21 Korean Dramas Of 2020 You Definitely Have To Watch

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best korean dramas 2020

Well, 2020 has been a real rollercoaster ride for many of us – with natural disasters and a global pandemic happening before we can even reach the mid-way mark of 2020. The same can be said for the world of Korean dramas. Since we’re all being socially responsible and staying home, what better way to spend our time wisely than to binge-watch on some of the best Korean dramas of 2020?  So we did the research (and also watching) and we’re ready to give you our best Korean dramas recommendations! 

Psst, not so much of a K-Drama fan? You can also check out our Netflix 2020 recommendations!

Best Korean Dramas In 2020 To Binge On

1. A World of Married Couple

the world of the married korean dramas
(Credit: JTBC)

If you’re ready for some good ol’ makjang, A World of Married Couple is one of the Korean dramas you absolutely need to watch. Based on BBC One’s Doctor Foster, this drama follows the life of Ji Sun Woo, a family medicine doctor. At the beginning of the drama, you’ll see that she leads an almost perfect life – She has a good and well-paying job, coupled with a happy family and a nice house in an upscale neighbourhood. However, being a makjang, things start to get messy – especially when her husband gets into a dangerous affair. How will everything unfold? Who will emerge victorious in this epic family battle? Well, chase the drama to find out!

We also especially like how the show realistically portrays challenges faced in marriages in real life, and provides room for thought on how one’s decisions can ultimately change another’s life totally. Thumbs up for one of the best Korean dramas of 2020!

Cast: Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, Han So-hee, Park Sun-Young, Kim Young-min

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

2. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

it's okay to not be okay korean dramas
(Credit: TVN)

Are you ready for a self-healing romance drama? It’s Okay To Not Be Okay revolves around Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun), a selfless caregiver at a psychiatric ward who has to also take care of his autistic brother, and Ko Mun Yeong (Seo Ye Ji), a children’s book author with an antisocial personality disorder and has never felt and known love. As this unusual romance story unfolds between them, they begin to heal each other’s emotional and psychological wounds and realise that, It’s Okay To Not Be Okay sometimes. This show is unlike other typical Korean romance drama, and we especially liked that it touched on topics in society such as mental health and personality disorders that are considered more taboo to talk about.

Bonus points goes to Ko Mun Yeong and her absolutely gorgeous fashion style in the show that is literally every girl’s dream, and Moon Sang Tae, the autistic brother played by Oh Jung-Se for his award-winning acting skills and being able to portray his character amazingly well. We won’t lie, several packets of tissues were used while watching his down-to-earth personality on screen. We’d vote this as one of the best Korean dramas of 2020, because unless another hit series comes up in the latter part of the year, we think this storyline is hard to beat.

Cast: Kim Soo Hyun, Seo Ye-Ji, Oh Jung-Se, Park Kyu-Young

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

3. Mystic Pop-Up Bar

mystic pop-up bar korean dramas
(Credit: AsianWiki)

One of the reasons why K-Dramas continue to soar in popularity over the years is because of their ability to incorporate fantasy into their dramas, which allows us to get lost in the world of the characters and enjoy some respite from reality. Sometimes, these shows also embody moral topics that keeps us thinking deeper towards life and its intricacies.

Mystic Pop-Up Bar is a great example, and this drama tells the story of a mysterious pochangmacha (Tented Food Stall) run by an ill-tempered woman named Wol-Joo (Hwang Jung-Eum) who’s actually a 500 year old ghost banished to the living realm, an innocent part-time employee named Han Kang-Bae (Yook Sung-Jae), and a former afterlife detective known as Chief Gwi (Choi Won-young) who visit customers in their dreams to help resolve their problems and provide comfort.

All 12 episodes of this series brings wit, warmth and insights into the topic of life and death, and is definitely a must watch and one of the best Korean dramas of 2020, as the storyline is refreshing, interesting and fun, unlike many other typical dramas out there.

