2016 K-dramas (Six-Word Reviews)

I’m grateful to everyone who reads this blog. To all my readers: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Also, Happy V-Day to everyone who put in the time and effort to make some amazing 2016 K-dramas.

I love you! 사랑해요!

When I finish watching an interesting show, I want to write a full essay, but I usually don’t have time. So here, in the spirit of six-word memoirs, are six-word reviews of what I watched last year.

Some warnings:

Studying Korean and working full-time ate into my drama-watching time in 2016. I missed a few that I wanted to see (Jealousy Incarnate, Dear My FriendsMoonlight Drawn by Clouds). I also dropped a bunch of shows, when the early episodes didn’t hook me completely.

Six words isn’t much. So these reviews won’t be as nuanced as usual. Please don’t be offended if I didn’t like your favorite show. (Especially if I stopped watching it to attend to real life.)

Leave your own six-word reviews in the comments!

Shows are in A-Z order.

another oh hae young english poster

Another Oh Hae-Young:

Cool supernatural premise, possibly alcoholic heroine.

Answer Me 1988:

If I were Korean, I’d understand.

Descendants of the Sun:

So many disasters, so little characterization.

The Entertainer:

Cute boys, minimal plot, mostly harmless.

goblin k-drama poster


**watched first 8 episodes with subtitles, next 7 without (since they keep saying the same thing anyway), then couldn’t bring myself to stick around for episode 16** 

Best credits sequence ever. Gong Yoo.

Goodbye Mr. Black:

**first four episodes**

Made faking your own death dull.


**sixteen episodes have aired so far**

Awesome start, bring back the plot!

The_K2 english poster

The K2:

**first four episodes**

Lead actress in over her head.

Legend of the Deep Blue Sea:

**first ten episodes? or maybe twelve?**

Shouldn’t these stars be sexier together?

marriage contract k-drama english poster

Marriage Contract:

Actually made illegal organ sales romantic.

Master: God of Noodles:

**first four episodes**

Warning: they take noodles very seriously.

one more happy ending english poster

One More Happy Ending:

Cute, sometimes smart. Weird Conan cameo.

Remember—War of the Son:

**first four episodes**

Weeping, adorable hero fights for justice.

shopping king louie poster

Shopping King Louie:

Gift from inconsequential romantic fluff gods.


Thriller that deserved its rave reviews.

squad 38 poster

Task Force 38:

Light-hearted bromance makes tax audits awesome.


Left me exhausted. And mostly satisfied.

weightlifting fairy kim bok joo 2016 k-drama english poster

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo:

Silly, sweet sports romance wins gold.

Please share your six-word reviews in the comments! And Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

20 thoughts on “2016 K-dramas (Six-Word Reviews)

  1. Very good condensed reviews, however, I recommend finishing Goblin with subs. The repartee/barbs/bromance between Goblin and Reaper is so worth it.

    LODBS’s lack of sexy chemistry could be due to everyone being aware (especially the two leads and director) that the lead actress is newly married/ new mom.

  2. I shall do mine in alphabetical order too…also so great to see your new posts here! What a sweet valentine’s treat indeed 😉

    Another Oh Hae Young – loved for just who she is
    Cheese in the Trap – misunderstood sunbae and sweet paranoid girl
    Cinderella and the Four Knights – the secretary needed more screen time
    Legend of the Blue Sea – was not expecting chaebol birth drama
    One Percent of Something – sweet swoony romance between two adults
    W – rollercoaster started high but ended low

    On my list to watch from 2016: Shopping King Louis and Signal

  3. Odessa! So glad you’re back! Loved your succinct reviews : ) I watched a lot of dramas last year, here are my 6-(sometimes 7)-word reviews and I couldn’t resist adding a letter grade (the academic in me):

    Another Oh Hae-Young: (A-) Oh the kisses, and the laughs.
    Answer Me 1988: (A+) Ode to youth, family, and the 80s.
    Beautiful Gong Shim: (C+) Quirky hero and heroine. Saggy plot.
    Beautiful Mind: (A) Awesome character study and arc. Watch!
    Bring it on Ghost: (A) Funny, romantic, and scary. Bring it on.
    Cinderella and the Four Knights: (B+) Cute. Dull-as-dirt second lead killed it.
    Descendants of the Sun: (B+) Romance and bromance: aces. Plot: fails.
    Fantastic: (B-) Loved the foot acting and Ji-Soo.
    Go Ho’s Starry Night: (B+) Meh. Watchable but forgettable. Nuff said.
    Jealousy Incarnate: (A+) Hilarious!. Must see. Jo Jung-Suk shines.
    Love O2O (Chinese): (C-) Hero’s swoony but my brain cells died.
    Love for a Thousand More: (C) Nice premise. Nice dresses. Boring drama.
    Legend of the Blue Sea: Jun Ji-hyun was fantastic. Zero romantic chemistry.
    Marriage Contract: (A) So. Romantic. Sob! Keeper shelf.
    Mirror of the Witch: (A-) Story sweeps you up. Lukewarm romance.
    Moonlight Drawn by Clouds: (A-) The writing failed the heroine, but Park Bo-gum for the win (he’s worth going over the word count).
    1% of Anything: (B+) Under the radar hit, yet overrated?
    Signal: (A+) Amazing in every aspect. Gold standard.
    Shopping King Louie: (A+) Made my heart smile. Cutest couple ever.
    W: (A-) First half promises awesomeness. Last half doesn’t deliver.
    Weightlifting Fairy: (A+) Will watch again and again, to infinity.

