Korean dramas keep getting better and better. While some older ones haven’t aged well (have you tried to watch Boys Over Flowers recently? Yikes!), one special thing about Korean dramas from 2019 is that we believe they will be popular for years to come.
Check out our list of the top kdramas of 2019! This list was chosen with ratings, OST performance on charts, and cultural impact in mind. If your favorite didn’t make it, share why it should be in the list in the comments!
10. Liver or Die
Poong-Sang is a lonely and pitiful middle-aged man who has always put his family’s needs first. But when he gets sick and needs a new liver, will his family help out?
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 22.8%
Note: This drama was very well-loved in Korea, but the siblings were so annoying that we couldn’t watch past the first few episodes.
9. The Tale of Nokdu
Jeon Nok-Du lives on an island with his father and older brother. One day, his father and older brother are attacked by a group of female assassins. In order to infiltrate their village, he must dress in disguise… as a woman.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 8.3%
Notable Cast: Kim So-hyun
8. The Crowned Clown
In order to escape those who plan to assassinate him, the king puts a clown who looks exactly like him, on the throne.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 10.851%
Notable Cast: Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, Lee Se-young
7. Encounter (Boyfriend)
Brought together by fate, a woman who seems to have everything and a young man who seems to have nothing decide to give up an ordinary life to be together.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 10.329%
Notable Cast: Song Hye-gyo, Park Bo-gum
Determined to find out the truth behind the plane crash that killed 211 civilians, including his nephew, Cha Dal-gun embarks on an investigation that leads him to a tangled web of corruption. His life intertwines with Go Hae-ri, a covert operative for the National Intelligence Service.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 13.0%
Notable Cast: Bae Suzy, Lee Seung-gi, Shin Sung-rok
5. Angels Last Mission – Love
When Dan, an angel, meets Yeon-Seo, a ballerina who does not believe in love, he must fulfill the mission of finding her true love. However, he slowly falls in love with her along the way.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 9.4%
Notable Cast: Shin Hye-sun, Kim Myung-soo
4. Hotel Del Luna
Located in the middle of Seoul, Hotel del Luna is the eponymous hotel that caters only to ghosts; the beautiful but ill-tempered CEO is cursed to manage the hotel due to a terrible crime she committed, but cannot remember.
Notable Cast: Lee Ji-eun (IU), Yeo Jin-goo, Jung Dong-hwan, Pyo Ji-hoon (P.O.), Kang Mi-na
3. Fiery Priest
Catholic Priest Kim Hae-Il, Detective Koo Dae-Young, and Prosecutor Park Kyung-Sun work together to solve a murder case involving a senior Catholic priest.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 22%
Won Grand Prize (Kim Nam-gil), Best New Actor/Actress (Eum Mon-suk, Keum Sae-rok), Top Excellence Award (Lee Hanee), Excellence Award (Kum Sung-kyun), Best Supporting Actor (Go Joon), and Best Supporting Team at the SBS Drama Awards.
Notable Cast: Kim Nam-gil, Kim Sung-kyun, Lee Hanee, Go Joon, Keum Sae-rok
2. When the Camellia Blooms
Dong-Baek is a single mother living in the small town of Ongsan. She runs the bar-restaurant Camellia, while also taking care of her son Pil-Gu. Regardless of what the locals may whisper about Dong-Baek, local police officer Hwang Yong-Sik is deeply in love with her. While it seems everything is against her, something more sinister is waiting to cut her path to happiness.
Highest Nationwide Episode Rating: 23.8%
Won Best Couple, Best Writer, Grand Prize (Gong Hyo-jin), Top Excellence Award, Actor (Kang Ha-neul), Best Supporting Actor/Actress (Oh Jung-se, Yeom Hye-ran) and many more awards at the KBS Drama Awards.
Notable Cast: Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul, Kim Ji-seok, Son Dam-bi
1. SKY Castle
SKY Castle follows the lives of 4 elite families living in the same community, and at what lengths they will go to get their children into the best university in Korea.