Here is my list of the best Korean dramas that I’ve watched and enjoyed this 2019.
I don’t have a definite genre or artist that I look for right now, but these drama series were fun to watch.
You’ll usually know this if you look forward to watching the next episode and not just the end or conclusion.
By the way, there may be spoilers in some of my comments on these series. If you don’t like spoilers, you may just want to just browse the list of the Korean drama titles.
1. Legal High
Legal High aired from February 2019 to March 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Jin Goo.
It only garnered an average of 2.50% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
Although it’s audience share is quite low, this is one of the Korean drama shows that I’ve really enjoyed watching.
This show was based on a Japanese series that had 2 seasons. I hope the Korean drama version will also have its 2nd season.
2. Doctor John
This series aired from July 2019 to September 2019 for 32 episodes. It starred Lee Se-young and Ji Sung.
The show averaged 8.3% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
I like watching some medical dramas and since Ji Sung is a lead on this show, I became interested to watch it. I first saw Ji Sung on Kill Me, Heal Me which I also enjoyed.
3. Doctor Prisoner
This Korean drama aired from March 2019 to May 2019 for 32 episodes. It starred Namkoong Min.
Doctor Prisoner averaged 13.23% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia. I guess you can call this drama series a success considering a lot on my list are below 10%.
Namkoong Min is one of the Korean actors that I like watching whether he is the protagonist or the antagonist of the show.
The series aired from May 2019 to June 2019 for 16 episodes. It stars Park Bo-young and Ahn Hyo-seop.
It just has an average of 2.66% nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia. I thought it would be much higher.
I checked this series out for Park Bo-young. I first saw her on Strong Girl Bong-soon.
It’s another romantic-comedy genre but twisted with crime and fantasy which makes it a little more interesting than the usual.
5. My Fellow Citizens!
My Fellow Citizens! aired from April 2019 to May 2019 for 36 episodes. It starred Choi Si-won and Lee Yoo-young.
This Korean drama received an average of 6.2% nationwide audience share.
6. Partners for Justice Season 2
Partners for Justice 2nd season aired from June 2019 to July 2019. It starred Jung Jae-young and Jeong Yu-mi.
I liked watching their 1st season and as soon as the first episode of season 2, I can’t get enough of it, and I looked forward to the next episodes.
7. Hotel del Luna
Hotel del Luna aired from July 2019 to September 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Lee Ji-eun (IU) and Yeo Jin-goo.
This K-drama series averaged 8.86% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
The plot is something new to me and made me watch all the episodes. I like IU so it’s a plus for me. PO is a good addition to almost any show, either drama or variety.
However, I don’t like hanging endings. I felt the same way as the end of Memories of the Alhambra.
For me, it feels like it’s not a definite happy ending. I watch these shows to feel good so I prefer happy endings.
I still enjoyed it though. By the way, you should watch the final episode until the last minutes. You may find something that is a treat for you.
8. The Crowned Clown
The Crowned Clown aired from January 2019 to March 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Lee Se-young and Yeo Jin-goo.
It got an average of 8.41% for nationwide audience share.
9. Touch Your Heart
Touch Your Heart aired from February 2019 to March 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Yoo In-na and Lee Dong-wook.
It received only an average of 3.96% nationwide audience share based on Wikipedia.
For a romantic-comedy, I really like this one. Maybe because of the lead actors? I’m not sure.
10. Angel’s Last Mission: Love
This Korean drama series aired from May 2019 to July 2019 for 32 episodes. It averaged 7.3% nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
It stars Shin Hye-sun and Kim Myung-soo aka L from Infinite (K-Pop boy group).
An angel falling in love with a human interested me so I kept on watching the episodes. I didn’t even realize that it was already about to finish.
11. Romance Is a Bonus Book
Romance Is a Bonus Book aired from January 2019 to March 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Lee Jong-suk and Lee Na-young.
The Korean drama managed to get a nationwide audience share of 5.15%.
Just like Namkoong Min, Lee Jong-suk is one of the Korean actors that I look out for every time there is a Korean drama that he’s involved with.
I don’t usually watch melodrama genres but this made me watch all the episodes.
12. One Spring Night
One Spring Night aired from May 2019 to July 2019 for 32 episodes. It starred Han Ji-min and Jung Hae-in.
According to Wikipedia, this K-drama has an average of 6.37% nationwide audience share.
I don’t really go for just plain romance and drama genres but I enjoyed watching this. How the actors react to situations and the emotions they portrayed seemed to be very real to me.
13. Graceful Family
Graceful family aired from August 2019 to October 2019 for 16 episodes. It starred Im Soo-hyang and Lee Jang-woo.
This Korean Drama was only able to get an average of 4.92% for nationwide audience share but its last episode managed to get 8.47%. It started poorly but gradually increased in viewers.
I like Im Soo-hyang and the characters she plays. Her character here is amazingly cool for me. For some reason, she reminds me of Ha Ji-won from Secret Garden. I see them equally charismatic.
I also like the soundtracks whenever there are awesome scenes.
I will definitely recommend Graceful Family as one of the better Korean dramas this 2019.
