Best and Worst Dramas (Part 7): 2009

I know. I know what you’re thinking.

“HELLO! It’s not even December and you want us to vote for the 2009 dramas? Getting carried away with this poll thingy, are you?”

Wait, hear me out. I know it’s early, but depending on which spot on the planet you’re planted, December is just 1-2 days away, anyway. Also, some of you made up your minds long ago (woohoo, City Hallers!) and have been waiting for a poll like this, right? (Excuse me, Ms. Thundie, we’re not poll-crazy like you!)

I’ve been checking the voting for the 2003-2008 polls and reading your comments. The results have been interesting, with some dramas leading both the best and worst categories! In about 2-3 weeks I would like to write up a special summary post on the Best and Worst Dramas of 2003-2009. Instead of the seven-year itch, this will be the seven-year pitch where I’ll pitch (on your behalf, because you’re the ones who voted) for the best dramas.

Finally, many of us are still undecided about some of the 2009 dramas and wondering whether to pick them up or toss them away forever. This poll may help us. For instance, if I see lots of people waxing lyrical about Cinderella Man, I may retrieve it from my Don’t Touch bin.

To allow you to change your minds later, I’ve removed the restriction on repeat voting. That does not mean you can vote for You’re Beautiful a hundred times! Keke. But seriously, limit yourself to just Three Repeat Votes, okay? I trust you.

(Best and Worst Dramas poll: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.)

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Categorised in: K-dramas, Polls

60 Responses »

  1. totally love your blogs… can’t wait for your reviews on the last few episodes of ‘you’re beautiful’!

  2. Hehehe, Thundie, don’t you mean Highkick Through the Roof??

    My Top 5 (hard!!): Brilliant Legacy, Sons of Sol Pharmacy, Return of Iljimae, You’re Beautiful, and That Fool. I voted for Smile You as well but decided to redo it because it’s not finished yet and we’re not even halfway through.

    Also, Kyeongseok & Kyeongseok’s Father as well as Queen of Housewives miss the Top 5 by a teeny bit.

    Now that I look at the list, this year has been a really fun year. Not all of the dramas produced are top quality, but the whole process of watching them and either loving it to death (Top 7/8) or hating it with passion (Agasshi) has been a great ride. Let’s hope 2010 would be a lively year in Kdramas!!

  3. Best drama of the year: Kyeongsuk, Kyeongsuk’s Father. Period.

    Worst drama of the year (this one’s a little harder): Boys Before Flowers. Although Everybody Cha Cha Cha and Temptation of an Angel are close contenders!

  4. Best drama: You’re Beautiful

    Worst drama: Boys Before Flowers

    I watched both, plus Smile You and My Fair Lady. Not many, but just by roaming around on the Internet I got a pretty fair idea of what’s good and what’s not. And I didn’t repeat vote 🙂

  5. Because I haven’t watched all the dramas on the list (who can?), my top 4: You’re beautiful, Brilliant Legacy, City Hall, Story of a Man.

    Worst drama: Boy before Flowers !!!

  6. Best 5:

    [1] You’re Beautiful
    I don’t think I need to elaborate this XP Though the ending could have been better, I don’t exactly dislike it, so yeah, it’s definitely #1

    [2] Brilliant legacy
    Brilliant development of the leads’ relationship as well as the male lead’s character. Although you can’t help but wonder why the female lead is so forgiving of her step-sister, she redeems herself by showing her displeasure of her step-sister betraying her and lying to everyone. This makes her character more acceptable because her choosing not to clarify is not a product of her goodness, but because of her helplessness. Not perfect, but one of the top 5.

    [3] Story of a Man
    Plot, Park Yong Ha, OST.

    I’m wondering if I should put BOF as Worst 5. I was part of the craze back then, but now looking back…I really wonder why I got into that state. I still love Hyun Joong. But I cannot bear watching him in BOF again. And the plot….it made a mess of HYD. I forgive the screenwriters because this story had been adapted so many times, they have to differentiate their version from the original. Viewed as a stand-alone, the plot might score better, but as a deihard fan of HYD, it’s hard to watch it by itself. I felt that GJD was an exaggerated role in many areas, such as her portrayal of the poor. As for GJP, I felt that the sudden changes in character was too unrealistic – he turned all gentle and easy to get along with the moment he fell in love and has JGD with him, but the moment she does something to ‘betray’ him, he’s back to his old, cold self. I know this is to show that he’s actually a big softie inside waiting for someone right to come break his cold shell…but it seems too abrupt. I’d prefer him to maintain his arrogance throughout.

