Editor’s Note: A Look Back At The Notable Moments Of 2019 Korean Dramas

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We don’t want you to miss out the most shining moments that actually happened from the 2019 Korean Dramas.

Hence, we prepared this special end-of-year feature to reminisce the notable achievements of actors and production teams that gifted K-Drama patrons with 2019 Korean Dramas.

Ahead of our upcoming list of “Best 2019 Korean Dramas”, we want to firstly look back and talk about the K-Drama stories and characters we fawned over this season. That of course includes all the phenomenal things we want to specifically celebrate.

In the next days, we will publish separate features for K-drama recommendations before we finally cap it off with our best K-drama picks.

READ: Mid-Year K-Drama Recap: What You Should Watch From The First Batch Of 2019 Korean Dramas

Hellokpop follows a slightly different K-Drama calendar. Including tail-end dramas from the previous year, we add it to the current year’s lineup until the 11th month. Additionally, all Korean dramas that end before December 31st comprise the dramas we include in our calendar.

2019 Prevailing K-Drama Story Genres

An array of distinct stories summed up the first quarter of 2019 Korean dramas. High-rating and acclaimed series also marked the exciting beginning of the drama season.

Banking on its powerhouse cast, The Last Empress, The Fiery Priest and Memories of the Alhambra proved worthy of the hype received. Emerging as a dark horse, Sky Castle notched a superb reversal as Netflix original series Kingdom rouse an unexpected following albeit its cliff-hanging season 1 ending.

With concentrated office dramas characterizing the second quarter batch of the season, the sequels and installment to popular series made their premieres. Despite fairing well, a few did not achieve the successful feat of repeating the magic, all except Partners for Justice 2.

Additional dramas with abiding presence for this batch are Doctor Prisoner, Chief of Staff, Nokdu Flower and Her Private Life. Another interesting note to include is how most memorable K-Drama characters this year can be traced in this quarter.

Passing through the middle part of the season, heroes and heroines abound in the third quarter of 2019 Korean Dramas. Screaming girl power, Search: WWW, Hotel Del Luna, Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung and Love Affairs in the Afternoon celebrated women’s fortitude. The same way that Arthdal Chronicles, When the Devil Calls Your Name, Designated Survivor and Watcher endorsed men’s varied faces of bravery.

Exceptional K-Drama Plots

This year, let’s divide the group of stories we enjoyed to imaginative, splendidly written, character-driven and consistently engrossing series.

Successful in creating ingenuous fictional realms, Memories of the Alhambra and Arthdal Chronicles broke creative boundaries with conviction. The former deftly navigated the set augmented reality game almost achieved a perfect 2019-drama-to-beat label for the series. In contrast, the latter dared to explore and to challenge the extent of the set fictional world with notable characters.

Weaving stories for the thriving industry of K-Drama production has had left its patrons enjoying the highs and bearing the lows of finished products they will receive. On that note, The Nokdu Flower, Romance Is A Bonus Book and When The Camellia Blooms are superbly penned series, intricately conceived in a flowing narrative.

From rising to powerhouse actors, some dramas are now associated with the characters they portrayed. Lee Ji Eun (IU) scored another memorable role in Hotel Del Luna, while Shin Hye Sun kept on perfecting her talent with her ballerina portrayal in Angel’s Last Mission Love.

On that note, K-Pop idols have been successfully marking projects with Cha Eun Woo (ASTRO), Kim Myung Soo (INFINITE’s L) and SF9’s Rowoon leading the charge.

Veteran actors Kim Nam Gil and Nam Goong Min similarly nailed their flawed, nonetheless brilliant hero roles in The Fiery Priest and Doctor Prisoner.

Rounding up the phenomenal narratives are stories which have notched beautiful showing in every episode. That includes Search: WWW, Her Private Life and The Tale of Nokdu.

Outstanding K-Drama Portrayals

Veteran actors Hyun Bin, Nam Goong Min and Kim Nam Gil charted predicted splendor, while their junior actors Yeo Jin Goo, Jang Ki Yong and Kim Seon Ho clinched a couple and more striking roles.

Seasoned actresses Jang Na Ra, Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Na Eun revealed their timeless craft. Likewise, actresses Park Min Young, Shin Se Kyung and Shin Hye Sun are proving that they are worthy to be the next generation of quality actresses.

Kudos to the cast ensembles of dramas Search: WWW, When the Camellia Blooms, Chief of Staff, Arthdal Chronicles, Romance Is A Bonus Book and Sky Castle for bringing their A-Game and synergy.

K-Drama Characters Worth Commending

Scene stealing or bringing out the best of the story, these actors who played either a small and supporting roles are worth acknowledging.

Exhaustion is an understatement when Hyun Bin’s frenemy in Memories of the Alhambra haunted viewers with matching eerie music plus thunderbolt and rain sound effects. Park Hoon really stood out in his relatively non-talking performance. Likewise, P.O of Block B starred in two highly-popular dramas, Encounter and Hotel Del Luna, with an impressive recall from the audience.

The dysfunctional housewives of Sky Castle struggled to overpower Coach Kim, earning Kim Seo Hyung one of the most hated K-Drama villains of 2019.

Shin Sung Rok switched efficiently from his dark hero to adorable male lead role for dramas The Last Empress and Perfume. Rising actors Jang Dong Yoon, Kim Rowoon, Lee Jae Wook are definitely set for a promising future.

Ratings Report

Going head to head, SBS and KBS produced five dramas reaching an average of double-digit ratings this year.

From SBS camp, The Fiery Priest and The Last Empress scored 16.1% and 12.2% respectively. Meanwhile, KBS 2TV’s Doctor Prisoner, Liver or Die and When The Camellia Blooms clinched 13.2%, 12.1% and 13.9% cumulative audience scores.

Among the dramas which aired on cable networks, only jTBC’s Sky Castle registered an average double-digit output at 12.5%.

Rounding up the top-rating cable dramas are The Crowned Clown, Encounter, Memories Of The Alhambra, and Hotel Del Luna which earned over 8% scores.

Considering how pay-TV platforms have relatively small audience, the aforementioned series are deemed successful at the time of its airing period.

Popular Dramas Online

Based on the data extracted by Good Data Corporation, a few dramas experienced consistent popularity online. While some achieved success proportional to domestic viewership ratings, some are underrated, but have charmed the audience nonetheless.

2019 Korean dramas included in this list are: Encounter, Sky Castle, The Last Empress, The Fiery Priest, Her Private Life, One Spring Night, Arthdal Chronicles, Hotel Del Luna, Moment At Eighteen, When the Camellia Blooms, and VIP.

Stay tuned for our year-end special features!

Image Credit: KBS 2TV | SBS | MBC | tvN | jTBC |