Vagabond aired from September 2019 to November 2019 for 16 episodes.
The show starred Lee Seung-gi and Bae Suzy.
Vagabond received a nationwide viewership average of 9.3% according to AGB Nielsen.
I liked this K-drama because it’s filled with action and mystery and because Lee Seung-gi is starring in it. I think he’s really good at action shows. Maybe have him star in a military genre show?
Having Bae Suzy is a bonus but I don’t think there’s that much connection with them. Their off-show interviews seem to be awkward when they’re paired together.
You should still enjoy Vagabond. This makes my cut as one of the Korean-drama shows from 2019 that I’ll recommend.
15. Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung
Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung aired from July 2019 to September 2019 for 40 episodes on MBC TV.
The show starred Shin Se-kyung and Cha Eun-woo.
Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung received an average of 5.3% for its nationwide viewership rating according to AGB Nielsen.
It’s an enjoyable lighthearted historic Korean drama. I like the sweet interactions between the 2 main leads in this show.
Out of topic, don’t you think Shin Se-kyung looks like EXID’S Solji?
In any case, I would still recommend this show to K-drama lovers out there who like lighthearted and happy-ending shows like me.
My Honorable Mentions
These are the Korean dramas from 2019 that I still watched but didn’t enjoy as much as the ones I’ve listed above.
Melting Me Softly
Melting Me Softly or Melt Me aired from September 2019 to November 2019 for 16 episodes on tvN.
This Korean drama starred Ji Chang-wook and Won Jin-ah.
Melt Me received an average of only 2.5% for its nationwide audience share according to AGB Nielsen.
I’m a bit disappointed with the ratings because I both like the lead stars in this K-drama but I wasn’t surprised about it.
The first couple of episodes didn’t really interest me much nor made me look forward to the next episode. In my opinion, there isn’t much depth in the plot or the story unless you’ll also look at the life lessons you can learn from this show.
What salvaged this Korean drama and made it watchable for me is the chemistry between the 2 lead actors.
I probably just watched the whole series because of Ji Chang-wook and Won Jin-ah. I hope they both get better projects story-wise.
Melting Me Softly didn’t make my best list for K-drama shows in 2019 but if you’ve already watched the ones I recommended, you might as well add this to your list.
Level Up aired from July 2019 to August 2019 for 12 episodes. It starred Han Bo-reum and Sung Hoon.
I watched this Korean drama because I was interested in both the stars I mentioned. I first saw them on different Korean variety shows.
The Secret Life of My Secretary
The Secret Life of My Secretary aired from May 2019 to June 2019 for 32 episodes. It starred Jin Ki-joo and Kim Young-kwang.
It got an average of 3.3% for nationwide audience share.
I do not know the actors but I watched it still the same. There’s nothing really special about this Korean drama in my opinion but strangely, I watched all the episodes. So I’m adding this to my honorable mentions.
Class of Lies
Class of Lies aired from July 2019 to September 2019 for 16 episodes. The K-drama starred Keum Sae-rok and Yoon Kyun-sang.
According to Wikipedia, Class of Lies only garnered an average of 3.30% nationwide audience share.
The mystery of the show and how it all unfolded got me hooked to watch the next episodes. It’s not the best but it still made me want to watch the whole series.
Some spoiler here. I just don’t like how the main lead character suddenly contemplates that he’s the reason for the deaths of the students near the end of the series.
My Absolute Boyfriend
This series lasted for 36 episodes but was scheduled for 40 episodes, I think. It was said that it’s cut short because of poor ratings. According to Wikipedia, this show just averaged 2.5% in AGB Nielsen.
The show aired from May 2019 to July 2019.
It starred Bang Min-ah and Yeo Jin-goo. I watched this series because of Bang Min-ah. I first saw her with Namkoong Min in Beautiful Gong Shim.
Special Labor Inspector Jo
Special Labor Inspector Jo aired from April 2019 to May 2019 for 32 episodes. It starred Park Se-young and Kim Dong-wook.
It averaged 6.5% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
I like action-comedy shows and this is one of them. But the action scenes were not as to what I’m hoping for but the show does have Park Se-young.
Her Private Life
Her Private Life aired from April 2019 to May 2019. It has 16 episodes. It starred Park Min-young and Kim Jae-wook.
The show only got 2.66% for nationwide audience share according to Wikipedia.
I only watched this because of Park Min-young which I first saw on What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim is one of my top Korean drama recommendations.
I feel like Her Private Life is a little rip-off from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim that makes it less enjoyable to watch. This may also be the reason for its low audience share ratings.
You may ask why the shows like Encounter are not on my list. This is because Korean drama shows like this started in 2018 and just continued to 2019.
I first started watching Korean variety shows, in particular, Knowing Brothers. I then became interested in checking out who the guests were. And if they starred in a drama or a member of a K-pop group, I’ll check it out.
You may have noticed that most on my list are from the genres action, comedy, and romance. I also enjoy watching dramas but I prefer light-hearted ones.
From there, I started watching Korean dramas. As much as I like watching these, I still prefer Anime. If you’re wondering which anime shows I like, you can check my post of the best anime shows for 2019 here.