Many great Korean dramas premiered in 2019. Unfortunately, you probably don't have unlimited time, so which K-Dramas of 2019 should you watch as a priority?
this list ofBest Korean Dramas 2019can help you decide.
Here,Movie Escape Artisthas selected the best Korean dramas of 2019 from a variety of genres like romance, action, conspiracy, history and more.
Several criteria influenced our selection. First of all had to K-Dramabeginon air in 2019. This disqualified worthwhile hitssky castlejMemories of the Alhambrawhich started in 2018. Next, we found the K-Dramas of 2019 that had the best combination of high entertainment value, social relevance, and international streaming availability.
Using these factors, we have compiled 11 picks for the best Korean dramas of 2019. We've also added streaming links for easy viewing. Check over!
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11. When the camellia blooms
Cast: Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul, Kim Ji-seok | Genre: Romantic Comedy, Thriller
Our list of the best Korean dramas of 2019 starts withWhen the camellia blooms. In this K-drama, Gong Hyo-jin plays a single mother named Oh Dong-baek who moves to a small town called Ongsan. There he opens a bar called Camellia and takes on local gossip, rude customers and even a serial killer. Meanwhile, a policeman named Hwang Yong-sik (Kang Ha-neul) falls in love with Oh.
When the camellia bloomswas greatly received by viewers and won 23.8% of the Korean audience in the final. Great acting and a well-written story helped make the drama particularly compelling. The small-town setting and the lead role of the single mother are also different from many k-dramas that are typically set in Seoul and have younger female leads. given asthe social status of women and was a prominent topicin Korea in 2019,When the camellia bloomsThe heavily female-led storyline was also quite relevant to society.
Watch this Korean drama on Netflix
10. Love Alert
Cast: Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, Song Kang | Genre: Romance, School, Comedy, Friendship
on the surfacelove alarmit may seem like just another standard teenage romance drama. If you like that drama, great - the show executes that formula really well. However, if you want a Korean drama that has more meaning,love alarmYou can also tick this box.
Set in a high school, the drama envisions a world where people use an app called Love Alarm to find romantic partners. In this world, a popular boy named Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang) develops feelings for an orphan girl named Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) amid the social expectations and stress that come with using Love Alarms.
Althoughlove alarmIt's not depressing, it's reminiscent of the popular dystopian seriesblack mirror. In many scenes, the drama highlights self-esteem and mental health issuescomes from social networks. Ifdebates aroundthe harmful effects of anger on social media,love alarmseems particularly appropriate.
More information about Love Alarm atour full review.
9. Chronicles of Arthdal
Starring: Jang Dong-gun, Song Joong-ki, Kim Ji-won | Genre: Fantasy, Action, Romance
spectators who lovedLied Joong Kiim 2016descendants of the sunwill be happy with thatChronicles of Arthdal- with Song's return as a lead in a K-drama. In this drama, Song, Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ji-won are the three main characters. Residents of Arthdal in a mythical land called Arth, the three protagonists must contend with tribal politics and romantic tribulations as they struggle for power and redemption.
Chronicles of Arthdallooks a bit like a Korean version of the American HBO seriesZu War Two Thrones- Which isn't bad. Those who enjoy intricate world building, power struggles, and high production quality will find thisChronicles of ArthdaleZu War Two Thronesa run for your money. like a Korean dramaChronicles of ArthdalIt's also a little tamer thanZu War Two Thrones; That might be good news for those who aren't interestedZu War Two ThronesReputation for scandalous violence and indecency.
In general, we feelChronicles of Arthdaldeserves a spot on this list of the best K-Dramas of 2019, especially for its high entertainment value. It is one of the most ambitious and epic productions in Korean drama field in 2019.
SeeChronicles of Arthdaland netflix
8. Romance is a bonus book
Cast: Lee Na-young, Lee Jong-suk, Jung Yoo-jin, Wi Ha-joon | Genre: Romantic Comedy
fans ofLEE Young Sukwill probably likeRomance is a bonus book, which marks his final appearance in a Korean drama before he is drafted into the military.
In this K-drama, Lee plays Cha Eun-ho, an attractive editor-in-chief at a publishing company. Lee Na-young stars opposite him as the female lead, a single mother named Kang Dan-yi who used to be a great copywriter but has lost her luster. Desperate for a job, Kang lies to get a job at Cha's company and the two develop feelings for each other.
If you like Korean dramas where the female lead is older than the male lead,Romance is a bonus bookit is worth seeing. Apart from a decent story,Romance is a bonus bookIt also contains interesting commentary on marriage, old age, parenthood and other aspects of human existence and interpersonal relationships.
SeeRomance is a bonus bookand netflix
7. The Crowned Clown
Starring: Yeo Jin-goo, Lee Se-young | Genre: Historical/Historical, Romantic Comedy
If you like historical dramas,the crowned clowncan be customized at will. Inspired byMasked- one of the most popular South Korean films of all time - this K-drama shows how the king ofJoseonHe puts a clown who looks like him on the throne to escape bitter power struggles.
Yeo Jin-goo plays both the king and the clown with great skill. Meanwhile, Lee Se-young plays the queen of Joseon, with whom the clown develops a romantic interest. Besides great performancethe crowned clownIt also features plenty of juicy political maneuvering that is thought-provoking and suspenseful. no wonderthe crowned clown best ratingsafter its release.
6. The burning priest
Cast: Kim Nam-gil, Kim Sung-kyun, Lee Ha-nee | Genre: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
with one ofmore ChristianSouth Korea is happy to provide priests to populations in East Asiadramas and films.the burning priest another example of this phenomenon.
