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Given that everyone has a preference for actors,



Given that everyone has a preference for actors, genre, and storyline, it can be tricky to pin down precisely which Korean TV dramas should be categorized as the best of 2019. There were so many to choose from. Nor do high ratings necessarily decide which Drama is the best because some good dramas miss becoming popular. However, great acting, a thought-provoking storyline, and high production values are always a winning combination.




The Fiery Priest, starring Kim Nam-Gil and Lee Ha-na, won high ratings this year, reaching 8.3 percent. It's the story of a priest with an anger management problem, an inept detective, and a prosecutor who is about to compromise her ethics. The righteous indignation that always gets Kim's priest character in trouble is just what's needed to fight corruption and win. Why see it? Watching the good guys win is still so satisfying. Kim is also hilarious as the fiery priest and looks like a new brand of the superhero, walking down the hall with his cassocks flying.



Hotel del Luna

'Hotel del Luna' focused on a hotel that catered to ghosts. TVN

Hotel del Luna is the story of a hotel that serves as a stopping place for departed souls. IU plays the manager, whose destiny is intertwined with the ghostly hotel, and Yeo Jin-goo plays the man she hires and helps her fulfill her destiny. Why see it? Not only is every frame cinematically gorgeous, but the story explores themes of love, loss, and the impermanence of life.

InMy Opinion(Plus Story Line)

There is plenty to love about this Drama, ranging from its stunning cinematography, decent storyline, excellent cast, oh, and how could I forget: the most beautiful OST in kdramaland. The story is based on a hotel between our and the afterworld, in which spirits, unfinished business, go afterlife. The plot is layered and has some depth, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on edge. The main character Man Weol's story captivates you right from the start, as the show uses flashbacks very well to reveal small snippets of her past at a time, causing you to be curious about her history and eager to find out more. The generous use of humor also helps balance out some of the more solemn, more emotional scenes, while also allowing the Drama to be comfortable and fun to watch throughout its lengthy episodes. The storyline was new and refreshing, and it was filled with moments that were relatable, hilarious, and heartbreaking. After watching the final episode, I came to the conclusion that this was, in my opinion, one of the many masterpieces of Korean television. The Drama explores the themes/ideas of 'letting go,' 'resentment,' 'unselfish love' and 'forgiveness,' which are all critical, thought-provoking ideas, not just in the context of this Drama, but these themes also have a place in our lives as well.


The cinematography of this Drama is frankly top-notch and can be compared to dramas such as Goblin. It is that good. The elements of fantasy were conveyed by great camerawork, skillful use of special effects, and excellent editing. A substantial part of the Drama is IU's character, her fashion, her facial expressions, her reactions, her sassiness.




Extraordinary You

'Extraordinary You' focused on themes of predestination.


Extraordinary You, starring SF9's Rowoon and Kim Hye-Yoon, is not just a high school drama, but a story about destiny, since the characters find out, they are in a comic book, with their fates already sealed. How much of life is in their control? They dare to defy fate and find the answer. Why see it? Not only does it explore interesting themes of predestination, but it cleverly does so using classic k-drama tropes. 

My Review

A teen seeks to change the fate set for her after gaining awareness that she's just a side character in a made-up world.



This Drama is so unique. It'll forever stay close to my heart, especially Haru. Not a single dull moment in this, not one. All the cast members were so out of this world, and bringing to life this complicated story/concept with the acting, direction, and cinematography in a way that would make sense to even someone who has not read the webtoon, it takes some talent, man. The director did a fantastic job, even making the scenes shot in the same place feel new and exciting and beautiful somehow. And ohmygod, I can't even express how much I loved Dan, oh. She is a gem of a character. The way the real Dan oh was so irritated at her stage self for being a pushover for Baek Kyung was so funny. It was like she was giving voice to my feelings. Baek Kyung, Do Hwa, Nam Ju, Ju da, and even the extras, I loved every one of them. Of course, my favorite was Rowoon. Not only because he is handsome ( his eyes are like stars), he is a great actor. He did such justice to Haru that I can't imagine anyone else ever playing that role. Oh, how I wish he sang at some point, cuz good god that man can SING!! Haru will be one of my most favorite characters ever. Thank you, Rowoon, for bringing him to life.


