December Drama Reviews: 2018 Edition!

DecemberDramas2018 blog header

Once a year, our friends on Twitter come together under the #DecemberDramas hashtag to give their take on the dramas they watched that year. In 2018, we were blown away by how many of you participated, and it was great to laugh, cry and rage a little over the year’s dramas together. (Note: we weren’t able to include every single one because there were so many, so apologies to those left out—and thank you all so much for joining us!)

As usual it starts with a call to arms by Saya:

Are you guys ready to kick off #DecemberDramas tomorrow? We’re going to look back on 2018 & review what we’ve watched in 1-tweet drama reviews (+gif)! We’re also going to cheat when necessary. I hope we’ll see EVERYONE take part, old friends & new! (PS check out last year’s fun!) pic.twitter.com/KckxlnmsvK — Saya (@notnowsaya) November 30, 2018

Below is a year in dramas by the most avid drama-heads we know —

DRAMAS THAT AIRED IN 2018:

I’m Not a Robot

This beautiful modern fantasy is also one of the best-written dramas of 2017. Strong female characters, a wonderful OTP and a plotline that asks hard questions about AI and feminism, this should be on everybody’s must-watch list.#INAR #kdrama #Decemberdramas pic.twitter.com/ZiAQw7FzOy — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 1, 2018

To Jenny

#DecemberDramas 1: to.Jenny. Two hour drama special. A struggling, painfully shy musician runs into his first love, now a struggling idol. The highlight of this drama is the music, which gives it a nostalgic, wistful air. A memory that never was. https://t.co/IRSbbfvROo — Rimi 🌳💜 (@realgreenfields) December 1, 2018

Your Honour

So many dramas were cut in 2018 and one of the victims was #YourHonour. It was getting better every week until the Drama Gods cut to 16 eps. Its portrayal of workplace harassment in particular was excellent. It’s a shame it got ruined by a rushed ending.#Decemberdramas #kdrama pic.twitter.com/ZVqpOeTe54 — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 1, 2018

Life

So I’m gonna start of #DecemberDramas, courtesy of the wonderful fellow dramaniac @notnowsaya, with my drama of the year: LIFE. Seriously, all, watch it IMMEDIATELY! pic.twitter.com/XLbbeMiE1j — Abdul R. Siddiqui (@PakistaniPepper) December 1, 2018

My Ajusshi

For #decemberdramas there’s really one thing I can say about #myahjussi Transcendently beautiful.#kdramas pic.twitter.com/y5UzPNyow2 — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 1, 2018

I’m Not a Robot

Another reason why #INAR is so great: Min-kyu & Jia aren’t long-lost childhood first loves. They just 2 people who meet & fall in love w/each other bc of who they are. Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t it refreshing to just love bc you love, without the burden of fate? #DecemberDramas pic.twitter.com/cWfyzYDt5a — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 1, 2018

Radio Romance

#DecemberDramas: #RadioRomance After #INAR in Jan, Feb came along & gave you a romance straight from the SeGa/pre-2012 workshop & you are like: I don’t like this kind of time travel. I want my modern drama heroes who are not jerks & heroines who are not pathologically naive. 🤮👎 pic.twitter.com/4lKAjke3Mz — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 2, 2018

I’m Not a Robot

In order of completion:#IAmNotARobot : A little draggy with the angst, but the couple was the best kind of yearning and the scooby science squad made the show. #DecemberDramas pic.twitter.com/15QPZQDXvr — librarianerin27 (@librarianerin27) December 2, 2018

Hwayugi/A Korean Odessey

#Hwayugi : It had issues *shudders at CGI*, but I appreciated that it told the story it wanted to tell and the casting was on point. I will forever have a soft spot for the pairings. Bonus: Cha Seung-Won is still uber hot, and Lee Seung-Gi ain’t bad. #DecemberDramas — librarianerin27 (@librarianerin27) December 2, 2018

Tempted/The Great Seducer

#DecemberDramas don’t be #tempted to watch #thegreatseducer sorry, even woo do hwan’s pretty does not make up for my lost 16 hours. (yes, i watched all of it. don’t ask me why) ((i will say this a lot)) pic.twitter.com/qm9Bro8Qct — sadhana (@sadqueenana) December 2, 2018

Are You Human Too?

