You know those dramas that are really great but never become all that popular? I think we all have our favorites dramas or TV shows that stand out in our memory for one reason or another that for some reason the rest of humanity just hasn’t caught on to it’s amazingness. Now it would be easy to just write it off to “their loss” and forget the whole thing, but really sometimes you just got to say “Hey, this drama is good – check it out!” If you look at my list there aren’t many Korean dramas included, actually there’s only one. In part because I’ve already talked about some of my favorite underrated Korean dramas already too much! (That Fool, Three Dad’s One Mom, etc.) The other big reason why there are not a lot of Korean dramas on this list is frankly, Korean dramas are already popular enough. I give them regular attention on a continuing basis because you guys love them and I get it. I like Korean dramas too. But deep down there’s an artistic indie side to my soul that loves a good art film and in the case of some of these dramas a good indie art drama. And perhaps that would have been a better title to this countdown, but I think there are also a lot of indie art dramas that get a lot of attention (ex. Reply 1997, 1 Liter of Tears, etc.) That, while they are fantastic are almost overhyped about. Also, my list would have been way too long then. And so here are my Top 6 Underrated Dramas

6. Year of Rain
I started watching this one because I liked the poster. That’s the honest truth. But this drama captured me heart and soul with a story of a girl who’s entire family died in a mudslide caused by the 2009 typhoon when she was at a Mando-pop concert that her parents didn’t want her to go to. Good GOD can you imagine?!?! How does one go about carrying on with life and reconciling themselves to the guilt of being the one still alive? It’s no surprise that she doesn’t talk throughout most of the drama. Generally the rest of the plot goes like this. There’s a young guy that sees this strange beautiful and quiet girl and decides that he wants to make her smile again. OMG I cried. And I cried. And it’s one of the most beautiful and moving pieces I’ve ever seen.

5. Mary Stayed Out All Night
The only Korean drama on my list and one that lives on in a state of infamy, I actually liked this drama. I think this may be my favorite characters that Moon Geun Young and Jang Geun Seok have played and they’re two of my favorite Korean actors. This isn’t to say that it’s my favorite Korean drama. The actual script writing wasn’t the best and at points it gets pretty damn draggy. But, I have seen Jang Geun Seok as a musician multiple times and it’s probably my favorite version. Oh and the music is really great. Oh and though it looks ridiculously cold the makeshift apartment in Hongdae made up of street finds is pretty cool. Oh and I want a kitty necklace now. Korean Indie Rebel Love. That is all.

4. Honey and Clover
There was actually a mistake in the video making of this one. Richard was the one doing the editing while I was sick and in bed with a fever due to allergies catching up with me and taking over my jet lagged body. I may have forgotten to mention to him just how popular the actual story of Honey and Clover is, and that there is a Manga, Anime, Japanese Movie, Japanese Drama and a Taiwanese Drama that are all based upon the same story. WELL, that being said while I did recommend just one in the actual video I must say that I recommend all of them for their own various reasons. I LOVE THIS STORY. It in some ways sums up my own liberal arts university experience of all of my friends trying to find ourselves, making mistakes, creating, developing crushes, getting our hearts broken and realizing that more than anything else friendship is important and that showing someone that you believe in them means the world.

3. Tatta Hitotsu no Koi
This Japanese drama was actually recommended to me by you guys after I made a video talking about how much I loved Kame but failed to include it in the Top 5 countdown. Oh silly me, how new I was to YouTube at the time. I should have included ALL of the Kame dramas. But that aside, I gave myself a weekend and marathoned this drama and I was so glad that I did! I’ve always been a fan of the two lead actors in this one, and to see them in a love story.. well it just made me *sqee* >.<!!!! Really though, in all seriousness this drama is good. A romance story the caliber of the classic 90’s romantic comedies ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘You Got Mail’, etc. It’s good. It’s really effing awesome.

2. Mars
Wow this blog is getting long, but I really like these dramas. Much like my #3 pick, I was prompted to watch this drama by the Hallyu Back fans. Now, I knew about this drama before but the subject matter at hand made me a bit squeamish to watch it. Frankly, this drama I knew would get personal for me. Not to go into too much detail, but having faced serious sexual harassment, abusive relationships and the like in the past I wasn’t sure if I could actually deal with watching a drama that tackled these subjects head on. Little did I know just how healing this drama would actually be. In watching the main character get strong and battle her demons in the drama it made me reflect on my own battles and how I overcame them and brought me out of my shell and talking about it more – at least with Richard. I’ve still got a ways to go, and while I probably won’t watch this one again in the next year, it has inspired and changed me more than any other drama I’ve encountered. I get that it’s too dark to be mainstream popular but in all seriousness, it’s phenomenal.

1. Nagreboshi
Maybe I’m being a little biased and maybe I’m falling for the drama clichés themselves but I really love this drama. It’s got the romance that I love in dramas like Tatta Hitotsu no Koi where the chemistry is so strong that it’s almost painful to watch but you have to keep watching it anyways. It also has the dark storyline that causes you to root for the girl despite her being a prostitute that’s selling her body (and organs). It’s also got the artistry in filmography and great music that make a lot of dramas great and it’s got this strange connection with water that helps you feel even more connected to the drama – if that makes any sense. It’s a drama I watched years ago but can’t forget. It made me cry. It made me jump for joy. I was emotionally and psychologically involved in the characters and frankly it never let me down. While many people have never heard of it, it’s one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen. In fact, making this countdown makes me want to go watch it again.

