List of Popular K-Dramas 2000 - 2014

Very often I am desperate for recommendations on the next Korean drama to watch. Thought I would share a list, from my top 10 kdramas to the ones you watch to pass time. Added a ratings widget so you can now rate your favorite dramas.

A Ratings Powerhouse is what I call kdramas that are daebak (with high ratings over 20%) when it was aired in Korea. 

Where to watch Korean Dramas?
Epdrama.com
Gooddrama.net
DramaFever (within US)

Birth of a Beauty

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Currently Watching
Title:Birth of a Beauty
Episodes: TBA
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs MBC), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Joo Sang Wook as Han Tae Hee
Han Ye Seul as Sa Ra / Sa Geum Ran
Synopsis: Sa Geum Ran is a housewife who gave her all to her in-laws yet all she got in return was betrayal from a family of ingrates. Seeking revenge, she goes through extensive cosmetic surgery. Hilarious hijinks ensue between the ajumma in the body of a beautiful woman and the man who helps her for personal reasons.



Mr. Back

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama or downright boring?
My Rating: Currently Watching
Title:Mr. Back
Episodes: TBA
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs MBC), Romantic Comedy, Fantasy
Starring:
Shin Ha Kyun as Choi Go Bong / Choi Shin Hyung
Jang Na Ra as Eun Ha Soo

Synopsis: A 70 year old suddenly turns back to a young man in his 30s. 


Pinocchio
Pinocchio, top korean drama 2014, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Jong Shik

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Currently Watching
Title:Pinocchio
Episodes: TBA
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs SBS), Romance Drama
Starring:
Lee Jong Suk as Choi Dal Po
Park Shin Hye as Choi In Ha

Synopsis: Choi Dal Po is a genius who hides his talents and real identity to escape a tragic past. Choi In Ha is a girl who cannot tell lies. 

Comments: 5 minutes into the drama I gave up. What with Lee Jong Suk's crazy hair and cheesy quiz competition and his declaration of love to Park Shin Hye who once again has donned a high school attire.

But there's a lot of hype around this drama that I'm so glad I gave it another shot. 10 minutes into the show I was hooked. Can't wait for the next episodes.
Pinocchio, top korean drama 2014, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Jong Shik


Liar Game (TVN)

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Liar Game
Episodes: 12
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014, Mystery
Starring:
Lee Sang Yun as Ha Woo Jin
Kim So Eun as Nam Da Jung

Synopsis: Nam Da Jung is a naive girl with a kind-heart while Ha Woo Jin is a genius at reading people's emotions. They both end up joining a reality TV show called Liar Game where they must use deception as a means to win.


Tomorrow Cantabile
top korean dramas 2014, best kdrama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Joo Won Cantabile Tomorrow

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Tomorrow Cantabile / Nae Il's Cantabile
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Oct 2014 (Mon Tues KBS), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Joo Won as Cha Yoo Jin
Shin Eun Kyung as Sul Nae Il

Synopsis: This is a story about two polar opposites who are brought together by classical music.


Pride and Prejudice

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Currently Watching
Title:Pride and Prejudice
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Oct 2014 (Mon Tues MBC), Romantic Drama  
Starring:
Baek Jin Hee as Han Yul Moo
Choi Jin Hyuk as Goo Dong Chul

Synopsis: A legal drama about upstanding prosecutors who seek to uphold justice.


She's So Lovable
She's So Lovable Rain Krystal Jung, kdrama musical rom=com, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Downright Boring
Title:She's So Lovable / My Lovely Girl
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Sep - Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs SBS), Musical Rom-Com
Starring:
Rain as Lee Hyun Wook
Krystal Jung as Yoo Se Na

Synopsis: Lee Hyun Wook, the CEO of a talent agency, is still troubled by the death of his ex-girlfriend. Yoo Se Na, his ex-girlfriend's sister is back in Korea to pursue her dreams of making it in the music industry. 

Comments: I'm a fan of F(x) but I ended up dropping this drama. It had the potential to be a bigger and better Dream High but it became a Korean drama billed by top names yet with a disappointing story line.


Blade Man / Iron Man
Blade Man Lee Dong Wook, Iron Man 2014 kdrama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Downright Boring Weird
Title:Blade Man / Iron Man
Episodes: 18
Air Date and Genre: Sep - Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs KBS), Fantasy
Starring:
Lee Dong Wook as Joo Hong Bin
Shin Se Kyung as Son Se Dong

Synopsis: Joo Hong Bin is the rich and talented CEO of a gaming company but he is a hot-headed prick. What's worse is whenever he gets frighteningly mad on a rainy day, blades shoot out of his body.

Comments: I was so excited to see a Wolverine-type character in a kdrama but I'm already a couple episodes in and to sum it up, it's been weird. Ended up reading recaps until the end, which just reaffirmed why I couldn't continue watching.


