Kdrama Special – Secret Garden, Boys Over Flowers, Dream High & Rooftop Prince

Guys, I really didn’t know what to do for this post today. So I thought: why not let this blog branch out a little? I know that a lot of kpop fans are also kdrama fans, so I’m sure most of you will find these posts interesting as well. The Kdrama Specials can be any kind of post (as in list of the week, random post or review) but will be sorted together, to be easy to find. This blog’s focus will of course still be kpop, so don’t worry if you’re not that into kdramas. I started watching kdramas circa a year ago, and having been very ineffective I’m still very much a kdrama noob. But I’m really enjoying my venture into this strange new world, so I hope you’ll enjoy it with me! This list will be me listing every drama I’ve finished so far, with my comments on what I thought of them. If you haven’t gotten into kdramas yet, this list could most certainly be used as a guide to get started. And, here we go!

The Kdramas I’ve Watched (In the order I watched them) (I think…)

1. Secret Garden

secret garden

I’m glad that I watched this one first. It’s kind of a classic (I’ve heard) and it’s a fairly good introduction to the whole concept of kdramas. It’s kind of wack, yet not so much that you give up. I wouldn’t say it’s the best drama I’ve watched , but since it was the first I ever watched it will always be special. And it is still the drama that made me cry the absolute most. That might be because it was my first, since I do feel myself getting less and less emotional the more dramas I watch. But it was truly beautifully sad from time to time.

Thoughts About Characters and Actors

Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin): When I first saw Kim Joo Won I didn’t find him that amazingly attractive, but the more episodes I watched, the more I fell in love. And matching sparkly tracksuits will in my mind always be the ultimate sign of true love. I was really impressed by Hyun Bin as an actor, and that he’s in a drama is definitely a reason for me to watch it now.

secret garden3

Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won): I never truly fell in love with Gil Ra Im. I wanted to love her, and I liked the actress, but I just couldn’t truly love her. I’m not sure why that is. She has that spunkiness and independence that I like in my female leads (plus she’s a stunt woman! How cool is that?) yet she never truly caught me. I never disliked her though, as I can remember.

Choi Woo Young / Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun): Oska was glorious. His relationship with Kim Joo Won was hilarious, and at times really heartwarming. I was just as invested in his love story with Yoon Seul as I was in the main couple’s story, maybe even more since it wasn’t as obvious what was going to happen.

Yoon Seul (Kim Sa Rang): I at first really disliked Yoon Seul, as I assume you were supposed to. But towards the end of the drama she was one of my absolute favorite characters. She was beautiful and smart, and a really strong woman, without being in any way masculine. It is as if the people who make movies and tv shows can’t figure out how to make strong women without giving them traditionally male traits… So it’s nice when they don’t go that easy (and boring) route. She became more and more beautiful to me as this drama went on, and I’m not ashamed to say that I did have a little crush on her towards the end.

2. Boys Over Flowers

boys over flowers

I was warned not to watch Boys Over Flowers first, and I’m glad that I didn’t. I was prepared for this drama to be ridiculous, and it really is. It was at times incredibly infuriating and frustrating, yet there was an addictiveness to it as well that is undeniable. To be honest, I don’t think this is a very good drama. The only reason why I’d ever rewatch it is for a couple of characters, and I don’t think I’d make it through it again.

Thoughts About Characters and Actors

boys over flowers1

Geum Jan Di (Ku Hye Sun): On paper Geum Jan Di sounds like a female lead that I could really love. But I don’t. I really don’t. I don’t know if it’s the direction/writing or the actress Ku Hye Sun’s fault, but Jan Di annoyed the hell out of me. She was constantly loud and yelled way too much. And I just never found her likable. Towards the end I was pissed with her for going back and forth so much and hurting both guys, and didn’t think she deserved either one. Yes, I thought Gu Jun Pyo was too good for her!

boys over flowers2

Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho): In the beginning I really didn’t like him. Come on, he was a creepy and violent bully! But I did really warm to him over the course of the drama and while I never loved him, I did become fond of him. While I didn’t love Lee Min Ho after this drama, I did keep my eye on him.

boys over flowers3

Yoon Ji Hoo (Kim Hyun Joong): I’m firmly on team Ji Hoo, and nothing can ever change that. Not in the sense that I wanted him to get the girl, since I thought he was way too good for her. I just really fell in love with him. Kim Hyun Joong may not be the best actor out there, but he sold this to me. I’m a definite fan of him now, and I’m planning on watching Inspiring Generation, all for him.

boys over flowers4

So Yi Jung (Kim Bum): This is my second favorite from F4. Amazingly charming, gorgeous and emotionally scarred is kind of my type. Kim Bum killed it, and I really want to find another drama featuring him that’s worth watching.

boys over flowers5

Song Woo Bin (Kim Joon): I think it’s a shame that they left him so incredibly underdeveloped. He did get some angst and a personality there for an episode, but for the most part he was just there for muscles and bad English. I wish they had developed him, and his bromance with Yi Jung, more. He was always the member of the F4 that I found the least physically attractive, and that’s still true.

