Channel tvN has, as its slogan “Endless Entertainment” suggests, been providing us with endless entertainment for years. While doing so, tvN has set some new records, making history and changing the game for Korean movie and TV entertainment fields forever. Here are the top 7 “game-changing” K-Dramas that wowed the world, according to tvN’s official Instagram!
1. Guardian: The Lonely And Great God
IYKYK, this 2016 fantasy had us all blowing out candles—hoping for our own Gong Yoo to magically appear from thin air. Not only did it steal our hearts, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God stole all the spotlight from awards and rankings between 2016-2017.
From being throned Viki‘s “#1 Drama Content” to trending #1 on Weibo, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God has been—and still is—an unforgettable masterpiece. Male lead Gong Yoo once commented that he’ll take on the role again if there is ever a second season… and well, that’s all we could ever want!
2. Crash Landing On You
Need we say more? The 2019 mega-hit series Crash Landing On You gave us the greatest Dispatch reveal of the decade: Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin in an actual relationship! From on-screen to off-screen, the leads showed us how to do romance right in Crash Landing On You, receiving a record-breaking 21.7% in viewer ratings after the season’s finale episode aired.
In fact, Crash Landing On You swept the world off its feet and received an unprecedented amount of attention from both inside Korea and out. It has been chosen as one of the “Top 10 International Dramas” for the New York Times, 2020. It won “The Best Drama Award” at the Asian Academy Creative Awards. Variety also throned the series the “Best International TV Series.” D-e-s-e-r-v-e-d, right?
2021’s Vincenzo has taught us this and exactly this: Song Joong Ki does not age… because he’s an acting god, probably. Gloriously at his peak visual, the actor kept us on our seat edges—fighting evil with evil.
Thanks to all the mafia action and… the other kind of action, the show received massive support on Netflix. It rightfully sat in the #4 seat for the platform’s “Most Popular TV Show” rankings of April 2021. Some of Vincenzo’s highest international viewership came from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand.
4. Hotel Del Luna
Jam-packed with IU‘s gorgeousness in iconic outfits that captivated our eyes each episode, Hotel Del Luna from 2019 is a must-watch. Demolishing barriers between her K-Pop idol career and her acting one, IU made quite an impact on the viewers with her portrayal of the character Jang Man Wol.
Claimed a semi-finalist on the 2019 Ranker list for “The Best K-Drama,” Hotel Del Luna has been licensed to get not only a musical theater adaptation but also an American remake!
5. What Is Wrong With Secretary Kim
Here’s the thing. As avid K-Drama fans, we know that it would be simply impossible to discuss Korean “Rom-Com” without mentioning Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon from 2018’s What Is Wrong With Secretary Kim. As undoubted leaders of the genre, these two had some intense chemistry—so real that it had us shipping them in real life.
And it’s that chemistry that had the show trending on Google around the globe. In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, What Is Wrong With Secretary Kim became one of 2018’s most searched keywords under the TV Program category. That being said, Park Min Young once suggested that if a second season were to happen, “it would be fun if it was a spinoff showing the characters’ married life.” Come on, tvN. WINK WINK.
An easy way to tell a K-Drama’s level of success is whether it has been able to continue on in a second season. And so Stranger, with two equally breathtaking seasons, is inarguably a viewer favorite from tvN.
Often dubbed a “well-made show” by Korean viewers, Stranger is quite star-studded and praised for the cast’s incredibly convincing acting. The first season, from 2017, received love from the New York Times that claimed the K-Drama one of its “Top 10 International Dramas.”
7. Hospital Playlist
So technically, Hospital Playlist is more from the slice-of-life genre… except it gives us not one, not two, but five couples to ship. Does that make it a rom-com? But then, set in a hospital with that uncanny Grey’s Anatomy vibe, it could also pass as a medical show. Couldn’t it?
And it’s this versatility that turned Hospital Playlist into a huge two-seasons-and-counting franchise. Ranked at #71 on Netflix‘s “Most Popular TV Shows” of all time, the show offers all that we could wish for in a K-Drama: The laughter, the tears. The friendship, the romance. The life, the death, and everything in between.