It only took me 7 months, but I have finally finished reviewing all 31 dramas I watched in 2020! At first I thought that was a lot. But to justify it in my head, it really is only an average of 2.5 dramas a month and thanks to covid, we were in a stay at home order from like March to October, I really had a lot of time on my hands! Alright, I’ll admit it, I’m addicted.
I’ve organized this list by my rating system instead of chronological. At first I tried to do a 5 star or 10/10 rating system, but I found I was too inconsistent in my ratings when I looked back at them. So that’s why I ended up with a more open system saying if I think you should watch it or not. Cause in the end, that’s all you want to know right? I have 4 tiers: Must See, Add it to your list, If you got nothing else to watch and Skip it. I hope those categories are self-explanatory!
Even with a vague 4 categories, I still found myself questioning a few ratings when I put this final list together. I ended up moving two of them once I saw who was in the category with them. Congrats Record of Youth for getting a late promotion from Skip it to If you got nothing else to watch. I may have been too harsh on you when I wrote the review within 30 minutes of finishing your last episode and being a little disappointed. And sorry Prince of Tennis, for getting downgraded from Add it to your list to If you got nothing else to watch. Once I saw who was in the Add it to your list category, I didn’t think you held up to them. I’m also still looking at you My Holo Love, you may also be rated too high, but I’ll just stop second guessing myself now.
I’ll give a short last pitch on why I rated the Must See’s so high. Click on the title of the drama for the full review. Please note, 2020 is when I watched the drama, not necessarily when it aired!
Crash Landing on You (Romantic Comedy starring Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin)
Why it’s a must see: I absolutely loved the supporting cast. The North Korean soldiers and Ajhummas seriously need a spin off. The writing is well done and humorous. I loved how the writers also poked fun at kdrama troupes throughout as they committed the same troupe.
While You Were Sleeping (Legal/Fantasy/Romantic Comedy starring Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy and Jung Hae In)
Why it’s a must see: I thought the plot was really interesting and well done. It kept me in suspense and caused that binging effect where I had to know what happened! I also loved the healthy relationship between the lead pair.
Misaeng: Incomplete Life (Workplace Drama/Slice of Life Drama starring Im Si Wan)
Why it’s a must see: Although I wouldn’t recommend this if you are new to kdramas, I think it’s an excellent watch when you are ready for something different from the standard romcom. It delves deep in the work life of South Korean’s and explores topics like gender discrimination, overworking and fighting hard to make a living. It’s well done and reflective of the every day worker in South Korea.
Mr. Sunshine (Historical/Melodrama starring Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri)
Why it’s a must see: This drama puts you right before the Japanese occupation of South Korea. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then it is necessary to watch so you understand the animosity South Korea can feel towards Japan that still exist to this day. It is heart breaking to watch the South Korean’s fight to keep their country, culture and language alive. Everything is so well done from the acting, directing and cinematography. It’s a heavy drama, so watch it when you are ready.
Hospital Playlist – Season 1 (Slice of Life and Medical Drama with a side serving of Romance starring Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jung Kyung Ho, Kim Dae Myung, Jeon Mi Do)
Why it’s a must see: The friendships between the 5 doctors is everything. There are heartwarming and heartbreaking medical stories, but you don’t get bogged down in the medicine. The production and acting is just high quality. Season 2 is currently airing on Netflix, so stay tuned for that review!
Reply 1988 (Slice of Life/Coming of Age/Romantic Comedy staring Lee Hye Ri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Lee Dong Hwi, Park Bo Gum and Go Kyung Pyo)
Why it’s a must see: This was a smash hit in South Korea due to the nostalgia or being transported back to 1988 and the real life portrayal of every day families. The friendships and family dynamics are wonderful to see. And the mystery of who will she marry will keep you hooked until the end.
Hymn of Death (Historical Melodrama staring Lee Jong Suk and Shin Hye Sun)
Why it’s a must see: It’s a beautifully done story of a difficult time in South Korea with the Japanese occupation. It’s only three episodes long. It will tug at your heart. Grab a box of tissues.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Coming of Age/Slice of Life/Romantic Comedy staring Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)
Why it’s a must see: An adorable watch as we watch our lead pair grow from bickering friends to lovers. There is plenty of comedy to keep you laughing mixed in with the swoony and warm moments. It’s everything you could want from a light fluffy romcom.
Add it to your list
Suits (Legal Drama starring Park Hyung Sik)
Itaewon Class (Revenge Drama starring Park Seo Joon)
It’s Okay to Not be Okay (Romance/Drama starring Kim Soo Hyun)
Cinderella and Four Knights (Romantic Comedy starring Park So Dam)
My Holo Love (Sci-Fi/Romance Drama)
A Love so Beautiful (Chinese – Romantic Comedy/Coming of Age)
If you got nothing else to watch
Live up to Your Name (Time Travel/Romantic Comedy)
Oh My Venus (Romantic Comedy starring So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)
Personal Taste (Romantic Comedy starring Lee Min Ho)
Record of Youth (Romance/Drama starring Park Bo Gum and Park So Dam)
The King: Eternal Monarch (Fantasy Romance starring Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun)
The Prince of Tennis – Match! Tennis Juniors (Chinese Drama – Coming of Age)
Because This is My First Life (Romantic Comedy starring Jung So Min)
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol (Romantic Comedy starring Go Ara)
Introverted Boss/My Shy Boss (Romantic Comedy)
Jumping Girl (Romantic Comedy)
Melting Me Softly (Romantic Comedy)
My ID is Gangnam Beauty (Romantic Comedy/Coming of Age starring Cha Eun Woo)
Princess Hours (Romantic Comedy)
Was it Love? (Romance/Drama)
Accidentally in Love (Chinese – Romantic Comedy)
A Little Thing Called First Love (Chinese – Romantic Comedy/Coming of Age)
Let me know in the comments if you disagree or agree with any ratings!
And now, I tackle my 2019 watch list and then I’m finally caught up on this blog! Hopefully I can get it done quicker than 7 months! Hah!
For my 2021 watch list, see this post, it’s getting updated regularly!