Crash Landing

Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin star in 'Crash Landing On You.' TVN
Crash Landing On You, starring Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin, began relatively late in 2019. Still, it's a mad-cap, beautifully photographed comedy that explores the severe consequences of a nation divided. Son is an accomplished comedienne, playing a South Korean CEO, and she falls for a North Korean officer played by Hyun Bin, setting up a conflict that's hard to resolve. Why see it? Excellent romantic chemistry and a comic take on life in a North Korean village.


My Review

The casting is spot on! From the leads to support, no one could have played these characters better than this crew. First of it's kind that I have gone n googled n Instagram followed a supporting cast! Go n sweep away all the awards of this year. You have set a benchmark, and it will take a while for some other Kdrama to match you. The writer knows his characters, and these actors have really skinned their feelings, especially Dan's mom ( who was also in Oscar-winning movie parasite), the way she speaks English n says, "oh my gosh." It's quite tough to say who is my favorite supporting cast. Maybe it's all four soldiers and Dan's mom! Yejin, Se-ri, she has never played such a fun character before who is Rich but street smart. I am just smiling when I see them together. She never played a victim, and that's what made this Drama more interesting. The way she looks at him and gets all worked up when he answers, he is okay. She knows he is always pained. She wants to help him by stepping back, n we feel that emotion of hers! The best expression she ever gave on the show was when she takes him shopping, and he steps out in a suit. Omg, not only her jaws fall down, mine too, along with 1million girls watching the show!!! They have paid so much attention to detail that even his video game name was "tomato cultivator" because she RI had gifted him a tomato plant. Just small pieces not only make us smile but wonder how romantic the writer is himself! From secret garden to something in the rain, you both have got the crown of king n queen of melodrama, respectively, but this show has made u both king and queen of our hearts forever. It's a gem, and we will treasure this forever. I will still smile and blush and cry and cheer for this every time I see it. Special mention of beautiful OST. Memorable songs and lyrics. I would like to thank the crew of crash landing, which have worked round the clock to deliver this. I remember reading news of cast falling sick because of tight deadlines. Thank you, u deserve all that applause.

Her Private Life


Her Private Life, starring Park Min-young and Kim Jae-Wook, is a fun story about fandom. Park plays a museum curator who lives a double life, being a competent professional in the day and a crazed fangirl at night. While exploring what it means to be a fan, contrasting the world of high-stakes art and k-pop, the Drama never demeans fandom. Why see it? Park's fandom is a work of art, it's a fun story about female friendship, and Kim Jae-Wook aces his first leading romantic role. It won't be his last.

My Review
This Drama probably has the very best chemistry out of all genres from Romance dramas I've watched. It feels so real. I mean, we have my love from the star, playful kiss, secretary Kim, and so MUCH more, especially Hollywood ones
, but most of the time, the audiences root for the main couple or seeing them as having chemistry because of the overwhelming "comedy" like "strong woman do bong soon" as well as weightlifting fairy Kim bok Joo."
They have the chemistry because it's mainly funny and cute; it has this adorable and cutesy vibes all around it. On the latter, there are ones who carry this HEAVY dramatic essence that the audiences just can't help but root for, the characters because they are said to be "destined." Still, it seemed to be tragic that it hurts; hence there's the "chemistry" once again, like from "Goblin" and "Scarlet heart ryeo." It's worth the watch; at first, I thought it's the typical fan became with the co-star love team (lol, that's not what happened); I mean, it's obvious they're not the ones for each other but…. it's just….their main leads, their chemistry is really something and beautiful it's no joke; I've been squirming because I can't get enough of the two primary information, and I've been crying because of envy of this two, but their

Moments are just absolutely "beautiful," it looks and feels so genuine and real as if they're genuinely in love, that I just can't help but fall deeply in love with their acting and the main cast. They really outdid themselves, especially the writes as well; they pretty kept the pace. It doesn't feel too fast (but still it kinda did? in my opinion), but as the story progresses, it gradually becomes slower. It feels more realistic on how their relationship grew.

One Spring Night

Han Ji-min's character does not settle for others' ideas of marriage in 'One Spring Night.' MBC
One Spring Night, starring Han Ji-min and Jung Hae-in, is the story of a woman who is about to settle for a marriage everyone else approves of. Then she meets a shy pharmacist, and something clicks. He's a single dad, and that's considered a problem, but no matter how much of an issue people try to make it, the characters are drawn to each other. Why see it? Han and Jung are both excellent actors, portraying characters so reserved that their mutual trajectory proceeds at a seemingly glacial pace and yet there's no doubt they will ultimately find each other.

