Binge 2020’s best Korean dramas during your quarantine
It’s true 2020 has sucked hard but fortunately, the Korean dramas have been of a higher caliber. We’ve been treated to a dazzling array of Korean stories from comedies & romances, to thrillers & fantasies.
Let’s take a moment to be thankful for the dozens of hours of quarantine lethargy K-dramas have rescued us from and let’s hope there’s more where that came from! While there are more new 2020 Korean dramas than we can list all at once, we’ve come up with a few of the top contenders so far. Take a look at this list of the best K-dramas in 2020 for some new binge options.
Crash Landing on You
The new gold standard for Korean dramas was set by Crash Landing on You which brought superb elements of drama, romance, comedy, and intrigue into one perfect story. Crash Landing on You follows South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) as she is accidentally swept into North Korean territory in a freak paragliding accident.
Yoon Se-ri is saved by Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin) who makes it his mission to get Se-ri home safely. Once Se-ri is back in South Korea though, Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok & Yoon Se-ri find themselves missing the time they had together.
Itaewon Class gave us a new kind of drama focused more on friendship & identity more than the usual K-drama romance. Itaewon Class tells the story of Park Saeroyi (Park Seo-joon) who is imprisoned after attacking the boy who killed his father. Park Saeroyi is persecuted by the boy’s family who owns the largest food conglomerate in South Korea.
Park Saeroyi vows revenge and starts his own pub after leaving prison with the intent of toppling the family’s status as Korea’s top food conglomerate. Along the way, Saeroyi meets with new friends that support him and help his dream become a reality.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
This poignant drama tells the story of Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) an orphaned caregiver working at OK Psychiatric Hospital. Moon Gang-tae treats everyone with kindness except himself, blaming himself for his brother’s trauma. Moon Gang-tae one day meets Ko Moon-young (Seo Ye-ji), a young children’s book author with a bad past.
Ko Moon-young becomes obsessed with Moon Gang-tae, going out of her way to catch his attention and Moon Gang-tae going out of his way to avoid Moon-young. As the story progresses, the pair discover that they’ve met somewhere before and they slowly open up to each other about their emotional turmoil.
The World of the Married
The World of the Married is a Korean drama that follows Ji Sun-woo (Kim Hee-ae) who appears to have the perfect life as a respected family doctor with a loving husband & son. Everything begins to fall apart however when Ji Sun-woo’s husband Lee Tae-oh (Park Hae-joon) is discovered having an extramarital affair.
Now Sun-woo has to deal with the fallout of her husband’s betrayal while Lee Tae-oh pursues his dream of becoming a famous movie director.
Hospital Playlist set new ground for K-dramas as an ensemble drama that follows five doctors working at Yulje Medical Center. The story sees these five doctors who all entered medical school in 1999 becoming friends over the years and developing their own styles & personalities within the hospital.
The five make time for their favorite extracurricular activity – a band dedicated to playing 90s Korean music. Hospital Playlist follows the narratives of each doctor’s story and reveals the struggles & triumphs of their lives together.
Memorist is the story of Dong Baek (Yoo Seung-ho), a detective who also has the ability to read people’s memories. Dong Baek finds himself on the same team as the highly skilled criminal profiler Han Sun-mi (Lee Se-young) after a string of murders terrorizes the population.
As Dong Baek & Han Sun-mi delve deeper into the investigation, they find themselves caught in a web of lies, conspiracy, and false identities that traps them in a dangerous world.
A Piece of Your Mind
This gentle drama portrays a sweet romance that unfolds between Moon Ha-won (Jung Hae-In) & Han Seo-woo (Chae Soo-Bin). Moon Ha-won is an AI programmer & the founder of his own company. Moon Ha-won is known for his even temperament & for his kindness. Han Seo-woo is a classical music recording engineer who struggles through life alone but always with a positive attitude.
Moon Ha-won & Han Seo-woo meet by chance and even though Moon Ha-won held unrequited feelings for another, they slowly fall in love. A Piece of Your Mind deals thoughtfully with the themes of loss, loneliness, and solitude felt by the two main characters.
My Unfamiliar Family
My Unfamiliar Family explores the dynamic of South Korean family life. The story follows a single family during a period when the two parents decide to have marriage graduation, otherwise known as a separation. The family’s three children protest this idea and do everything to convince their parents not to go through with it.
One day the father goes missing only to turn up with a head injury and his memories reverted back to his twenty-two-year-old self. The family is forced to care for the father as he sees them with new eyes, and old memories that were once forgotten are brought back into the light.
Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Mystic Pop-Up Bar is a fantastical drama that follows the journey of mystical pojangmacha (an outdoor eatery) that is run by a band of ancient misfits. The bar is owned by Wol-joo (Park Si-eun) a woman sentenced to 500 years of penance for a past misdeed. Alongside her are part-time employee Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) and an afterlife detective by the name of Chief Gwi (Choi Won-young).