Fated to Love You
Fated to Love you korean version, 2014 kdrama drama withdrawal syndrome Jang Hyuk Jang Na Ra

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Fated To Love You / 운명처럼 널 사랑해
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Jul - Sep 2014, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Jang Na Ra as Kim Mi Young
Jang Hyuk as Lee Gun

Synopsis: Kim Mi Young is your resident pushover, someone who you can count on to do the work that nobody wants due to her inability to say no. On a night of mishaps, Mi Young enters the wrong hotel room and sleeps with Lee Gun. She gets pregnant and this is how their story begins.

Comments: This is a re-make of a Taiwanese drama. I'm biased to the former as the plot changes in the Korean version left out some of the best parts. The Taiwanese version of Fated to Love You back in 2008 starred Ethan Ruan and Chen Qiao En.
Fated to Love You taiwanese version, Ethan Ruan Chen Qiao drama withdrawals


Doctor Stranger
Doctor Stranger 2014, best doctor kdrama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Must-Watch
Title:Doctor Stranger / 닥터 이방인
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: May - Jul 2014 SBS, Medical Romance
Starring:
Lee Jong Suk as Park Hoon

Synopsis: Park Hoon is originally from South Korea but he and his father were captured. He grew up in the North and became a genius doctor. Upon his escape, he loses contact with the love of his life. Hence, he must take every opportunity to earn money in hopes of finding her.

He ends up at a South Korean Hospital where he is treated as an outsider.


Endless Love
Endless Love Jung Kyung Ho, 2014 kdrama korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Endless Love / 끝없는 사랑
Episodes: 40
Air Date and Genre: 2014, Epic Drama
Starring:
Hwang Jung Eum as Seo In Ae
Ryu Soo Young as Han Kwang Hoon
Jung Kyung Ho as Han Kwang Chul

Synopsis: Set in the 1970s, the story revolves around Seo In Ae, a charismatic lady who stands up for her beliefs and struggles during the most tumultuous times in Korea.

Comments: Although this kdrama is based on fiction, it depicts the democratic movement of Korea where human rights were easily violated. Actress Hwang Jung Eum is praised for shedding her cutesy image and transforming into Seo In Ae, a colorful character with immense depth.


You're All Surrounded
You're All Surrounded Lee Seung Ki kdrama, korean drama withdrawals Go Ah Ra, Cha Seung Won, korean drama to watch in 2014

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:You're All Surrounded / 너희들은 포위됐다
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: May 2014 - Jul 2014, Action Comedy
Starring:
Lee Seung Ki as Eun Dae Gu
Cha Seung Won as Seo Pan Suk
Go Ah Ra as Uh Soo Sun

Synopsis: Eun Dae Gu joins the Gangnam police force in order to investigate the mysterious death of his mother and to closely observe his Team Leader Seo Pan Suk whom he suspects to be one of the culprits.

Comments: There are quite a number of scenes where it makes fun of kdrama cliches. Even though it's nothing spectacular, I liked it.


Rank # 1 You Who Came From The Stars - a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating - 30%)
You From Another Star Kim Soo Hyun Jun Ji Hyun, Best k-drama of 2014 drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:You From Another Star / You Who Came From The Stars /  별에서 온 그대 
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: Dec 2013 - Feb 2014, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Kim Soo Hyun as Do Min Joon
Jun Ji Hyun as Chun Song Yi

Synopsis: Do Min Joon is an alien that came to earth centuries ago. In present day Korea, he moves in next door to Chun Song Yi, a popular hallyu actress and hilarity ensues.

Comments: My top 10 kdrama list usually includes classics but You From Another Star is a fairly new drama which had all the right ingredients that make kdramas so endearing. In fact, it had such a successful run that beer and fried chicken sales went up largely due to Chun Song Yi's obsession with food delivery. I gotta say props to their product placement skills.


The Heirs
The Heirs Lee Min Ho, best kdrama 2013 Park Shin Hye korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:The Heirs 
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Oct - Dec 2013, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as Kim Tan
Park Shin Hye as Cha Eun Sang

Synopsis: Cha Eun Sang works for Kim Tan's family, which is why she was able to enroll in the prestigious Jeguk high school. Can she survive alongside ultra-rich kids and their extravagant displays of wealth and power?

Comments: Boys Before Flowers Repeated. Oddly enough, the heroine Cha Eung Sang turned out to be my least favorite character.


That Winter, The Wind Blows
That Winter, the wind blows song hye kyo jo in sung kdrama 2013, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:That Winter, The Wind Blows 
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Feb - Apr 2013, Romance Drama
Starring:
Jo In Sung as In Soo
Song Hye Gyo as Oh Young

Synopsis: In Soo had a harsh childhood and he grew up to become a womanizer, gambler and a con-artist. Oh Young lived a luxurious and sheltered life. Their paths cross when Oh Young searches for her older brother.

Comments: Dark and dramatic.



