So. Do I sort this by language or by title? Or by media type? Oh, choices.
This is a work-in-progress, which means that I will continually make changes as I finish/abandon certain dramas/movies.
- Detective Conan (536 + ongoing): Caper plots and complicated murders abound in this seemingly endless serial about a detective stuck in the body of a child. Good if you have the time for it. 8.5/10
- Kuroshitsuji (24): Over-the-top with a thread of dark, macabre humour running throughout. I like it very much, especially as the ending was better handled than I had expected. 10/10
Loveless (12): Beautiful crisp visuals, incomprehensible plot. 9/10
Ouran High Host Club (26): A great laugh in every episode, spot-on snark at fangirl service and very clean artistically. 10/10
Prince of Tennis (178 + OVAs): Interesting concept of anti-shonen hero, physically impossible feats and lots of team spirit, a bit sloppy towards the end, though. 8/10
- Skip Beat (25)
- 18 Springs/Half Life Fate (35): Beautifully done period drama, with perhaps a little too much hysterical shouting, but it’s okay in the context of the source material. The lead actress exceeded expectations on this one, though it’s her ‘older sister’ who steals the show. Warning to the faint-hearted – very realistic and mature portrayal of some issues may not end up with you being happy. 9/10
- Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre 2003 (40): Pretty girl A, B, C, D, and oooh, is that the plot flying by? Jin Yong’s material gets repetitive, and this truly stretched my patience. And the action sequences, something I usually enjoy, were actually boring. 6.5/10
- Huan Zhu Ge Ge I & II (24/48 )
Legend of Condor Hero 2003 (40): Adventure. Love. Lots of heart-in-mouth martial arts sequences. (And the presence of a plot really didn’t hurt.) 9/10
- Legend of Condor Hero 2008 (50): Still watching. Lots of divergences from the original books, and I personally lost count at around 15, so… many people have called it the ‘Idol version’ or the ‘Qiong Yao version’. Either way, watch for sensationalism with a touch of the old charm.
- Meteor Rain (36): Look, people have alternately called this the Acid Rain Remix of Hana Yori Dango and ‘absolute dross’, so I think you have a reliable indicator of quality.
My Own Swordsman (80): Oh my. Possibly the best Chinese comedy show ever. 12/10
- New Shanghai Bund (42)
- Pink Ladies (39): Astonishingly, this one show is full of clichés I like. Four single women, each with their own problems, live together and discover life (and their landlord is hilarious too). 10/10
- Prince of Tennis Live Action (22): One more addition to the already rich store of canon sources of Prince of Tennis. Now that the initial fervour seems to be dying a bit, not as many people are jumping on the drama, which is how I like it. Ryoma is pure snark, Tezuka’s kind of wooden, Kaidoh is soooo adorable, and pairing hints abound. Plus, Ryuzaki’s hotter in this one. Good adaptation, all things considered. 9/10
Return of Condor Hero 2006 (42): The sap, oh, it drowns. Otherwise very pretty and watchable – though it feels like Jin Yong is trying to fit all the people from the prequel in… 8/10
- Romance in the Rain (48 ): It works well, better than the original novel (given that it’s Qiong Yao, not terribly surprising). For one thing, all the elements balance. The leads work well together very well. I love Vicki Zhao, but her voice grates after a while – the soundtrack would have been better off without her. (Though Ruby Lin can’t even sing that well, so I guess I can’t complain.) The ending is a little bit too contrived and I dislike the premise of 两人爱的死去活来, so it’s not a favourite. Most people seem to have really loved it though. 8/10
- Tian Long Ba Bu (40): With three leads in the story, they had a lot of ground to cover, and they did a decent job. Jimmy Lin gives vaguely pedophiliac vibes when he moons over Crystal Liu (15 years his junior), but it’s otherwise good. Given that it’s not my favourite of the epics, the series is well done. 9/10
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2001 (40): Compelling story and gorgeous shooting. 9/10
- Atashinchi no danshi (11): Over-the-top and kind of cheesy, but a feel-good drama full of cute guys and Maki Horikita. 7.5/10
- Attention Please (10+SP1+SP2)
- BOSS (11)
Detective Conan Live Action I & II: I’m a sucker for whodunnits, I’m afraid. Plus Shun’s usually really good. 9/10
- Galileo (10):
Gokusen I & II (12 + 10): The first time around, it was funny and original. The second time, it got repetitive. Plus, hints of GTO abound. 7.5/10
GTO (12): If you haven’t watched this, please do. Very zany take on the follies of youth and the bonds between teacher and student – and what they owe to each other. 9/10
- Haken no Hinkaku (10):
Hana Kimi (12): Err. I’m sure they used up a year’s worth of women’s dresses. It’s quirky and fast-paced, but it lacks a spark of life. 8/10
