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Lovepark End of the Year Awards

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

Judges: ME! (Yeah, if you're looking for objectivity, you're in the wrong place.)

NOTE: Not all the dramas of 2012 are nominated in this mock awards because I have not seen all the dramas. Therefore, do not feel offended if I never once mention a show you loved or loathed.

Best "Why were You in this Drama" Actor

Lee Bum-soo in Dr. Jin

After the epic tale of Giant and the hilarious History of a Salaryman, my brain does not compute why Lee Bum-soo chose to act in this drama. The drama was awful, and his talents were wasted. Maybe the script or synopsis sounded really interesting and the character seemed like a challenge on paper since the show is an adaption of a Japanese drama and manga, but unfortunately if that was the case, it did not transition to the screen. Keep in mind, however, that I did not finish Dr. Jin or, in fact, really watch the show. Despite that, small glimpses and clips were enough for me to formulate my opinions that the show is simply awful and will just be a blemish on Lee Bum-soo's drama record.

Now, he's cast in Iris 2, and I definitely don't feel positive things about that, either. Sigh...

Honorable Mentions: I don't know where to start because there are too many to name

Best "Why do You Insist on Testing my Love for You" Actor

Kim Seung-soo

Granted, I haven't watched any of his 2012 dramas such as Still You or the currently airing Cheongdamdong Alice, but that's exactly why he deserves this award. He just continues to be in one bad drama after another. Yes, I'm making a hasty judgment since I haven't even given the dramas a try, but their premises bore me, and Kim Seung-soo has too little screen-time for me to try and even attempt at watching Cheongdamdong Alice. Alas, this probably isn't completely his fault. His talent is just unrecognized so it's possible he only gets these kinds of roles.

I still love you!

Honorable Mention: Jung Chan (wasn't Yellow Boots enough?!)

Best "New Discovery" Actor

Lee Hee-joon

He is definitely not objectively handsome, but his Chun Jae-yong from You Who Rolled in Unexpectedly was petty and ridiculous but sweet and delightful. Lee Hee-joon played him with such ease and energy, it was impossible not to smile at his childish antics and swoon at his unwavering love for Bang Yi-sook. Like with Yi-sook, Chun Jae-yong's charm and harmless endeavors slowly crawl into your heart and make its home there, and before you notice what's happening, you're already helplessly in love with him. What could have been just a spoiled rich kid with no responsibilities, Lee Hee-joon made him into a lovable character with a pure heart. 

Unfortunately, his next drama project was Jeon Woo Chi which I just can't seem to find the urge to watch beyond the two episodes I've seen. Anyways, I'll just happily wait for his next project in high anticipation. I hope great things from him in the future.

Honorable Mention: Choi Dae-chul (short yet so vibrant)

Best "Re-discovery" Actor

Jung Ryeo-won

A fiery, red-headed princess with no discernment of etiquette or language, and an idealistic writer with a sense of humor and perk, Jung Ryeo-won was amazing this year. I can't say 2012 was the first time I liked her because I did enjoy her in Castaway on the Moon and Sleeping with the Enemy, but it wasn't until History of a Salaryman and King of Dramas, that I became head-over-heels in love and adoration for her. To think I thought she was bland and boring before!

It's still may be too early to say this (and hopefully I don't jinx it), but Lee Go-eun from King of Dramas is shaping up to be one of my all-time favorite female characters. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly is so awesome about her, but she feels organic and real. Her warm presence and fighting spirit make a her a lovable, tough cookie. It's no wonder the World Production team loves her (yeah, that includes you, too, Mr. Kim Bong-dal shi!)

Honorable Mention: Ji Hyun-woo (this was the first time I didn't hate him... and even liked him!)

Best "Dysfunctional" Couple

Choi Yoo-ra and Ha Yoon-jae from Yellow Boots

The girl is madly in love with the boy who happens to be in love with her stepsister who she has an inferiority complex towards so she does the most logical thing a deranged, possessive, second-lead kdrama female can do: frame her stepsister and force the boy to marry her even if he does not like her. If that was not already a recipe for disaster, the stepsister comes back seeking revenge and wreaks havoc which only leads to more chaos and idiocy all around.

