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Lovepark End of the Year Awards III

Welcome to the third Lovepark End of the Year Award:
where the awards don't matter, and nobody cares!

Judges: Me (as always)

I write up mock awards at the end of the year, but this year's broadcaster awards were ridiculous. Unsurprising, but still ridiculous. I don't think I can match their level, but that's probably a good thing.

Best "I Need to Finish This" Drama

I watched up to episode 4, and then I re-watched it again (in hopes to finish the whole show) but stopped at episode 4 again! I think it's me, and not the drama's fault because the writing is interesting, the directing fine, and the acting wonderful. I didn't finish Empire of Gold (which I should get back to, also) but I really want to finish Punch for Park Kyung-soo. I know I'll enjoy it, and I hear a ton of praise for it. Seriously, I will finish this drama!

Best "Should Have Watched" Drama

Six Flying Dragons
I hear this drama is amazing and is doing amazingly. I don't watch a lot of sageuks, but I do actually like them. When the time comes I'll watch this, hopefully (after I finish Punch of course).

Best "Enjoyable for a a Quiet Moment" Drama

Midnight Diner
One of my favorite dramas of 2015, I really didn't know what to expect when I first watched this show. However, I enjoyed the short run-time, and the show felt like lovely vignettes into the lives of these characters. Kim Seung-woo was amazing as "Master", and though not all the episodes were of the same quality, I still enjoyed the overall product. It's a sweet and endearing drama that I would recommend to anyone who just wants to watch something relaxing.

Best "Waste of a Concept" Drama

Hidden Identity
I watched this for Park Sung-woong, and I only continued for Park Sung-woong. I said this before in my previous drama review so I'll try not to repeat too much. For a show with such an interesting concept ripe with potential stories and character development, it falls flat which makes it even more disappointing. It could have been so much more but alas... it turned out as it did: boring and anti-climatic. 

Best "Surpassing Expectations" Drama

Reply 1988
The Reply franchise has been getting bigger and better. 1997 was fresh, sweet, and adorable, taking a concept and cast that everyone was skeptical of and creating something amazing. 1994 was able to build on its predecessor by recreating the nostalgia, and while others complained about the husband-hunt, I enjoyed the transition into adulthood and how the show created memorable characters. Thus, when 1988 was announced, I was excited but unsure. Fortunately, the writer is in top-shape, and personally, I find this third installment the best. What I love about the Reply series is how they depict relationships and families. I love how 1988 has multiple families and spends so much time on the parents, too. While the previous two concentrated on one generation, 1988 looks into the lives of everyone living on the street and really builds better characterizations for the side characters (I love the ahjumma trio!). Despite still having four more episodes to air, Reply 1988 was the best drama of 2015.

Best "I Forgot About You" Drama

Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo
I was really looking forward to this drama, and I cannot believe I completely forgot about this! I almost posted this without mentioning it again (as I did before with another post). This was Park Yong-woo's return to the small screen, and to be quite frank, a new project he did after a long break in between. While I was grateful to see Park Yong-woo, the short drama itself wasn't anything special. It lacked a punch and felt a bit too neat. This is most likely why I forgot about it in the first place. It really wasn't memorable.

Best Actor

Jung Jae-young (Assembly)
While the show wasn't the best, Jung Jae-young gave an incredible performance. He imbued the character with a righteous fury and weariness, and I cannot picture anyone else in the role. He delivered in all his speeches from the quake of his voice to the anger burning in his eyes. You could tell filming was taking a toll on Jung Jae-young physically, and despite nearly losing his voice, it only added to the character and the weight he had to carry. It's a crying shame the show did so poorly since Jung Jae-young's amazing performance was snubbed at the KBS awards ceremony. 

Best "New Discovery" Actor(s)

Ahn Jae-hong (Reply 1988)
At first, I found Ahn Jae-hong's Jung Bong strange. However, he slowly grew on me, and I came to love the weird hyung who constantly discovered new hobbies and took everything with a deadpan seriousness. His brand of calm acting is amazing, and I believe he'll soon be making waves in movies (aside from his already quite famous indie film career, that is).

