It’s always fantastic to be surprised when a show manages to add a fresh touch of originality to a seemingly cliché plot line. And sometimes, the most unlikely of shows, those whose plot sounded confusing or you’ve seen them a hundred times before, turn out to be the best.
Take “Mad Dog,” for example. While its synopsis might make the show sound like a regular cop show (although with insurance claim examiners instead of police detectives), “Mad Dog” turned out to be a stunning example of quality character development, relationship growth, top notch acting, and a thrilling plot. We could go as far as to call it a “puzzle drama”: one of those shows that lay tiny clues in plain sight, only to weave them together beautifully later on.
Catch the first episode of “Mad Dog”:
This kind of survival drama isn’t very common in Dramaland, that’s for sure. Thanks to a clever use of flashbacks, that constantly led us to believe one thing only to prove it all wrong, “Missing 9” managed to be a suspenseful thriller that had us at the edge of our seats every week. The relationships were also refreshingly deep and well-built, and the characters were complex and well-rounded.
Watch the trailer below:
Love triangles are a standard cliché in Dramaland, and with a title like that, it seemed like the love story between the king and his lady would get most of the limelight. Instead, the show turned out to be more focused on friendship, how much it can endure, and how it can lead people to become their best… or their worst. The love line was important as well, of course, but less so, and turned out unexpectedly than one might expect.
Catch the first episode of “The King Loves”:
“1% of Anything”
Ah, the good old fake relationship trope. It’s easy to let yourself be swept away by this one, but in spite of the way it started, what made “1% of Anything” so different was the sweetest and healthiest relationship ever, a strong female character, and the hottest kisses in Dramaland. My heart beats faster just thinking about it, and I want to giggle helplessly whenever I think of the respect and absolute adoration between those two.
Watch the trailer for “1% of Anything” below:
Who hasn’t ever watched a vampire story where the good vampire struggles with his desire for blood while simultaneously falling for a mortal? “Vampire Detective” was a refreshing take on the vampire genre, insofar as it turned out to be a dark mystery show focusing more on the characters’ humanity than their lack thereof. There was also the best bromance ever, not a single use of the V-word, and wonderful acting all around. The plot was a little shaky here and there, but the black and white scenes with organ music playing in the background were gorgeous… and very vampire-y.
Catch the first episode of “Vampire Detective”:
Cop shows are especially difficult, because it’s easy to get lured into the “one case per episode” trap and just wait for the show to end, effectively avoiding the hassle of coming up with a through line for the plot. While “I Remember You” sounded like a regular cop show, it quickly turned into a breathtaking thriller full of pain with incredible acting on Seo In Guk and Park Bo Gum‘s part. It was also a deep reflection on mental health and psychopaths, and featured three incredibly intelligent characters.
Catch the first episode of “I Remember You”
Were there any shows that surprised you in a good or a bad way? That weren’t anything like what you were expecting? Let us know in the comments!
A long-time nerd and hot-chocolate addict, karoodramas enjoys watching and writing about k-dramas, fangirling over Tony Stark and Voltron, and falling down the tumblr rabbit hole. You can follow her ravings on Twitter and on Tumblr!