Korean dramas have been a great source of entertainment especially during the lockdown.
We’ve enjoyed watching plenty of the dramas especially on Netflix the last couple of months.
Some of those recommended in the list below are still airing, so you’ll need to wait a few weeks for it to be fully released.
Here are some of the best Korean dramas to watch in 2020 so far.
Disclaimer: This article is obviously subjective.
1. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
Main cast: Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Ye-ji.
First on the list is also dubbed as one of the best dramas in the year so far. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is also called ‘Psycho But It’s Okay’ and it’s an unusual romance story.
Soo-hyun plays as Moon Gang-tae who works as a health worker and changes his job frequently from one hospital to the next. His brother Moon Sang-tae suffers from autism and childhood trauma, and they’re together almost all the time.
Seo Ye-ji (female lead) plays as Ko Moon-young, a successful children’s book author who has a pretty extreme attitude, possibly due to her upbringing. This show is great because it brings a lot of awareness towards mental health, and at the same time, they manage to make it really interesting between the characters.
The show recently ended and it’s already the fan favorite for this year.
Main cast: Kim Dong-hee, Jung Da-bin, Choi Min-soo, Park Joo-hyun, Nam Yoon-su.
Extracurricular revolves around students in high school, but it displays the much darker side of it, including teen prostitution and gang violence. Dong-hee plays as Oh Ji-soo, a smart student who runs an illegal prostitution business with the help of Min-soo’s character, Whang-chul.
Jung Da-bin plays as Seo Min-hee, a rich student who found Ji-soo’s secret and started blackmailing him for fun. Issues start to arise both in school and outside of school as the two leads get close to one another.
The fun part about the drama is watching how the characters try to solve issues that are clearly above them.
3. Itaewon Class
Main cast: Park Seo-joon, Kim Da-mi, Kwon Nara, Yoo Jae-myung.
Seo-joon plays as ex-convict Park Sae-ro-yi in this drama whose life became terrible after he punched a bully and got expelled in school. His father also died in an accident.
He then followed his father’s footsteps in opening a bar / restaurant called DanBam in the streets of Itaewon. Kim Da-mi plays as his manager Jo Yi-seo and together, they battle against a food conglomerate, i.e. Jangga Group.
Nara plays as Soo-ah, who is the former lover of Sae-ro-yi but she works with Jangga Group, her ex-lover’s competitor. Jae-myung acts as Dae-hee who is the CEO of Jangga Group.
4. Crash Landing On You
Main cast: Hyun-bin, Son Ye-jin.
Crash Landing on You is another popular Korean drama this year and it’s relating to North Korea. The lead Hyun-bin acts as Jeong-hyeok who is a captain in the Korean People’s Army (North Korea).
Ye-jin on the other hand plays as Yoon Se-ri, a rich heiress who is disliked by her family as she is an illegitimate child. She somehow crash landed into North Korea while paragliding. She then falls in love with Jeong-hyeok as the latter helps her to get back to South Korea.
If you love romance dramas involving Hyun-bin, then you can’t go wrong with this one.
5. Flower Of Evil
Main cast: Moon Chae-won, Lee Joon-gi.
Flower of Evil is still being aired at the time of writing, but it has already gained a lot of popularity from the suspense itself. In this drama, Chae-won acts as Cha Ji-won, a detective. She is married to Baek Hee-sung (played by Joon-gi).
Although Hee-sung is a good husband and dad, he seems to have a criminal past and managed to deceive his wife at first. Ji-won who found out about his past starts to chase the truth of what had happened.
It’s a great drama not only because of the actors but how they made it really suspenseful so far.
6. The World Of The Married
Main cast: Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon.
The World of the Married has become the highest rated drama in Korean TV history as they reached a rating of 28% on cable television. This alone gives you reason to check out what made it popular or even one of the best this year.
In short, the drama centers around marriage and affairs. Hee-ae plays as Ji Sun-woo, a family medicine doctor and a director at the Family Love Hospital. Her husband Lee Tae-oh (played by Park Hae-joon) runs a small film company with her support. His dream is to be a famous movie director.
The winning factor of this drama comes from all the twists and turns among the characters, especially when dealing with extramarital affairs among one another.
7. Hospital Playlist
Main cast: Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do.
Hospital Playlist is another show worth watching on Netflix and it’s mainly centered on Yulje Medical Center. There are five main characters in this show and they play roles of assistant professors in different medical fields.
The cast is led by Jo Jung-suk who plays the character Lee Ik-joon, an assistant professor of general surgery. If you love doctor related dramas, then it’s worth checking out this one.
8. The King: Eternal Monarch
Main cast: Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun, Woo Do-hwan, Jung Eun-chae, Kim Kyung-nam, Lee Jung-jin.
The King: Eternal Monarch is another Korean drama that became really popular on Netflix, despite not getting great ratings in South Korea. Whenever you put an actor like Lee Min-ho in a drama, it will surely gain a lot of attention internationally. This time, he acts beside Go-eun who became popular from the drama Goblin, and it was written by Eun-sook (who also wrote for Goblin).
Min-ho plays as Lee Gon, a king in the Kingdom of Corea which is located in a parallel universe. Go-eun plays as a police officer named Jeong Tae-eul. They met together when Lee Gon visited South Korea via a portal connecting the two worlds together, but there is more to it.
Despite some complaints regarding their lack of chemistry, many fans disagree and still regard the show as one of the best Korean dramas in 2020.
If you love fantasy elements like time travel and parallel universes, then this one is for you. Characters in this drama also play different roles in different worlds, which makes the drama more interesting.
9. Was It Love?
Main cast: Song Ji-hyo, Son Ho-jun, Song Jong-ho, Kim Min-jun, Koo Ja-sung, Kim Da-som.
‘Was It Love?’ is a Korean drama still airing at the time of writing, and it’s mainly a love story. Ji-hyo acts as No Ae-jung, a movie producer. The four other male lead actors are all guys who are interested in her one way or another.
Ae-jung is a single mother who raised her daughter named Ha-nee and the story starts from when her daughter is already 14 years old.
The story centers a lot on who Ha-nee’s real father actually is, the history between Ae-jung and the four male leads, and figuring out who will eventually end up with Ae-jung at the end of the drama.
10. Dr. Romantic 2
Main cast: Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Joo-hun.
Dr. Romantic 2 is the sequel to Dr. Romantic which aired back in 2016. This 2020 sequel is also based in a hospital. Like before, it is also based on a hospital setting.
Han Suk-kyu plays as Master Kim, a high-achieving surgeon in South Korea. He goes to Geosan University Hospital to recruit a general surgeon and meets Woo-jin (played by Ahn Hyo-seop) and Eun-jae (played by Sung-kyung).
Woo-jin is a doctor who has a problematic past and is ostracized by the other doctors in the hospital, why Eun-jae was suspended for her mistake in the operation room. Master Kim then recruited the two of them to Doldam Hospital.
This is another interesting doctor-related Korean drama to watch if you’re bored.
In a nutshell
There are plenty of great Korean dramas to watch in 2020 and the list above is just the start.
If you have other great recommendations, do list them down below.