Now that December has arrived, we at Inspire Me Korea are looking back at some of the exciting K-dramas of 2016! This year brought us big spectacles like ‘Descendents of the Sun’ and ‘Moonlight Drawn by Clouds’ but we wanted to bring attention to some other series that had us hooked, with our top 3 list. Read on to find out what made the cut, which was our top choice, and to watch the trailers and previews for any series you might have missed!
This detective thriller series written by Kim Eun-Hee made for fascinating viewing, cleverly interweaving a time paradox into the story. It took inspiration from a 1980’s unsolved serial murder case and was our standout K-drama of the year due to its exciting storytelling. The series is based on a criminal profiler (played by Lee Je-Hoon) and a detective (played by Kim Hye-Soo) who are able to communicate via radio with a detective (Jo-Jin Woong) from the past. A nail-biting plot paired with terrific acting from the main and supporting cast of ‘Signal’, definitely gave us some high stakes and high-quality drama to enjoy!
2. Shopaholic King Louie
‘Shopaholic King Louie’ is a romantic comedy starring Seo In-Guk and Nam Ji-Hyn in the lead roles. We felt the plot of ‘Shopaholic King Louie’ was much more conventional, but was sold well with the use of eccentric and colourful characterisation. Seo In-Guk plays Louie, a rich heir, living a life of luxury and building himself quite a reputation for his elaborate spending habits. Nam Ji-Hyn’s character Bok-Shil, on the other hand, is a kind-hearted soul who lives a poor life in the countryside. Both of them have had sheltered lives and share an aspect of innocence about them, but their paths collide when Louie seems to have undergone some memory loss, ending up in Seoul, where Bok-Shil is looking for her brother. ‘Shopaholic King Louie’ was a simply charming romantic comedy series!
3. Legend of the Blue Sea
We are taking a gamble with this one because the ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ hasn’t long started its broadcast run! From what we have seen so far, Jeon Ji-Hyun gives a memorable performance as a mermaid who is caught by a fisherman and subsequently released by a mayor (played by Lee Min-Ho) in the Joseon era. The story then flips to modern day as the mermaid takes to dry land and bumps into charismatic con-man Joon-Jae (also played by Lee Min-Ho). The root of her connection to him seems to be more complex as the timeline jumps back to the Joseon era to flesh out past events.
This series is filled with beautiful scenery and memorable use of colour. We enjoyed many laugh-out-loud moments and emotionally fueled scenes between the two main characters. Jeon Ji-Hyun deserves heaps of praise for fully immersing herself into the role and being able to portray the childlike innocence of someone exploring the human world. We hope she gains some recognition for the role when it comes to the awards season!
What did you think of our list? Let us know which are your favourite K-dramas of 2016!
Featured Image Source: © Signal Kdrama, 20.01.2017, www.koreandrama.today