2020 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice

‘Saving lives through K-dramas’

Our blog’s tagline has been truer for me this year. Because of the pandemic, we were forced to change our already established daily routines and abruptly deal with uncertainties. Amid all the rapid changes, one constant thing remained in my life – K-dramas. I would never know what I would have done with all my free time if I haven’t filled it with various series. I also successfully cleaned my backlog list and enter 2021 with a brand new to-watch list. There were a lot of standouts but three dramas reigned superior. Lo and behold, I present you my top three favorite K-dramas for 2020! 

Mystic Pop-Up Bar

There are a lot of unexpectedly good K-dramas this year. Mystic Pop-Up Bar, however, toppled all those nice K-drama surprises with its intact storyline and appealing characters. It wasn’t perfect nor ground-breaking but it has a charm on its own. The biggest strength of this series is the dynamic between its characters. Who would ever think there’ll come a time I would support a ship composed of Choi Won-young and Hwang Jung-eum. They were an unlikely pairing that turned out to be a match-made in drama heaven. Aside from the love story of Wol-ju and Guibanjang, their multi-world adventures itself together with Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) are all well worth watching/re-watching.

Maknae’s Fave Scene:

Kang-bae’s Dream – This is a bittersweet scene as Han Kang-bae dreams of having a happy family. It was his could-have-been that was snatched from him in the past because of tragic decisions. 

Guilty Pleasure Recommendation: Another Hwang Jung-eum series this year is To All The Guys Who Loved Me. If you’re just looking for a light-hearted rom-com regardless of ridiculous plotlines, then this is my top reco for the year.

Itaewon Class

Unlike my other two top dramas this year, Itaewon Class’ genre and trope aren’t my cup of tea. However, when I was weighing in which K-drama should I include in my year-end list I realized, scenes from Itaewon Class are still stuck in my head. Those who like the avenging hero type of stories would definitely enjoy IC’s story. For me, the best part of IC though is its whole cast. Each character are unique on their own and are outstandingly played by talented actors. Park Seo-joon as Park Saeroyi is, of course, a standout but I totally fell in love with Jo Yi-seo. She’s one eccentric female lead and is perfectly played by Kim Da-mi. Her anti-social persona was a shock at first but the shock transformed into amusement later on. She, along with the whole DanBam crew, proved that it’s time to change the usual character archetypes we see in K-dramas.

Maknae’s Fave Scene:

Kiss Blocker – This scene is the perfect representation of how unconventional Jo Yi-seo is. Most female leads, if put in that situation, would probably walk away, hide, or pretend they’re fine. But Yi-seo is not. She knows when to step in and fight for her position. She’s definitely a savage princess.

Honorable Mention: My other top three series are Hyena, Into The Ring, 18 Again. Although they fell a tad short in winning me over, these other three series have their own allure that is pleasing to watch from start to finish.

Hospital Playlist

My ultimate favorite series for this year is Hospital Playlist. This is not a surprise for those following us on Twitter as I’ve fangirled really hard on the Yulje Squad for the whole of its 12-week run. This my best K-drama because it has everything that I want in a series. It has the right amount of drama, comedy, and romance. The combination of great actors and a great production team is what makes this series the best this year for me. I love the very natural chemistry between Jo Jung-seok, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, and Jeon Mi-do. I felt like I was just sitting with them and watch them talk about life things and banter childishly during their dinner scenes. What I also like about Hospital Playlist is how ordinary their stories and scenes are but they’ve successfully managed to show it in a very interesting and entertaining way. 

Maknae’s Fave Scene:

All The Band Practice – ‘nuff said. Their band sessions are awesome. I’ll pay for VVIP tickets if Mido and Falasol will hold a concert.

>>2019 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice
>>2018 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice
>>2017 Favorites: Maknae’s Choice

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