Hana Yori Dango I & II (9+11): The first season was good, the second less so. A lot of kids running around trying to be adults, I think. 8/10
- Himitsu no Hanazono
- Hotaru no Hikari
Kimi wa Petto (10): Watched it because it was Matsujun and Koyuki. In retrospect, ehh. 7/10
- Kurosagi (12): The boy has a face of wood. Maki does better at emotional involvement. Kudos for the almost reverse detective vibe. 8.5/10
- Long Vacation (10): My favourite jdrama ever. Touching, funny and realistic in a way I never thought possible. 10/10
- Mei-chan no shitsuji (12): Pure fanservice. No, seriously. There’s nothing else to say. Sudden heiress to a large fortune is enrolled in a school where she is served hand and foot by a hot guy, and the expected hijinks ensue. 9/10
- Mr. Brain (8): It’s all shiny and rambling, with little substance or suspense to drive the show. Given that this is a police/real-crime drama, that’s kind of a fatal flaw. The show does get better, but it takes a while. 8.5/10
- Nobuta wo Produce (10): Thanks, neechan! I forgot about this one. Not because it is bad, just that I assume everyone has already seen it. Very cute story on the power of friendship and kindness, plus slash hints abounds and the actors are all accurate. 9.5/10
- Nodame Cantabile (10): Strange, cute and energetic. Just like Nodame. 8.5/10
- Ohitorisama (10)
- Otomen (10)
- Sapuri (12): An interesting (and possibly sunny) portrayal of the advertising industry, and the acting is pretty good. 8.5/1
- Tatta hitotsu no koi
- Tokyo DOGS
- Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge
- Yukan Club (10): Its main function is to stop its viewers from thinking. 7/10
- Zettai Kareshi (11+SP)
- 1% of Anything (26): Uh. I tried? She was pretty and he was cute, and it just didn’t work for me, possibly due to length. I liked the second lead girl though. There was way too much scoffing in the first half and I got tired of the misunderstandings. And how many times do we plan to remake Cinderella anyway? 7.5/10
- Bad Family (16): AHAHAAHA. I love this show like there is no tomorrow. SuJu fans will watch for Heechul (and his crazy spaz dance, omg), comedy fans will watch because this is really funny, acting fans will watch because Kim Myung Min outdoes himself, and everyone else should at least give it a try. It managed to overcome my inner cynic. My only complaint would be Bu Kyung, who needs to learn how to talk without sounding like she just swallowed five gallons of fructose. 9/10
- Beethoven Virus (18): I liked it at the beginning, but at ep12, am starting to get fatigue. You know that point you hit when you start not caring about the fate of the characters? Yeah. Unfortunately that continued on and I run away every time I think about those two recaps I have still to write. 6/10
- Boys Before Flowers (24): Version #3 manages to drum up some freshness and emotion into an old, tired plot. Gu Hye-sun and Kim Hyun-joong are less than stellar but Lee Min-ho, Kim Bum and Kim Joon rock it. 8/10
- Chuno (24)
Coffee Prince (16 + 1): What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It sparked a wave of obsessed crazy on that has not quite yet subsided. Lots of good, solid acting and despite the risk of clichés, carried its own momentum through. 10/10
Dae Jang Geum/Jewel in the Palace (70): What an epic. If you have lots of time on your hands, it’s worth a look at – though the main character is too perfect to be real, it’s interesting, nonetheless. 8.5/10
Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang (16): It was good, for a show its genre. My favourite parts were the little historical snatches at the end – very well-made and funny as anything. 8.5/10
- Devil, The or Mawang (20): Backburnered.
- East of Eden (50): *headdesk* No. Just… no. 4/10
Exhibition of Fireworks (17): I forget why I watched. Oh yeah. Kang Ji Hwan. He’s almost the only thing worth watching in this show. The lead girl does a good job, but everyone else, zomg, the pastiches. 7.5/10
Full House (16): I liked everything up until episode 12. Then the cause and effect train started to drag a bit. Still, very much worth a watch. 9/10
Green Rose (22): This was a while ago. I liked it, but some bits made me want to fast forward. Its characters live and breathe, so that’s a plus. 8/10
Goong (24): Ah. That one. Its problem is the same as Full House. Once we got to the last four episodes, they draaaaaaaaaaaaaagged on and on and on. (I just found out it was because it had been extended. No wonder.) I’d watch it for the pretty people, the Cinderella plot, and of course, for Prince Yul. 9/10
- Gourmet (24): Food! FOOD! FOOOOOOOOOOOOD!! Okay, will be slightly more objective – decent acting all round and the cooking competition hasn’t gotten boring yet. 8.5/10
- Hello! Miss (16): Bleh. Lee Da Hae has done better. 7.5/10
Hwang Jin-yi (24): Have yet to finish. So far I really miss the little Jin Yi – very good acting.
