Korean Drama Update for January 2019

Memories of the Alhambra Korean Drama - Park Shin Hye

It’s a new year, and I’ve been busy with dramas!  First up was the epic historical Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, and it sure was a good one! I also got in the sci-fi thriller Memories of the Alhambra, the short period drama Hymn of Death, the romance drama Twelve Nights, and the fantasy romance When Time Stopped to make for a total of five dramas in January:

Rebel Thief Who Stole the People Korean Drama - Yoon Kyun SangRebel: Thief Who Stole the People

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People is an epic tale jam-packed with emotion, excitement, heartbreak, action, and so much more! We watch this Robinhood type story as Gil Dong rises from nothing and doles out justice to the noble class for their horrible deeds.

This drama depicts some very emotional character journeys as well as some just plain heartbreaking stories. The characters and us go through some wonderful highs but also some incredible lows. It’s an emotional roller coaster for sure.

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People is a special drama. It takes a lot to create a story that I find captivating from beginning to end, and for it be on the longer side is even more amazing. With a grand story, impeccable directing, amazing actors, moving music, and a legendary hero, Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People is a drama not to be missed. (Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People Review)

Memories of the Alhambra Korean Drama - Hyun Bin and Park Shin HyeMemories of the Alhambra

I like sci-fi type stories, so the very anticipated AR based Memories of the Alhambra was right up my alley. This is a pretty different topic for sure. I loved that so much of the drama was set in Spain which definitely gave it a unique atmosphere.

This is a crazy journey as the game gets out of control. This drama is full of twists and crazy cliffhangers to make for a pretty wild ride. But there are a fair share of plot holes and unanswered questions. The concept is fantastic, but the finer details and overall execution is sloppy.

Memories of the Alhambra worked well for me though. It has lots of unique qualities with its AR story, being set on location in Spain, and its ample use of special effects. Then add in a thrilling story with plenty of surprises as well as a dash of romance from our talented stars, Hyun Bin and Park Shin Hye, and you have a pretty entertaining drama. It was definitely a fun one! (Memories of the Alhambra Review)

Hymn of DeathHymn of Death Korean Drama - Lee Jong Suk and Shin Hye Sun

Hymn of Death is a heartbreaking romance set during the Japanese occupation. It’s a somber drama with increasing sadness. The story is thoughtful and well directed. Lee Jong Suk and Shin Hye Sun both gave moving performances that conveyed the struggles and heartaches each were feeling.

It would have been nice to have more time to develop a story like this so I could get really emotionally invested, but overall Hymn of Death is a decent watch with enough good qualities to depict this tragic romance. (Hymn of Death Review)

Twelve Nights Korean Drama - Shin Hyun Soo and Han Seung YeonTwelve Nights

Twelve Nights is a simple and straightforward romance drama that is broken into three distinct story arcs that involve the three meetings of our couple. I liked the concept of their repeated meetings over 8 years and whether they were fated, but the execution was lacking. The couple really just were terrible at communicating and waited around too much for something to happen.

It had a relationship that felt very romantic at times and had some very thoughtful moments, but the story was very drawn out with little plot progression that just really slowed things down. The drama was just plain draggy. It’s an okay enough watch if you want something really simple and aren’t expecting much, but that’s about it. (Twelve Nights Review)

When Time StoppedWhen Time Stopped Korean Drama - Kim Hyun Joong

I found the fantasy premise of When Time Stopped with a man being able to stop time while one girl can still move around pretty intriguing. The drama was a mixed bag though. There is a slow developing but sweet romance with a few engaging side stories. The main story involving the leads and the reapers is also unique and interesting.

But the drama didn’t always seem to have a clear idea of where it wanted to go. It’s focus was spread around to much with not enough time spent on the main story.

When Time Stopped has several nice qualities, but as a whole, it just felt like it was missing something. Like it was underdeveloped and just lacking that special something to really grab me. It was a pretty quick and easy watch though which is what made the series decent enough. (When Time Stopped Review)


So how was January for you?

Happy drama watching to everyone!

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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42 Responses to Korean Drama Update for January 2019

  1. I re-watched weightlifting fairy and finished Kingdom and now watching The guest. (These are the three dead that I liked the most this month.) Also watched some new and good variety shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Sounds like you had a busy month (and a scary one! lol). I plan to eventually check out Kingdom 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you watched The guest? I just finished watching it and I was hooked from beginning till the end. I haven’t watched such a good supernatural (ghosts) drama yet. After going through comments on MDL page there are few things I can understand that could have been better or so but I loved this drama. It’s going to be on my best dramas list.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          I haven’t seen The Guest. I don’t really like horror, and it sounded pretty intense. Thriller and creepy shows are fine, but that looked like it would be way too much for me, lol. I’ve heard so many good things about it though, and it sounds like an awesome drama. I’m glad to hear it’s made your best dramas list 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Priyasha says:

    I am currently watching Romance is a bonus book 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eva says:

    Wowww. January was a really busy month for you..

