I watched Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace), I was hopelessly hooked. The same director did "YI SAN" and "Dong Yi". I really liked how they took time to develop the characters from childhood thru adulthood. I liked the historical (but have since run out of them so have watched all types). There is another group of KDrama's called the 4 seasons (of endless love). "autumn in my heart", "Winter Sonata", "summer scent" and finally "spring waltz". Wow is all i can say about these 4 masterpieces. KDrama's are not like us serial drama's like general hospital etc.. they are more like 24 was. It is more like a 12-90 hour movie than a serial or us daily drama. Kdrama's are extremely addictive. I have generally watched them till i drop (fallen asleep).. then get up.. and start right where i left off. I have done this for days in a row. The most fantastic thing is discovering a whole new world of television and movies. Korea has it's own Hollywood. The quality of their work is beyond anything produced anywhere else in the world. I'm bored with us tv. "Truth", "my girlfriend is a 9 tailed fox", "secret garden", "boys over flowers", "shining inheritance", "full house", "iris", "sungkyunkwon scandal", "49 days", "the princess's man", "baker king tak goo", "nice guy", "coffee prince", "queen seon deuk", "can love become money", "tree with deep roots", "wild romance", "moon that embraces the sun", "athena", "spy myoung wol", "a thousand day promise", "pasta", "summers desire", "coffee house", "My lovely sam soon", "king 2 hearts", "Jumong", "Lljimae", "stairway to heaven", "white lies", "a love to kill", "my princess", "snow queen" (watch the US, childs cartoon snow queen first, unless your familiar with the tale), another trilogy, "lovers in prauge", "lovers", "lovers in paris". Again WOW so far.. still have one of the trilogy to watch. If you liked goldy hawn and kurt russel in "overboard" then you might love the 16 hour version of the tale in "couple or trouble". "chuno", "feast of the gods", "protect the boss", "manny", "Princes first love", "sparkling", "all about eve", "gumiho, tale of the fox child", "pheonix" There are more, but i'm worried about a word limit.
I did a double take when I read your post. Because you echoed my sentiments exactly. Korean dramas are not perfect, they are somewhat formulaic, and there is a way too much fist clenching going on. And when I tried to get my boyfriend to watch it instead of animé he said "Why do they wear so much makeup"..
But apart from that, Korean dramas at their best are far better than the endless same old that Hollywood has been passing out for the last few decades.
American television in particular is 90% police/crime dramas, sitcoms, fantasy/sci fi. I have never been able to stand it.
I'll match "The Princess' Man" against anything made on American television in the past few years. And like you I loved Dong Yi, despite the unfortunate predilection of the director to have each and every episode end with Dong Yi doing a double take and mugging hysterically right into the camera. I kind of liked it though it was so unintentionally hilarious. But don't get me wrong. I loved Dong Yi and the actress who played her, Han Hyo Joo, seemed very good in the role except for her constant double takes and face mugging.
I LOVE My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. I had it for a year before I first watched it because of the silly title, but that drama was so refreshing and sweet and fun, and then became amazingly powerful as Man and Gumiho realized that their love was most likely doomed. I've never cried so much as the last two episodes.
Honorable mention to all the others you mentioned, we are definitely on the same page there, except for King 2 Hearts (hated it), but I have to say wow your list is almost identical to mine. Even to Summer's desire (loved it, Taiwanese though)
If you want a good family oriented drama, try My Daughter Seo Young. One of the best dramas I've seen, in any language. 50 episodes long. Another couple of long dramas that are very good are The Ojakkyo Brothers and You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly, both with 58 episodes. Both enthralling.
Recently watched My Daughter Seo Young, and loved it! Watched it twice and then re-encoded it so that I would have more room on my hard drives. I try to buy them on DVD but in France and the USA I have trouble even finding them for purchase. So I tend to downloaded dramas (I download them from Asiatorrents, which I believe are legal). I then re-encode them to reduce file size.
In the case of Dong Yi, I took it from 90 gb to 30, with no apparent loss in quality.
This process allows me to keep my beloved dramas close by and available come the end of the world :). I am definitely addicted to K-dramas, J-Dramas, and C and T dramas, but I do tend to prefer K-Dramas and J-Dramas as their production values are incomparable.
I will definitely try the Ojakkyo Brothers and You Who Rolled in.
Thanks again for mentioning the Ojakgyo Brothers, I am on episode 19 and really loving it! Just an amazing drama, and Uee is so great in it!
Ah I am glad that you like it. It's so nice to encounter a fellow aficionado of Korean dramas.