Cast: Hwang Jung-Eum, Yook Sung-Jae, Choi Won-Young

Episodes: 12

Available on: Netflix

 

4. Nobody Knows

nobody knows korean Drama

If romance and comedy shows are too cheesy and over the top for you, you will be glad to know this show is anything but that. The mystery thriller follows the story of Detective Cha Young Jin (Kim Seo-Hyung) and her quest to find the killer who murdered her best friend 19 years ago. Consumed by guilt that her actions might have led to her friend’s death, Detective Cha devotes her life to searching for the mastermind, in return for a peace of mind. Her only comfort in the show is her neighbour’s son, Ko Eun-ho (Ahn Ji-Ho) who lives downstairs and constantly looks out for her. Over the years they built up a close relationship and he was a significant character in helping her overcome this trauma. If you appreciate digging through a web of unravelled clues and cliffhangers to find the truth, this show will be right up your alley!

Cast: Kim Seo-Hyung, Park Hoon, Ryu Deok Hwan, Ahn Ji-Ho

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

5. Kkondae Intern

kkondae intern best korean drama

You might have watched several drama series with a boss-giving-employee-a-hard-time setting, but what about one with a role reversal? KKondae Intern brings a refreshing take to the daily workplace struggles when an unforseen situation occurs. The story follows employee Ga Yeol Chan (Park Hae Jin), who quits his job after facing a lot of misery in his work because of his boss, Lee Man Sik (Kim Eung Soo). Five years later, he rose quickly to the post of a General Manager in another company, while meanwhile his former boss loses his job. In a cruel twist of fate, Lee Man Sik finds himself working as a senior intern under the direct supervision of Ga Yeol Chan.

This culmination of rare occurrence of events provides comical relief to an otherwise mundane workplace dynamics, and humourously pokes fun at the idiosyncrasies of people in the workforce. The unique storyline also proves its worthiness to be ranked as one of the best Korean dramas of 2020. Also a noteworthy mention is the bromance between the two lead actors – who needs a love line in the story when their chemistry is so strong?

Cast: Park Hae Jin, Kim Eung Soo, Park Ki Woong, Han Ji Eun

Episodes: 24

Available on: Viu

 

6. Crash Landing On You

Crash Landing on You Korean Dramas
(Credit: Allkpop)

If you were on social media, you definitely would have seen memes, parodies, and snippets of this highly raved Korean drama. Hyun Bin (previously well known for his role as Kim Joo-won in Secret Garden) wins the hearts of fan-girls all over the world, this time, as a soldier from North Korea. The love story between the two star-crossed lovers unfolds when a chaebol heiress from South Korea lands in North Korea by accident and meets a soldier from North Korea. They fall in love while said soldier attempts to protect her and send her back home. This Korean drama offers not only an exciting love story but also leaves viewers in awe with the amazing scenes taken from Switzerland and Mongolia. It is really no surprise that this drama became one of the best rated Korean drama of 2020!

Cast: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

7. Itaewon Class

itaewon class korean dramas
(Credit: REELYDOPE)

Not so much of a romantic? Here is a K-Drama light on the romance side but still packs a punch. Based on a webtoon with the same name, Itaewon Class tells the story of an ex-convict who tries to seek revenge for his deceased father and himself by opening up his own restaurant in Itaewon and rising up in the food and drinks industry. More than just a story about revenge, this drama incorporates social issues such as discrimination against ex-convicts and social outcasts while sending strong messages about chasing your dreams and getting a second chance in life. When a drama is able to teach you moral values alongside keeping you sufficiently glued to the screen because of its interesting storyline, you know it’s worthy as being rated as one of the best Korean dramas of 2020. 

Psst, you can check out our guide on some of the best Korean food recipes as featured in Itaewon Class!

Cast: Park Seo-joon, Kim Da-mi, Yoo Jae-myung, Kwon Nara

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

8. Hi Bye, Mama!

hi bye mama korean dramas
(Credit: Giz Guide)

Speaking of second chances, this Korean drama is a fantasy about a ghost who is given a second chance to come back to life for 49 days to be with her friends and family again. As you may probably have guessed, a show about reuniting with your family, life, and death, is definitely a tear-jerker that will have you crying your eyes out as you watch the characters learn to let go and move on. Get ready your tissues or even towels when you binge-watch on this Korean drama.