    I’ve been so behind on dramas lately. But I’ve managed to start on the following boyfriend, clean on passion and sky castle although I’m not yet done with either of the three. What’s your schedule for February?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andrea says:

    I watched Kingdom and Feel Good To Die. Also watched Review Notebook of My Embarrassing Days and Forgotten Season (KBS Drama Specials from 2018). I also started Clean With Passion For Now (12 episodes down) and I’m watching Romance is a Bonus Book (officially coming to Netflix this weekend, yay!). I also finished a Thai drama called Kiss Me Again. I think that’s all LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It seems that everyone is keeping busy with dramas 🙂 I’m planning to watch Kingdom, Clean With Passion for Now, and Romance is a Bonus Book too. I was also glad to see that Netflix picked up Romance. Of course, my February is already all booked up with dramas. It’s impossible to stay caught up! lol

      Like

  5. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Only finished two dramas this month. So sad. 😦
    Have finally got to watch Dance Sports Girls (Just Dance) (6.5/10) finale and it was just okay. And was able to enjoy my twenties thanks to Twenty Again (8/10) which by far Lee Sang Yoon’s best.
    So basically I only finished one drama last month. Just Dance didn’t count because I was only an episode short with it. Well, I really have to reserve much much more time for my drama watching this Heart month. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I know what you mean. I always get disappointed when I don’t very many dramas in, hehe. At least one of them was really good for you 🙂 And yes, there is always this month to make up for some lost drama time!

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t able to finish many dramas last January not because there weren’t any good ones to choose. In fact there are a bunch of great dramas on my list. I just couldn’t find enough time for my K-Drama funtime because of my hectic schedule. 😦 Hehehe

        Liked by 1 person

  6. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Currently watching:

    *Fated to Love You (7/10)
    *Boksoo’s Back
    *Witch’s Court
    *Miracle That We Met – I premiered it today and I think I am going to like it.
    *Clean with Passion for Now (ON HOLD)
    *Children of a Lesser God (ON HOLD)

    Upnext!
    – Priest
    – SKY Castle
    – Room 9
    – The Last Empress
    – Kingdom
    – Go Back Couple (re-watch)
    – Haechi

    Kkeut!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      As always, you’ve got quite a list going! I just wrapped up Encounter and am now watching My Strange Hero (Bok Soo’s Back). And looks like we share some upcoming dramas too. Definitely going to check out The Last Empress, Haechi, and Sky Castle. And will try my best to make it through Kingdom. We’ll see, hehe

      Like

  7. D says:

    Hi Kay,

    January was a good month for you. I watched and enjoyed all of the following this month. Some more than others.
    – Memories of the Alhambra
    – Encounter
    – Kingdom
    – Clean with passion for now (three more episodes to go but I’m going to count it here)

    I am currently watching Discovery of Romance and An Empress’s Dignity. Really enjoying the first drama but not sure what to think of the second one yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It was a good one with dramas all over the spectrum 🙂 You got some nice ones in too! Memories would be my fav of the bunch 🙂 I’m now watching My Strange Hero with plans for The Last Empress after it.

      Like

      • D says:

        I really want to watch my strange hero too but just waiting to see if it will be available on Viki for me. It says coming soon and so I’m hoping. Empress is already available there and so I ended up watching that one first.

        Are you going to watch Kingdom?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Oh that is good that is says coming soon for you 🙂 I do plan to try Kingdom. I’m not a fan of horror though, so I’m hoping it’s not too gory or anything. I’ll definitely be trying it in the daytime, lol

          Like

          • D says:

            I’m also not a fan of horror either and I nearly dropped it after 3 episodes because of it but it was done so well and had to continue watching it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kay says:

              Yeah, that was my only hesitation going in. But I love historicals and figured it would be well done. Now I’ve heard glowing reviews for it, so of course I have to try. I’m crossing my fingers I can handle it!

              Like

    • MyKDramaticLife says:

      I am an ultimate fan of Eric Mun ssi, so Discovery of Love was one of the first dramas I’d watch. How was it for you, D?

      Like

  8. MyKDramaticLife says:

    My KDramatic Review on ‘Dance Sports Girls’ (Just Dance):

    When I heard about Dance Sports Girls, I really didn’t think that I would check it out. Especially that it’s a high school drama (which I am not so into, unless it’s a School series. Haha) But then there were reasons why I got to watch it. First, mainly because of its writer, it’s the same one with one of my favorites, the short series, Individualist Ms. Ji Young (10/10). Secondly, because of the team-up of Park Se Wan and Jang Dong Yoon whom I both enjoyed in School 2017 (8/10). And lastly because the drama is shorter than the rest.