Kim Nam-gil plays a priest named Kim Hae-il who has a "hot" temper and the fighting skills to back it up. After the mysterious death of an elderly priest, Kim teams up with an ambitious prosecutor (played by Lee Ha-nee) and a clumsy detective (played by Kim Sung-kyun) to uncover the truth.
the burning priestIt was an unexpected and groundbreaking success. It garnered an average national (Korea) viewership of 16.1% during its airing period. Viewers who like action and comedy will love it.the burning priest. There are many fight scenes, the three main characters have excellent chemistry and complementary personality traits.
5. Designated Survivor: 60 Tage
Cast: Ji Jin-hee, Lee Joon-hyuk, Heo Jun-ho, Kang Han-na, Bae Jong-ok | Genre: Political, Thriller, Conspiracy
Adapted froman American series of the same name,Designated Survivor: 60 daysis an emotional drama that gives viewers a slight taste of Korean politics.
The series begins when unknown assailants bomb the Korean National Assembly building, killing the President and most of the senior officials. This leaves Environment Minister Park Mu-jin (Ji Jin-hee) as acting President under the Korean Constitution. With 60 days to go before the election, Park must bring the attackers to justice as he struggles to survive politically.
Designated Survivor: 60 daysoffers a great balance of political detail and accessible entertainment. It features scenes like free trade deal negotiations that will appeal to politics fans, but it also packs plenty of action for everyone to enjoy.
Find out more on ourfull reviewvonDesignated Survivor: 60 days.
SeeDesignated Survivor: 60 daysand netflix
4. Crash landing on you
Starring: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin | Genre: Romantic Comedy, Politics
EmMovie Escape Artistwe like to analyzeNorth Korean and South Korean Relations. So we were very happy whenland on you It was well received by the audience.
In this romantic comedy, Son Ye-jin plays a wealthy South Korean heiress who accidentally ends up in North Korea after a paragliding accident. A handsome North Korean army captain (played by Hyun Bin) rescues them. Despite geopolitical obstacles, the two fall in love.
Son Ye-jin and Hyun are togetherGreatchemistry aland on you, and the drama has great pacing and production value. Those who aren't romance fans might like it toocrash landing on you.It contains many insightful observations about normal North Korean life that we haven't seen in any other K-Drama.
Find out more on ourFull Review of Crash Landing On You!
Starring: Lee Seung-gi, Bae Suzy | Genre: Conspiracy, Action, Thriller, Spy
Fake news and conspiracies wereTop-Themen 2019and Korean dramaTrampintegrated them into a binge-worthy narrative.
Lee Seung-gi plays a stuntman named Cha Dal-geon who loses his beloved nephew in a mysterious plane crash. Cha realizes the accident wasn't an accident and eventually joins inNational IntelligenceGo Hae-ri (played by Bae Suzy) to uncover a conspiracy involving the highest echelons of corporate and political power in Korea.
Shot in Morocco and Korea,Trampreminiscent of other K-Drama hits likedescendants of himNorte,Iris, OfMemories of the AlhambraAthrough its ambitious global reach. The series never has a dull moment; Each episode features gunfights, fights, or an action scene that makes the most of Cha Dal-geon's stunt double status and Go Hae-ri's training as a spy. what's moreTrampcontains relevant social commentary aboutmilitary-industrial complexesjGovernment corruption, which will appeal to viewers looking for a more political flair in their K-Dramas.
Find out more on ourFull review of the tramp!
2nd Chief of Staff
Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Shin Mi-na and Lee Elijah | Genre: Political
Ifhead of statefirst he went, we gave hima lukewarm reviewbased on the first episodes. However, the series got a lot better over time; We've never been happier to see our first impressions shattered.
First of all,head of stateNOfeellike traditional K-drama with excess melodrama and romance, and we love it. Instead, it resembles American political programs likeat the hostjhouse of cardsoffers a realistic and detailed insight into the inner workings of Korean democracy.
The show focuses on Jang Tae-jun (played by Lee Jung-jae), who begins as the chief of staff for a powerful lawmaker. Jang has a reputation as a ruthlessly efficient operator, and he himself aspires to be a lawmaker, damn it. Whilehead of stateIt starts out slow, midway through the first season (thankfully there's already a second season), there's blood in the water and plenty of juicy intrigue to keep you on your toes.
We go in a different direction than traditional K-Dramas and present excellent acting and production value.head of statebecame one of the most popular Korean dramas of 2019. It is not only a testament to the quality of television productions in Korea, but also a testament that Korea's democracy has matured enough to produce such realistic political programs.
Read our (various) first impressionshead of statein ourfull review.
1. Hotel da Lua
Darsteller: IU (Lee Ji-eun), Yeo Jin-goo, Jung Dong-hwan, Lee Tae-sun, Kang Mi-na | Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
Topping our list of best Korean dramas of 2019take hotel. With great storytelling, exceptional performances from an all-star cast, high production quality and witty humor,take hotelIt's worth swamping him and even seeing him again.
renowned singeruser interfaceSteals the show as Jang Man-wol, an ageless girl cursed to run a hotel for ghosts (dubbed the Hotel del Luna) for 1,300 years. Through a ruse, Jang recruits a young man named Koo Chan-sung (played by Yeo Jin-goo) to be his hotel's new manager. Over the course of the show, Koo must deal with Jang's whims and help the spirits with unfinished business in the mortal world.
take hotelit has a bit of everything: fantasy, romance, action, mystery and laughter. IU's acting is particularly commendable. She makes Jang Man-wol one of the most endearing and memorable characters in K-drama history with a winning combination of cheekiness and sensitivity. No wonder loudNilsen,take hotelIt is also the top-rated Korean drama aired in 2019.
An honorable mention: If you want to see more of UI performance, check out the Netflix anthologyPersona.
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Do you like Korean entertainment?Consult our list ofBest Korean Movies 2019, or theBest Korean Romance Movies!