Some people may only blame Choi Yoo-ra for all the craziness in their relationship, but it takes two to tango. Sure, she may be a self-absorbed bigot who doesn't have an ounce of empathy, but Ha Yoon-jae is a spineless fool who wallows in his false sense of righteousness and self-sacrifice. Both are to blame for their failed relationship. Therefore, they only have themselves to hate and the crazy writer who decided to make these characters and then force them to be a couple.

Choi Yoo-ra and Ha Yoon-jae epitomize a dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship. If you want to know what not to do and ruin you relationship, they are your perfect models.

Honorable Mentions: Kang-to, Shunji, and Mok Dan (they need group therapy)

Best "You Guys are Awesome" Couple

Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa from Answer Me 1997

If Choi and Ha were horrendously awful, Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa were fabulously awesome.
Despite all the other couples in 2012 and even in their drama Answer Me 1997, these two were the most adorable in both their peaks and lows in their relationship and portrayed with such aplomb. Through their hardships, it was evident how much they cared for each other and despite trying to be strong, they were dependent on the other's shoulder revealing that a true couple does not have to go through life alone but hand-in-hand.

However, their relationship wasn't riddled with difficulties, but mostly consisted of simpler, quieter, and happier moments in life. Going through the daily motions, bantering and bickering over the small things, and enjoying their time together, Sung Dong-il and Lee Il-hwa deserve to be the best couple of 2012. Seriously, it's admirable to see them continue to smile and hold hands through thick and thin from the beginning to end. It's rare to find a couple like this today in both dramaland and in the real world.

Honorable Mentions: Lee Go-eun and Anthony Kim (heck, I'll even through in Director Goo and the rest of World Productions, too)

Best "Remember that Part We Saw Five Years Ago?" Scene

Golf course fight from History of a Salaryman

Old to middle-aged business men and woman pushing, shoving, poking, and all around bashing each other on a golf course with the sprinkles going off accompanied by epic background music and slow motion. This scene was golden, and one that will be cherished and remembered for many years to come.

It's just too bad the latter half of the show fell short to the wickedly funny brilliance of the first.

Best "Pass Me the Tissues" Scene

Dad in the Chapel from Answer Me 1997

Not only the scene itself, but the gradual build up really broke me down to tears. Sung Dong-il is endearing as the the brusque father who finds a quiet moment for himself as he sincerely contemplates what would happen if he died. The scene wasn't overbearing in its emotions but conveyed such a wide range of feelings with such subtlety that I had never imaged this show would have been capable of doing which of course should also be attributed to Sung's amazing performance of a perfect balance of passion and control. There are definitely other moments in Answer Me 1997 that twisted my heart with its quiet yet riveting ability to tell a simple story with raw and real emotions, but this scene left me bleary eyed with an empty box if tissues and therefore the rightful recipient of this award.

Best "Hey, Haven't I seen you Before" Drama

Third Ward

This show is a carbon-copy of Surgeon Bong Dal-hee that accidentally got misplaced in the garbage can and retrieved months later under some bad egg salad. By no means was Surgeon Bong Dal-hee marvelous or brilliant, but it had cute characters and relationships that were enjoyable, and the viewer could get invested despite some of the ludicrous contrivances. However, Third Ward loses the parts that were good, and amplifies the shortcomings of Surgeon Bong Dal-hee.

Hey, look! They even got Park Geun-hyung to play the same character again. Boo!

Best "Waste of Characters" Drama

Strongest K-pop Survival

The drama didn't really have much potential, but it was cute and relatively harmless. Therefore, it's so strange and ironic that the show couldn't even manage the little bits of plot and characters they had at their disposal. None of the characters get resolutions, plot lines are left hanging, and nothing is explained. Sure, the show was unfortunately shortchanged and cut, but it was a ship going nowhere. The broadcasting station just decided to fire a missile at it probably hoping it would sink to the bottom of the ocean and never resurface again. That would probably be better for all parties involved.