    Well, I was satisfied with the drama. It’s just that, I had some issues about it which I think they could have done better. First, I didn’t really understand too well what was the focus of the drama. At first it was a school drama which focused about high school girls’ learning to know about themselves and trying to survive the struggles they undergo in their school. Then it went to dancing, and it was quite good. But I couldn’t see that ‘X factor’ about that dance genre. So that made me think about whether or not to continue. And suddenly Jang Dong Yoon joined the girls and it made the drama a bit more interesting (and at least more appealing, at least for me.) Then the dance genre suddenly turned to romance. Well, it wasn’t bad. The chemistry between these two is undeniable eversince School 2017. I was happy that they finally ended up being together because they weren’t meant to be in School series.

    So,everything went okay. Except for the fact that I really couldn’t see the focus of the drama. Well, I am so so okay with multi-genre drama especially when it is something very extra special. But there went something off about Dance Sports Girls. At some point, it was very good. And there went genres (such as family and comedy) that really didn’t go well with me.) There has to be something that sparked when a drama does a multi-genre. It might show us different genres all in one drama but it also has to show us the main gist of it. Something that I think the drama lacks.

    But nonetheless, I still did enjoy some of it. There were times that I’d laugh (but it wasn’t a sincere laugh though. :D) and there were also times that I rooted for the main lead couple (though the have the chemistry, but they didn’t do well romantically, for me.) I think their conversation, the script were off for a high schooler character. It was too much for a teenager character. And Park Se Wan’s character as Kim Shi Eun was not the likable type either. None of the dance sports girls, too. Everyone has their flaws and there weren’t sincere resolutions about how each character grew in the drama. Kim Shi Eun cried and shouted her heart out, but sadly I couldn’t feel her pain. Char!

    Well, I think my review is getting a bit longer with lots of negativities. If you’d like to know whether or not my comment about Dance Sports Girls is true to being real, then see and watch Dance Sports Girls and let me know yours (your review).

    Kkeut!

    MY RATING: 6.5/10

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Nice write up 🙂 It’s good that despite some issues with the drama you found some things to like and thought it was okay enough.

      This was one of the dramas I tried towards the end of December. I watched 3 of the short eps, and it just was not clicking. I’m pretty picky about my school dramas (usually not a big fan of the genre), and I just wasn’t liking the tone and wasn’t really connecting with it. I normally would have given it a bit more time, but I just really wanted something good, and I could tell that even if it did get better, I still knew I wouldn’t love it. So I moved on. Sounds like a good call 🙂

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        Hahaha yeah right! I also am not into school dramas unless the casts are too amazing, that you would have no other choice but to say yes to it. As for Dance Sports Girls, it really wasn’t into my liking either but because it did really do its best and I see that (though not so impressed :D), that’s why I gave it a 6.5.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Yep, I know the feeling. I usually only go for school dramas if I love the cast or if they have a more melodramatic focus like The Heirs. I can see how Dance Sports Girls probably had a certain charm to it, just not quite for me, lol

          Like

  9. MyKDramaticLife says:

    My K-Dramatic Watching Updates:

    WATCHING:
    *Witch’s Court (8/10) – Waiting for the right mood to watch the finale. And get ready for the review on it.
    *Fated to Love You (7/10) – ON HOLD. Still on the 12th episode and decided to go slowly on it since I was about to lose my interest in it.
    *My Strange Hero – going forward on it hopefully by next week. Haven’t continued on it yet because of lack of episodes’ copy.
    *SKY Castle – on my 4th episode and haven’t made my mind about what to think about it yet.
    *The Last Empress – premiered on it a couple days ago and the drama was chaotic and I don’t know what to feel about it. Haven’t seen Choi Jin Hyuk yet, so let us see.

    ON HOLD:
    *Children of a Lesser God
    *Clean With Passion for Now

    RECENTLY FINISHED:
    *MIRACLE THAT WE MET (8/10)

    UP NEXT:
    *Priest
    *Memories of the Alhambra
    *Haechi
    *Hot Blooded Priest
    *Kingdom
    *Go Back Couple (re-watch)
    *Time
    *Room No. 9
    *Touch Your Heart
    *Dr. Romantic
    *Eulachacha Waikiki 2

    and so so many others. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      You’re watching some good ones! Fated to Love You is one of my all time favs, and My Strange Hero was great. I’m 40 eps into The Last Empress and love it. You’ve got plenty of good ones to choose from on your up next list too. And yes, soooo many others! lol

      Like

  10. seoullosolo says:

    I haven’t been able to watch dramas since this time last year when I rewatched Kill Me Heal Me! Learning Korean has taken the forefront of my Korean-time. Although there is much drama to be had in current Korean news anyways it’s kind of funny. xD I really want to watch Hymn of Death though, if only for Lee Jong Suk. ❤ Eternal love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oooh, I love Kill Me Heal Me soooo much! One of my all time favorite dramas 🙂 I can see how learning Korean would take up most of your time. That’s so wonderful though! Hymn of Death was a good watch. Lee Jong Suk is always great. I hope you find a little time to work in some dramas in the future 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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