Lee Dong-hwi (Reply 1988)
Ryu Dong-ryong is the Bang Sung-jae and Haitai of 1988, and I love him. Lee Dong-hwi gives me slight Park Hee-soon vibes, and I find him quite charming. He acts with ease and has good screen presence. His character is my favorite among the youngster friend group, and if the drama should ever show the rest of the friend group adult counterparts, they should totally get Park Hee-soon to play adult Dong-ryong. Hahahahahaha

Best "You Finally Picked a Good Drama" Actor

Lee Bum-soo in Last
This is not Lee Bum-soo's best performance. In fact, it probably wouldn't even go in my top five list. However, after his latest choices of dramas from Iris II, Dr. Jin, Prime Minister and I, and (the worst of the worst) Triangle, I'm so happy as a fan that he finally met an interesting character in Last. While an antagonist, he had both a character arc and a background story that even the main protagonist didn't have. Honestly though, I'm just glad I don't have to give him the "Why are You in this Drama" award again.

Best "You Outshone Everyone" Actor

Park Hee-soon in Missing Noir M
Though not my favorite Park Hee-soon drama (that honor will forever be Evasive Inquiry Agency) and not even what I would consider his best performance, Park Hee-soon still was the shining light of the show. His dry wit, natural presence, and on-point ad libs were amazing. I loved his character and the humor he brought to the show in the little things without being overbearing. The writing could have been better plot wise, but at least I got to see Park Hee-soon play a cop again and do what he does best.

Best "I'm Glad I Saw you Again" Actor

Choi Kang-hee in Heart to Heart
I love Choi Kang-hee. She's my favorite female actor (or actress), and I loved her in Heart to Heart. There was some stuff in the show that I didn't enjoy, but still, Choi Kang-hee is amazing and I found her performance great . Unfortunately, I'm not watching her new show right now and feel like a bad fan. Oh well... 

Best "Could You Be Anymore Awesome" Character

Choi Mu-sung from Reply 1988 (Choi Mu-sung)
He's an adorable teddy bear and wonderful papa. I love the dichotomies of his character and how layered he is. He appears like an unfeeling hulk but is really a worried father whose heart shatters at the thought of his son. He acts aloof but harbors a deep love tinged in remorse for not being better. He says he cannot watch children but then ties his hair and cuts out paper dolls. He's both the neighborhood sweeping ahjusshi and the sweet hometown oppa. However, the character is so memorable because actor Choi Mu-sung is impeccable. More that Taek or Jung-hwan, I love Choi Mu-sung and his quiet ways.

Best "Wardrobe" Character

Park Dong-ho from Remember (Park Sung-woong)
All the colors! It's vibrant, weird, and lovely. It makes Lawyer Park pop, and I find his choice in tacky clothes endearing. Though Park Sung-woong looks swell in a clean-cut, dark suits (as he did in Hidden Identity), he makes these flamboyant outfits work, and I like the image change. It's a shame that he's lost a lot of screen time since the timeline shift, but at least his character hasn't been thrown to the wayside.

Best "I Couldn't Pick Just One" Character

The Seven Personalities of Ji-sung in Kill Me, Heal Me
Ji-sung was great in the show, and I loved his various personalities and characters. From crazy Yo-na and subdued Yo-sub to moody Se-gi and fun-loving Perry Park, I can't choose just one to love. Though the show was schizophrenic, lacked in the writing department, and had huge plot holes, at least it gave us seven Ji-sung's. I'm happy with that.

Dramas I watched that didn't receive any awards (sorry, I was too lazy to think of anything for you guys): Producer, Spy, and Sweet Savage Family

Can't say this was a good year for dramas especially considering the actors and all the potential (seriously, all my favorite actors had a drama air this year!). Unfortunately, I'm not that optimistic about 2016 either. However, I still won't give up on dramas! (I'm looking forward to Jang Young-shil!)

Happy New Year!