c-dramas are being covered thanks to Kat@dramapot as I actually only finished watching a few c-dramas for this year. I didn’t add my thoughts on Rock ‘n’ Road and The Way We Were as they’re still kept on-hold and as for Lovestore at the Corner, I dropped it midway through, more on that HERE. This year’s tw-dramas are, in my opinion, a little bit disappointing as most of them didn’t really grabbed my attention. Most of them falter halfway through and that’s such a shame! Heisui@Mydramatea also joined me to review some of Chinese and Taiwanese dramas, be sure to check out Kat’s and Heisui’s drama reviews!

If Korean cable channels were the powerhouses for this year, then Chinese web-dramas are the powerhouses for Chinese dramaland this year. There were several Chinese web-dramas with interesting themes that could never be shown in public channels due to content restriction by the government. On top of that, the quality of web-dramas are actually much higher than most of the dramas from public channels and they made me see modern c-dramas in a brand new light. I used to think that modern dramas are not their forte but this year, there’s Boss&Me, Back in Time and The Darker that won me over.

Jump to Top of: Korean Dramas | Japanese Dramas

CLICK TO EXPAND/HIDE TAIWANESE & CHINESE DRAMA REVIEWS

 

2014 Japanese Dramas

Jdramas are always so short and fast-paced, which is always a double-edge sword because their fast-paced story can sometimes prevent me from getting invested into the characters in emotional storylines but it works really well for procedural plots. One thing I love about jdramas is the diversity in their genres, less on rom-coms that’s so common in Korean and Taiwanese dramaland but more on crime procedural stuffs (almost too much!). However, in 2014, the drama genres are more balanced out and less heavy on crime-procedural dramas like the last few years. Soori@Shikidrama and Heisui@Mydramatea also joined me to review some of the jdramas listed below, be sure to check out their reviews!

Jump to Top of: Korean Dramas | Taiwanese/Chinese Dramas

CLICK TO EXPAND/HIDE JAPANESE DRAMA REVIEWS
Categories Cdrama Jdrama Kdrama Reviews Twdrama z

About Author

carolies541

A lazy person who loves to procrastinate and burn the midnight oil to watch Asian dramas instead. She can't live without dramas, variety shows and indie music.

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30 Comments

  • aerecho • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the reviews!

  • vanilladreamcream • 2 years ago

    love your reviews. it gave me some suggestions for dramas to watch since the dramas I’m watching right now aren’t interesting at all. I just watched sound of desert and I’m totally obsessed with it. I can’t go a single day without listening to the theme song and rewatching some parts. I’m trying to forget about the drama so I can go on with my daily life. Hope I will like the dramas you liked just as much

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      The romance in Sound of the desert is indeed addictive, I just love the fearless OTP, WJ and XY are great characters. Hopefully, you’ll find a few gems in our reviews^^

  • misscupcakees • 2 years ago

    Awwww, that’s so cute having guest bloggers over to write! I loved all of your reviews! Oh, I really like the reviews for LCC, and I guess I will see when I finish the drama myself. Also, spot on with the reviews for Boss & Me and It’s Okay, It’s Love. Those two are my favourite dramas of 2014!

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      I really appreciate having Heisui, Kat and Soori to join me for this year’s review because they can add on interesting new perspectives that I never thought of to the dramas I’ve watch. I really enjoyed Boss&me and IOIL too.

  • abugemilang • 2 years ago

    Thanks for reviewing #c-drama&TW-Drama. As for Queen of Han, there’s 2 video version for the same series: TV Version and Uncut one which is currently air for international fan on Dramafever. I haven’t yet to watch this one tho.

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      It’s always like that for c-series that broadcast on public channel. I only watch the uncut versions though. Anyways, reading the review written by kat, I don’t think I’ll be interested in Queen of Han, I tend to skip palace political dramas.

