There are many ongoing polls on website Ranker for fans of all kinds of subjects can vote on, with several in the Korean entertainment category. One poll that was recently had its results updated was one for K-Drama fans to vote on which K-Drama they think is the best ever created! Though the results are certainly subjective and likely different for everyone, these are the fans’ current top 15 picks on the site.
Airing period: November 12, 2014 – January 15, 2015
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Park Shin Hye, Kim Young Kwang, and Lee Yu Bi
Interesting fact: At a cost of $280,000 USD per episode, Pinocchio is reportedly the the K-Drama with the highest price per episode to date, passing the former record-holder, My Lovely Girl, which cost $200,000 per episode!
14. Mr. Queen
Airing period: December 12, 2020 – February 14, 2021
Starring: Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun
Interesting fact: With an 8% viewership rating nationwide for the first episode, Mr. Queen has the second-highest premiere rating of any weekend K-Drama on network TVN, and the fourth-highest of any K-Drama on the network after Hospital Playlist 2, Mr. Sunshine, and Encounter.
13. Oh My Venus
Airing period: November 16, 2015 – January 5, 2016
Starring: So Ji Sub and Shin Min A
Interesting fact: In order to play the role of her overweight character, Kang Joo Eun, Shin Min A had to go through a three-hour makeup process before filming each session that included a silicone face mask, a fat suit, and padded clothing.
12. The Heirs
Airing period: October 9, 2013 – December 12, 2013
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye and Kim Woo Bin
Interesting fact: Out of 49 different nominations on different awards shows such as the SBS Drama Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards, and Seoul International Drama Awards, The Heirs won 23 of them!
11. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim
Airing period: June 6, 2018 – July 26, 2018
Starring: Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young
Interesting fact: The show was based on a novel of the same title that was serialized into a webtoon in 2015, and a lot of the styling in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim referenced the webtoon’s versions such as for clothing designs and reenacting the comic cover for promotional images.
10. W: Two Worlds
Airing period: July 20, 2016 – September 14, 2016
Starring: Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo
Interesting fact: The show, praised for its unique premise, ranked first place during the week of its premiere in the Content Power Index.
Airing period: December 8, 2014 – February 10, 2015
Starring: Ji Chang Wook, Park Min Young and Yoo Ji Tae
Interesting fact: Even though Healer only received moderate ratings in South Korea, it ended up gaining a fanbase overseas and gave Ji Chang Wook popularity internationally.
8. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Airing period: November 16, 2016 – January 11, 2017
Starring: Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk
Interesting fact: Even though the show received the lowest viewership ratings in its time-slot while it aired, it had somewhat of a cult following among younger viewers and also did well overseas, particularly in the Philippines.
7. My Love From The Star
Airing period: December 18, 2013 – February 27, 2014
Starring: Jun Ji Hyun, Kim Soo Hyun, Park Hae Jin, Yoo In Na, Shin Sung Rok, and Ahn Jae Hyun
Interesting fact: Because of the female protagonist’s favorite snack in the series, chimaek (Korean fried chicken and beer), a craze started for this throughout South Korea and even in China, where there had previously been declining chicken consumption due to fears of bird flu.
6. Descendants of the Sun
Airing period: February 24, 2016 – April 22, 2016
Starring: Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Jin Goo, and Kim Ji Won
Interesting fact: Descendants of the Sun was one of few K-Dramas at the time to be fully pre-produced, rather than the typical live-shoot production style that most went with. After its immense success, there was a rise in more K-Dramas adapting this method, which allowed producers to secure investment and distribution and allow the shows to air simultaneously in China, which resulted in greater profits.
5. While You Were Sleeping
Airing period: September 27, 2017 – November 16, 2017
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy, Jung Hae In, and Lee Sang Yeob
Interesting fact: Out of the 21 nominations that While You Were Sleeping received at awards shows, it won 8 of them, including the “Most Popular Actress” award for Suzy at the 54th Baeksang Awards.
4. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
Airing period: February 24, 2017 – April 15, 2017
Starring: Park Bo Young, Park Hyung Sik, and Ji Soo
Interesting fact: The show was announced to be getting a U.S. adaptation in late 2018 called Strong Girl, which would follow a former war photographer who discovers she is indestructible and possibly the strongest woman in the world; however, in early 2019, there was an announcement that the script had not been picked up and wouldn’t be made.
3. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Airing period: December 2, 2016 – January 21, 2017
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na, and Yook Sung Jae
Interesting fact: The final episode of the show received an 18.68% nationwide audience score, which made it the fifth-highest-rated K-Drama in Korean cable television history.
2. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Airing period: August 29, 2016 – November 1, 2016
Starring: Lee Joon Gi, IU, and Kang Ha Neul
Interesting fact: The jewels in the show were created by Jung Jae In of Minhwi Art Jewelry, and IU herself designed the peony hairpin she wore as the female lead.
1. Crash Landing on You
Airing period: December 14, 2019 – February 16, 2020
Starring: Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin, Kim Jung Hyun, and Seo Ji Hye
Interesting fact: The premise of the show was actually inspired by a real event, in which South Korean actress Jung Yang and three others had to be rescued after bad fog caused a leisure boat they were on to drift into the maritime boundary between North and South Korea.