Queen In Hyun's Man

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Queen In Hyun's Man / 인현왕후의 남자 / 仁显王后的男人
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: April 2012, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy Time Travel
Starring:
Ji Hyun Woo as Kim Boong Do
Yoo In Na as Choi Hee Jin

Synopsis: Kim Boong Do ia a noble scholar who unexpectedly travels into the future and meets Choi Hee Jin, an aspiring actress who secured the role of Queen In Hyun. Will their love transcend through time?


Rank # 2 My Girl - a classic and a ratings powerhouse!
(highest episode rating - 26%)
My Girl, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Da Hae, k-drama, favorite classic rom com
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:My Girl / 마이걸 / Ma-i-geol
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: December 2005, Romantic Comedy 
Starring:
Lee Dong Wook as Seol Gong Chan
Lee Da Hae as Joo Yoo Rin
Lee Joon Ki as Seo Jung Won

Synopsis: Joo Yoo Rin is a happy-go-lucky girl whose father keeps getting into trouble. In order to pay her father's debts, she is constantly desperate for money. She meets Seol Gong Chan, a stingy, well-to-do businessman and they enter into an agreement where Yoo Rin pretends to be Gong Chan's long lost cousin to fulfill Gong Chan's grandfather's dying wish.

Comments: Practically 10 years old but this drama remains to be one of my all time favorites. There's a Philippine version of My Girl starring Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson if you feel like re-visiting their story.
drama withdrawal syndrome, korean drama, k-drama, My girl, Kim Chiu



My Name is Kim Sam Soon - a classic and a ratings powerhouse!
(highest episode rating - 53%)
drama withdrawal syndrome, Kim Sam Soon, korean drama, k-drama, Hyun Bin, kim sun ah, favorite classic korean rom com
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:My Name is Kim Sam Soon / My Lovely Kim Sam Soon / 我的名字叫金散顺 / 내 이름은 김삼순
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Jun 2005, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Kim Sun Ah as Kim Sam Soon
Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Hun
Jung Ryu Won as Yoo Hee Jin (main girl in Princess Ja Myung Go)

Synopsis: Kim Sam Soon is a 30 year old baker who is scared that she will stay a spinster for life. She just got dumped by her boyfriend and her new goal is to find someone new. She meets Hyun Jin Hun, the rich owner of a restaurant and he becomes her boss. Desperate to appease his mother, Hyun Jin Hun talks Sam Soon into dating him as a cover.

Comments: I had my reservations at first because I had never heard of Kim Sun Ah or Hyun Bin before. Kim Sun Ah had to dress down and gain weight to play the role of Kim Sam Soon and I love her! She's a great character, down-to-earth, quirky and pretty.


Rank # 3 All In - a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating 47.7%)
Korean drama all in classic k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Byung Hun Song Hye Gyo

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:All In / 올인 / Or-In
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: January 2003, Action Drama
Starring:
Lee Byung Hun as Kim In Ha
Song Hye Gyo as Min Soo Yeon
Ji Sung as Chae Jung Won

Synopsis: Loosely based on the true story of Cha Min Soo, All In is a dramatic tale of two men brought up under contrasting childhoods who ultimately wager everything they have into one final gamble. The protagonist Kim In Ha is a troubled orphan turned mobster who falls in love with Min Soo Yeon. 

Comment: The main characters of the drama, Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Gyo continued their romance in real life but the relationship eventually turned south and they would never be seen together in any dramas.  


Rank # 4 Dream High
Dream High Kim Soo Hyun Suzy Bae 2010, koream drama withdrawals best kpop

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Dream High
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Musical Rom-Com
Starring:
Kim Soo Hyun as Song Sam Dong
Bae Suzy as Go Hye Mi

Synopsis: Go Hye Mi aspires to be an opera singer but due to financial troubles, she sets out to audition for a spot at Kirin Art High School instead. She then meets a group of students with similar goals and we are taken through their journey towards reaching their dreams.



Dream High 2
Dream High 2 Kang So Ra kdrama, musical rom com korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama or downright boring?

My Rating: Downright Boring
Title:Dream High 2
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2012, Musical Rom-Com
Starring:
Kang So Ra as Shin Hye Sung
Jin Woon as Jin Yoo Jin

Comments: Similar concept as Dream High but with a new cast, new songs and some of the supporting characters that we've grown to love. Unfortunately, all that jazz was not enough to redeem the show.



City Hunter
City Hunter Lee Min Ho, kdrama 2011 action drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:City Hunter
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Action / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as John Lee
Park Min Young as Kim Na Na

Synopsis: Based on the manga City Hunter, John.Lee plots revenge against those that were involved in his father's death.



Midas
Midas Jang Huk Lee Min Jung 2011 kdrama best, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Midas
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Business Drama
Starring:
Jang Hyuk as Kim Do Hyun
Lee Min Jung Lee Jung Yeon

Synopsis: Kim Do Hyun is smart and ambitious. Lee Jung Yeon is a caring nurse who faithfully remains by his side. However, as Kim Do Hyun gets embroiled in a dangerous ploy for money and power, he begins to realize just how grave a sacrifice he must make for a chance at success.