  • kat. • 2 years ago

    Happy New Year! Great job on this post and you wrote so many reviews!!! :)

    Sorry I just noticed something~ can I be a pain and change a word in the Pleasantly Surprised review? In the last paragraph I wrote ‘resolved matters’ instead of ‘unresolved’ argghh~!!

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      Noted! I edited that. I had a lot of fun reading your reviews.

  • Celine • 2 years ago

    Happy New Year Carolies514! Great to read your review. Currently trying to catch up on Mr. Right Wanted. Recently saw episode 4 and there is that one song that keeps playing in the background that I would like to know the name of. Can you help me identify it? It's a female singer that starts singing it in the beginning and ending of the episode. It sounds like it could be a song from an indie group or some singer from long time ago. Thanks!

    • Celine • 2 years ago

      Never mind I found out what it is called. 莫文蔚-忽然之間。 Didn't know that this how Karen Mok's voice sounds like. I see her in movies and always felt her voice was deeper. Her voice in this song sounds high.

      Keep up the good work for 2015!

      • carolies541 • 2 years ago

        I really like Karen Mok’s voice, her songs used to be pretty popular back in those days. I love how Mr. Right Wanted use some old-school songs. Happy new year to you too, celine and thanks for all the good wishes you made^^.

  • tiffany • 2 years ago

    Wooow great post! I recently read a recap on the last episode of Apple IN Your Eye and have to say I’m disappointed in how the drama ended up.. Idk I just have no sympathy at all for the male lead after what happened but he’s still painted as like some kind of ~fantasy/misunderstood guy.. Oh well, I’ll just pretend the drama ended before that last episode lol Can’t wait for Mag Hsu’s next drama.

    I noticed that You from Another Star/My Love From Another Star isn’t on the year end review. I liked that one except the writing/plot fell apart towards the end. I think I will watch It’s Okay, That’s Love next because I’ve heard only good things about it.

    • tiffany • 2 years ago

      Oops, I meant second** male lead for the stalkerish/kidnapping parts

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      YFAS is overrated in my opinion, it’s decent but that’s all. I think I dropped it midway through, near its end (ep18). I forgot to add that on the list too, ha! But I think Soori also didn’t finish that one or it’s not that memorable to her, if not she might have already added her review on YFAS to the list.

      It’s okay that’s love gets better and better in the later parts, I really like it, you should try it!

  • Godfrey • 2 years ago

    Good post! I enjoyed Sound of Desert & Queen of Han because of the TVB actors. You should consider adding Hong Kong series in next year’s post =]

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      I’ll try but I don’t watch enough Hongkong series as I don’t have a habit of watching TVB series. I do like HKTV’s Election though, that’s the only Hongkong series I watched in 2014. Thanks for commenting :)

  • afngrl247 • 2 years ago

    great reviews! so glad i found this blog haha

  • Yui • 2 years ago

    Back in Time and The Darker? i havent watched them and since you guys recommended it, im curious about them, hehe.. im looking for Election engsub. :( i hope someone will sub it :)

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      The Darker have only about 8-9 subbed on youtube, it’s a great crime procedural drama in my opinion. Back in Time is soooo good, I really like it.

      • Yui • 2 years ago

        well, so i have to watch Back In Time since so far our ‘taste’ in drama is kinda the same.. :)
        how many episode of the darker? i searched on google but i couldnt find it. any other title?

        • carolies541 • 2 years ago

          暗黑者 raw videos are on youtube, you should be able to search it.

  • junny • 2 years ago

    Comprehensive review of a wide variety of dramas! :) It’s a neat idea to get other bloggers to contribute to a year-end review, I enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions. I didn’t like MOZU very much – the acting was generally solid but the plot went south and for a cop drama, it was surprisingly tedious and slow. I thought Alice no Toge was pretty decent, but HERO 2014 didn’t quite have the charm of its predecessor.

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      I dropped hero 2014 as I don’t really like it but Soori likes it, taste is very subjective. Mozu season 1 is pretty alright, i love the cinematography and acting but the plot is confusing and not engaging enough for me. I guess we have pretty similar opinions about the jdramas from last year, haha!

