Now that you’ve tested your knowledge, let’s take a look at the dramas that gave birth to these quotes.
The Hourglass or The Sandglass (1995), 24 episodes
“Am I trembling (in fear)?” – Park Tae-soo (Choi Min-soo)
Perhaps one of the biggest examples of a ‘national drama’, The Hourglass was so popular that restaurants and bars were empty in the evenings when it aired: people went home to watch it. (The drama ratings peaked at 64.5% ratings, the third-highest in Kdrama history.) It shot Choi Min-soo, Park Sang-won, Go Hyun-jung, and Lee Jung-jae to fame of epic proportions, and it remains, to this day, one of the most beloved dramas of all time.
Starring: Choi Min-soo, Park Sang-won, Go Hyun-jung, Lee Jung-jae
If you don’t get the reference when this quote comes up: Let me show you what class is.
Autumn Fairy Tale or Autumn in My Heart (2000), 16 episodes
“How much do you want?” (“How much will it cost?”) – Han Tae-suk (Won Bin)
Won Bin. Need I say more? Autumn Fairy Tale, the first of director Yoon Seok-ho’s ‘season series’, was a hit domestically and abroad. (Case in point) Lots of pretty, lots of crying, lots of lovely music, and lots of Won Bin. (Fine, I confess that I shipped Song Seung-hun and Song Hye-kyo the first time I watched it, but Won Bin has been THE MAN since.)
Starring: Song Seung-hun, Song Hye-kyo, Won Bin, Han Chae-young, Moon Geun-young
If you don’t get the reference when this quote comes up: Where have you been living?
Damo (2003), 14 episodes
“Are you in pain? I am hurting, too.” – Hwang Bo-yoon (Lee Seo-jin)
Criminally underrated and underappreciated by the public at large during its airing, Damo holds a special place in my heart. Okay, Officer Hwang holds a special place in my heart. But in all seriousness, it was one of the earlier forays into HD and was a fully pre-produced drama (which caused no end of grief to viewers who wanted a very different kind of ending). Later earning the ‘well-made’ stamp of approval, Damo is a work of art.
Starring: Lee Seo-jin, Ha Ji-won, Kim Min-joon
If you don’t get the reference when this quote comes up: It can slide this one time.
Daejanggeum or Jewel in the Palace (2003-2004), 54 episodes
“Mmm, this is delicious.” – King Joong Jong (Im Ho)
One of the most popular dramas of all time (in 10th place with a peak 57.8% ratings), Daejanggeum captivated not just Korea or Asia, but countries across the world. If only anyone could be a genius cook AND physician. And, of course, loved by Ji Jin-hee.
Starring: Lee Young-ae, Ji Jin-hee, Im Ho
If you don’t get the reference when this quote comes up: Really???
Stairway to Heaven (2003-2004), 20 episodes
“Love comes back (returns)” – Cha Song-joo (Kwon Sang-woo)
Stairway to Heaven was Kwon Sang-woo’s drama vehicle to stardom after his hit with movie Tutoring My Friend (aka My Tutor Friend). With possibly even more crying and evil-antics-of-second-female-lead than Autumn Fairy Tale and Winter Sonata combined, the drama made Kim Bum-soo’s “I Miss You” (“Bogoshipda” 보고싶다) one of the most famous drama OST songs of all time. Oh, and can’t forget that heart-within-a-circle necklace: one of the early must-have drama items.
Starring: Kwon Sang-woo, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Tae-hee, Shin Hyun-joon
If you don’t get the reference when this quote comes up: O_O
Lovers in Paris (2004), 20 episodes
“Let’s go, baby.” – Han Ki-joo (Park Shin-yang)
“Why can’t you say it? … Why can’t you say that this is my man, that this is the man I love? ” – Han Ki-joo (Park Shin-yang)
“You are in here.” – Yoon Soo-hyuk (Lee Dong-gun)
Only trailing Daejanggeum in all-time drama ratings by a mere 0.4%, Lovers in Paris and Han Ki-joo (Park Shin-yang) rocked the nation. From the quotes above to plastic piggy-banks, no one could get enough of this classic Cinderella story. The ending left many puzzled (to put it mildly), but if you watch carefully, there’s no doubt it’s a [SPOILER ALERT!] happy ending. I love Han Ki-joo!!!
Starring: Park Shin-yang, Kim Jung-eun, Lee Dong-gun
If you don’t get the reference when these quotes come up: Are you kidding me?!
Part 3 coming soon!