Secret Garden - a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating - 34.2%)
Secret Garden Hyun Bin Ha Ji Won, 2010 best kdrama, drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Secret Garden
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won
Ha Ji Won as Gil Ra Im

Synopsis: Gil Ra Im is a stunt-woman struggling to make ends meet while Kim Joo Won is an arrogant prick. They meet, miraculously swap bodies and the hijinx begin. 


Rank # 5 My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Shin Min Ah Lee Seung Ki, best kdrama 2010 drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:My Girlfriend is a Gumiho / My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Lee Seung Ki as Cha Dae Woong
Shin Min Ah as Gu Miho

Synopsis: Cha Dae Woong unwittingly sets Gu Mi Ho free. She is a nine-tailed fox sealed within a painting for five centuries. Mi Ho saves Dae Woong from a near-fatal accident and has to stay close to Dae Woong until he can return what is hers.


Comment: Miho is awesome and Dae Woong is funny! I still vividly recall the rain scene where Mi Ho was left on the ship. It's definitely a kdrama that brings back fond memories.



King of Baker, Kim Tak Goo - a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating 50%)

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo
Episodes: 30
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Epic Drama 
Starring:
Yoon Shi Yoon as Kim Tak Goo

Synopsis: Kim Tak Goo is the illegitimate son of the president of Samhwa Enteprises. Sharing his father's passion for baking, Tak Goo inherited and even surpasses his father in skill and talent as he proves to be a genius in the field. However, there are many hurdles to to tackle as he makes his way to the top.





Shining Inheritance - a ratings powerhouse! 
(viewership as high as 47%)
Shining Inheritance Lee Seung Gi Han Hyo Joo k-drama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Shining Inheritance
Episodes: 28
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Romance Drama 
Starring:
Lee Seung Ki as Sun Woo Hwan
Han Hyo Joo as Go Eun Sung

Synopsis: 
Sun Woo Hwan is spoiled rotten yet he is heir to his grandmother's food business. Go Eun Sung is a bright hardworking girl who lost everything after her dad faked his death to escape debt. Due to a chance encounter, Eun Sung meets Woo Hwan's grandmother and is invited to their house to live. Can she help Sun Woo Hwan change for the better?



Rank # 6 City Hall
City Hall best kdrama 2009, korean drama withdrawals Kim Sun Ah, Cha Seung Won best

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:City Hall / 시티홀  
Episodes: 20
Air Date: 2009 Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Cha Seung Won as Jo Gook
Kim Sun Ah as Shin Mi Rae

Comments: 
This drama focuses on a small town in Korea where Shin Mi Rae and Jo Gook work for the government. It's quite refreshing to see a rom-com fit into politics and to get to know the characters of Jo Gook and Shin Mi Rae who strive to fulfill their duties as public servants.



Rank # 7 Smile, You
drama withdrawal syndrome, Smile You, Jung Kyung Ho, best korean family drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Smile, You / 你笑了 / Geudae, Useoyo / 그대, 웃어요
Episodes: 45
Air Date: 2009 Family Drama / Comedy
Starring:
Jung Kyung Ho as Kang Hyun Soo
Lee Min Jung as Seo Jung In

Synopsis: 
Grandfather Kang, works as a driver for the Seo family. On the day of Seo Jung In's wedding, her family goes bankrupt and she is abandoned by her newly-wed husband. These crazy circumstances lead to the meeting of Seo Jung In and Grandfather Kang's grandson Kang Hyun Soo. This drama is about the daily lives of the Seo and Kang family.

Comments: Jung Kyung Ho is such a versatile actor, portraying the comedic and sweet Kang Hyun Soo in Smile, You as opposed to the tragic sword-fighting Prince Hodong in Ja Myung Go.



Rooftop Prince

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring
My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Rooftop Prince / 阁楼王世子 / 옥탑방 왕세자 / Oktabbang Wangseja
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: May 2012, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy Time Travel
Starring:
Micky Yoochun as Lee Gak / Yong Tae Yong
Han Ji Min as Park Ha / Bu Yong

Synopsis: Crown Prince Lee Gak and his servants are transported 300 years into the present. He has just lost his Crown Princess and he believes that solving this mystery may be the reason why he was brought 300 years into the future.

Sure enough, Lee Gak landed on the rooftop of Park Ha, the Crown Princess' sister. Therefore, it is up to Lee Gak to adapt to modern life and to find a way to return to his rightful place.

Comments: An annoying grandma, evil stepsister, evil brother and a damsel in distress, need I say more.