- Iljimae (20): I really liked it, despite the random beginning and loose end. Quite reminiscent of TODAW, to be honest, and watched for probably the same reason – Lee Jun Ki. Good plot progression, if a bit slow at the beginning. 8.5/10
- IRIS (24)
- Legend (24): First impressions? CGI! CGI! CGI! Second impression: Oh! The! Tragedy! Of! It! All! Last impression W!T!F! Still, overall, it makes you feel for the characters, and introduced me to Lee Jia. For that I will forgive the random ending. 8.5/10
- My Fair Lady
My Girl (16): Everyone overacts, even when they’re not overacting (except for lead male Lee Dong Wook) in a good way. Still charming and funny. Please do watch. 9/10
My Love Patzzi (10): Um. I wanted to like it. I really did. It just failed to catch me on so many levels. Sorry. 7/10
- My Name is Kim Sam-soon (16)
Only You (16): Why did I watch this one? It will be a mystery for the ages. 6/10
- Painter of the Wind (20): Stellar soundtrack, interesting premise, and crossdressing. Come on, even if it’s sageuk it’s worth watching. Park Shin Yang should stop shouting so much, though. Moon Geun Young is just plain awesome in this drama. 9/10
- Partner (16)
Sharp Blade Hong Gil Dong (24): It is a great show, containing a medley of genres, including but not restricted to comedy, romance, sageuk and goofball (this show owns goofball humour). It also attempts to transcend the usual lot of melodrama that we frequently see in kdrama, so plus points for it. Last of all, the characters (all of them- I’m serious) will make you fall in love with them, and the plot is tightly woven (with the odd bump, but the writers are human). A highly recommended watch. Eps 19 and onward not for the fainthearted. Personal dislikes: the toilet humour which disappears, thank goodness, and the ending. Still love it. 9.5/10
- Shining Inheritance (26): Classic Cinderella plot with a few twists, predictable yet paced so that one keeps watching. Comfort food. 8/10
- The Slingshot (20): Intense may be an understatement.
Sweet Spy (16): Nam Sang Mi is soooooo pretty. Otherwise, whats-his-face’s lack of verbal skills killed it. 6.5/10
- Take Care of the Young Lady
Time Between Dog and Wolf (16): Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Prefect summer thing, with action, thriller, spy agencies, hot people all around and juicy fighting. Oh, and the angst hits like a derailed Tokyo bullet train. 9/10
- Triple (16)
Vineyard Man (16): Gah. That is the sound of me washing this YEH vehicle out of my brain. 6/10
Witch Yoo Hee/Witch Amusement (16): I think I stayed on only to see where the wacky went. If you don’t think, it’s perfect. Otherwise, a resounding WTF? 8/10
- World They Live In, The (16): I am honestly saying that I’m going to watch for the eyecandy. Not to my taste, but watchable. 7.5/10
- You’re Beautiful (16)
- Black & White (24)
- Bullfighting (16)
- Devil Beside You (20): First Taiwanese drama I watched, way back when I wasn’t traumatized by all the bad coincidences and shrill shouting… it’s okay, I guess. I found the main couple cute and the plot was contrived, but what the hell, it’s fictional. 8/10
- Down With Love
- Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu (15+1): A valiant transferring effort from manga to drama, but unfortunately ruined by Ella and Jiro’s overacting and Wu’s wooden-ness. 7/10
It Started With a Kiss (20): I’m sorry. I didn’t like this. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. 6/10
Marmalade Boy (30): Good effort but a bit whiney and stiff. 7/10
- Miss No Good (14): Omg SHOOT ME. The stereotypical hate-at-first-sight-plus-orphan-of-unknown-provenance plot got completely shadowed by the most ANNOYING accent known to Mandarin speakers. Fail. 5/10
- My Lucky Star (20): This really marks the death’s knell for me in terms of TW Drama. Overacted and saccharine in the first half, and just barely redeemable for the second. The actors still cling to the overblown and cliched. *sigh* Some show of restraint, please? 7/10
- Reaching for the Stars (22): S.H.E. vehicle. What can I say that hasn’t already been said on the subject of those? 6.5/10
Romantic Princess (13): I have to confess, I have very little tolerance for clichés or overacting. This one had bits of both. 7/10
Smiling Pasta (17): Please, someone hand me that turtle shell so I can shield myself. Clichéd and overacted, with hints of Full House. 7/10