  7. dear thundie,

    you deserve a standing ovation for your hard work, collating all these info for the polls.

    thank you very much.

    i really enjoy going thru all of them.

    for me, 2009 is the year of mega-high-super-hyped blockbuster. one or two of the kdramas fared well whereas others flopped or failed miserably.

    Lm J

  8. dear thundie,
    had been following your poll’s posts but this one I just had to interfere. ehem..forgive me for doing so ^^ but you made giggle with your “That does not mean you can vote for You’re Beautiful a hundred times!” statement. man, do people really do that? hahaha….

    a dear friend “introduced” you to me and i really glad she did. I envy your writing and hope i had a tiny winy ability to do so. all I can do is ramble nonsense-ly. ^^

    I shared karened sentiments on the worst pick (regarding BOF). Now, looking back… I wonder too about my craze on that drama. It must have been the Hanadan’s craze after all. However, as bad as it look.. Hyun Joong’s still my fav “Rui” ^^.

    YB.. no doubt about it.
    QSD.. another sageuk drama that I love although the evil Misil made suffer all the way, but the drama without her was actually almost blunt. still, I pick this one.
    GyeongSuk, GyeonSuk’s Father.. is a very heart warming story.

    Personally I think Smile had potential to be one of my fav drama this year as well. Although it’s running slow but I hope they will keep moving on with a consistent pace.

    all the best Thundie!!

  9. Best for me was:
    Tamra, sweet and different

    Story of a man, excellent and thrilling

    Sons of sol pharmacy, a refreshing heartwarming series

    Your beautiful, what can you say it was just great
    Return of Iljimae much better then Jun Ki’s version loved Jung Il Woo

    Cain & Abel
    Heading to the ground
    BOF, I tried to watch it but could not stand it

    Where was Makino’s spunkyness, Rui’s coolness
    The japanese and TW versions where so much better even if the budget for BOF was the biggest

  10. My pick for the Top 5 was hard too…

    1. Friend, Our Legend
    2. Tamra, The Island
    3. Brilliant Legacy
    4. Queen of Housewives
    5. City Hall

    City Hall just edged You’re Beautiful by a teeny weeny margin there… Partner, Story of A Man.. all just a notch below..


    1. Boys Before Flowers
    2. My Fair Lady
    3. Cain and Abel
    4. Cinderella Man..

    So bad that I didn’t even finish them! >.<

    Everybody Cha Cha Cha is bordering the category too, cos it's sooo damn repetitive!

  11. hmm… this was not a good year for the kdrama world. I had to stretch to pick 5 good ones and lost some brain cells trying to pick 5 bad ones. Even the ones that sounded good in theory (triple) turned out bad. There were so many bad ones that I actually excluded BoF – atleast I watched this all the way through without breaking my computer.

    It makes me look to 2010 with yearning.
    January 6th.. CHUNO!!

  12. uhmm… what can I say???
    2009 ends up with some goodies….
    I have to say that you’re beautiful has warmed up this year…

  13. Agree with dw4p, I only loved Soul and Friend this year. Also enjoyed watching Swallow The Sun and IRIS. I wont say anything about worst dramas, cause they are many..(There are dramas I’ve still been waiting their subs to complete.) I also quit watching QSD at 32nd ep., yes, Bidam didnt help <_<

    On the contrary, 2009 has been great for movies compare to last year I think. I enjoyed so many movies.

    However, it seems 2010 is going be a better year already now. Chuno, Jaejoongwon, Road Number 1~~YAY! Cant wait!

  14. 2009 was an alright year for me in terms of dramas. But there’s still a lot that I haven’t had a chance to tune into.

    I must admit that I cheated a little. I voted for BOF under both categories, a) because I had limited options (as I’ve only seen about 5/6 dramas this year) and b) because even though I hated the most part of it, I still managed to get through all the eps.

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hooked, because I was. Simply because it’s a story that has already been fed to us so many times. As a result, there were a lot of expectations. Though I didn’t HATE it (too strong a word in my opinion), I was highly critical of it. Especially since the Japanese adaptation of the manga had already won me over!

    Other dramas that I rated as some of the best were: Partner (even though the ending was a little bland), Cain and Abel (It was all about SJS-that’s a good enough reason for me lol), You’re Beautiful (no question about it) and of course Brilliant Legacy (loved every single ep!)

    peace out

    p.s. what happened to Beethoven Virus?