Rank # 8 The 1st Shop  of Coffee Prince - a ratings powerhouse!
(viewership as high as 32%)
First shop of coffee Prince, drama withdrawal syndrome, Yoon Eun Hye classic romantic comedy
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince / 咖啡王子1号店 / 커피프린스 1호점
Episodes: 17
Air Date and Genre: July 2007 (Mon and Tues on MBC), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan
Gong Yoo as Choi Han Kyul

Synopsis: Go Eun Chan is the head of the household and she takes up multiple jobs to support her family. She meets Choi Han Kyul, the owner of a coffee shop. Eun Chan pretends to be a boy in order to be hired as a Prince / Waiter at the coffee shop.

Comments: I never found girl-pretending-to-be-boy stories even remotely believable. If it were, it's probably because the girl really looked manly, which is a no-no in this case. Yoon Eun Hye is very pretty and she pulls off the tomboyish look quite well. She looks like a boy but we still see the lovable Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan.


Rank # 9 Autumn In My Heart - a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating 42.3%)
autumn in my heart song hye gyo classic kdrama, korean drama withdrawals, won bin

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Autumn In My Heart / Endless Love / 가을동화 / Gaeul Donghwa
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Sep 2000, Epic Drama
Starring:
Song Seung Hun as Yun Joon Suh
Song Hye Gyo as Yun/ Choi Eun Suh
Won Bin as Han Tae Suk

Comments: This is my first every kdrama and I cried buckets. Eun Suh and Joon Suh were raised as brother and sister but fall madly in love. In addition to incest, there's also many more epic kdrama pre-requisites. This is one of the first dramas that started the korean wave. I strongly recommend it.


A Man Called God
A Man Called God Song Il Gook k-drama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:A Man Called God / 被称为神的男人 / 신이라 불리운 사나이
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2010 (Sat and Sun on MBC), Action / Revenge 
Starring:
Song Il Gook as Michael King

Synopsis: Michael King is an international assassin and he has connections worldwide. This time around, the job is personal because his ultimate goal is to avenge the death of his parents.



Prosecutor Princess
Prosecutor Princess Kim So Yeon k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, korean legally blonde
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama (cute tho)
Title:Prosecutor Princess / 检察官公主 / Geomsa Princess / 검사 프린세스
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2010 (Wed and Thurs on SBS), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Kim So Yeon as Ma Hye Ri
Park Shi Hoo as Seo In Woo

Synopsis: 
Ma Hye Ri is the opposite of what you'd expect of a traditional prosecutor. She is quirky and a fashion aficionado. After graduating, Ma Hye Ri is assigned under head prosecutor Hang Jung Soo and she meets Lawyer Seo In Woo where she can test her luck in work and love.

Comments: Korean Legally Blonde


Will it Snow for Christmas?
Will it Snow for Christmas, k-drama GO Soo Kim Soo Hyun, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Will it Snow for Christmas? / 圣诞节会下雪吗 / 크리스마스에 눈이 올까요?
Episodes: 16
Air Date: Dec 2009 (Wed and Thurs on SBS), Drama
Starring:
Go Soo as Cha Kang Jin
Kim Soo Hyun as young Cha Kang Jin
Han Ye Seul as Han Ji Wan

Synopsis: Cha Kang Jin is constantly judged because he is the son of a barmaid. Although extremely talented and the top of his class, he frequently gets into fights to defend his mother. He meets Han Ji Wan, a strong-willed teenager that has the guts to stand up for what is right.

However, a tragic incident that Han Ji Wan could not accept causes her to run away from her family and Cha Kang Jin.

Comments: Strong beginning especially with Kim Soo Hyun as the younger male lead but the story takes a turn for the worst as it progressed.



You're Beautiful
You're beautiful Park Shin Hye Jang Geun Suk, mania kdrama 2009 korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:You're Beautiful
Episodes: 16
Air Date: Oct - Nov 2009 , Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Jang Geun Suk as Hwang Tae Kyung
Park Shin Hye as Go Mi Nam / Go Mi Nyeo

Synopsis: A.N.Jell just hired a new male band member Mi Nam but he had to leave for the US. Hence, his twin-sister Mi Nyeo agrees to fill in for Mi Nam by joining the band as her twin brother.

Comments: If the plot is not outrageous enough, wait till you realized the main character is also an extremely peculiar obsessive compulsive neat freak. It is a bit teeny bopper but overall, a cute and a fun watch.



Temptation of An Angel
Temptation of an Angel,korean revenge drama, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Downright Boring
Title:Temptation of an Angel / 천사의 유혹 / Cheonsaui Yuhuk
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: October 2009, Revenge
Starring:
Han Sang Jin as Shin Hyun Woo (before)
Bae Soo Bin as Shin Hyun Woo (after)

Synopsis: Joo Ah Ran marries Shin Hyun Woo in hopes of destroying his family in order to avenger hers. After being cruelly plotted against by Joo Ah Ran, Hyun Woo undergoes surgery and comes back with a new face and identity.



