Top 10 Dramas for Guys: 2014

August 17, 2015

Since Drama for Gents is just starting its life on the web, I thought I should post a compilation of my top 10 dramas for guys. Please note that this list is only my recommendations out of all the dramas I’ve watched up to 2014. There are of course many others that I have not watched yet so definitely do some more exploring. If you’re just starting to watch dramas, I hope this list will help you get started in choosing what to watch. Let’s begin with number ten shall we?

10. Prince of Lan Ling

At the bottom of the list, I recommend a Chinese historical drama with action and romance. The Prince of Lan Ling, Gao Chang Gong, is a handsome and skilled warrior and general during the Northern Qi period who goes to battle wearing a fearsome mask to hide his beauty. Prophecy has it that whoever has the blessings of the priestess will win the war. Yang Xue Wu, the last priestess of her clan, foresees his tragic fate. One day, she meets Gao Chang Gong by chance and falls in love, setting off the wheel of fate. This drama was an enjoyable ride even though the story has its ups and downs. At first I didn’t care much for the story but eventually, the plot picked up and became very interesting.

Country: China/Taiwan
Episodes: 46
Genres: Action, historical, romance
More Information: DramaWiki

Prince of Lan Ling. Photo © JSTV

Prince of Lan Ling. Photo © JSTV

09. Galileo

If CSI-styled shows are your thing, well, Galileo is sort of like it. Based on the famous Japanese novels by Keigo Higashino, the story is about a genius physicist, Manabu Yukawa, and a female rookie cop, Kaoru Utsumi who keeps bothering the genius for help with her crime cases. The duo unravels mysteries one after the other. The mysteries in this drama were very well done — the crimes seemed almost perfect but Professor Yukawa solved them with ease. You’ll find yourself guessing who’s the culprit and how he committed the crime. Plus, the witty banter between genius and cop was always funny and entertaining.

Country: Japan
Episodes: 10 (season one)
Genres: Mystery
More Information: AsianWiki

Galileo. Photo © Fuji TV

Galileo. Photo © Fuji TV

08. JIN

Based on the manga (comic) series, JIN is a touching story about Dr. Jin Minakata, a brain surgeon. Guilty of his girlfriend’s failed brain surgery, he accidentally travels back in time to 19th Century Japan after falling off a hospital building. Not knowing how to return to his time, Jin performs miracle surgeries in ancient Japan using his advanced skills. He suddenly gets a thought. Will he be able save his girlfriend by preventing her disease from the past? Because this is a medical drama, there are many gory surgery scenes. But don’t let that deter you from experiencing this touching human drama.

Country: Japan
Episodes: 11 (season one)
Genres: Historical, medical
More Information: AsianWiki

JIN. Photo © TBS

JIN. Photo © TBS

07. Who Are You

For a detective drama, I would recommend Who Are You. Detective Shi-On can see and communicate with ghosts after a close call with death. Shi-On and her partner, Gun-Woo, are in charge of the Lost & Found department and ends up investigating mysterious cases with lost items. While there are ghosts in this drama, I wouldn’t exactly call this horror. But it was entertaining nonetheless!

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 16
Genres: Mystery, supernatural, suspense
More Information: AsianWiki

Who Are You. Photo © tvN

Who Are You. Photo © tvN

06. Phantom

Don’t like ghosts? Well, here’s another detective drama for you. Ironically, the Korean name can also be translated as “ghost”. Phantom talks about the cyber investigation team headed by Kim Woo-Hyun. His target? A hacker called “Hades”. But it’s not as simple as it seems as their investigation uncovers secrets and scandals. I would recommend this more than Who Are You in that there are more twists which makes it very entertaining!

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 20
Genres: Mystery, suspense, thriller
More Information: AsianWiki

Phantom. Photo © SBS

Phantom. Photo © SBS

05. Empress Ki

Your Korean drama addiction is not complete without having watched at least one historical drama (sageuk). And for that, I would recommend Empress Ki. This is the life story of Seung-Nyang from her time as a young girl when she was sold into slavery in Goryeo to her gangster days and until when she became the empress of China during the Yuan dynasty. As with all historical dramas, while it may be based on real people in history, the drama is romanticized to make it appealing and interesting for the audience. This drama is licensed so you will only find it on Hulu (for free viewing) or buy it on DVD.

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 51
Genres: Action, historical, romance
More Information: AsianWiki

Empress Ki. Photo © MBC

Empress Ki. Photo © MBC

04. The Way We Were

If you like slice-of-life or nostalgic stories, The Way We Were is a story about regrets and moving forward and will remind you of your sweet college days. The story follows Tang Jia Ni and her group of friends as they experience friendship, romance and adulthood from 1998 to 2014. Ruby Lin becomes a feisty college girl in this drama and delivers a splendid performance as always. I enjoyed the college period in their lives because that was when everyone was still so innocent and oblivious to the world.

Country: Taiwan
Episodes: 16
Genres: Romance, slice of life
More Information: DramaWiki

The Way We Were. Photo © TVBS

The Way We Were. Photo © TVBS

03. I Can Hear Your Voice

With bits of mystery, romance and drama, I Can Hear Your Voice will certainly intrigue you. Hye-Sung witnessed a murder when she was little and testified against the murderer. Ten years later, she is now an attorney and the murderer is released from jail. His target now is Hye-Sung. Meanwhile, Hye-Sung meets a high school student, Soo-Ha, who seems to possess telepathic mind-reading abilities. What is his connection to Hye-Sung’s past and the murder? The big-sister-little-brother romance was a bit offsetting but Lee Bo-Young’s portrayal as the witty Hye-Sung was super fun to watch! This was one drama where I actually started to miss the characters after I finished watching it.

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 18
Genres: Mystery, romance, thriller
More Information: AsianWiki

I Can Hear Your Voice. Photo © SBS

I Can Hear Your Voice. Photo © SBS

02. Two Weeks

Two Weeks is a heart-stopping thriller with twists and turns. You’ll be at the edge of your seat and wanting to marathon all 16 episodes! Jang Tae-San is framed for murder and on the run from police. He finds out his daughter is dying from leukemia and he’s the only match for a bone marrow transplant. It’s a race against time to save his daughter and clear his name. Lee Joon-Gi delivers a spectacular performance as Tae-San. Definitely a must-watch!

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 16
Genres: Action, thriller
More Information: AsianWiki

Two Weeks. Photo © MBC

Two Weeks. Photo © MBC

01. IRIS

And finally, my top recommended Asian drama for the guys goes to IRIS! If you love action, gun fights, spies and special agents, you’ll enjoy this drama. Hyun-Joon and Sa-Woo are two new recruits at a top secret organization known as the National Security Service (NSS) which protects the country from foreign threats. While on a solo mission in Hungary, Hyun-Joon assassinates a North Korean official and is betrayed by the NSS. While on the run, he learns of a mysterious organization, IRIS, that could be connected to what happened to him. What is IRIS and who set him up in this predicament? While there is a melodramatic storyline, it also has a bit of everything so I’m sure you’ll be entertained. Plus, Kim Tae-Hee is the female lead. Not convinced? Read my in-depth review.

Country: South Korea
Episodes: 20
Genres: Action, political, romance, suspense, thriller
More Information: AsianWiki

IRIS. Photo © TAEWON Entertainment

IRIS. Photo © TAEWON Entertainment

So there you go! That sums up my list of top 10 dramas for guys. Be sure to check out my drama reviews for more options. Pick a show at any of these websites, turn down the lights, and relax!

The article written above is purely my own thoughts and opinions. Your opinions may differ. Any offense caused by my rants and ramblings is unintentional. Thank you for understanding.

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