2019 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice

The Year of Letting Go

As I look at my year in the lens of K-dramas I’ve watched, I come into the conclusion that the stories that touched my heart are all stories of letting go. These series proved that it’s the best way to move forward.

Without further ado, here are my most loved Korean dramas in 2019!

3. Hotel Del Luna

Letting go of your past

hotel del luna whole cast

I will never get tired of saying Hotel Del Luna is Jang Man-weol’s story alone. As much as I love the rest of Hotel Del Luna characters, they were there to teach Man-weol how to let go of her resentments and forgive people who hurt her including herself. The Hong Sisters did a great job telling this story and IU surprised everyone with her portrayal of one of this year’s most iconic characters.

Maknae’s Fave Scene:

hotel del luna chungmyung manweol iu lee dohyun 2

I will always pick Jang Man-weol and Ku Cheong-myeong’s reunion but for this list, I’d like to pick their whole story line. Yes! I haven’t moved on from this ship yet!

Guilty Pleasure Recommendation: Touch Your Heart. If you’re looking for no-drama drama, this Lee Dong-wook and Yoo In-na reunion project is your go-to option!

2. When The Camellia Blooms

Letting go of your inhibitions


Before this drama premiered, my year-end list is almost settled. Little did I know that this Gong Hyo-jin-starrer would be a bias-wrecker. Unlike the previous dramas, I couldn’t pinpoint a specific reason why I love When The Camellia Blooms. From its brilliant actors to its intriguing storyline, everything about this series was exceptional. But one standout is Kang Ha-neul’s portrayal of passionate country-bumpkin, Yong-sik; it was as if the character was tailored for him. I laughed, fell in love, and cry alongside this adorable Ongsan boy. In the end, I think When The Camellia Blooms’ charm is the realness in its every character.

Maknae’s Fave Scene:


Yong-sik’s smile will always be my favorite part of this series. It’s irreplaceable.

Honorable Mention: Angel’s Last Mission: Love and Her Private Life. These two series could have been in my list of favorites if not for some plot choices they made. Still, they brought joy to me this year with their lovable characters and relatable stories.

1. Be Melodramatic

Letting go of your youth

Be Melo 13-14 (7)Be Melo 13-14 (8)

Be Melodramatic is quite similar to Age of Youth in terms of storytelling. But unlike its predecessor, Be Melodramatic presented characters who were navigating life in their 30s; that age where one is not young anymore but also not yet old enough. Im Jin-joo, Lee Eun-jung, and Hwang Han-joo presented different facets of adulthood through their respective character arcs. All of them walked away from their naïve and blissful youth into a (hopefully) more exciting phase in life. They’ve shown me that you have “to let go of something you had to let go of”; that you should just “let the past be”; and ultimately, it’s “inevitable to get lost.”

Maknae’s Fave Scene:


There’s a lot of memorable scenes in Be Melodramatic but one of my favorite is Im Jin-joo and Seo Beom-soo’s “something like this” scene. It was a unique heart-fluttering scene.

>> 2018 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice
>>2017 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice

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