Swallow the Sun
All in Part 2, Swallow the Sun, Ji Sung, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Pretty Good
Title:Swallow the Sun / All In 2 / 吞噬太阳 / 태양을 삼켜라
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Action / Revenge
Starring:
Ji Sung as Kim Jung Woo
Sung Yu Ri as Lee Soo Hyun

Synopsis: Kim Jung Woo is a penniless orphan. When he finally has the chance of a lifetime, he grabs the opportunity to work for business tycoon Jang Min Ho. Jang Min Ho takes advantage of Kim Jung Woo's loyalty and leaves him to fend for himself. Feeling betrayed, Kim Jung Woo vows revenge. What will happen when Jung Woo discovers that the object of his hatred is actually his father?



Boys Over Flowers - a ratings powerhouse
(viewership as high as 36%)
Boys Before Flowers Lee Min Ho, Boys Over Flowers Geum Jan Di 2009, best most popular kdrama 2009 drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
Ratings: Pretty Good
Title:Boys Before Flowers / Boys Over Flowers / 花樣男子
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as Goo Joon Pyo
Koo Hye Sun as Geum Jan Di

Synopsis: Geum Jan Di attends Shin Hwa High School where the F4 are high school royalty. Given her fiery temper and hatred for injustice, she clashes with Goo Joon Pyo who is the leader of F4.

Comments: I just wrote a similar plot line from The Heirs, also starring Lee Min Ho. Boys Before Flowers is the Korean version of a manga by the same name that has been made remade in Japan, Taiwan, etc. I used to go gaga over F4 - re-package it as a k-drama and we have another hit!



Cain and Abel
Cain and Abel So Ji Sub 2009, kdrama korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Just Another Drama
Title:Cain and Abel
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Drama
Starring:
So Ji Sub as Lee Cho In
Han Ji Min as Oh Young Ji

Synopsis: Cain and Abel is about brothers turned rivals due to jealously and hatred. Lee Cho In is a talented doctor but his brother Oh Young Ji plots for his downfall and they ultimately turn against each other.

Comments: It's overly dramatic and tragic, which can get very frustrating if you know what I mean.



The World That They Live In
The World That They Live In, Song Hye Gyo k-drama, Hyun Bin drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:The World That They Live In / World Within / 그들이 사는 세상
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Oct 2008 (Mon and Tues on KBS), Romance
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Jung Ji Oh
Song Hye Kyo as Joo Joon Young

Synopsis: This drama features the behind-the-scenes of television drama production. We are introduced to the personal and professional lives of the four main characters who work in the entertainment industry.



East of Eden - a ratings powerhouse!
(episode ratings peaked at 35%)East of Eden Song Seung Hoon, best k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:East of Eden / 伊甸園之東 / 에덴의 동쪽 / Edeonui Dongjjok
Episodes: 56
Air Date and Genre: August 2008, Epic Drama
Starring:
Song Seung Hun as Lee Dong Chul

Synopsis: Lee Dong Chul's father was killed by Shin Tae Hwan. It was during times of political instability where money and power can make crimes disappear. Seeking justice, Dong Chul vows to avenge his father's death.

However, a cruel twist of fate is played on the family of Lee Dong Chul and Shin Tae Hwan. Lee Dong Wook and Shin Myung Hun are born on the same day but were interchanged at the hospital. Shin Tae Hwan's son grows up in the Lee family while Shin Myung Hun grows up under the care of his father's killer.



Family's HonorFamily's Honor, korean family drama, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Family's Honor / 家门的荣光 / 가문의영광
Episodes: 54
Air Date and Genre: October 2008, Family Drama
Starring:
Yoon Jung Hee as Ha Dan Ah
Park Shi Hoo as Lee Kang Suk

Synopsis: Dan Ah is from a traditional Korean family. The story revolves around her family's encounters as well as Lee Kang Suk, a man from a rich family who will be pursuing Dan Ah.



Gourmet
Gourmet, drama withdrawal Syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title: Gourmet / 食客 / 식객
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: 2008, Romance / Cooking
Starring:
Kim Rae Won as Lee Sung Chan
Nam Sang Mi as Kim Jin Soo (main girl in Time Between Dog and Wolf)

Comments: This drama reminds me of Iron Chef where the judges can ramble on and on about food. I like food but not enough to watch cooking shows so this drama was quite average for me.



Time Between Dog and Wolf
Time Between Dog and Wolf, drama withdrawal syndrome, best k-drama, Lee Joon Ki
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings: Must Watch
Title:Time Between Dog and Wolf / 狗和狼的时间 / 개와 늑대의 시간
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2007 Action Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Joon Ki as Lee Soo Hyun / Kay
Nam Sang Mi as Soo Ji Woo
Jung Kyung Ho as Kang Min Gi

Synopsis: Lee Soo Hyun was orphaned after his mother was killed before his eyes. NIS Agent Kang Joong Ho raises Lee Soo Hyun as his own. Together, Lee Soo Hyun and Kang Joong Ho's son Kang Min Ki join the government agency NIS.

