MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance to all my awesome readers. May your holidays be filled with joy and love, and I wish you all the best for 2020.
For this post, I will be sharing my top 10 Asian dramas that aired in 2019. I was seriously contemplating whether to make this list or not because I did not watch a lot of shows this year, and I am still trying to complete some.
My list will be based solely on the shows that I actually completed this year. And yes, I did finish more than ten, so it was still a bit difficult picking my top 10. Also, this is my opinion. If anyone feels that other dramas could be top 10 for 2019, leave your list in the comment section.
#Bonus – Kingdom
Crown Prince Lee Chang has been labelled a traitor by the Haewon Cho clan (the clan of the current Queen). Due to the political plot against him, he embarks upon a mission to investigate the spread of the mysterious undead plague that has beset the king and the nation’s southern provinces.
I enjoyed every moment of this drama. It was exciting, every scene captured my attention. This series is listed as a bonus because I am yet to finalize my feelings about the show. After all, we were left with a major cliff hanger by the end of season one. All the same, it was an excellent zombie-themed drama, and I am looking forward to the next part. I also wrote a review for the first season, so if you want to get a more detailed opinion, use this link 👉🏼 KINGDOM: Drama Review.
Now onto my official list –
#10. Put Your Head On My Shoulder
As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things but is still unable to make her own decisions. Her ordinary days are suddenly shaken up when she meets the genius Physics student Gu Wei Yi. The two accidentally end up living together.
This was a delightful drama to watch, but not anything utterly different from the regular college shows. I enjoyed it because it was a chill romance story and the main couple were so cute together. I felt relaxed while watching this couple figure out things without too much drama. I have watched this series more than once, and it always puts me in a good mood all the time.
#9 – Before We Get Married
Zhou WeiWei is about to marry her long term boyfriend, Li Hao Yi. Chu Ke Huan has been dating his girlfriend Gao Zi Yuan for ten years but has no plans of getting married. After a coincidental meeting between WeiWei and Ke Huan, everything changes. They begin to develop romantic feelings towards each other, and although they try to stay friends, fate has other plans for them.
I already wrote a review, so go check it out 👉🏼 BEFORE WE GET MARRIED: Drama Review. This was the only Taiwanese drama aside from Someday Or One Day that caught my attention this year. What sold this show was the couple’s chemistry. They were phenomenal together, and I definitely would not mind watching it again. I also enjoyed the beautiful soundtracks. The reason for it being #9 on my list can be known if you read my review ☝🏼.
#8 – Her Private Life
Sung Deok Mi is a talented chief curator at Cheum Museum Art Gallery, but in private, she is a fanatic fangirl of White Ocean’s Cha Si An. Ryan Gold is an artist who can no longer paint. After the current boss of the museum gets involved in an embezzlement case, Ryan becomes the new art director. Due to a sasaeng fan’s post, rumours about Deok Mi allegedly dating Si An begin to spread. To ward off Si An’s fans who threaten to harm her, Ryan suggests that he and Deok Mi pretend to date.
This is my best romantic comedy series for this year. The main couple had very natural interactions, and the development of their relationship was not too stressful to watch. I have also written a review for it, so go check it out 👉🏼 HER PRIVATE LIFE: Drama Review. This is low on my list because the storyline is quite a cliche in comparison to the remaining dramas that are to be listed.
#7 – Angel’s Last Mission: Love
Lee Yeon Seo is cynical and arrogant. She was a prima ballerina, but after an accident that took away her sight, she had to give up her dream. After her parent’s sudden death, she does not trust anyone since there are a lot of people lurking around her to steal her wealth. Kim Dan is an optimistic, carefree angel who is always getting into trouble. To return to heaven, he is tasked with a mission to find true love for the talented but emotionally distant ballerina.
👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 Kudos to Shin Hye Sun. The lady can act. Her scenes made me cry. I seriously connected with her character on a spiritual level. And L also impressed me with his acting. He keeps getting better with each project he works on. The storyline for this drama is quite unique. The cinematography and detail of the ballet performances were incredible and captivating to see as a viewer. The only reason why this series is in the second half of my list is because, towards the end, the pacing became a bit slower than necessary. The original soundtracks for Angel’s Last Mission are beautiful but still have a hint of sadness all over them. My favourite OST that never fails to make me cry is “A welcome rain” by Lee Moon Sae.
#6 – Le Coup de Foudre
Zhao Qiao Yi and Yan Mo may have been high school classmates, but the only thing they had in common was the desk they shared in class. One a top student, the other failing miserably. These two could not have been more different and yet, it does not take long for a strong bond to form between them. This is a story about a pair of lovers from their high school to adult life.
Naturally, I automatically fall in love with anything that has Janice Wu’s name on it. I find her cute, and she is also a good actress that has the potential to become better with time. Le Coup de Foudre is a sweet romance story. The leads were incredible together. This drama was realistic and down to earth, so it felt relatable. I got more emotional about the story after discovering that it was based on the author’s actual experience. I did not start this show with much expectation. I was simply looking for something new to watch, but it really surprised me. Apart from romance, I also admired the bond that the siblings had. The comedic scenes were also quite wild. I laughed way more than I was supposed to. The only thing I can point out as a negative is the weird haze-like style of videography that was used. Apart from that, I will recommend this series to anyone who wants to enjoy a slow-burn, romance story.
#5 – Doctor John
A drama about doctors that specialize in pain management. Cha Yo Han is a genius anesthesiologist, who goes by the nickname “10 Seconds.” Referring to his ability to figure out his patients’ problems in the ten seconds that it takes for them to enter an examination room and walk to their seat. Kang Shi Young is a legendary anesthesiologist, who was always at the top of her class throughout medical school. But due to an accident, she leaves the hospital. During her leave, she meets Cha Yo Han, and everything about Si Young’s life totally changes.