- ToGetHer (13): It’s supposed to be cute and um, normal TWdrama fare, but I’m prejudiced against Jiro’s face and I’m sorry, the show just wasn’t good enough to balance his mouth-open-at-all-times-to-welcome-flies act. Plus can we stop adding airheaded, debt-causing relatives? Thank you. 7/10
Why Why Love (15): I should have known from the title. Please, smart and capable Taiwanese people, start filming good, thoughtful dramas. I swear, it won’t kill you. 7/10
- 100 Days With Mr. Arrogant: I no longer remember the movie very clearly. It was cute, with shouting in between. Watch for superficial fun. 7.5/10
200 Pound Beauty: Funny reflection on the rather sad pursuit of beauty. Watch for the quirky. 7.5/10
- A Millionaire’s First Love: Kind of like that movie based on the book written by Nicholas Sparks, past master of soppy clichés, oh yeah, what was it called? A Walk to Remember. In fact, switch the cast, and you’ve pretty much got the same movie. 7/10
- A Wolf’s Temptation: Wow. It’s got teen violence, angst, almost!incest, and a fatal congenital heart disorder. You can reassemble what happens with what I’ve given you, right? 7/10
- Antique: Based on the manga Antique Bakery, this movie adaptation is so quirky and tries so hard to be cutely profound that comprehension sometimes doesn’t make it through. Still, good effort on the part of all the actors. 8/10
The Banquet: I preferred Hamlet. Though the faux-art filming does grow on you. 7.5/10
- Curse of the Golden Flower
- Doremifasolatido: It’s a teen flick, what do you want me to say? Satisfying for the cute, certainly. 8/10
- Fly, Daddy, Fly!: Aw. Feel-good movie, with eyecandy (Lee Jun-ki) and a true-to-life kind of dad (Lee Moon-shik). 8.5/10
- The Forbidden Kingdom: Ah. Nice to see that only the white man can lead plebian yellowface weirdos to salvation against a corrupt leader. Also, bastardization of a well-loved Chinese classic abounds. Yes, I’m a sensitive Asian. Deal. 6.5/10
- Frozen Flower: Pretty, good acting on the part of Joo Jin-mu but yerch on the plot. 8/10
- Hana Yori Dango Finale: It will help to remember that nothing has to make sense. 7/10
Hua MulanHwang Jin-yi: Yum, a pretty female lead. Otherwise unremarkable comment on a very interesting figure in Korean history. The drama was better. 7/10
- Innocent Steps
The King and the Clown: Ow. Just ow. It was surprisingly good, with bits of random crazy, and I wasn’t too keen on the crude humour. 8.5/10
- Kurosagi: It was like an enormously long episode of Kurosagi peppered with faux-literati references to Shakespeare and barely any tension at all. I preferred the series. 7/10
- Level 7 Civil Servant
- Love Me Not
- My Girlfriend is an Agent
- My Little Bride: Aside from initial screaming (‘She married him at WHAT age?!’), it’s cute. Moon Geun-young and Kim Rae-won do creditable jobs, and it’s not hard to see why they’re popular, acclaimed actors now. 8.5/10
- My Mighty Princess
My Sassy Girl: Um, this one, I think, you just have to watch, even if it’s not to your taste. Hallyu staple and quite touching at some parts. 7/10
- The Naked Kitchen
- Night in the Supermarket
- Painted Skin: Another one of those ‘Just watch and pass the popcorn’ movies. Remember, it doesn’t have to make sense. 8/10
- Perhaps.Love: I didn’t like it at first, but Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun are compelling reasons to watch. The emotion play in the movie grows on you and the soundtrack is great. (Minus points for being a little bit too highbrow with the complications at times.) 8.5/10
- Searching For the Elephant
- Speed Scandal
- Spy Girl: I… think I forget what it was about. Kind of bland treatment on a gorgeous North Korean spy who gets stranded in South Korea and how she met this total freeloader boy. Yeah. 7.5/10
xxxHolic: The Summer: Pure xxxHolic fare. I’d recommend a watch, if only for Yuuko’s delicious brand of being bossy and all-knowing. 10/10
- The Big Bang Theory: Seasons 1-3 (ongoing).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1-2.
- Criminal Minds: Seasons 1-5 (ongoing).
- Emma: BBC miniseries.
- Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1-2.
- Kings: Season 1.
- Merlin: Seasons 1-2 (ongoing).
- Pride and Prejudice: BBC miniseries.
- Tipping the Velvet: BBC miniseries.
- White Collar: Season 1 (ongoing).
Planning to watch:
- Baby and Me
- Personal Taste
- Tokujo Kabachi
Non-Asian stuff to watch:
- All five hundred seasons of Law and Order
- Torchwood & Dr. Who
Oh God. I am resigned to a permanent backlog.