During fieldwork, Lee Soo Hyun meets his mother's killer again and anger pushes Lee Soo Hyun to go undercover and plan his revenge.

Comments: The first couple episodes were a bit boring but I'm so glad I picked up from where I left off. It's a revenge story with an intricate plot, a must watch!



Lobbyist
Lobbyist Song Il Gook, drama withdrawal syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:Lobbyist (formerly known as Angel)/ 说客 / 로비스트
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: October 2007, Epic Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Song Il Gook as Harry / Kim Joo Ho

Synopsis: Kim Joo Ho and his little sister become orphans after their father's death. Without any relatives left in Korea, Joo Ho had to leave his childhood sweetheart Yoo So Young to live with his aunt in the United States. So Young's family also migrates to the US. They eventually meet again as adult Harry and Maria.

However, Maria's sister is killed before her eyes. This incident takes Maria down the road of vengeance, thus beginning the story of Harry and Maria, two main players in the weapons lobbying industry.

Comments: We are introduced to the world of international weapons trading. This is not your typical Korean drama where the childhood sweethearts reunite as adults. Instead, this is a heavily-politicized drama that delves into the dangerously complex hierarchy of money and power in Korea.



Snow Queen
Hyun Bin, Snow Queen, drama withdrawal syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title: Snow Queen / 雪之女王 / Noon Eui Yeo Wang / 눈의 여왕
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: November 2006, Drama
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Han Tae Woong / Han Deuk Gu
Sung Yu Ri as Kim Bo Ra

Synopsis: 
Han Tae Woong is a mathematical genius. He becomes close friends with Kim Jeong Kyu, an overachiever who has to be the best in everything. He also meets Kim Bo Ra who unknown to him is Kim Jeong Kyu's little sister. Han Tae Woong beats Jeong Kyu in a math competition and unable to face defeat, Kim Jeong Kyu commits suicide.

Filled with grief towards the loss of his friend, Tae Woong blames himself and chooses to give up his future. We see him again as a 25-year old, living life aimlessly until he meets his childhood friend Kim Bo Ra once again.



Goong - a ratings powerhouse!
(highest episode rating 28%)

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Goong / 궁 (宮)
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Yoon Eun Hye as Shin Chae Kyung
Joo Ji Hoon as Crown Prince Mu Won

Synopsis: In a fictional world where Korea is ruled by monarchs, Shin Chae Kyung discovers that she is actually betrothed to Crown Prince Mu Won. She is swept into the world of grandiose ballrooms, palace intrigues and torn between Crown Prince Mu Won and Lee Yul.

Comments: If you liked high school dramas like Boys Before Flowers, I highly recommend this drama about actual royalties in a high school setting.



Queen of the GameQueen of the Game, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Downright boring
Title:Queen of the Game / 게임의 여왕
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2006 (Sat and Sun on SBS), Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Bo Young as Kang Eun Seol
Joo Jin Mo as Lee Shin Jun / Chase

Comments: I stopped watching after the 1st episode as I've had enough of revenge stories where the guy or girl wins the heart of the other only to destroy them.


Goodbye Solo
Goodbye Solo Chung Jung Myung k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:Goodbye Solo / 再见独奏 / 굿바이솔로
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2006 (Wed and Thurs on KBS), Romance
Starring:
Chun Jung Myung as Kim Min Ho
Yoon So Yi as Kim Soo Hee

Synopsis: 
This drama is about the lives of Kim Min Ho, Kim Soo Hee, Kang Ho Chul, Choi Mi Ri, Yoo Ji An, Oh Young Sook and Grandma Mi Young.



Lovers
Lovers, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Seo JinIs it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just another drama
Title:Lovers / 恋人 / 연인
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Action / Gangster
Starring:
Kim Jung Eun as Yoon Mi Joo
Lee Seo Jin as Ha Kang Jae

Synopsis: Kang Jae was taken in by gangster boss Chairman Kang and raised as a gangster. He develops a sour relationship with Chairman Kang's son Seo Yeon who yearns for his father's acknowledgement. Kang Jae and Seo Yeon both meet and fall in love with the happy-go-lucky cosmetic surgeon Yoon Mi Joo.


Fashion 70s
Fashion 70s Lee Yo Won k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Must-Watch
Title:Fashion 70s / 时尚70年代 / 패션 70's
Episodes: 28
Air Date and Genre: May 2005, Epic Drama
Starring:
Lee Yo Won as Han Duh Mi / Ko Joon Hee (Queen Seon Deok)
Kim Min Jung as Ko Joon Hee / Han Kang Hee
Joo Jin Mo as Kim Dong Young
Chun Jung Myung as Jang Bin

Comments: There's war, romance, amnesia, and of course fashion. If you're looking for another big scale epic drama, give this a try.