Ji Sung never disappoints. This was an excellent medical drama. It was nice to see something different from the regular focus on surgical departments. Lee Se Young continues to impress me with each project she takes on. I love her growth throughout the series, and she really did well in creating chemistry between her and Ji Sung. I could feel their longing for each other. Also, this series focused on a sensitive topic, which is euthanasia. The debate concerning this procedure has been going on for a long time, and everyone has their distinct opinions about it. I think they did a fantastic job of bringing some light to the topic and showing different perspectives from the doctors to the patients.
#4 – Hotel del Luna
Jang Man Wol is the CEO of Hotel del Luna. A unique hotel with a timeworn appearance situated in downtown Seoul. Man Wol made an error many years ago and has been stuck at Hotel del Luna ever since then. She is a beautiful and greedy lady. Goo Chan Sung worked as the youngest assistant manager ever at a multinational hotel corporation. Due to an unexpected case, he begins to work as a manager at Hotel del Luna. This hotel’s clients consist only of ghosts.
The main reason why I really love this show is because of the ghost element and Man Wol’s fashion. Yes, the storyline is also amazing, but I feel that 2019 did not give me enough ghost stories to quench my horror drought, so I was super grateful for Hotel del Luna. Aside from that, this was a beautiful drama. The story was refreshing, the actors brought their A-game, and the cinematography was stunning. IU definitely proved her worth as a lead actress with this series. I feel she has been doing amazing and growing with each work, but I am glad that a good number of people finally saw her potential with this role. Yeo Jin-goo also did great. It is always a pleasure watching him on screen. All the cast members brought a nice touch to this project, and I sincerely loved it. Also, can I just rant about the soundtrack for a while? This definitely has the best OST album for Korean dramas in 2019. Every song was beautiful and so well fitted.
#3 – The Untamed
Lan Wangji was born in the prominent Sect of the Gusu Lan. He is seen as a hero and the role model of everyone in the cultivation world. While Wei Wuxian, the Yiling Patriarch, was a name that was feared by everyone. He has done many heroic deeds but also cruel ones. In the end, Wei Wuxian was killed by his brother after he became too evil to exist. Or at least that is what the legend says. Sixteen years after his death, Wei Wuxian suddenly reappeared again at the Mo Village. Was Wei Wuxian really as evil as the legends portray?
Another drama that definitely deserves all the hype it gets. The entire cast did a fantastic job. I loved watching every moment of it. The comedic typing was perfect, and the emotional scenes broke my heart. I did shed tears in those hard episodes. My poor baby, Wei Wuxian. This series introduced me to so many amazing talents, and I hope that they all got their big break. I have some information concerning the upcoming dramas for Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, but I have not heard much about the rest of the cast. I will do my research before the year runs out. The Untamed will forever have a place in my heart. I LOVE WEI WUXIAN.
#2 – Love and Destiny
Fifty thousand years ago, Jiu Chen, the god of war, fell into a deep slumber after sealing away the demon lord. Ling Xi accidentally wakes him from his sleep, and they fall in love. It is discovered that Ling Xi was born with an evil miasma that can help the demon lord break free and rise to power. Jiu Chen refuses to kill an innocent and tries to change Ling Xi’s fate.
Honestly, if I did not already have my number one, this drama could have quickly taken that spot. I feel many people misjudged this show based on the actors and short trailers. When I first started watching, it had no English subs, but I could already see the potential for it to be awesome if they kept up with the same momentum of the first few episodes. I had to wait a bit, and thankfully Viki got the license, but the number of unnecessary comments on the main actor’s looks was insane. Right from the first episode, I found him to be one of the most handsome older guys I have seen. He is among that Chen Kun category to me and I am glad that the naive ones finally accepted the awesomeness that is Chang Chen by the end of the series. This role was specifically created for him, and he nailed it. Also, the visual goddess Ni Ni held her part down. Every single person that took part in this project was a joy to watch. I usually never complete god-themed shows, but this was an exception. I was so happy about how the story progressed, and the ending was perfect. Although I would have loved to see their wedding but all the same, I am satisfied. If you have not seen Love and Destiny already, what are you waiting for?
#1 – The Story Of Ming Lan
The Story of Ming Lan follows the concubine-born sixth child of the Sheng household from her childhood into adulthood. Ming Lan first meets Gu Ting Ye, the second son of the Gu Family, as his rival in a game of Touhu. But when she reencounters him in a time of need, he goes to great lengths to help her. This dynamic plays out on a grander scale when they meet again as adults. Both Ming Lan and Ting Ye are unfavored children who suffer as a result of internal scheming in their households.
Hands down one of the best series I have ever watched. Yes, it started airing on the 25th of December, 2018, but ran till February 13th of this year. Some people complained about the slow story progression, but honestly, the drama clearly has a slice of life tag, what do you expect? For me, the pacing was perfect and essential to understanding the family dynamics for each character and following Ming Lan’s story. I have rewatched this drama numerous times, and I never get bored. You know a show is too good when you still cry at the emotional scenes even after watching it up to five times. All the actors and actresses did a fantastic job. Also, the cinematography, most notably the lighting for the houses, was spot on. I have a lot of great things to point out about this series, but time will not permit me to do so on this post. If you have not seen it, go watch it and be patient for the epicness to develop.
Other Notable Mentions include:
- Graceful Family
- The Legend Of White Snake
- The Crowned Clown
- The Fiery Priest
- Search: WWW
If you also enjoyed any of these listed dramas, please spam me with comments about what you loved. And if you have not seen any of these dramas, please grab some popcorn and have yourself a merry movie night or day.
Once again, MERRY CHRISTMAS.🎄🎄🎄