Kinain ng Sistema: My K-Drama Starter List

by Rose

Do you still remember your first K-drama? I don’t. It was probably a toss between Four Sisters and Fantasy Couple. Video streams were a rarity back then so I had to order DVD copies of fan-subbed dramas to be able to watch my favorites. The thing with K-dramas is that they’re easy to binge-watch. Just 16-20 episodes and you’re done with the story.

With the second wind of K-dramas on Philippine shores, thanks to the unexpected popularity of Descendants of the Sun last year, more and more people have been sucked into this black hole of a habit.ย Can you really blame anyone who fan-girls those gorgeous oppas?ย Besides, it’s always nice to ramble about these things with someone who gets your feels.๐Ÿ˜Š How awesome is it though when someone loves a drama you recommended?

If you’re a newbie or simply at a loss on what K-drama to start with after a long hiatus, here are some of my recent tried and tested favorites:


Why I love it: This series made me a Gong Yoo fan and redeemed Kim Go-eun from the travesty that was Cheese in the Trap. For someone who was apprehensive that they’d work as an on-screen couple, their chemistry as Kim Shin and Ji Eun-tak came off as a pleasant surprise. So invested was I in their relationship that I had to journal my feelings after the finale. Oh, and did I mention the Goblin GIFs I created?


Why I love it: Sci-fi dramas are a rarity in Korea but this show made it work with a competent script and equally impressive actors. Too bad it only had 12 episodes. If you’re up for a different genre aside from the usual rom-coms and family dramas, this one’s a good pick. Yeo Jin-goo does not disappoint!

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

Why I love it: It’s a coming of age story that brings together two unlikely campus personalities. While I was never a fan of Lee Sung-kyung, her portrayal of Bok-joo makes the character so relatable. And who didn’t swoon at Joong-hyung’s efforts to catch her attention throughout the series? No wonder this series became a cult favorite overseas despite dismal ratings in Korea.


Why I love it: This show gave me one of the smartest K-drama characters ever (Seon-jae!ย ๐Ÿ˜). While basically a procedural, it cleverly incorporates a time-travel side-plot that connects our three leads. The twists in every episode will basically leave you wanting for more. Tunnel is proof that you don’t need a high-profile cast to deliver a good series as long as you have a good script and competent actors on-board.


Why I love it: How can you resist a show full of eye-candy? The plot may have had its shortcomings but the relationship between the guys was one of my favorite aspects in the series. The unlikely friendship they formed despite their differences was such a joy to watch. Oh, and Park Hyung-sik is officially the master of bromance!

Reply 1994

Why I love it: Throwback feels! Anyone who grew up during the 90’s can totally relate to most of the references. While I never experienced living in a boarding house, I spent my growing up years in the province so college life was an all-new environment for me. Even Na-jeong’s 1994 look reminded me of my college freshman hairstyle (a.k.a. a haircut gone wrong).๐Ÿ˜‚

Honorable mentions go to Suspicious Partners and The Best Hit, two on-going rom-coms generous with their doses of swoon and laughter peppered with a little bit of drama. It’s getting so hard to switch back to US series these days (GOT in two weeks!) with all these awesome shows. Factor in the realization na ang saya pala ng VIU app! Now excuse me while I’m off to review some old favorites.

You may also like


diane July 3, 2017 - 5:38 PM

Hi Rose! I also can’t remember the first K drama I watched. Siyeeet lang (sorry hahaah) baka hindi ako makatulog kakaisip nito. For me, everything started with Meteor Garden tapos naging K drama na hindi ko na talaga maaalala. hahahaah For a while, I watched Endless Love, Winter Sonata … I didn’t take it seriously, I watched it in an on and off basis.

Unfortunately, parang hindi ko na tttype-an si Goblin. Sorry. The plot was great, I agree. Pero it didn’t appeal to me. Let’s see na lang as soon as I finish it. As for what I love the most, wala sorry pero DOTS pa din ahahahahaahah samahan mo na din ng The Master’s Sun, My Princess, and Iris (blame Kim Tae Hee). Oh and yung Gentleman’s Dignity na pinatay ako sa kilig hahahahahaaha

We may not share the same fascination sa list, pero I so loooove this post ๐Ÿ™‚

Rose July 3, 2017 - 6:36 PM

Di nga halata na fan ka ni Kim Tae-hee. Hehe! Most on my list are dramas I finished recently post-Descendants of the Sun. Kung isasama ko pati old favorites hahaba ang entry na ito. But I might do a Part 2… old favorites naman. Kasama na diyan ang The Master’s Sun at Ghost/Phantom, both So Ji-sub dramas.

Diane July 3, 2017 - 9:16 PM

Ewan ko pero gandang ganda ako kay Kim Tae Hee, kahit people are questioning her lack of acting skills. Keberloooo I forgot yung Yong Pal hahahah na dun ko na-discover yung pag-ibig naten hahaha Papa Joo Won!!! hahahahaha

Rose July 3, 2017 - 10:44 PM

Sa Baker Kim Tak-gu naman ako for Joo-won. I think Go-ara is my Kim Tae-hee, what with Hwarang and now, Reply 1994. Baka papanoorin ko rin yung upcoming drama nila ni Song Seung-heon. Hehe!

Jennina July 3, 2017 - 6:17 PM

No DOTS on your starter pack? But why???

Rose July 3, 2017 - 6:33 PM

Ay! Haha. Pero given na that DOTS started the trend, twin. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dahil dun kaya naging interested ulit yung isang kabarkada ko sa K-drama.

Anne September 8, 2017 - 12:30 PM

I’m not quite sure which Kdrama I first watched but I do remember seeing Lovers in Paris, My Girl, Full House, Autumn in My Heart, and Stairway to Heaven (Where I first saw Park Shin Hye. Loved her since.) tagalized on TV but at the time “di pa ako kinain ng sistema” so I didn’t watch them religiously. It only began with Princess Hours about a decade ago. I even saved my allowance to purchase a DVD! Haha. I haven’t seen some of these yet. I’ll check them out. ๐Ÿ™‚


Leave a Comment