Best "Thanks for Answering my Questions... NOT" Drama


The concept of the show was not bad. However, maybe it was bit too ambitious for its own good. It was episodic in nature like so many of the other OCN shows, but after each episode, I would feel more dissatisfaction than not. The drama would introduce a new idea or possible character growth moments, but there would be no further development. After finishing the show, I felt empty and wholly discontent. It wasn't a bad show, it just didn't deliver.Maybe the writers and producers left so many loose strings untied because they were hoping for a second season, but unfortunately, I don't think the first season was strong enough to merit a sequel or warrant the poor and hasty conclusion. The story may have looked epic on paper, but on screen, its flaws created gaping holes that left me with more questions than answers (and not in the good, retrospective way).

Best "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" Drama

Oohlala Couple

The posters and trailers all pointed towards a comedy and after the first episode, the tone and direction seemed a bit more comical with all the bright colors and overacting. However, I should have known better. Korean dramas love mellow and angst, and this drama was no different. What seemed and was falsely advertised as a comedy turned out to be a dramatic soap opera. The show kept throwing tears after tears at the viewer but failed to establish an emotional connection which left the drama cold and heartless. Everything seemed forced and unnatural from the characters to the plot. Characterizations were lazy and poorly written and executed. The plot was inherently flawed. The small rays of light I did see in the show were abused and misused, and turned out to be more harmful than beneficial for the drama. Overall, Oohlala Couple was a wolf in sheep's clothing: it appeared fun and innocent but actually turned out to be contrived and heavy.

Honorable Mention: The Marriage Plot (I demand to know who wrote the synopsis!)

Best "How Long can You Recycle the Same Plot for... oh, that long" Drama

Love Rain

I wasn't going to touch this drama with a ten-foot pole, but stills of a smiling Jung Jin-young sporting a vagabond, artsy look made me try. The beginning was not as horrible as I thought it was going to be. The characters were still very frustrating and the plot was pointless, but I enjoyed the soft hues and nostalgic atmosphere of the drama as a whole. Then the inevitable happened which was the reason why I wanted to avoid it in the first place. Fan meet crap, crap meet fan. It was the same conflict over and over again. As a caveat, I didn't finish the whole thing (thank goodness) and actually have no confirmed idea of how the show ends (and I don't want to) so there is a sliver of a chance that the latter half discontinued the whole "I love you but we can't be together because fate hates us" plot but I seriously doubt it. Anyways, it milked that cow for what it was worth for the first half enough that it still deserves this award. Good job Love Rain, you showed us that life sucks not just for the parents' generation but for the kids', too, and for the same stupid reasons! How's them apples?

Honorable Mention: Yellow Boots (+100 episodes of recycled material)

Best "Thanks for Giving me Something to Look Forward To" Drama

Fermentation Family

The show was quiet and a bit uneventful, but it had a tenacious charm that made me come back week after week to watch the latest episode. I became invested in the little family at Chunjiin, and where the drama may have lacked in creativity and plot, it wholly made up for in character development and growing relationships. All the members of our little restaurant were people and not just props in the background. They had their quirks and faults, but the characters relied upon each other.

It was a feel-good drama that filled the beginning half of 2012 for me, making sure I had something to watch or lean on when I needed a break from the real world. It was not groundbreaking or epic, but it was wonderfully delightful and filled my days with warmth and happiness.

Honorable Mentions: Answer Me 1997 (so funny and adorable); King of Dramas (you make me so happy)

The first Lovepark End of the Year Awards are over!

Rather short but I have to write the "Year in Review" post I haven't even started yet, so...

What were your "Best" this year?


  1. Awww.... I love this, chingu!
    And I am so so SO there with you on:

    The rediscovery of Jung Ryeo-won! <3
    All of Sung Dong-il's scenes and his marital relationship in AM1997! <3
    The battle sequence in HOTS. <3

    And Third Ward being a rip-off of Surgeon Bong Dal-hee - LOLOL. Poor Park Geun-hyung was dragged into this tripe, for that?

    Aww, I was actually looking to watch Hero at some point but heard so many negative reviews, I'm glad I never did, I generally don't think too highly of OCN's procedural shows to be honest.

    1. Jung Ryeo-won <3!! She's just knocking my socks off this year.

      I know, poor Park Geun-hyung wasting his talents in that boring drama.

      It's probably a good thing you missed watching Hero. It's not bad, but it's not good either. Average at best, really. Yang Dong-geun needs to find another fabulous role and really showcase his talents again. Still adore him, though.


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