My Top Picks – Korean Dramas for Mombies in 2016

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Mombie (noun) – A mom who is beyond exhausted but stays up late to take advantage of kid-free time.

The struggle is real. No matter how old your kids are and what job you do, being a mom can be exhausting. Of course, the smiles on our husbands’ and kids’ faces are already very rewarding but to be honest, having quality alone time sometimes doesn’t hurt. I for one, look forward to the rare occasions  that I can take time to eat a hearty breakfast and actually chew, or have a good one hour to just curl up on the couch and read a book. Or catch up with my favorite K-Dramas minus house chores for a few hours. Ah, such a gift!

Unfortunately, these rare times that we can squeeze in a few hours to ourselves usually occur at nighttime after we’re done with work, cleaning up after dinner, or when our kids are asleep. This paved way to the rise of “mombies” or as the definition above states, moms who stay up late to enjoy me-time during their kids’ downtime.

Us mombies have to make sure that we make the most of these rare occasions, ha ha. We can’t afford to waste time on poor quality books and TV shows. This is primarily one of the reasons why I’ve gained considerable interest in watching Korean dramas this year–probably due to the unique storylines. Their series are also much shorter compared with our Filipino teleseryes so it’s easier to catch up even if you miss one episode.

If you’re a K-Drama fan like me, you’ll know for a fact that pilot episodes are crucial to determine the quality of the future episodes. It only takes the first 30 minutes of a pilot episode for me to gauge if I’ll have the patience to sit through the whole series.

I care for other mombies out there (Huzzah), especially those who are Hallyu fans like me, so I’ve come up with my top Korean Dramas to help you save time if you’re looking for series to sit on. Here goes!

W – Two Worlds (더블유)

I’ve watched all Korean drama series where Lee Jong Suk (also in Pinocchio, I Can Hear Your Voice) is part of the cast so when I heard that W was about to come up, I was so excited! This is another story where Lee Jong Suk managed to bag an interesting role: Kang Cheol, a protagonist who’s super rich and famous in a webtoon called “W” gets entangled in a romance with a cute surgeon from the real world, Oh Yeon Joo (played by Han Hyo Joo). Yeon Joo is also the daughter of Oh Seong Moo (played by Kim Eui Sung), author of W.

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The romance between Kang Cheol and Oh Hyeon Joo is so-so for me and honestly I think it’s unnecessary, but the suspense totally makes up for it. The part where Kang Cheol finally faces the fact of his existence and how he deals with painful reality is the point of interest for this series. His battle with the unnamed antagonist who aims to destroy him, gain face (literally) and take over the lead role in the webtoon, amidst the will of Oh Seong Moo, is also a must-watch.

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I can’t remember a boring part in W, and even the denouement (final part of the story) will still leave you wanting for more. Giving this series a thumbs up and super worthy of dramathon (drama marathon) nights as every episode is suspenseful and leaves the audience hanging on their seats, or couch, or whatever. If you’re looking for a series that you can watch with your husband, I suggest that you give this a try.

Watch all the episodes of W – Two Worlds here:

KissAsian – W-Two Worlds – Online Streaming

Signal (시그널)

I make it a point to nag my husband into watching K-Drama series with me. No special reason; it’s just fun to bug him and convince him that the series he’s about to watch is not cheesy and not about lovesick puppy dogs.

Signal is a story of present-day detectives, Park Hae Young (Lee Je Hoon) and Cha Soo Hyun (Kim Hye Soo) who are able to resolve cold cases with the help of a detective in the past, Lee Jae Han (Cho Jin Woong). Jae Han is known to be a lost police officer also from their department as well. I think that Jae Han’s desperate cry for help was so sincere that it was heard in the present time by a fellow police officer and profiler, Hae Young who communicated with Jae Han through a “lucky” walkie-talkie.

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As the series go further, the audience will be able to infer that somehow, Lee Jae Han, the good and principled police officer that he was, gained popularity due to his character and values, and also helped him gain a fair share of enemies, especially among police officers who seek to serve the rich few. To explain a bit more, this is a story of how these good-natured police officers fight the status quo and lift cover-ups on cases that were put in place to protect the interest of those who are truly responsible.