My Review


One Spring Night is often compared to Something in the Rain because it has the same scriptwriter and director; there might be similarities with how the angles, flow,
shots, ost, and vibes probably, because for us to know that this is Ahn Pan Seok's work that he has a certain kind of technicalities on his hands but to tell you the truth it's different especially with the story; the characters are not perfect, \
hey, are selfish. They have flaws. They even admit that to themselves. Also, the information is somehow often associated with the subject of 'cheating' between the three characters as for the first impression, but for me, I think it's more than the issue of cheating. Still, the series shows the emotional depth of the characters in its layers and how they deal with their conflicts in a way you could feel irritated, satisfy or sympathize with them. The characters are straightforward, as well as the story. It's a slow pace, but it's the kind of quiet that burns. The side characters also have an interesting subplot that actually blends with the main plot, and I love the side characters as they are really a foundation for the main characters. The simplicity of the flow, the possible metaphors & symbolism in this series, and how it's very humane really got me. I love how each episode doesn't lose its momentum, and I hope it continues throughout the series.

Sky Castle

Getting into a prestigious SKY university is key to 'Sky Castle.' JTBC
Sky Castle was the most talked-about 2019 TV drama in Korea. The Dramarama centered on a wealthy neighborhood in Seoul and followed the efforts of upscale parents to get their children into the prestigious SKY universities. The Drama, starring Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Seo-Hyung, detailed the insane lengths parents will go to give their already advantaged children an edge. Why see it? It's mystifying to see the efforts the very rich will exercise to keep their progeny in the top one percent.

My Review


Many dramas I watch, I tend to drop it when it is close to finishing because it doesn't keep me on the edge of the seat to keep wanting to watch it. However, this Drama has so much suspense, but, at the same time, is balanced with the humor added, making the Drama seem quite realistic, relatable, and not too dramatic. I must congratulate the producer, director, writer, costumers, and everyone who participated in this Drama because the filming, cuts, etc. were well done, and not a scene was dull. I loved how they played the music at precisely the right moment; it definitely played with my emotions :D This is definitely not a cliche! This Drama, although it focuses on the pressures of school and getting into university, it has been executed in such a different sophisticated way. This had me on an emotional high HAHAHA crying one moment, laughing the other, and feeling anxious for the kids because it was so relatable. Throughout the Drama, I was left shocked at the surprising scenes as well! Also, the introduction of new characters throughout the first half of it was very well planned! I was so amazed by what a colossal roll Hye Na ended up playing. The ending didn't leave any gaps unfilled and covered every single characters' ending in a very unique way. I love how they especially ended Hye Na's name, Yeh Suh's, and Kim Yoo Jung's. Also, how they introduced the new family at the end was very unforeseen but made the ending more symbolic, meaningful, and rids of any feelings of cheesiness because you can see that they're showing that it isn't the end but a continuous cycle.

Kingdom

In 'Kingdom' Ju Ji-hoon plays a prince in a kingdom overrun by zombies. NETFLIX
The Kingdom is a historical drama about zombies, but it's also a study in how class inequity and the struggle for political power can work against the greater good. The Drama stars Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Sung-kyu. Why see it? Where else could you see a drama that mixes up social satire, a historical saga, and the ravenous undead in such an appealing way?

My Review


The reason why this series is so good is that it works on so many levels. First, of course, you have the Zombie Contagion, which has a great origin story. The Zombies are unique in that they are nocturnal, so during the day, they hide in nooks and crannies of the landscapes and structures, which adds to their "Creepiness Factor." Second is that there is also the intrigue surrounding the Royal Succession, which is at the heart of why the Zombies ended up being created in the first place. The third is you have the highly oppressive Feudal Structure of Ancient Korea, which adds many opportunities for some Social Narratives. Last is the exotic Period Setting of the story. The storytelling weaves all these factors seamlessly. Hence you end up with a truly outstanding series full of suspense, tension, and twists. Season One is only six episodes, though, but I prefer a short series with a fast-pace rather than a long one at a much slower pace.

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