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Happy New Year to my readers. I’m so thankful for this community which has motivated me to continue with The Drama Corner over all these years. This is my 8th Year In Review!

2020 was difficult and unprecedented in so many ways. I’m glad I had Korean dramas among the few things that kept me going despite the real life challenges. I watched more dramas than I did in last 4-5 years and that too by a wide margin.

In 2020’s Year In Review post, I’ve categorized the dramas into three sections: shows that I loved, shows that I liked and shows that I found just okay or mediocre at best.

This time, I’ve not included dramas that started in late 2019 and ended in 2020 (like Crash Landing On You and Stove League). You can check their year end reviews here.

So without further ado, here is my summary of 2020 Korean dramas.

Dramas I Loved

Hospital Playlist

About: The professional and personal lives of the doctors working in a hospital called Yulje Medical Center.

Hospital Playlist hits a home run with its brilliant concoction of the slice-of-life and medical genres, topped with oodles of warmth. The show puts spotlight on each and every character, imbibing each with its own unique voice and personality. Some of the best qualities of the show include magical poignant moments, lovely characters and relationships, humor, heart-fluttering romance, meta fun, lovely soundtrack and realistic touch to everything. There is a blissful old school feel in Hospital Playlist. The acting and camaraderie is terrific across the board. Plus, where would you find five doctors (and longtime friends) doing band practice sessions! I cannot wait for season 2 for another comforting and heartwarming round.

Rating: 10/10

Read full review here.

A Piece Of Your Mind

About: An artificial intelligence programmer and a recording engineer who cross path somehow and help each other to heal and move forward.

This drama is like a melancholic poem. It is a story dipped in sensitivity and wistfulness, but at the same time, it’s also sprinkled with hope and warmth. It soothes your mind and soul. Based off an abstract idea, the drama is an engrossing journey about unrequited love, second chance at love, dealing with grief and loss, compassion, healing, forgiveness and moving on.  One can feel that it is created with a lot of care and love. Every frame is beautifully shot. It has a leisurely pace which makes you bask in its moments. The soulful soundtrack adds another layer to the touching story. Jung Hae In and Chae Soo Bin are excellent and have a wonderful chemistry, both actors shine together. Their snuggly hugs and eye contacts are so swoonworthy. Unfairly reduced to 12 episodes, A Piece Of Your Mind gives us some precious characters and conversations, and gives us a dreamy, surreal and lyrical feel.

Rating: 9.5/10

Read full review here.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

About: Two brothers — one is a caregiver in psychiatric hospitals who takes care of his older brother suffering from autism spectrum disorder — and a children’s book author.

The drama mesmerizes with its brilliant sketching of human nature in its various shades. It’s a beautiful show that centers around the sensitive subject of mental health. Although it does not deal with it perfectly, everything else in the drama is pitch perfect — story, characters, relationships, music, acting, production quality, camaraderie. The show is whimsical, gorgeous, fairy-tale like with the feel of magical realism.  The soundtrack of the drama is superb, effectively underscoring the feels. The emotional quotient is pretty high and there were many instances where I was misty eyed. The drama is also sprinkled with humour. Oh Jung Se, Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji are amazing and I loved the main romance —  I could feel the sparks flying with the leads’ crackling chemistry. The main trio has a great camaraderie and this family of three is so precious. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is bittersweet as well as heartwarming. It stays with you for a very long time.

Rating: 9.5/10

Read full review here.

Itaewon Class

About: The entrepreneurial journey of a righteous man who aims to bring down a father-son duo responsible for his father’s death.

Itaewon Class is a satisfying, heart tugging and emotionally thrilling journey of a righteous man. The series benefits from a well written hero who is so determined, principled, compassionate and a bit naive that you can’t help but root for him. It’s icing on the cake that it is played by Park Seo Joon, who sinks his teeth into the role. And of course, Kim Da Mi is simply superlative as the unpredictable heroine. I loved the hero’s team in his business endeavor and their step by step victories.  I slow clapped so many times throughout the drama’s run. The camaraderie is exceptional. Kudos to the drama for representing characters that are rarely or almost never seen in dramaland. The soundtrack of the show is brilliant, capturing all the feels perfectly. It is a superb show with heart and compassion. I wish the ending stretch was as good.

Rating: 9/10

Read full review here.


About: A phone connection between a man whose daughter is kidnapped and a woman whose mother is missing who are a month apart in time.

Kairos is that rare TV series which handles the tricky time twisting theme with perfection. It’s a fast paced thriller which is more about how and why than being a whodunit. The drama dials up the tension at every turn and it’s a nail biting thriller in every sense of the word. It’s also great to see normal people as investigators — using their brains, limited resources, determination and desperation to uncover the truth. Taking up the central thread of the love between a parent and the child, the show provides thrills and emotions in spades. Bonus points for giving equal importance to both the main leads. Watch it for a kinetic and impassioned adventure ride packed with heart and smarts.

