What’s Old Is New – 2013 Year End Review: NewKDramaAddict Style

It is hard to believe that it has only been one year since our esteem leader, Snoopy’s Twinkle, asked me to take over the Movie Monday slot. At first I thought it would be really easy as I watch movies every Friday, but lo and behold that is not the case. It has been a joy and privilege to bring my thoughts on movies this year, and I hope to continue next year. Keep those suggestions coming!

I think of nothing but dramas!!!!

So what does the title of this review mean? More than likely, I’ve seen more dramas than most, but I also have watched a lot of dramas that some people either overlooked or dismissed outright. My little review will cover some of those dramas that I liked for various reasons. Click the links for more on the cast members. Let’s see how many you watched…

What’s a drama year without at least one crime/detective drama! Cable channel OCN brought us Special Affairs Team TEN 2. I admit I had a love/hate/love relationship with this season. After being totally mesmerized by Special Affairs Team TEN’s first season, I really was excited about watching the team again, especially my Joo Sang Wook!

I loved a lot of the stories because they were scary, and at times very interesting. But I also remember one or two episodes where I was so confused and slightly bored that I either fell asleep or had to watch them twice to understand. In some cases, I re-watched and still didn’t understand, so I had to ask other people that were watching to explain.

Luckily, the entire cast returned to add their special something to the mix. I can’t say that these characters were explored any more than in the last season, but it just wouldn’t have been the same without them. That was this season in a nutshell. Either you will love some or hate some, but overall, for you crime junkies out there, it continues to be a must-see drama. Can I love Joo Sang Wook anymore?!!


Heaven’s Order (Mandate of Heaven). This drama is kind of hard to rate. Why? Because even though it was a sageuk and it had only 20 episodes, I wasn’t ever bored but there were some aspects of the story that just could have been better. When it came to the acting, I must say the supporting cast outshined the main characters.

Everyone from Im Seul Ong as the Crown Prince

to little Miss Kim Yoo Bin as Rang were stellar!!

Will someone just give Song Jong Ho his own drama to be the lead already?!! I’ve been saying that since Princess’s Man, repeated it for Reply 1997 and now Heaven’s Order!! Enough is enough!! He was exciting to watch, funny and just carried every scene he was in,

especially his back and forth with Kang Byul as Woo Young. Those two and their romance made the romance between Lee Dong Wook (Choi Won) and Song Ji Hyo (Da In) pale in comparison! I think everyone who watched cared more about their relationship, and that’s simply because of chemistry.

Sung Woong as Do Moon simply stood out to me throughout the drama as Da In’s father’s henchman. You wanted to hate him but simply couldn’t help but love him and his beautiful (and real) mane of glory! I will remember his name for now on.

But let’s not forget the break-out performance by Kim Dong-Joon as Assassin Moo-Myung (Nameless). His scenes were unforgettable as he fought off sometimes 2-3 people at the same time! It was amazing to watch! Overall, if you like the genre, it really is an easy drama to watch. Sure, the usual machinations of the royals and nobles, but get past that, and there are so many funny and fun moments to see and characters to fall in love with.


The Queen’s Classroom. What a masterfully well done drama! From start to finish, it held my attention, brought forth the tears and definitely made you wonder: Is outcasting (bullying) really this bad?

Say what you want about Teacher Ma, but she was played superbly by Ko Hyun Jung! Even though at times Teacher Ma was harsh, when you brought the situation into context and really thought about it, she really was guiding them through life and the disappointments that they would encounter.

As far as the children, I will not singularly point out one in particular because they ALL EXCELLED! But then, I really wasn’t surprised because most of them are on my “Child Actor to Watch” Pinterest list, and they did not disappoint!

I think everyone should watch this: young and old but especially people with children. The attitude and reactions in relations to what goes on in the classroom was really realistic! Having been there and seen that; I know. Excellent drama; highly recommend it! Yes, before you say it, I will watch the Japanese drama to compare in the future.