Chu Ga Eul (Kim So Eun): I adored Ga Eul. Since I wasn’t fond of Jan Di, Ga Eul quickly became my favorite female in the drama. She was sweet, and loyal. Not overly complicated, yet a good character nonetheless. I loved her complicated love with Yi Jung, it was sweet and really had me rooting for them. I wish that was way more developed, and that they’d actually gotten together, for realsies.

3. Dream High

dream high

Dream High is a simple and sweet drama. It’s great for kpoppers just starting to get into kdramas, since five out of the six main characters are actual kpop stars. It’s the only drama I’ve watched so far when the girl didn’t end up with the guy I thought she’d end up with. It’s normally extremely obvious who the main girl/guy will end up with in the end, and this is the exception. I loved both guys, and since she didn’t really end up with either, I don’t mind that. (Even though I was in love with the other guy)

Thoughts About Characters and Actors

dream high1

Go Hye Mi (Bae Suzy): I definitely didn’t like Hye Mi in the beginning, but she did grow on me. Towards the end I was most certainly rooting for her, and really looking forward to her becoming a better version of herself. I love that this drama is more about fulfilling dreams than love, and Hye Mi’s end definitely shows that. I didn’t love Suzy’s acting though. For the most part she was alright, but in some more emotional scenes she really didn’t sell it to me.

dream high2

Song Sam Dong (Kim Soo Hyun): While I wasn’t as in love with him as I was with his “competitor”, I did adore Sam Dong. He’s just such a sweet and talented country bumpkin! I’m very happy that they chose a real actor to play this part (and a great one at that) because if this part hadn’t been acted right it wouldn’t have worked. Kim Soo Hyun basically wiped the floor with all of the other main actors, and he’s definitely an actor to watch. I’ll watch My Love From Another Star soon, all for him. (and because it’s supposed to be great)

dream high3

Jin Guk / Hyun Shi Hyuk (Ok Taecyeon): This drama made me a huge fan of Taecyeon. His acting may be far from perfect, but it never annoyed me and he looked so amazing doing it. I fell in love with him from the get-go, and the further the drama went on, the more he grew on me. Taecyeon was the cast member that looked the least like a high school student though. He was 22 when it aired, and he looked like the man he is.

dream high4

Yoon Baek Hee (Ham Eun Jung): I was a fan of Baek Hee from the start. I applauded her journey to be stronger, even when it made her do not-so-nice things. I felt bad for her as she fell, and applauded her again when she got back up. She was one of the more interesting characters for sure, even though her story wasn’t really that unique. Friend to enemy and back to friend isn’t something never seen before, but it still works. Eunjung was one of the actors on the cast of idols that I think did the best, and after this drama she became the first member of T-ARA that I could identify.

dream high5

Jason (Jang Wooyoung): Jason wasn’t a very interesting character, and was mostly just there to bring some fun and fluff to relax us when the main story was getting too angsty. And Wooyoung, I know you tried your hardest, but don’t ever try to act in English ever again. You did bring lots of fun to this drama though, so I almost forgive you.

Kim Pil Suk (IU): One thing that I love about Pil Suk is that after she becomes skinny she doesn’t just give into Jason. She’s madly in love with him, and she lost the weight at least partly for him, but while she lost the weight she also gained some new self-esteem. She loves seeing Jason squirm and knows that he finds her attractive, and I like that. She wants him to realize that there’s way more to love than appearance, and he does. I love that in the end she’s overweight again, but they’re still together. It really shows that he did learn. Their love was a nice bit of fluff, and they were a very funny duo. IU was along with Eunjung one of the idol actors that really impressed me, she sold it.

4. Rooftop Prince 

rooftop prince

I really loved Rooftop Prince when I watched it. It has the exact right levels of humor, romance and angst. It made me laugh, squeal with fangirl delight and cry my eyes out. It’s definitely the funniest drama I’ve watched, and one of my favorites. It also made me really interested in watching sageuks aka historical dramas. I’m right now watching Gu Family Book which I see as my first step into legit sageuks.

