Korea is having its time in the spotlight, not only when it comes to Kpop groups like BTS, but in every other realm of media imaginable. One of the most popular items to come out of Korea in the past decade is Korea’s increasingly popular Korean Dramas. Everyone has an opinion on which KDrama is the best. While opinions can vary wildly, the viewership of the shows should definitely be given consideration. Here are the 7 best Korean Dramas with their ratings, as per Nielsen Korea viewership.
#1 The World of the Married (2020)
The World of the Married set records at its premier this year as it received a 16.9% viewership rating, meaning almost 1/5th of TVs were tuned to the show. After the second episode, it became the first JTVC series to hit double-digit ratings. The pot stars Kim Hee-ae as a well-respected doctor with a husband who betrays her, played by Park Hae-joon.
#2 Mr. Sunshine (2018)
Mr. Sunshine is a period drama centering on a U.S. American Marine Corps officer born in Korea played by Lee Byung-hun, and who returns to Korea during a time when it’s being threatened by the outside forces of colonization. He meets a noblewoman played by Kim Tae-ri. It has a plot rich in history and strong female leads. It had an overall 13% viewership rating, with a peak rating of 18.1% for the spot of the top Kdrama of 2018.
#3 Goblin (2016-2017)
Goblin stars Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun. This unique story is about a god-like goblin who desires to end his cursed immortal life and the bride who can help him achieve that. Gong Yoo walked away from this series with the Baeksang Arts Awards’ Best Actor award. It had an overall 12.9% viewership rating.
#4 Sky Castle (2018-2019)
Sky Castle didn’t start out as a popular show, but by the end of the series it had achieved a 23.8 viewership rating. It focuses on the main character played by Yum Jung-ah, and rich families from an affluent neighborhood competing to send their children to the best school in the country. It deals satirically with the societal issue of class and the competitiveness of education. Nielsen gave it 12.5%.
#5 Reply 1988 (2015-2016)
Reply 1988 received a 12.4% Nielsen rating. It’s a romance comedy without the melodramatic romances, revenge, and the like. It tries to tell a normal story about normal people and the friends and families surrounding them. It stars Park Bo-gum and Lee Hye-ri as playful teenegers. It won Best New Actor and Best Director awards.
#6 Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)
The premise of Crash Landing on You is a South Korean heiress who lands on North Korean soil while paragliding. It stars a soldier played by Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin as the female lead. He promises to return her home, but quickly falls in love. It received a 12.2% Nielsen rating.
#7 Itaewon Class (2020)
This is a webtoon-based drama and was one of the best series of early 2020 thanks to its relatable characters. An ex-convict is played by Park Seo-joon. He works hard to become a big name in the restaurant industry. Kim Da-mi‘s character literally kicks butt. Nielsen rating: 11.8%
Regardless of whether any of these made your personal top 7, I hope they provide you with an excellent place to start or recommendations on where to go next for the best Korean Dramas. Check out KDrama blogs like dramabeans.com for more great recommendations. Viki is probably the number one KDrama streaming platform if you want the largest variety of dramas possible. What are you waiting for? Sit down with your cherry blossom drink and enjoy the show.