Time for another installment in my year end reviews. Here are some of the trends that highlighted dramaland in 2013:
SAGEUKS, SAGEUKS & SAGEUKS
Last year’s time travel was this year’s sageuk. Right from the start of the season, sageuks aka historical dramas flooded the screens, each accompanying something different to offer: fantasy, gumihos, reimagining, biopic, fictional accounts, epic romance, thrills and suspense. Some were hits, some failed miserably. As you might have noticed by now, I’m not a sageuk lover and I skipped almost every show from this bundle except Gu Family Book but ended up in dropping it after it turned out to be disappointing.
Examples: Jang Ok Jung, Gu Family Book, Empress Ki, Sword And Flower, Fugitive Of Joseon, Goddess Of Fire.
TWO IN ONE
Most of the actors take break in between dramas. They either relax, or shoot a film, or hold stage shows. 2013 saw an occurrence as rare as blue rose. It often happens that supporting actors work in multiple shows but this year, most of the main lead actors acted in not one but two shows!! It’s a bonus but one can get tired of them, if that’s possible. Either the stars became workaholic or they perfectly know to strike while the iron is hot!!
Examples: Park Shin Hye– Flower Boy Next Door & Heirs, Lee Jong Suk– School 2013 & I Hear Your Voice, Kim Woo Bin– School 2013 & Heirs, Joo Won– Level 7 Civil Servant & Good Doctor, IU– You’re The Best Lee Soon Shin & Pretty Man, Hwang Jung Eum– Incarnation Of Money & Secret, Kwon Sang Woo– Queen Of Ambition & Medical Top Team, Han Chae Young– Ad Genius Lee Tae Baek & Pretty Man, Park Ha Sun– Ad Genius Lee Tae Baek & Two Weeks.
Another hot topic for drama world was the ghost seers. Two dramas already showed heroines with the ability to see spirits, with Who Are You taking a melodramatic tone while Master’s Sun was dipped in comedy and swoony romance. A third show was about to start with Oh Ji Ho as detective with similar powers but got postponed for next year.
Examples: Master’s Sun, Who Are You.
REEL TO REAL
What we always think when we love a drama to pieces?? That the actors end up dating in real life. It never happens except in a few cases that can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Gossip mill is always active with speculations regarding real life pairs but most of the cases are never confirmed. 2013 was filled with actors declaring openly their love. Some couples acted together in dramas/ movies and some didn’t. Most of them were a surprise!!
Examples: Rain & Kim Tae Hee, Moon Geun Young & Kim Bum, Jo In Sung & Kim Min Hee, Won Bin & Lee Na Young
There were number of shows that worked their plot in episodic format. Some did it seamlessly and others were too episodic in nature to get a satisfying main story.
Examples: Good Doctor, Dating Agency: Cyrano, Master’s Sun, Who Are You, I Hear Your Voice.
WEEKDAYS TO WEEKENDS
They sure know how to rope me into weekend drama habit! Many regular weekday mini-series actors starred in weekend dramas this year. As much as I love to watch them on my screen for more than 30 episodes, this year, I learned to stay away from weekenders as they tend to get draggy, boring with focus on unnecessary plots and characters.
Examples: Jo Jong Suk, IU, Jung Il Woo, UEE, Lee Ji Ah, Yun Jung Hoon, Lee Jung Jin.
I already covered this topic in a post. 2013 was special as viewers saw many of their favorite actors coming back to small screen after considerable gap. It is always an attractive feature for me at least.
Examples: Jo In Sung, Song Hye Kyo, Jeon Ji Hyun, Joo Jin Mo, Jung Kyung Ho, Kim Nam Gil, Jin Goo, Kim Ok Bin, Kim Hye Soo, Go Hyun Jung, Kim Jae Wook, Lee Dong Gun.
The year brought lots of good news with many actors tying the knot.
Examples: Lee Byung Hun & Lee Min Jung, Ji Sung & Lee Bo Young, Bae Soo Bin, Kim Jae Won.