#DecemberDramas#AreYouHumanToo : a lovely coming-of-age story wrapped in a futuristic premise. Though it had a rough beginning and an imperfect ending, it had some phenomenal episodes. I’ll hold the drama close to my heart for giving us SoBongie + Shinnamon, aka #RespectCouple. pic.twitter.com/qnpr6Z1gVB — Bams 💜🐝🌲🐱🦕 (@bammsie) December 2, 2018

Two Cops

#DecemberDramas 1: #TwoCops is pretty fun, overall. Jo Jung-seok is fantastic as always, and Kim Sun-ho was probably the Breakout Actor of 2017. You know, if Woo Do-hwan didn’t exist. And then there’s Hyeri… Alright, I’ll leave it at that. pic.twitter.com/WqjiwfZoke — Joshua (@KORegals) December 2, 2018

Thirty But Seventeen/Still Seventeen

Is it possible for a television show to be sunshine and fluffy-bunny clouds? If so #30But17 came close. A delightful little cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows, this show was warn and loving and had a great OTP. Pacing was its only flaw but a small one.#decemberdramas #kdramas — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 2, 2018

About Time

Any talk of #kdramas for 2018 has to mention the wonderful #AboutTime. Never has a drama become such a universal signifier for boring and pointless. Even the actors looked bored. They were no doubt the most relieved when they were hit by a giant truck at the end.#decemberdramas — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 2, 2018

Familiar Wife

#DecemberDramas 1: #FamiliarWife. A time-travel relationship do-over drama that gave us nuanced character development, a great workplace ensemble, & moving lead performances from #JiSung & esp #HanJimin who really shone in this role. I also really liked the ending, despite blips. pic.twitter.com/Uei3i4RIuT — Anisa (@laica_k) December 2, 2018

Fox Bride Stars/Where Stars Land

#DecemberDramas :#WhereStarsLand or #FoxBrideStar What do you say about a drama that didn’t know what story to tell? It jumped about, contracted its own rules, constantly told the audience that disabled people can’t have romantic relationships while they’re visibly disabled. — Paroma 🤫 (@festerfaster) December 2, 2018

Live

#DecemberDramas Live (yes, that’s a ‘v’ not an ‘f’). A drama that changes the way you look at the police force, featuring my favourite divorced couple. The final episode was so satisfying – other drama writers should be forced to watch it and learn how to nail an ending. — cloggie (@cloggie6) December 2, 2018

100 Days, My Prince

#DecemberDramas “100 days, my prince” was the cracktastic sageuk about the poorest of the poor in Joseon I’ve always wanted, until it wasn’t. it still delivered the best couldn’t-care-less ending I’ve ever seen. — #Day6GoneBy (@liquidroomba) December 2, 2018

Tempted/Great Seducer

I dropped this by week 3, which was 2 weeks too far – it literally lost the plot by then, and showed no sign of finding it again #Tempted #GreatSeducer #WooDoHwan #DecemberDramas https://t.co/6CNPyJW5eu — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 2, 2018

Something in the Rain/Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food

#DecemberDramas: #SomethingInTheRain/#PrettyNoona I thought you were so cool but it was a lie. Yes it’s hard to be a woman but you actually wilfully DID IT TO YOURSELF & took home a defeat you called a victory. You suck. Your ma sucks. Even yo boyfriend sucks #SonYeJin #JungHaeIn pic.twitter.com/KNiq6FPbZh — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 2, 2018

Prison Playbook

Alright guys, day 2 of #DecemberDramas; I’m gonna go with one that started in 2017, but it went into 2018 so I’ll count it as 2018 because it is awesome and a shame that more people don’t know it. Prison Playbook! Amazing show, amazing mix of drama and comedy. pic.twitter.com/NKEgiR7OT5 — Abdul R. Siddiqui (@PakistaniPepper) December 2, 2018

Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food/Something in the Rain

Is it possible to make a drama that has top-notch writing, production and acting that nobody wants to watch because it’s just so damn depressing? PD Ahn says “Yes!” Also, if I hear Stand By Your Man one more time, I may stab somebody.#decemberdramas https://t.co/foOyNiAd9R — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 3, 2018