  • Skyrabbit • 2 years ago

    What a great idea! You should do this kind of review again.

  • Angela • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the reviews! My favourite TW drama of 2014 was The Way We Were 😀 And Back in Time is soooo good :)

  • alice • 2 years ago

    I really like your reviews on KDramas. I am a kdrama addict and will use your recommendations. I found your site because I was searching for reviews on Mama after I watched it and totally agree that it may be the best KDrama I have seen ever, right up there with I Hear Your Voice and My Girfriend is a Gumiho. After watching On Air, which I also love, I started watching shows with Kim Ha Neul and Song Yoon Ah and watched Mama in about 5 days. She is so good in this kdrama and you are so right that the relationship between Seung Hee and Ji Eun may be the best written friendship ever between two women in Kdrama land. The scene where she tells her first love what is she supposed to do because she is dying and he has to take their son, but she will send him as Ji Eun’s friend not as her husband’s ex is so heartbreaking and touching that you just don’t want her to die. DON’T DIE!!! I know this is one of my favorite KDramas ever because there really is no OST songs that are memorable and I usually like the show better if there is a great OST song in it. I also agree with your review of Angel Eyes. I am a really big Goo Hye Sun fan and think she is so good in that show. The end of episode 6 when she finds the MP3 player and hears Lee Sang Yoon’s confessions and realizes that he misses her with the great OST music in the background and uses the whistle he gave her all those years ago to find him at the airport is my favorite scene of the year. I wish the ending was better and went back to that scene and he could have used that whistle to find her later, that would have come full circle and been better. To me, this was a typical kdrama where the beginning is so much better than the end that I still would want to see it even though it is not as satisfying as I want. Great OST too. I disagree with you on Emergency Couple, I absolutely love that show too. This show also has the best use of a baby in kdrama history and I love the main OST song. Gook, Gook, Gook-I-ah!!! My favorite OST though is You’re All Surrounded. Go A-Ra is so good in this show. Two other great shows this year that you did not review are Discovery of Love and Birth of a Beauty. Birth of a Beauty is Han Ye Seul’s come back and she is so good in this show and exhibits all the acting skills we have come to love from her before the Spy Myong Wol incident. Han Ye Seul is also a top 5 most beautiful KDrama actress up there with Song Hye Ko and Son Ye Jin. And Eric, her co-star from Spy Myung Wol is really good in Discovery of Love. Discovery of Love is another of those older couple split up and get back together years later themes. This was a common theme this year. I liked all three of those shows this year along with Cunning Single Lady. Finally, another kdrama I would recommend from this year is Fated to Love You. Sorry for this long post, but keep up the good work. I will keep visiting your site for recommendations and reviews!!! FIGHTING!!!

    • carolies541 • 2 years ago

      Well, the reviews are written by several different bloggers including me. I’ve not yet watched MAMA but soori@shikidrama really likes it so it must be pretty good. I do like Song Yoon Ah in On Air, out of the two pairs, I prefer her pairing (Reminds me of the sad fact that Park Yo Ha has passed away though).

      I’m not a big fan of Angel Eyes, the first 6-8 episodes were great but the story turned very predictable towards the end and I just finished it for the sake of finishing. I love the OST and the cinematography but the writing is very weak.

      Emergency Couple is alright, not bad enough for me to drop it but not good enough for me to want to rewatch it. Taste is very subjective, I prefer Lee Pil Mo over CJH in that show but Choi Jin Hyuk is killing it in Pride and Prejudice.

      I heard mixed reviews about Discovery of Love and Birth of Beauty, I like the cast but the story doesn’t interest me much so I skipped them. I’ve watched the original Taiwanese version of Fated to Love You and I didn’t like the story enough to be able to stomach a remake (since I already know what will happen and the gist of the story, it won’t be fun).The remake should be better since it’s newer so the quality should be better. It seems that Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra are the ones elevating the typical story to be better with their chemistry.
      .

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