5th – Hourglass
This 1995 drama is one of the highest-rated Korean dramas in history, and is also considered one of the most significant. After 23 years, the collective Korean conscious has not forgotten it’s unique exploration of time and humanity, and with the same number of votes as BTS and Winter Sonata, respondents called it “a unique work that translates the history of dark politics into love and humanity.”
4th – Winter Sonata
This drama was first broadcast in 2002 and quickly became one of the most watched Korean dramas ever, airing in Hong Kong, Japan and China. Due to popular demand, it was aired again in 2003. The tragic love story touched the hearts of all who watched it, and it achieved such high acclaim and success that it even has it’s own page on the official Korean Tourism website! Tied for third place with BTS, industry officials called it a “cornerstone” for the expansion of Korean TV dramas around the world.
3rd – BTS
Tied for third place with two Korean dramas, BTS was the only K-Pop group to rank in the survey. It was voted the most influential entertainment product of all time by six respondents. The group has most certainly taken the K-Pop fever to a global stage, with more than 13.6 million followers on Twitter and fandoms all around the world. The boys were also the first K-Pop band ever to win at the Billboard Music Awards, and have won more than 25 music awards since their debut in 2014.
2nd – Infinite Challenge
MBC‘s Infinite Challenge, one of the longest-running variety shows in Korea without any changes to its cast or director, took second place with 14 respondents naming it as the best hit of all time. It was considered “a cultural icon representing the times beyond content” that “greatly contributed to popular culture” and even “had it’s own power over popular culture.” With more than 550 episodes, countless laughs and a crew that the public came to know and love like their own family, the show is most definitely a cultural icon.
1st – PSY‘s “Gangnam Style”
The majority of respondents picked PSY’s “Gangnam Style” as the most popular production in Korean entertainment history. As many as 26 respondents said they could not disagree that it demonstrated that K-pop could dominate the global stage, and with more than 3.1 billion views on Youtube, after 7 years it still ranks as one of the most viewed Youtube videos ever.