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If there’s a series that Norman really loved and even went ahead to watch later episodes without me, it’s Signal. As for myself, crime series are not my usual cup of tea and I usually get bored watching them, but the fantasy and “past meets present” element of this really caught my interest. It looks like the writers of the series took considerable time to study real police cases which helped create unique stories for every episode. Each case, each episode will make a mark. This is a well-crafted series and has definitely increased the level of my standards for crime dramas.

Watch the complete episodes of Signal here:

KissAsian – Signal – Online Streaming

Legend of the Blue Sea (푸른 바다의 전설)

If there’s any new drama series starring Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers / The Heirs) or Jun Ji Hyun (My Sassy Girl / My Love From The Star), I’d be watching it. I can’t afford to lose precious mombie time by watching poorly acted out series, so come November 17 when my calendar alerted me that the pilot episode of Blue Sea is up, I made sure that I put away dinner dishes as quickly as possible.

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So much is still in store for this series. By now, what we know is that Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) will most likely fall in love with mermaid Shim Chung (Jun Ji Hyun) and their fates are forever intertwined.

The pilot episode shows of a scene dated 1856 where a mermaid was trapped in a rocky shallow cave near the shore after a Korean coastal town battled a strong hurricane / typhoon. The townspeople, awed by this mystical sight, called in the attention of government officials who captured the mermaid hoping to make an impression on the new town head, also played by Lee Min Ho. The lingering looks shared by Shim Chung and the town head is a way of telling the audience that the two obviously fell in love at first sight. Instead of keeping Shim Chung, the town head set for sail and released her and the scene closes with the mermaid reaching out to the town’s head hand whilst in water.

The succeeding scenes show Joon Jae in modern Korea (a way of foretelling that he has already lived a past life and has fallen in love with a mermaid in the process) where his present life is a far cry from how he lived as a town head in 1856. He is a cunning con-artist who makes a living by embezzlement and squeezing out large sums of money from unknowing victims. The next scenes show him running to an unknown Mediterranean island and enjoying the most recent money he squandered from a client looking to hide money offshore (played by Kim Sung-Ryung, also played Lee Min Ho / Kim Tan’s mom in The Heirs). While on the plane, a flight attendant (played by guest star Krystal Jung) tells Joon Jae that his destination is known to be the only place on Earth where mermaids reside. By that statement, I could tell that he’s bound to meet Shim Chung later on.

I’m on my toes for this series because I’m always on the lookout for Jun Ji Hyun’s comic roles. Her role as Shim Chung is special–it’s fun to watch a mermaid experiencing how to be human for the first time. Min Ho also does not skimp on acting matched by his good looks.

If you’re a mombie and looking for a good series to watch that has a unique storyline, exceptional cinematography and beautiful cast, I highly recommend that you give this a shot. 🙂 Episode 3 is just coming up this week on Thursday.

You can catch up on Legend of the Blue Sea from these links:

KissAsian – Legend of the Blue Sea – Online Streaming

iFlix – Legend of the Blue Sea – Online Streaming on web, mobile phone, tablet, TV 

Another Miss Oh / Oh Hae Young Again (또 오해영!)

My blue ribbon goes to Oh Hae Young! 

There were a lot of good series this year (e.g. Descendants of the Sun, Doctors, etc) but nothing comes close to my heart than this one. Every episode of Another Miss Oh left a lingering happy and comfy feeling in my heart. ♥️

This is a story of Oh Hae Young, who is caught up in an issue of mistaken identity with another woman having the same name. They went to the same school,  worked for the same company,and loved the same man (Park Do Kyung).

Seo Hyun Jin plays our protagonist, or Oh Hae Young #1, who is considered ordinary and led a quiet and peaceful life with her mom and dad. In her younger years, she learned to stay on the side lines as another girl with the same name, Oh Hae Young #2 (played by Jeon Hye Bin) gained more popularity among their peers due to her good looks and intelligence (Our Hae Young #1 didn’t do well in school and suffered from bad acne in her adolescence). To make the long story short, Hae Young #1 will always remember Hae Young #2 as the root cause of her childhood struggle with fitting in.