  15. 2009 was a pretty good year for me K-drama-wise.. It wasn’t as good as 2007 but much, much better than 2008 I would say. The best drama of the year 2009 for me was Tamra the Island.. So sad it had to be cut short, but I just loved everything about it, the music, scenery, actors (even those with minor roles), etc.

    I was watching Story of Man but something came up and stopped at ep 8.. I will finish it.. just don’t know when it’s going to be. I have’t had a chance to start Brilliant Legacy but I think I’ll probably like it.. some of the dramas I did finish–You’re Beautiful, That Fool, City Hall–were decent enough and I think I’ll be adding Smile You to this category.

    But there were also dramas which I thought were okay but didn’t watch till the end cuz I lost interest: Queen of Housewives, Queen Sundeok.. and the one I stopped watching because I developed distaste for–BBF… And the one I finished only because of the actor I like but really hated–Triple.

  16. I would vote, but I’m going to wait until I finish watching Friend-Our Legend, Return of Iljimae, and Gyeonsuk, Gyeonsuk’s Father since I’ve heard great things about all three. But it’ll have to wait until my finals are over with…2 more weeks to go…

  17. Too bad you didn’t add “Family Glory” in your list (for it started in 2008, I guess): my #2 favorite, right behind “City Hall”.

  18. funny on how BOF, one of the most hyped drama of the year (and a high-rater at that too) is one of the worst.
    can’t believe that i got into that craze. looking back, it was just plain crappy compared to the other dramas.

  19. City Hall is the best drama for me, acting, story, directing, casting, dialogue, cinematography. Everything you wanted in a drama is in City Hall!

  20. Best 2009 and ever: City Hall, aja!!

    Worst: BOF & My Fair Lady

  21. I realized I didn’t watch many dramas this year but my favorites are Your Beautiful and City Hall but I think Your Beautiful edges City Hall because it was more entertaining for me. I wish your beautiful last 3rd was better but overall it was unusual, acting was great and writing though uneven very refreshing and solid. City Hall was really made by the two leads and their combined chemistry. I had loads of problem with the writing especially the first 3rd.

    My worst may be IRIS but thats because I avoided what looked really bad like BOF, Cinderella man, & Take care of the lady.

  22. The best for me this year was Brilliant Legacy. I never knew I could hate a male lead so much.. and then in the end, adore him to the heavens. And watching BSB in all his glory doesn’t hurt either. And oh, forgot to mention the story– very consistent till the end (which I can’t say for most of the kdramas I’ve seen).

    Hated BOF. Liked the theme songs though.

  23. Best 2009: Cityhall,Cityhall,Cityhall… …Story,Acting,direting,casting,dialogue,Best ever seen in any dramas ever……

  24. By far the best drama of 2009 (and many years to come, I think) City Hall. Great leading couple, the sexiest man in the universe in the lead and a juicy script -and at last a female character in a Korean drama that neither represses her love and desire for a man, nor rests satisfied with just looking at him from afar!!!
    I liked You Are Beautiful for strange and unfathomable to me reasons, given that I intensely disliked its lack of passion (young people at the mercy of enthusiasm and hormones cooped up together and pop stars to boot, and all they could come up with is the stuff one does, thinks and says in Secondary School -and even then it is edgier-? I think not) and its treatment of female characters. However, it was better acted than BOF and the guys had a considerable musical talent and earned a living by doing something creative. Leading male actor absolutely charming, without overdoing the ‘boyish’ look, with a lovely surprisingly mature voice.
    This year’s worst Korean drama? I’ll have to say Take Care of The Young Lady wins the golden raspberry hands down (lacking the eye candy factor of BOF), boring, charmless and badly acted.

  25. i didn’t really watch a lot 2009 kdramas.
    But i like you’re beautiful and brilliant legacy.
    i don’t think bof is that bad.
    i like the second main couple in bof.
    maybe cos i’m not picky?
    httg is the first drama that i find it unbearable to watch

  26. i know maybe no 1 will vote.but thundie, you forget to put city hall in the worst catergory.

  27. Oops, thanks for alerting me, amktsy. I totally suck at counting.

    City Hall added to Worst 5 category. 🙂


  29. So finally You’re Beautiful edged out City Hall…I’m amused and I’m sure you know why ^_^

  30. i’m a bit confused too as to why YB will be at 9% at worst drama when I just voted for it as my BEST drama for 2009…i think the other voters are getting confused and just happen to click on YB twice!…YIKES!

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