Cast: Kim Tae-hee, Lee Kyu-hyung, Go Bo-gyeol

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

9. The King: Eternal Monarch

the king: eternal monarch korean dramas
(Credit: AHJUMMAMSHIES)

Are you into fantasies and the idea of parallel universes? If your answer is yes, then grab your popcorn and get ready for this magical K-Drama that takes place in two parallel universes in the 21st century. The young, handsome emperor from a monarchy version of Korea passes through a mysterious portal that brings him to the modern-day Republic of Korea where he meets a policewoman. The drama begins as the young emperor reviews that he knows the policewoman from this parallel universe. What happens next? We are all waiting to find out as this is one of the Korean dramas that are still airing in Korea. But the premise of the story and casts all make it worth the wait!

Cast: Lee Min-ho, Kim Go-eun, Woo Do-hwan

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

10. Dr Romantic 2

Dr Romantic 2
(Credit: Kdramapal)

If you’re a fan of medical and Korean dramas, you’d have binge-watched Dr Romantic just like us (FYI, Dr Romantic is available for streaming on Netflix). Dr Romantic 2 is the sequel of this highly-rated drama and is set three years after Dr Romantic. It follows the story of Dr Kim, as he goes to Geosan University Hospital to take on a new general surgeon. Over there, he meets Seo Woo-jun and Cha Eun-jae, and through sheer luck (or coincidence), manages to bring them over to Doldam Hospital. What kind of cases will they embark on this time round? Well, no spoilers – watch to find out!

Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

11. Hospital Playlist

hospital playlist best korean drama
(Credit: Hello Kpop)

Another hospital and slice-of-life drama that will make you wish you were a doctor! The drama takes place in Yulje Medical Centre and follows the life of five doctors who have been best pals since they started med school in 1999. After graduating, all five of them are still friends and work together in the same hospital. If you’re looking for a light-hearted drama that is unlike other medical dramas, this is it! On a sidenote (and a personal opinion of the writer), this show is the best Korean drama of 2020, and I would 100% watch it all over again.

Cast: Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do

Episodes: 12

Available on: Netflix

 

12. Memorist

memorist best korean drama
(Credit: Kdramapal)

Ever wondered what it’s like to be able to read people’s memories? In Memorist, detective Dong Baek has this sought-after power, and he uses it to his advantage to solve crimes in the police force. Together with a criminal profiler, Han Sun-mi, they work together to stop a serial killer. However, as the story slowly unfolds, the truth about their past comes to light. This is one of the many Korean dramas that got us clinging on for the next episode!

Cast: Yoo Seung-ho, Lee Se-young, Jo Sung-ha

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

13. Meow, The Secret Boy

meow, the secret boy korean dramas
(Credit: Asian Wiki)

Attention all cat lovers! You wouldn’t want to miss out on this drama featuring not just good-looking actors and actresses, but also the most adorable cat!! This is a story about a graphic designer who has a dream of becoming a webtoon artist. She brings home a cat who can secretly transform into a human. This drama presents the story from the perspective of a pet so we can all gain some insights into what our furry friends may be thinking! Definitely a must-watch for all Korean dramas and cat-lovers~

Cast: Kim Myung-soo, Shin Ye-eun, Seo Ji-hoon

Episodes: 24

Available on: Viu

 

14. Find Me In Your Memory

find me in your memory
(Credit: Kdrama Crazy)

Ever wondered what it’s like to be able to remember nearly every moment of your life? Whether it’s a sad or happy memory, it’ll forever be etched in your memory. This is what it’s like for anchorman – Lee Jung-hoon. He has hyperthymesia, a medical condition that allows him to remember nearly every moment of his life. Like all K-Drama plots, he meets a top actress – Yeo Ha-jin – who has conveniently forgotten all about her past. How will their love story unfold? Watch to find out!