  4. @Beez, I was watching the last episode, so was reserving final judgement : ) But just finished it, so I would give it a A-. Really did enjoy it, though i find it flawed in a number of ways. My grades are based on how a show makes me feel and how memorable I think it is rather than on any objective measure of quality.

  5. Hi Odessa: Thought it would be fun to toss in my two cents but in order to keep it in the 6-word realm I didn’t count the ‘&’ or the hyphenated words. Here’s my take.

    Legend of the Deep Blue Sea: A+/ Man & Mermaid, funny, sexy, quirky. Liked!
    Jealousy Incarnate: B/ Bromance saved lack of he/she chemistry.
    Oh My Geum Bi: A++/ Loved wee girl & guy. Uplifting, memorable.
    Moonlight Drawn by Clouds: A++/ Him, breathtakingly strong & sweet. Her? Irritating.
    Cinderella & the Four Knights: C / Women:Tomboy who hits + Crying-stalker. Disappointed.
    1% of Something: A+/ Romance feels real. Beauty vrs hunky Beast.
    Beautiful Mind: A/ Brilliant, Intelligent, Tense, Romance builds. Mind-opening.
    Scent of a Woman: A+/ Resisted. Persisted. LOVED chemistry. Uplifting end.
    Doctor Romantic: C+/ Rogue-doc, young hotshot. Unsympathetic PTSD Woman.
    Man living in our house: B / Her Step-Dad or Lover? Spin-cycle Plot.
    Autumn Concerto: C/ He matures/she’s still a victim. Overacting!
    Autumn in my heart: A+ melodrama/ Brother/sister or lovers? Intense. Pure Love.
    On the Way to the Airport: A++ Will they leave marriages? Breathholding. Romantic.
    Plus Nine Boys: A/ Charming boys find love. Everyone grows.
    W: A+/ Plot twists/FX spectacular. Leads perfect. Imaginative!
    Lovers: a ‘find’ from 2009 I liked: A/ Tough guy wants her. Guilt. Love. Skinship.
    Haeundae Lovers (2012): A/ Amnesia-forced-contract relationship. Funny. Endearing.

  6. @ Rouny and Charlotte: You guys have given me such sweet torture by reminding me of a few shows I didn’t have time to watch this year. Your grades will help me prioritize what I watch next. I especially like hearing about older shows I missed. (Is ‘Lovers’ with Kim Jeong-Eun and Lee Seo-Jin?)

    Rouny, I’ll give you a pass for going over the word-count for Park Bo-Geum. So worth it! And Charlotte, what was up with that show The Man in Our House? I have a high tolerance for weird faux-cest plots, but after two eps I was totally creeped out. Had to stop watching even though I like that actress.

  7. This exercise seems fun! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s 6+ word reviews… Here’s my go at it!

    Jealousy Incarnate: (9/10) Breast cancer plus love changes anchor.
    Beautiful Mind: (7/10) Brilliant, unsociable surgeon discovers his emotions…?
    Oh Hae Young Again: (10/10) Premonitions transform dumped duo into lovers.
    Mirror of the Witch: (7/10) Historical doctor’s supernatural coming of age.
    1% of Anything: (8/10) Contract couple remake wins with simplicity.
    Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: (8/10) Superhero-ish medical team wows smalltown hospital.
    Moonlight Drawn By Clouds: (7/10) Cute cross-dressing beginning, draggy serious end.
    On the Way to the Airport: (6/10) Affair unfolds prettily, heavily, slowly, boringly.

  8. I’ll try my hand at this:

    [ ] Beautiful Mind – I will hate you KBS – forever!
    [ ] Entertainer – the band only knows one song?
    [ ] Goblin – Gong Gong Gong Gong Gong Yoooooo!
    [ ] The K2 – JCW fights naked men in shower
    [ ] Jealousy Incarnate – both hot. What do I do?
    [ ] Six Flying Dragons – Ah-in so powerful. I’m weak kneed.

    Errrr, ah, kinda reveals my shallowness. *cough*

      • Well, to be truthful, I also have a spot in my heart for K2 in a tank top with paint smudges and biceps feeding a little kitty on a warm sunny day. And the female protagonist was wonderful. If we could’ve lifted her, her husband, JCW and their story out of the rest of this show, THAT would’ve been an amazing Kdrama.

        • It’s really saying something when (granted, the antagonist actress has waaay me experience), but it’s telling that JCW had more chemistry with the older actress than the younger pop idol star.

  9. Love your blog Odessa! Beautiful and honest writing, throughly researched and written with passion! Will be cheering you on, fighting!

    Some of my fav Kdramas:
    Pinocchio: right way of exposing the truth
    LOTDBS: Jihyun is comic and sensual mermaid
    FAITH, THE GREAT DOCTOR: romantic, intense, beautifully acted, leads’ chemistry
    Cheese in the trap: love the character; misunderstood, lonely chaebol
    Secret love affair: romantic & superb, love classical piano concertos
    I hear your voice: great acting, wonderfully written, leads’ chemistry

    Would love to read your review on Chicago Type Writer, Six Flying Dragons and Cheese in the trap.

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