Let's Go to the Beach
Let's Go to the Beach, drama withdrawal syndrome, Shin Hwa
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Let's Go to the Beach / 去海边吧 / 해변으로 가요
Episodes: 14
Air Date and Genre: 2005, Romance
Lee Wan as Jang Tae Pung
Lee Chung Ah as Yoon So-Ra

Synopsis: Jang Tae Pung and Jang Tae Hyun are stepbrothers. Jang Tae Pung has always been the fun-loving younger son whereas Jang Tae Hyun has always been mature and responsible. Jang Tae Pung is sent to the family's resort to learn about the business but instead of training his younger brother, Tae Hyun assigns him to be a lifeguard.

Comments: If other shows have a food theme, this one has the beach theme. It's a feel good drama with good looking guys. 


A Love to Kill
A Love to Kill Rain and Shin Min Ah krama 2005, drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:A Love to Kill / 이 죽일놈의 사랑  /Ijuksa
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2005, Romance Drama
Rain as Kang Bok Gu
Shin Min Ah as Cha Eun Seok

Synopsis: Kang Bok Gu is passionate and reckless. Driven mad over his brother's death, Bok Gu seeks revenge on actress Cha Eun Seok, his brother's ex-girlfriend. However, things become increasingly complicated as Bok Gu and Eun Seok begin to develop feelings for each other.



Rank # 10 Nine-Tailed Fox
Nine-Tailed Fox Kim Tae Hee 2004 best kdrama, korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Nine-Tailed Fox / Forbidden Love
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romance Drama / Action / Fantasy
Kim Tae Hee as Yoon Shi Yeon
Jo Hyun Jae as Inspector Kang Min Woo

Synopsis: Yoon Shi Yeon has responsibilities as a gumiho warrior while Kang Min Woo has his duty as an Inspector. What will this star-crossed lovers do amid an impending battle between humans and gumiho?


Comments: Action, fantasy, gumiho, romance of epic proportions? Exactly my cup of tea.



Lovers in Paris - a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(viewership as high as 57.6%)
Lovers in Paris Kim Eun Jung classic kdrama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Pretty Good
Title:Lovers in Paris 
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romantic Comedy
Kim Jung Eun as Kang Tae Young
Park Shin Yang as President Han Ki Joo

Synopsis: Kang Tae Young meets Han Ki Joo in Paris. Follow their romance as this is a classic rom com.



Love Story in Harvard
Love Story in Harvard Kim Tae Hee, 2004 kdrama korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Just Another Drama
Title:Love Story in Harvard
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romance
Kim Tae Hee as Lee Soo In
Kim Rae Won as Kim Hyun Woo

Synopsis: Lee Soo In and Kim Hyun Woo are both students at Harvard - one is studying to be a doctor and the latter a lawyer. This drama is about their struggles in love and life.


Stairway to Heaven - a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(viewership as high as 42.3%)
Best kdrama all time, Kwon Sang Woo Stairway to Heaven, korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?
My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Stairway to Heaven 
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2003, Epic Drama
Kwong Sang Woo as Cha Song Joo
Choi Ji Woo as Kim Ji Soo

Synopsis: Kim Ji Soo is your typical Cinderella, a girl whose father married an evil step-mother and a step-sister hell bent on taking everything from her especially the love of her life Cha Song Joo. 

Comments: Similar to Autumn In My Heart, take out the tissue boxes and prepare to bawl.


Full House - a classic!
Full House Song Hye Gyo best kdrama 2003, korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Must Watch
Title:Full House
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2003, Romantic Comedy
Rain as Lee Young Jae
Song Hye Gyo as Han Ji Eun

Synopsis: Han Ji Eun's friend sells her house rendering her homeless. Desperate, she negotiates with actor Lee Young Jae, the new owner and they enter into a contract wherein Han Ji Eun can stay as long as she pretends to be his wife to get the media off his back.


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17 comments:

  1. they are all good any korean college drama

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  2. Have you watched The King 2 Hearts? It includes Lee Seung Gi and Ha Ji Won. I think it is a pretty different drama and very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. no i haven't. it might be the only Lee Seung Gi drama that I haven't seen. Is it any good?

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    2. No, NOT GOOD, its boring & at some point i lost track & interest of watching

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    3. I really liked it a lot...different strokes, I guess....for those who have loved another against all odds this will resonate.

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    4. I ended up watching this too.. not my fave Lee Seungi drama but liked it nonetheless.

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  3. watch two weeks and cruel city, just do it!

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  4. watch what happened in bali . just amazing

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    Replies
    1. My first intro to Jo In Sung and his rival character....such a twisted, desperate love story...the ending shocked me so badly I was practically catatonic for a week!

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  5. Yeah cruel city is like the best one of all, triangle, nice guy and shark!
    It's actually all revenge drama, but they are the best!

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    Replies
    1. cruel city has been on my watch list for so long.. must make time:)

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  6. what about full house? I like that one.

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  7. what about full house? I like that one.

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    Replies
    1. it's already on the list one of my faves too:)

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