You Drive Me Crazy (Drama Special)

#YouDriveMeCrazy : Friends to lovers done uncomfortably right, the episodes go by like spoonfuls of honey with sightings of new favorites in supporting roles. #DecemberDramas — librarianerin27 (@librarianerin27) December 3, 2018

My Husband Oh Jak-doo

#MyHusbandOhJakDoo : I loved how each was the guard the other needed to heal and be fully themselves, and I think I even enjoyed the experience of total loathing for the family in her life. Bonus: Eric. #DecemberDramas — librarianerin27 (@librarianerin27) December 3, 2018

I’m Not a Robot

#DecemberDramas 2: #ImNotaRobot was the perfect sci-fi rom-com, with a great ensemble cast & awesome leads who were even better together, with a hilarious, cute, moving dynamic. And the show actually lived up to the feminist tropes it established—truly rare & unforgettable! pic.twitter.com/USgW6ujM3O — Anisa (@laica_k) December 3, 2018

Prison Playbook

#DecemberDramas review: #PrisonPlaybook, A-. The minus is primarily ’cause of the movie-length episodes which meant it took me ages to finish it — but also bc of THAT moment in ep 15 which still makes me go 😱😠😭. A++ for the multi-bromance, tho. pic.twitter.com/TnixuE2pes — obsessive dilettante (@ODilettante) December 3, 2018

Beauty Inside

#decemberdramas #BeautyInside 😍 This one’s for the romance lovers who like their OTP to get together soon and battle the world together. Not a perfect drama, but major RESPECT for a heroine who will burn you down if you bully or harass anyone in front of her. ❤️ — Paroma 🤫 (@festerfaster) December 3, 2018

Evergreen

Earlier in the year, our #kdrama screens were blessed with zzzz…. sorry, what I was doing? Tweeting #decemberdramas? Oh, yes. The show #Evergreen was zzzz… sorry nodded off again. There was a tree and cafe and a cop and zzzz…snort…snore…. romance maybe zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 3, 2018

Wok of Love/Greasy Melo

#DecemberDramas: #WokOfLove 1st half nuts in a good way, 2nd half nuts in a bad way. Show never quite got itself together & ended up becoming even MORE unwound as it went on. And Buster 🐴 disappeared! As ever though, #JungRyeoWon sparkles & #JangHyuk steals scenes. Ah, my ship. pic.twitter.com/cyYqxBm6u5 — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 4, 2018

Live

Day 3 of #DecemberDramas for me: a drama that is really good at comedic moments (or a comedy that is really good at drama moments). LIVE! An ensemble drama that is touching, depressing and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. pic.twitter.com/Ww6LtuFbCQ — Abdul R. Siddiqui (@PakistaniPepper) December 4, 2018

Thirty But Seventeen/Still Seventeen

#DecemberDramas 3: #Still17 was full of heart and corny in the best possible way, with a lovable ensemble cast & no villains necessary for this moving, unconventional coming-of-age story. #ShinHyesun is a shining star; #AhnHyoseob stole my heart. CHAN-AHHH! 😍😂😭 pic.twitter.com/KwQwrOZB2H — Anisa (@laica_k) December 4, 2018

About Time

#decemberdramas #abouttime Awful boyfriend award 2018. It was about time I dropped this drama at ep 4. Threatening your girl is never romantic. @notnowsaya pic.twitter.com/MvAjk1EBjt — Swedish Ajumma (@swedish_ajumma) December 4, 2018

Life On Mars

#DecemberDramas 2: Life on Mars. The. Best. Drama. Of. 2018. (though in my opinion it gave us the wrong answer) ’nuff said.https://t.co/d5BI5WdMHj — Rimi 🌳💜 (@realgreenfields) December 4, 2018

Miss Hammurabi

L and Go Ara star in a drama. My expectations were low but then #MissHammurabi was surprisingly… excellent. And interesting. Succeeding where #YourHonour failed: a likable well-matched couple work cases that are tough in SK’s patriarchy. #DecemberDramas — cloggie (@cloggie6) December 4, 2018