Last but not least, my crack drama that began broadcasting in 2012 and didn’t end until this past April! Glass Mask was my first 120 episode/daily drama that I ever watched! Not only was it a melodrama but a revenge drama to boot, one of my favorite genres! I obsessively tweeted about this drama from start to finish! Man, I wish I could capture some of those tweet from back then, just so you could see some of them!!

I had to think long and hard before writing a review for this drama. Let me repeat, this was my first daily drama!

The child acting by Jung Da Bin (young Yi Kyung) and Ahn Eun Jung (young Seo Yeon) in the first few episodes was superb!

When I first started the drama, I could only watch a few episodes at a time because it was a story line hard to watch because of the sheer meanness of some of the characters towards the lead Kang Yi Kyung played by Seo Woo. The things that her family did and allowed was amazing. I have to say that the writers did a wonderful job the first 100 episodes; however, the last 20 episodes were either unnecessary or just plain filler, leading us to an ending that was rushed beyond belief!

Acting: I have to give high props to both Seo Woo (Kang Yi Kyung) and Kim Yeo Seo (Kang Seo Yeon). These two women did an excellent job in making you love and hate them. The things Seo Yeon did to her sister, wow! I cannot give anything else away on that.

The two male leads, Lee Ji Hoon (whom I love) and Park Jin Woo were at best decent. It was my first experience with Park Jin Woo, such a handsome guy, and I look forward to see more of him in the future.

Overall, unless you have hours and hours to invest, these short 30 minutes will sweep you into a story of family, revenge, and murder unlike any you have seen before (okay, Yellow Boots is next)! But one thing is for sure. this drama had one of the best start of the revenge episode I’d seen to date! What an entrance!

Granted, I’ve watched A LOT of dramas this year! A LOT! But I also know that I watched most of the dramas that people just didn’t talk about: some good (Ugly Alert) and some horribly bad (Sweet Spring). Overall, though, I must say that I was really happy with my picks this year. Here’s hoping next year is just as exciting!

8 thoughts on “What’s Old Is New – 2013 Year End Review: NewKDramaAddict Style”

  1. I’ve only watched Queen of the Classroom in your list. I love the kids in this drama esp the boy “Parang” from Stars Falling From the Sky. He was quite endearing, too in “Gloria”. The teacher on the other hand was just a big meanie!! 🙂 I have yet to watch Mandate of Heaven tho I’ve read some reviews that Lee Dong Wook is the weakest link in this drama- will have to find out for myself. I’m not sure if Secret falls under the revenge drama category- I watched it and did not really appreciate what the hype was about- thought that Ji Sung’s characterization was an extension of his Protect the Boss role in a “darker”/ non-comedy kind of way. Maybe I shld watch Glass Mask then. Thanks for the review.

  2. Great review Bel!
    Somehow I forgot about TEN 2, must start that and I watched Mandate, totally agree with you but for a sageuk it did not captivate me as much as others so SBH will be the next one I watch possibly next year since am running out of time.
    Can’t wait to see your rants or raves re Yellow Boots, enjoy it over the holidays, one of the best revenge drama for me:)

    1. I watched the 1st ep of Yellow Boots at the beginning of the summer. By the end of the ep, my chest had tightened from rage!! Yes, it is going to be a serious, serious tweeting period!

  3. I watched TEN2 and I loved it just like season one. Saw some of Mandate of Heaven and yes older brother from Answer Me 1997 ( Song Jong Ho, lovely name btw) should definitely be at lead man status by now, he is one good looking Oppa!

    I didnt see the other two because one, the chick from Glass Mask scares me. Her face, I just can’t look at her for too look ( but she is a good actress) and The Queen’s Classroom even through I like the main actress; I’m currently in a situation like that but not as drastic as the ones on the show in real life. My students are developing bully-like qualities and it is hard to get them to see the errors of their ways especially since they are so new to English and are younglins.

    Can’t wait to see what other shows you’ve watched Bel XD!!!

  4. Waaah .. thank you so much for this. Same here… I love to watch drama that people don’t interest in/talk about. I watched TEN2 and QoC. Both are awesome drama :*

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