Rating: 9.5/10

Read full review here.

Dramas I Liked


About: The world of aspiring entrepreneurs, set in a fictional place called Sandbox.

Start-Up is a pleasant, feelgood ride, sprinkled with sweetness and charming characters and relationships. Although the drama takes a simplified and polished take on the start-up realm, it does a fine job in introducing various spheres of a start-up company — dreams, challenges, risks, potential. Carrying a breezy, youthful vibe and a strong backstory, the show has characters who are warm, affectionate and righteous. Bogged down by giving too much time to an unnecessary love triangle, the drama also suffers from painting everything and everyone with broad strokes, with a few exceptions. I want to thank Start-Up for introducing Kim Seon Ho to me. Powered by brilliant performances, the drama is flawed but endearing.

Rating: 8/10

Read full review here.

Forest Of Secrets 2 / Stranger 2 / Secret Forest 2

About: The conflict between the prosecutors and the police force on investigative rights, and the varying degrees of righteousness and corruption in the system.

This second season of acclaimed Forest Of Secrets (aka Stranger) had a tall order to meet but it manages to be a worthy story in its own right, in addition to taking the praiseworthy elements of its predecessor. Introducing a few new interesting characters along with the old, the drama never feels repetitive, taking new approach and discussions. I have to admit that I was not too enthralled by the drama during the initial episodes. But as the show progressed, things started making sense and also my interest level went from low/medium to very high. I love that despite being a mystery/ investigation drama, it never relies on big reveals or twists to make the plot engrossing. It is more about the characters, conversations and thoughtful approach towards the system of power, ambition and corruption. I missed the old squad from season 1 but I still got magical moments between my favourite duo — Shi Mok and Yeo Jin.

Rating: 9/10

Read full review here.

Dramas I found ‘Just Okay’

The King: Eternal Monarch

About: Parallel worlds — one is the Kingdom of Corea where monarchy exists and the other is the Republic of Korea.

The drama is a classic case where the combination of hottest stars, magnificent sets, production quality, intriguing premise and top writer doesn’t result in a satisfying ride. I give credit to The King: Eternal Monarch for trying something new and ambitious even if it fails in terms of writing and execution. Some of the plot threads were quite interestingly played out or at least started in a compelling way. But soon it started to feel as if the plot was all over the place — there were no rules of the fantasy world and the rules kept on changing conveniently.  The show does not have much logic or explanation and it’s funny how most of the questions have one answer — destiny. There is lack of coherence in overall story and there are too many characters that don’t add value to the plot. And oh the endless product placements! Acting and characters range from passable to really good. Keep the expectation meter low and you might find something to enjoy here.

Rating: 6/10

Read full review here.

Was It Love

About: The life and love of a single mother who is an aspiring movie producer, and her daughter’s quest to find her father.

It’s rare that I don’t feel anything after watching a show and this drama falls in that category. The script of Was It Love is all over the place. For a very long duration of the show, nothing much happens. The relationships are half baked and despite there being four male leads, we don’t get satisfied development for most. The things get into gear in last few episodes, but it’s too late to feel much about them. The whole mystery about what-went-wrong takes longer than necessary to get resolved. I had no emotional connection with the characters, especially Ae Jung. No relationship is handled with nuance. Despite all my complaints, Was It Love is light-hearted and undemanding. The track of Ha Ni and Dong Chan working together to find her father is adorable and their friendship is cute. The family dynamics of Ae Jung, her mother and her daughter also provides warmth. The soundtrack is breezy and good. Ultimately, an easy but forgettable ride.

Rating: 6/10

Read full review here.

Older dramas i watched in 2020

Touch Your Heart / Reach For Sincerity (Review here)

I’m Not A Robot (Yet to write a review but I found the show so cute and adorable!)

Forest Of Secrets / Stranger / Secret Forest (Review here)

Dramas i rewatched

Because This Is My First Life / Because This Life Is Our First (Review here)

2020 dramas i started but couldn’t continue

(Dropped some and kept some on hold due to one or the other reason, I may or may not pick them up later)

Into The Ring/ Memorials, Oh My Baby, Tale Of The Nine Tailed, More Than Friends, Search, Record Of Youth, Alice, Chocolate, Hyena, I’ll Find You On A Beautiful Day, Good Casting, When My Love Blooms

2020 dramas I plan to watch

Flower of Evil, My Unfamiliar Family, Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation, Train, Memorist, Zombie Detective, Do You Like Brahms?, The Spy Who Loves Me, Would You Like To Have Dinner Together, 365: Repeat The Year, Find Me in Your Memory, Mystic Pop-up Bar, Cheat On Me If You Can, Once Again, Missing: The Other Side, 18 Again, Hush, Lovestruck in the City

currently watching

Mr. Queen, Run On