Radio Romance

#DecemberDramas #RadioRomance Boss/landlord forces her to sign a contract stating her to obey a DJ’s all demands. Story that follows is the conflict of who will groom her most. Condescending behavior presented as “romantic”. Hated it but couldn’t stop watching. 🤢 @notnowsaya pic.twitter.com/zx6WxUNKZr — Swedish Ajumma (@swedish_ajumma) December 4, 2018

Black

Somebody else do #Black for #Decemberdramas. A year on I’m still too traumatised. I thought the Hong Sisters had cornered the market on crappy nonsensical endings.#kdrama — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 4, 2018

Terius Behind Me

#teriusbehindme will go in history as the show that got my father into #kdrama – and for his now-famous super fangirl crush on So Ji Sub that caused him to dub the actor “my Soju Bon”. This show was so much damn fun#decemberdramas pic.twitter.com/V8bzJh04ST — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 4, 2018

Just Between Lovers

#DecemberDramas 4: #JustBetweenLovers is a rare melo that portrays trauma & healing without being exploitative or manipulative, giving us a warm, authentic, genuinely romantic story of painful love between reunited leads that never feels cliched. A+ acting from #Junho & #WonJinah pic.twitter.com/mZ9wFl0SiD — Anisa (@laica_k) December 5, 2018

100 Days, My Prince

#Decemberdramas #100daysmyprince The whole issue with being a bigamist…And abandoning the first wife to poverty. But with those eyes… I forgive you for everything. Exterior scenes outside village had absolutely stunning photo but unfortunately someone else filmed the rest. pic.twitter.com/ZzKbK1hLaz — Swedish Ajumma (@swedish_ajumma) December 5, 2018

Fox Bride Star/Where Stars Land

#DecemberDramas 5: #FoxBrideStar made me SO mad. Heroine started awful & became a retconned Candy; hero’s struggle with disability was eclipsed by the show’s blatant ableism. I watched to the (rage-inducing) end solely for Bodyguard Couple. A waste of #ChaeSoobin & #LeeJehoon. pic.twitter.com/waSLmG8eGa — Anisa (@laica_k) December 6, 2018

Mother

It has been quite a good year for melos and early in the year we got #Mother; a sparsely beautiful and tense story of a woman who kidnaps an abused child and runs away with her. The music and cinematography in this were only matched by the writing and the acting#decemberdramas pic.twitter.com/i5cCHblZLr — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 6, 2018

Clean With Passion For Now

So #cleanwithpassion is a dumpster fire but at least it gives us the chance to admire my gentle giant, the sexy acting powerhouse that is #yoonkyunsang. Also the knetz suck more than this show, which makes me want to watch it to the bitter end#decemberdramas #kdrama — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 7, 2018

Misty

#DecemberDramas review: #Misty, A+. PANTSUIT QUEEN OF MY HEART. Idc how people feel about the ending, this drama stole so much of my life & soul while it was it airing that it’s firmly cemented as one of my faves of the year. pic.twitter.com/Y45Btf0CnB — obsessive dilettante (@ODilettante) December 7, 2018

I’m Not a Robot

I should be learning for next week Korean exam. Does anyone know how to say “I wasn’t able to learn all the vocabulary and grammar because I got swayed by #DecemberDramas and binge-watched I’m not a Robot. It was delicious. I regret nothing.” pic.twitter.com/i2svZu7jkG — Marvin is depressed (@AllPhryne) December 8, 2018

I’m Not a Robot

I love that our plan to tweet about all the #kdrama we watched this year for #decemberdramas has degenerated into endless posts about the wonder of #INAR. Let’s hope we get another gem like this soon. pic.twitter.com/oYT9fNrJwl — Dame Holly Is a Bot (@Lee_Tennant) December 8, 2018

Doubtful Victory + Two Cops

#TwoCops was best in its #JoJungSuk x #KimSunHo bromance, so of course that’s what you got the least of AND it was withheld until the end. Instead: dumb tug-of-war over blank heroine (*there’s* an idol who needs to take a break from acting. Forever.) #DecemberDramas pic.twitter.com/m73IdqMKdX — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 9, 2018
BUT #DoubtfulVictory *did* introduce me to the delightful #ChoiDaeHoon who is brilliantly weaselly, smarmy on demand, and generally all-round roguish (esp check him out in #HeartSurgeons with #GoSoo et al.) #DecemberDramas pic.twitter.com/3wPrGsB0Vl — Saya (@notnowsaya) December 9, 2018

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?

