The Kdramas of 2016: Q4 Roundup

Just like that, the first two weeks of 2017 already flew by, and dramaland seems to sustain its momentum from the good productions it gave last year. This makes me optimistic that 2017 will just get better, with my current favorites –Goblin, Hwarang and the recently-concluded Weighlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo making their (hopefully epic) finales in the first quarter, and some buzzworthy productions on the horizon.

But before I immerse myself with new dramas, let me go back to some of the talked-about productions I followed that wrapped up in the last quarter of 2016. Some were hits with both the local and international audience, while others surprisingly weren’t able to please all. And yeah, even though I was gung-ho about watching more dramas and writing reviews on all of them, I had to drop a few shows this time around.
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Drama Premiere: The Time Travel Begins on ‘Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo’

It’s finally here. The much-anticipated SBS sageuk remake of highly-popular Chinese novel-turned-series Bu Bu Jing Xin premiered this week, airing two back-to-back episodes on its first night.  Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo is considered to be a production Goliath – armed with a big budget, a 100% pre-produced format, and many of today’s hottest names in K-entertainment. This formula so far has no guaranteed results, as demonstrated by the opposite reception on its predecessors Descendants of the Sun and Uncontrollably Fond.

Loosely inspired by Korea’s own history, Scarlet Heart Ryeo follows the story of a modern-day woman named Go Ha-jin who gets transported back to the Goryeo Dynasty, and finds herself in the body of a girl named Hae Soo. She gets entangled with the many princes of the empire, who are at the onset of a power struggle. I somehow think of it as Game of Thrones-slash-shoujo manga, with its multi-cast fight-over-the-throne aspect and reverse harem with seven flower princes. That alone pretty much sounds like a dream come true to me.
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