My Top 10 Korean Dramas of 2020!

Yesterday was my list of my favorite Korean dramas that I watched this year, but had originally aired before this year. Now, here is my list of my ten favorite 2020 dramas:

1. A Piece of Your Mind (2020, tvN)
It is an outright crime that we were robbed of four more episodes of the tvN drama A Piece of Your Mind. This beautifully poetic and character-driven look at healing, strength and courage most definitely had enough material to fulfill the standard 16-episode order. And with a talented cast at its disposal, the biggest disappointment is not only how it was sadly overlooked by audiences, but how it was inexplicably derided as well. Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin deliver captivating performances in what is easily my favorite drama of the year.
>Good Ol’ Review

2. When I Was the Most Beautiful (2020, MBC)
When I Was the Most Beautiful is a quintessential romantic melodrama that is powered by an excellent cast, a tightly-written intricate and fast-paced story and an emotional depth rarely seen on television dramas. Things move at a brisk pace, but you are never left lost or behind. The emotional roller coaster is one you don’t mind finding yourself on. You will laugh, you will cry (a lot). You will get frustrated and you will cheer. But you will definitely feel the emotional connection. And Lim Soo Hyang, Ji Soo and Ha Seok Jin deliver exceptional, must-watch/must-experience performances.
>Good Ol’ Review

3. Train (2020, OCN)
It’s hard to find good character-driven thrillers. But OCN’s Train definitely fits the bill and then some. Yoon Shi Yoon and Kyung Soo Jin lead a strong ensemble in this suspenseful roller coaster (train?) ride of emotions, crime and science-fiction. Offering up a fascinating idea, the series runs with it and takes a familiar story and genre to new and interesting places. Well-developed and impactful characters make the story immediately affecting. And once you reach the end of those tracks, you’ll be left satisfied and still want to hop on for more.
>Good Ol’ Review

4.Start Up (2020, tvN)
At times Start Up feels like a nice, slowburn drama. Other times, it plays like a mainstream romcom. Both sides come together in what is a seamless mix of coming of age, slice of life and a little soapy goodness. It is by no means a perfect series. But Start Up has been a pleasant surprise and it ends up being possibly one of the most satisfying, inspiring series of the year.
>Good Ol’ Review

5. Extracurricular (2020, Netflix)
The Netflix Korean drama Extracurricular is a breathtaking and heartbreaking crime thriller that frames familiar contemporary social issues in a gritty, yet twistedly fun haze. There’s a little bit of a humbling nature to the series. Humbling in its dark portrait of reality. And a provoking call to be more aware about ourselves and others. The series presents you all you need to know, in thrilling and fun fashion, to allow you to judge if you like. But ultimately, Extracurricular is a balanced character-driven story that welcomes a peek into these characters’ lives and leaves you with a lot to think about in the end.
>Good Ol’ Review

6. Search (2020, OCN)
The OCN drama Search packs a lot into its ten episodes. The fast-paced story and great cast leaves you both satisfied and wanting much more. Its cinematic approach, refreshing and creative ideas and its excellent cast are a good, solid recipe for what is a thrilling mystery.
>Good Ol’ Review

7. Crash Landing on You (tvN, 2019-2020)
If you are wondering what all the hype over Crash Landing on You is about, the best answer to that is “Just watch it.” Indeed, you’ll only need to get through the first episode to see just why the series has captivated people all over the world. The series’ biggest appeal is really the fun and charm that is brought to life by an excellent ensemble cast. Add in adventure, action and political intrigue and you’ve got an exciting time. Even when the episodes run anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes long, the series is a brisk watch with each episode quickly flying by.
>Good Ol’ Review

8. How to Buy a Friend (2020, KBS)
How to Buy a Friend is very much a miniseries in the vein of the excellent KBS Drama Special banner. Beautiful cinematography and unique direction not seen on regular broadcast television dramas accentuate the alternating lighter and heavier moments in the series. The series maintains a steady tonal balance as it shifts between violent scenes, cute, romantic scenes and deeper, emotional scenes. Overall, How to Buy a Friend is a quick, cinematic series takes a familiar premise and offers up a fresh, yet just as important and thought-provoking message.
>Good Ol’ Review

9. 18 Again (2020, JTBC)
The JTBC drama 18 Again is an all-around fun and heartwarming series depicting relatable life lessons about family, friends, school and career. Though it loses a bit of steam towards the end, it is a wholly satisfying series that is powered by sincere performances and a positive overarching message.
>Good Ol’ Review

10. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020, tvN)
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay is a deep and meaningful character-driven series that uses a familiar overall plot to open an accessible entry point to difficult topics rarely seen on Korean drama. Most especially the topic of mental health. At times dark, many times colorful, the series is a charming and endearing adventure through many characters’ emotional growth and healing.
>Good Ol’ Review

Overall Top 30 Korean Dramas I Watched This Year

1. The Light in Your Eyes (2019)
2. A Piece of Your Mind (2020)
3. I’m Not a Robot (2017-2018)
4. Voice 2 and 3 (2018/2019)
5. Watcher (2019)
6. Signal (2016)
7. When I Was the Most Beautiful (2020)
8. Go Back Couple (2017)
9. Your Honor (2018)
10. Strongest Deliveryman (2017)
11. Psychopath Diary (2019)
12. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016-2017)
13. My First First Love (2019)
14. When the Camellia Blooms (2019)
15. Something About 1% (2016)
16. My Secret Terrius (2018)
17. Extraordinary You (2019)
18. At Eighteen (2019)
19. Train (2020)
20. Start Up (2020)
21. Save Me (2017)
22. Extracurricular (2020)
23. Room No.9 (2018)
24. Search (2020)
25. Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)
26. Hello Monster/I Remember You (2015)
27. Strangers from Hell (2019)
28. How to Buy a Friend (2020)
29. 18 Again (2020)
30. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020)

Special mentions: My ID is Gangnam Beauty, Dear My Room/Eunjoo’s Room, Hit The Top, Cinderella and the Four Knights, Love Alarm, While You Were Sleeping and He is Psychometric.

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