Despite the solid start, the story kind of limps to an end, where the writers forget that Sec Kim wanted to experience a life outside that of a secretary. The romance we were rooting for ultimately became Kim Mi-so’s golden cage. Talk about an OTP ruined. #DecemberDramas — Paroma 🤫 (@festerfaster) December 9, 2018

Handsome Guy and Jung Eum

#DecemberDramas 6: I was excited to see #NamgoongMin & #HwangJungeum reunite in #HandsomeGuyandJungEum, but the excellent cast could only do so much for a cliched plot & nonsensical writing. Cuteness (& kisses) couldn’t save it from blandness. #ChoiTaejoon criminally underused. pic.twitter.com/KVMQzaT6Qx — Anisa (@laica_k) December 9, 2018

My Ajusshi

#DecemberDramas review: #MyAjusshi, A+. I resisted this one at first bc dramaland doesn’t need yet another massive age-gap, but after being reassured there was no romance, I happily dove in & was rewarded by IU proverbially kicking my ass for not watching it earlier. pic.twitter.com/LARFWZ2Q7i — obsessive dilettante (@ODilettante) December 9, 2018

A Poem A Day/You Who Forgot Poetry

#DecemberDramas 7: #APoemADay is a cheesy as hell, but beautifully warm growing-up story, with a lovely, gentle romance & poems that made me cry. #LeeYoobi ACTUALLY GLOWS she’s so good in this. #LeeJoohyuk is perfect as a too-serious dork in love. Also: a story of a boy & his 🐊 pic.twitter.com/FrBguv7pbr — Anisa (@laica_k) December 11, 2018

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Wok of Love/Greasy Melo

#DecemberDramas review: #WokOfLove/#GreasyMelo, B-. Who needs a sensible plot when you have 3 incredibly charismatic leads? Ignore the ridiculous story that’s held together with string & chewing gum — instead focus on the cute kitty, delicious food, & amazing friendships. pic.twitter.com/gbeb0DNHI5 — obsessive dilettante (@ODilettante) December 12, 2018

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My ID is Gangnam Beauty

#DecemberDramas:–#MyIDisGangnamBeauty Unexpectedly, this college drama about looks and how they effect us on a daily basis became my fav of the year. Well cast & well written, this story asks difficult questions and accepts that not all the answers are perfect. 10/10 ❤️s. pic.twitter.com/VaUsWSmmI5 — Paroma 🤫 (@festerfaster) December 13, 2018

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Thirty But Seventeen/Still Seventeen

#DecemberDramas #Thirtybutseventeen I knew I would like this one from the first episode. With a strong cast, seamlessly incorporated classical music, a second lead I adopted, and an OTP that were perfect for each other, this was the best understated healing romance this year. pic.twitter.com/w0dLmfwD5M — allykdrama (@allykdrama) December 15, 2018

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OLDER DRAMAS WATCHED IN 2018:

Seven First Kisses

Oldie but I finished it this year: #SevenFirstKisses. I kinda wish this could have been a full drama, without being so much an ad, because it was remarkably silly yet had a seed I’d have loved to see fleshed out.#DecemberDramas — librarianerin27 (@librarianerin27) December 3, 2018

OTHER ASIAN DRAMAS/MOVIES WATCHED IN 2018:

Erased

So for #DecemberDramas I’m bringing in a Japanese drama that was right at the end of 2017: Erased! Tense, touching, thought-provoking. Watch it! pic.twitter.com/BCHFi5If7u — Abdul R. Siddiqui (@PakistaniPepper) December 10, 2018

Thanks for watching K-dramas with us in 2018! Here’s to an even better 2019 for all.

#dramasoverflowers #koreandrama #kdrama2018