Cast: Kim Dong-wook, Moon Ga-young

Episodes: 32

Available on: Viu

 

15. Kingdom (Season 2)

kingdom season 2
(Credit: Netflix)

Is that the fans screaming or is that another wave of zombies coming our way? It’s both! Kingdom finally released the second season and immediately achieved soaring high ratings on Netflix. After leaving viewers with a cliff-hanger in season 1, this season continues to follow Prince Chang as he attempts to stop the (un)deadly plague. Another exciting season that will have you sitting on the edge of your chair as you watch how power can force people to do crazy things even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. 

Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doona, Kim Sung-kyu

Episodes: 6

Available on: Netflix

 

16. Hyena

hyena best korean drama
(Credit: Hello Kpop)

Can’t get enough of Prince Chang (played by Ju Ji-hoon) from Kingdom? Watch him take on the role of an elite attorney in this legal drama which tells the story of two lawyers both working for the top 1% of people in society. Watch how these two use their knowledge (and all other means) to win their cases and be the last hyena standing. Another Netflix K-Drama to make your subscription worth it!

Cast: Kim Hye Soo, Joo Ji hoon, Lee Gyound young

Episodes: 32

Available on: Netflix

 

17. Rugal

Rugal
(Credit: Kdrama Crazy)

A fan of Marvel superheroes and K-Drama? Rugal combines both and brings you the best of both worlds! After witnessing the murder of his wife and having both of his eyeballs cut out by the criminal organization that he has been investigating, elite detective Kang Ki-Beom finds himself accused of murder. He was approached by a special force Rugal who gives him two artificial eyeballs and special powers using biotechnology to help him take down the criminal organization.

Cast: Kim Dong-hee, Jung Da-bin, Park Joo-hyun, Nam Yoon-soo

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix

 

18. Money Game

Money Game
(Credit: Hellokpop)

This is for people who enjoy watching political-finance dramas. Set in 2020, this drama centres around the life of three people working at the Financial Services Commission and International Finance Bureau of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats as they witness their struggle to prevent another financial crisis, similar to what happened during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Cast: Go Soo, Lee Sung-min, Shim Eun-kyung

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

19. Tell Me What You Saw

tell me what you saw best korean drama
(Credit: Asian Wiki)

If you’re a SONE, you’ll want to watch this to show support to Choi Soo-young who plays a rookie detective with a photographic memory, Cha Soo-young. Tell Me What You Saw follows the story of Oh Hyun-jae (Played by the famous Jang Hyuk), who is an extremely intelligent profiler. During his stint, he has cracked many cold cases. However, one day, his fiancée was murdered in an explosion set by a serial killer. After this incident, he lived in seclusion. Well, as fate has it – a new murder takes place five years later and coincidentally, the method is the same as that of the serial killer. Together with Soo-young, they work to apprehend the serial killer.

Cast: Jang Hyuk, Choi Soo-young

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

20. When My Love Blooms

when my love blooms best korean drama
(Credit: Hellokpop)

Is love the same when we are young and when we grow old? My Love Blooms shows the contrast with a story between two young lovers who fell in love in university and meet each other again twenty years down the world, each leading completely different lives with different ideals. Watch how the both rekindle their lost love and create new memories together again. 

Cast: Yoo Ji-tae, Lee Bo-young, Park Jinyoung, Jeon So-nee

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

21. Extracurricular

extracurricular best korean drama
(Credit: Netflix)

What do model students do after school? Extracurricular follows the story of a model student who resolves to commit unforgivable crimes to earn money for his university tuition fees. While everything seems to be working out, one of his classmates discovers his secret and starts blackmailing him. His classmate and his lives take a downturn as the police and gangs get involved and they finally have to face the consequences of their own action. If you are looking for a unique K-Drama, look no further!

Cast: Kim Dong-hee, Jung Da-bin, Park Joo-hyun, Nam Yoon-soo

Episodes: 10

Available on: Netflix

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