It’s July so it should be my TBR list and June reading update. That’s what it has been for a few years now. But June was a TERRIBLE reading month. I managed to only read one book and get about 30% through another. So I was talking to a friend about how I have been a terrible reader in 2023 and she said something to me that just hit right. She said…”You’re just in your Kdrama era”. And the thing is, she isn’t wrong. Just look at the difference in books read (20) and KDrama’s watched (33, although one is 2 parts and another was 51 episodes long).
So instead of making a post about what books I will “read” in July, because let’s face it, it is likely zero, I’m going to share the top 5 KDramas I have watched in the first half of 2023.
Out of the 33 I have watched, these are my top 5. They are not as perfect as my all time favorite, Crash Landing on You, but they were still amazingly excellent watches that I highly recommend. If you are interested, here is a clearer description of each of them:
The Glory Part 1 & 2 (Netflix):
- Part 1: A high school student dreams of becoming an architect. However, she had to drop out of school after suffering from brutal school violence. Years later, the perpetrator gets married and has a kid. Once the kid is in elementary school, the former victim becomes her homeroom teacher and starts her thorough revenge towards the perpetrators and bystanders of her bullying days.
- Part 2: Moon Dong Eun’s silent fury against those students that horrifically abused her during her high school years continues to burn inside of her. She meticulously executes her plan to inflict ultimate pain on her tormentors. Meanwhile, the sudden disappearance of Son Myeong Oh has gotten the attention of the police and his friends. Joo Yeo Jeong follows Moon Dong Eun and is willing to do anything she asks in her pursuit of revenge. Before Moon Dong Eun begins her final moves, she offers her nemesis Park Yeon Jin a chance to save herself if she turns in to the police, but Park Yeon Jin has her own plans to stop Moon Dong Eun. A violent and bloody game of nerves plays out between these rivals.
The Good Bad Mother(Netflix):
- Young Soon is a single mother and pig farmer who raised her son Kang Ho alone. Despite her love for him, her strict parenting caused Kang Ho to view her as a bad mother. As an adult, Kang Ho became a cold-hearted prosecutor and kept his distance from his mother. However, an unexpected accident caused him to return to his hometown and start over with Young Soon. Kang Ho’s childhood friend Mi Joo, known for her warm heart and strong sense of justice, also reconnected with him after his accident, leading to a transformative experience for her.
- When reserved rookie boxer Kim Geon Woo squares off against loquacious southpaw Hong Woo Jin, Geon Woo narrowly prevails — but the two former marines become fast friends. As their friendship grows, so do the financial woes that plague Geon Woo’s mother. To save her quaint café from going under, she signs off on a hefty loan. But when it turns out she’s been targeted by Smile Capital — a ruthless loan shark business — Geon Woo and Woo Jin do everything in their power to make it right. Fate intervenes as the pair end up working for a generous money lender whose foster daughter is dead set on taking down the loan sharks.
Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938(Amazon, a prequel):
- An unexpected case leads Lee Yeon back in time to 1938, where he reencounters Ryu Hong Joo. Once a guardian spirit of the mountain in the west, she’s now the owner of a high-end restaurant in the capital city of Gyeongseong. He also meets his younger brother Lee Rang. Meanwhile, another former guardian spirit and ex-friend Cheon Moo Young has become hostile. Lee Yeon struggles to return to the present, to his loved one.
Go Back Couple(Viki):
- 38-years-old married couple, Choi Ban Do and Ma Jin Joo, were in love when they got married but now, hate each other and regret marrying at such a young age. Choi Ban Do has been burdened with being the breadwinner, and Ma Jin Joo is a housewife with low self-esteem. The couple travels through time and finds themselves as 20-year-old university students when they met for the first time.
By far these have been the top watched for me, but I also want to give a shout out to Empress Ki(Viki). I am not typically into historical dramas or books but what day I decided I was going to watch one and naturally it was a 51 episode one. Luckily it was great so I don’t regret it, but yes, I watched one 51 episode KDrama and I did it in 12 days. Go me!
The other thing I have done in 2023 is rewatch some dramas that I watched last year that I loved. Two of them, Rain or Shine and Healer, even got a rating bump from me.
If you are interested, here is a clearer description of each of them:
Crash Landing on You(Netflix):
- After getting into a paragliding accident, South Korean heiress Yoon Se Ri crash lands in North Korea. There, she meets North Korean army officer Ri Jung Hyuk, who agrees to help her return to South Korea. Despite the tension between their countries, the two of them start falling for one another.
Rain or Shine(Netflix):
A major accident takes the lives of 48 people. The lives of the survivors, those who lost loved ones and those connected to the parties blamed for the tragic event are also marked forever.
Some years later a construction project is due to kick-off at the accident site. It brings back painful memories for Gang Doo, Moon Soo, and all those connected to the tragedy. While some oppose the project, others become involved in the construction process. As these people cross paths, they help each other to face their trauma and overcome their pain. Together they move forward and find a new will to live and embrace the future.
- Seo Jung Hoo is a special kind of night courier, known only as “Healer” by his clients. For the right price and with the help of a genius hacker, he gets his clients whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t involve murder. His latest job leads him to a second-rate tabloid writer, Chae Young Shin, and the successful reporter, Kim Moon Ho. He begins to uncover the mystery of his own shared past with the two reporters, thus putting them all in danger.
A Business Proposal(Netflix):
- Kang Tae Mu is the CEO of a company that his grandfather founded. One day, his grandfather informed him of an upcoming blind date that he set up for him. Kang Tae Mu is a workaholic and he is annoyed that his grandfather sets up blind dates for him. He decides to marry the next woman whom he meets at a blind date, so he won’t be disturbed from his work anymore. That woman is Shin Ha Ri, but pretending to be Jin Young Seo. On the following day, Shin Ha Ri receives a phone call from Kang Tae Mu. He asks her to marry him.
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon(Netflix):
Do Bong Soon is a petite, unemployed woman who is honest and kind. She appears little and sweet on the outside, but she is in fact very, very strong. For generations in her family, the women have been gifted Herculean strength to use for the greater good. If abused, however, their power will be taken away.
Can she use her strength for the greater good, or will it prove in the end to be too much?
So that is where my time reading as gone in 2023, it read subtitles. Hours and hours of subtitles. And like my friend said I am just in my KDrama era!
Have you watched any KDramas? How is your reading going in 2023?