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The first episode shows of Hae Young #1 cancelling her wedding with Han Tae Jin (played by Lee Jae Yoon) on the day before it was supposed to happen. She tells everyone that it was her personal decision and the reason for it is that she realized that she didn’t love Tae Jin at all, causing confusion, especially with her parents (who later on had to face the shame of cancelling a wedding and informing everyone). Unknown to everyone else, Hae Young #1 is hiding the fact that Tae Jin was the one who broke up with her, telling her that he just can’t stand the way she eats (Ouch!).

One thing that I admire about Hae Young #1 is how well she copes up with her life situation. Even if she’s still in the process of mending her heart, this didn’t stop her from meeting with new people, going to work every day, and her appetite wasn’t curbed at all.

As mentioned, heartbreak didn’t stop our Hae Young from meeting prospect boyfriends (namja chingu 남자 친구). Later on, her best friend, Hee Ran an entertainment producer, sets her up on a blind date with Park Do Kyung (played by Eric Moon), who is a sound engineer and producer. Coincidentally, before their meeting, Do Kyung has already been having visions / premonitions about an unknown woman, who is our Hae Young. Later on it will be revealed that in the past, Do Kyung was the ex-fiancee of Hae Young #2!

To summarize, here are the things that I loved about Another Miss Oh: 

  • I loved the happy feeling that lingered in my heart after every episode. The series makes the viewer feel like you can overcome all difficulties in this world through love, love, love. ♥️ You can really see how Hae Young #1’s character developed through the course of the story–how her past experiences helped her cope up with heartbreak and appreciate event the smallest details.

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  • Eric Moon portrayed a character, Park Do Kyung, who has a high standard and unique sensitivity for sound. I liked how the series’ amazing soundtrack and bright tunes matched his character. Definitely a plus especially for musicians like me.

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  • I’d like to say the superb soundtrack again. I even have Sarangi Mwonde as my ringtone!
  • Hae Young’s sunny disposition matched the setting of the story, which is spring. The color palette of the series (i.e. the locations, clothes, settings) all throughout is warm not only to the eyes, but also to the soul.
  • Fantasy is carefully intertwined in the story, but not overwhelming. The story was able to come full circle by the end with the reason for Do Kyung’s visions about Hae Young well-explained.
  • The concept of love in this series is very special. The message they’re trying to send out is very clear: Love goes beyond beauty and there is no fear in love. I like how love is emphasized not only in the relationship between man and woman, but also in the family and friendship.

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  • This series touched every bit of my senses. It made me feel a wave of emotions–one moment, you’ll cry with Hae Young, and then surprisingly, you’ll jump to a comic scene with her and her crazy antics put to show. Do Kyung’s enigmatic and melancholic personality will surely touch everyone, and will go even deeper as you sympathize with his sensitivity to sounds, being a sound producer.

If you’re a tired and stressed out mom who’s looking for a feel good series but with a lot of sense and cheer, this one is for you!

Really, really hoping that you give watching this series a shot! If I can quantify how I felt after watching this movie, I guess it’s similar to a happy, full, and satisfied feeling you get after eating a hearty lunch at your granny’s.

Check out the complete episodes of Another Miss Oh here:

KissAsian – Another Miss On – Online Streaming


These are just some of the best I’ve watched this year, but there’s definitely a whole lot more! 🙂 If you have any suggestions on 2016 dramas to watch, feel free to leave your comments below.

Always,

Joan ♥️

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. ktoons says:

    My husband (who usually doesn’t understand my K-Drama addiction) watched and enjoyed Signal with me, too. He also watched 3 musketeers together and Liar’s Game and enjoyed both of them, too.

    Like

    1. joansjargon says:

      Thanks for this! I’ll definitely make it a point to watch these series as well

      Like

  2. I liked Oh Hae Young and I’m just about finished watching W-Two Worlds. W is very refreshing, and how could one not like Jong-suk?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joansjargon says:

      Yes! Always great acting from Jong Suk 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Audrey says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. Gonna catch-up some K-drama. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joansjargon says:

      No worries! Will be looking forward to your list too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. heroonthebeach says:

    Your list of dramas resonates with me so much. Loved W Two worlds so so much – it was my motivation for starting a kdrama blog in the first place! Signal was excellent too though I found it was rather intense and could have done with more light hearted moments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joansjargon says:

      Aww thanks! Yeah, W is awesome and rare. 🙂

      Like

  5. plantpicker says:

    This is a real thing!! Oh the dark circles are still not helping me stop! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

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