Whether or not you’re a true-blue shipper, one can’t deny that there are K-drama characters who are definitely match-made in dramaheaven. These one-true-pairs have either keep us on the edge of our seat waiting for their happily-ever-after to happen after weeks of watching their push-pull dynamic. Some though have the stamp approval of dramacupids from the start and showered us with our weekly dose of lighthearted and romantic moments. So gather round both members of Team Spark Chasers and Team Slow Burn Champions as we list down our favorite K-drama couples of 2020.
Ahn Jeong-won and Jang Gyeo-ul (Yoo Yeon-seok/Shin Hyun-been) – Hospital Playlist
I will never get tired of expressing my love for this couple. I heard that familiar Meet-Cute Alert when Ahn Jeong-won looked at Jang Gyeo-ul during the maggot scene in the second episode but since this is a Shin-Lee production, I had to wait for another episode to confirm whether I’m just being delusional or they are a true canon pairing. And in episode three, I finally got the sign that these two characters are meant to have a love line. The remaining question for me at that point is whether the Shin-Lee duo will give them a happy ending. The anticipation for that moment aptly reached its peak on the finale episode. It was the best kiss scene, for me, for 2020. It was sweet and emotional at the same time. It was Jeong-won wordlessly conveying to Gyeo-ul that it was her all along; he loves her all along. Just like how the lyrics on Confession is Not Flashy described it: “of all those people, I only love you.”
Best Wingman: Lee Ik-jun!
Han Kang-bae and Kang Yeo-rin (Yook Sung-jae/Jung Da-eun) – Mystic Pop-up Bar
This alpha female x beta male pairing gave me a lot of aww-inducing moments throughout the run of Mystic Pop-up Bar. Both Han Kang-bae and Kang Yeo-rin were wary of other people because of past experiences and well, their past lives. But they’ve learned it wasn’t because there’s something wrong with them. It’s because they haven’t found the right match. And with each other, they’ve learned that their so-called weaknesses aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
Most Supportive Parents: Weol-ju and Gwibanjang!
Jo Eun-sup and Myung Na-ri / Jo Young and Myung Seung-ah (Woo Do-hwan/Kim Yong-ji) – The King Eternal Monarch)
I think the recurring theme of my favorite OTPs this year is unrequited-to-requited love stories. Eun-sup has a cute and relatable crush on his neighbor Na-ri. On another world, Seung-ah has been pining on the King’s bodyguard Jo Young. It made me wonder whether, maybe, in a parallel universe, our heart’s status is different from the one we’re experiencing in this world.
Best Royal Matchmakers: Lee Gon and Jung Tae-eul
The Frown Crown
Seo Gong-myung and Goo Se-ra (Park Sung-hoon/Nana) – Into The Ring
My top favorite couple of 2020 would have to be Gong-myung and Se-ra, no doubt. I wanted to have a love like them – wrapped in their own weird worlds with no judgments, only teamwork and respect. They are a power couple – mature yet silly. They complement each other so much. Who would have thought that probing massive corruption schemes could be used as a backdrop for a romcom couple’s cutesy moments? Only Into The Ring could do that. Their relationship is realistic and funny at the same time. In a year full of K-drama A-list pair-ups, Park Sung-hoon and Nana’s chemistry managed to outshine them all.
Manager Gwi and Weol-ju (Choi Won-young/Hwang Jung-eum) – Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Their love transcended multiple lifetimes. They were able to fight through heaven and hell, and even reunited on earth. I can’t imagine a love so strong than the love of Gwibanjangnim for Weol-ju. I often find the “giving up everything to save my loved one” trope super cheesy and borderline cringe-worthy, but with these two, it is not annoying at all! Theirs is a love story that you will root for, no matter what happens. It doesn’t need cliché scenes to prove that the two characters are meant to be together. If spending 500 years catching evil spirits just to stay by Weol-ju’s side for a short while isn’t true love, why are we even here.
Lim Eun-seob and Mok Hae-won (Seo Kang-joon/Park Min-young) – When The Weather is Fine
I just had to include Eun-seob and Hae-won’s very chill love story in this list. This one started as an unrequited first love for Eun-seob. He used to wait for his childhood crush “Irene” (Hae-won) to spend winter every year in their hometown. Winter love stories always make me feel warm. I love the vibe of this drama so much. It’s so simple and straightforward. Both characters have deep wounds that they were able to overcome through the help of each other. Nothing was forced. Another thing I liked this couple was the way Eun-seob always brought warmth to Hae-won, literally and figuratively. His small gestures of thoughtfulness, his reassuring presence during Hae-won’s sad days, and him being his old chill self while being surrounded by strong and powerful women. I think I’m in love with Eun-seob, too.
Busy Ahjussi’s Faves
Moon Gang-tae and Go Moon-young (Kim Soo-hyun/Seo Ye-ji) – It’s Okay To Not be Okay
Nam Do-san and Seo Dal-mi (Nam Joo-hyuk/Bae Suzy) – Start-Up
Ri Jeong-hyeok and Yoon Se-ri (Hyun Bin/Son Ye-jin) – Crash Landing On You
Lee Sang-in and Nam Joo-ri (Kim Ji-hun/Park Gyu-young) – It’s Okay To Not be Okay
The Witch and the Other Prince – Eons ago, I’ve read somewhere that we often get hurt believing that we’re the princess in the story. But when the narrative takes the corner, we find out that we’re actually the witch hindering the prince and the princess’ happy ending. I think Joo-ri had the same dilemma at the the start of the drama. She thought that she’ll have a future with Moon Gang-tae and played the good girl part perfectly. But when Go Moon-young entered the scene, it became evident that she may be the villain in someone else’s fairy tale. But it got me thinking, maybe she’s not a witch. Maybe she’s just in a wrong story. Maybe she’s also a princess but in a different fairy tale. And undoubtedly, her own prince arrived. A kind-hearted one who is just perfect for her.
Yang Seok-hyeong and Chu Min-ha (Kim Dae-myung/Ahn Eun-jin) – Hospital Playlist
The Bears – Hospital Playlist got several couples that could vie for the title, but these two made me giddy down to my nerves and made me laugh at the same time. Min-ha’s confession is top-notch and swoon-worthy. On the other hand, the development of Seok-hyeong’s feelings for Min-ha was not instant but actually added to their love line’s charm. I hope one day you’ll have Min-ha’s courage to profess your love as well kekeke.
Goo Shin-joo and Ki Yu-ri (Hwang Hee/Kim Yong-ji) – Tale of the Nine Tailed
The Foxes – Ahh, I rode this ship from the get-go. These two are just too adorable not to be included here. They are the epitome of opposites attract and a proof that love can change you for the good.
❤ To my beloved K-Drama drunkards who are mending a bruised heart, stuck in someone else’s story, I hope you’ll soon find the way into your own fairy tale where a warmhearted prince is waiting for you.