And there you have it, my Favorite Top 6 Underrated dramas. But this video could really be called 6 of my favorite Asian dramas. Ugh I want to go back and watch all of them again. If only I had the time. If you haven’t seen them, I would put them at the top of your list of dramas to watch. Happy Drama Watching!

the blooper reel:

  • lovedramas30

    i’ve always loved boys over flowers! i know that’s a lot of peoples favorite tho.. ;D great video steph!

  • lakshmi_chandarla

    world’s within OR the world they live in!

    • murrymeta4

      I’ll second Worlds Within. Probably one of the best quality dramas over al, great characters and acting.

      • hallyuback

        Really? I had a hard time finishing World’s Within.. Maybe I should give it a second go!

        • lakshmi_chandarla

          and probably one of the best scripts!!! a very real lead couple and believable romance!!!

          • hallyuback

            Thanks for the recommendations to check it out again! I’ll add it back on my list because I really do like the actors..

        • murrymeta4

          Yes, do watch it, but not for a marathon crack rush. Fit in an episode here and there when you can sit down and a have a keep of the couch. I can see how people would drop it if they were looking for drama crack feels, because it does not follow the typical drama rules and it takes it’s time. It’s an ensemble cast and it’s not all about the lead actors, and it’s not the standard boy meets girl thing. The lead female owns her sexuality-even though it’s got a couple of the standard Korean male dom thing scenes. The characters are jaded. The characters are not particularly nice or likable. As lakshma said, the script is very good. The acting is stellar, and it’s more earthy and matter of fact than fantasy teenage romance.

  • murrymeta4

    Is Mars really under-rated? In any forum/venue I see discussion on Asian Drama, it always makes the Best of T Drama lists.

    • hallyuback

      Good points! I know in forums it does often get included in lists of Best Tw Dramas but it’s a combination of me never mentioning it before and because it’s so old it gets overshadowed by other great dramas of the time.

      • murrymeta4

        It does get overshadowed, because it does not fit into any of the genre categories and when you make a list, it’s the one that you are saying “what am I forgetting” about! It’s melo but almost has a gothic tone-which is total weird to say about an Asian drama. I cannot even describe it. There should just be a Mars category haha.

        • hallyuback

          I know – or they should make more dramas that are that awesome!

  • murrymeta4

    I’m not a huge fan of Mary Stayed Out All Night, other than I really liked the bohemian clothing thing, but it has a lot of good along with a big hot mess at one point, but I do think it gets a bad rap. What I like best about the drama is the ending-the questions about the future, because really that was a huge theme of the show, that you cannot pigeon hole love or plan every minute of your life.

    • hallyuback

      Lol maybe I love it because it’s a hot mess?? If that makes any sense??

  • yasmina elseidy

    i dont why
    but i really luv
    your top 5 videos
    great video staph

    • hallyuback

      Thank you! ^^

  • yasmina elseidy

    secret garden
    w my girl friend is gumiho

    • hallyuback

      LOOOVE my girlfriend is a gumiho!!!

  • Petra

    Soredemo, Ikite Yuku is one of the best dramas and i highly recommend it(you really should watch it)!!!

    There Eita became one of my favourite actors. And i also like Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, Maou and Stand up!

    • hallyuback

      Thanks for your recommendations!

  • Leti43

    My favourite drama until today is Queen In-hyun’s Man! So romantic, so dynamic, so sad, so beautiful actors, so so so so!
    Kisses from Argentina!

    • hallyuback

      I still haven’t actually watched that one >.<

  • Charlotte Wetherell

    I think Lucky Seven was one of my favourite J-dramas – and it doesn’t drag on :) Matsumoto Jun and Eita are kick-ass private detectives; what’s not to LOVE?!

    • hallyuback

      I’m not usually a detective drama person but those two are the shizzle!

  • chanteh

    Mary stayed Out All Night is on my list for “Dramas I Will Never Watch Again”

    • hallyuback

      It’s a love it or hate it drama I have to admit..

  • NewKDramaAddict

    2 I’ve never seen (Honey and Rain dramas), I’ll have to look for those. We have similar taste because I always feel like I’m the only one who liked MSOAN! I liked it! MARS? In a class by itself! Loved Tatta! And Nagareboshi because I’m a BIG Takenouchi Yutaka fan!

    • hallyuback

      Yay! Someone with similar drama tastes!!!

  • Steffi Woll

    I loved Kyo wa kaisha hajimemasu. The manga is really good but the drama is also so sweet. You should try this. It is romantic and comedy. I think you will like it. :)

    • hallyuback

      Oooh thanks for the recommendation! Always looking for good jdramas I haven’t seen!

  • Steffi Woll

    Because of your blog I am starting to watch Nagreboshi :).
    Actually I wanted to watch MARS. Because I was soo much in love with the manga. Do you know if there is a japanese drama of MARS? Because I can only find the taiwanese/chinese drama Version.
    BTW you and your website are awesome 😀

    • hallyuback

      There’s only the Taiwanese version of MARS that I know of. It’s an epic drama.. probably why Korea and Japan haven’t tried to tackle it. If you haven’t seen it I would recommend that version as they actually did a really good job – though it’s quite dated. Thanks!