Thoughts About Characters and Actors

Prince Lee Gak (Park Yoochun): To be honest, I didn’t think Yoochun could act. Idol actors are known for being bad, so I didn’t expect much from him. But wow did he surprise me! He sold the humor, romance and angst to me fully. He wasn’t flawless, but who is? Lee Gak is hilarious, and so precious. You can’t not love him.

rooftop prince2

Park Ha (Han Ji Min): This was, and might still be, my absolute favorite female lead. While she is poor, hardworking, spunky and an orphan like a classic candy girl, Park Ha has so much more strength. She’s a strong ass woman, and someone I can look up to. She’s sweet and nice, yet she’d never let anyone walk all over her. She’s just great, and Han Ji Min definitely deserves credit for making me love Park Ha so much.

rooftop prince3

Hong Se Na (Jeong Yu Mi): I thoroughly disliked Se Na for being so goddamn mean to Park Ha. Her reasoning behind that never made any sense to me, and all in all she wasn’t a very nice person. But I always wanted her to turn good. Which is why I was thrilled when she started doubting the evil plans, and I fully accepted it when she turned good in the end. I know a lot of people didn’t, but I just wanted it so damn much!

rooftop prince4

Yong Tae Mu (Lee Tae Sung): Tae Mu is kind of the opposite of Se Na. I quite liked him in the beginning, even though it was clear that he wasn’t a good guy, but the more wack and twisted he became the less I liked him. Did you have to become all murderous?! Couldn’t you just stay super ambitious and marry Se Na and be happy? Oh damn you.

Song Man Bo (Lee Min Ho): For some reason I can’t remember much of the personalities of the prince’s entourage. I know that Man Bo was my favorite, but I can’t really remember why. He was smart, which I always like, and he was the most attractive. But besides that I really can’t remember.

Woo Yong Sool (Jung Suk Won): I liked Yong Sool a lot! But don’t ask me why. He’s good with a sword? No, that can’t be it…

rooftop prince7

Do Chi San (Choi Woo Shik): Chi San is an adorably cheerful flirtatious drag queen! I mean, how can I not love that?

————————————————————————————————————

I’ve finished another four dramas, but since this post’s already become very long I’ll be saving those for next week. I hope you enjoyed this, and that you guys aren’t disappointed that it was about kdramas instead of kpop this week.

If you have any suggestions, comments, or requests for Sunday’s random post, Tuesday’s review or next Friday’s list of the week then leave a comment, send me an ask on tumblr, or email me at topofthekpops@gmail.com!

– Admin A

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11 thoughts on “Kdrama Special – Secret Garden, Boys Over Flowers, Dream High & Rooftop Prince

  1. Cool list~

    Secret Garden– think I’m on ep 14…? I fell in love with Hyun Binnie in this one, and proceeded to watch My Name is Kim Sam Soon (and actually finished it). He’s such a great actor!

    Boys over Flowers– Sigh. I liked Min Ho’s acting, but wasn’t sold on Jandi’s character. Switched to watching the Taiwanese version, which I found the girl lead to be much more believable.

    Dream High– Wasn’t a fan of Suzy, but the “Milky Couple” is one of my all-time fav. OTPs. So. Cute.

    Rooftop Prince– Tried ep 1 three times. Lol. I like DB5K tho… so maybe I should try this drama again?

    I like how you made comprehensive character lists with the dramas, and your insights on Ga Ra Im I echo.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for commenting! 🙂

      I really liked Secret Garden, and Hyun Bin was a big reason why. I’m definitely planning to watch My Name Is Kim Sam Soon but I have a very long list so it’ll be a while until I get to that….

      I’ve heard that the Japanese version is supposed to be really good, but I’m not ready to branch out into more Asian dramas as of now. Kdramas are enough.

      Yeah, they were adorable!

      I think you should, because I loved it. The funny really starts after the first episode, so don’t get discouraged if you didn’t find the first episode funny.

      I thought it’d be easiest to read that way, and I’m glad that you liked it too!

  2. For me it was Full House. This opened my world to the world of KDrama even before KPop.

    Although Autumn in my Heart is technically the very first KDrama i was aware of. Heavy drama is not for me but i watched it sometimes because of Won Bin & his gummy smile. heeeeeeeee 😀

      1. Full House you mean?

        Hell Yeah!!

        most of my online KPop friends also consider FH their first KDrama fave.

  3. Full House you mean?

    Hell Yeah!!

    most of my online KPop friends also consider FH as their first fave KDrama

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