Contributed by Ginge Salud
2020 churned out a number of top rating blockbusters that broke records in Korea and everywhere in the world, thanks to streaming apps like Netflix and Viu. With so many offerings across genres, what K-drama will fulfill your craving given such an extensive menu? I say there will always be something!
Here are my picks for feel-good K-dramas that will awaken a whole range of emotions without making you flex too much of the gray matter or wring you dry of tears. Here are five K-dramas I can say are just right or as they say ‘sakto lang,’ leaving you with a feel-good feeling during and after.
The best feel-good K-dramas of 2020
1. My Holo Love (Feb 2020)
Lead actors: Yoon Hyun Min and Ko Sung Hee
Stream it on: Netflix
A light and fun 12-episode drama that tells of an antisocial, visually impaired woman, So Yeon, who is chosen as a beta tester for a new AI technology. She then meets Holo, an AI holographic companion who gives her a much-needed confidence boost and more. Things get complicated when she meets Nan Do, the big shot creator who modelled Holo after himself.
My Holo Love is a light romance that unfolds amidst the backdrop of a tech espionage caper. You’ll find yourself well-entrenched in its little twists and turns till you realise the series is about to end.
2. Chocolate (Nov 2019-Jan 2020)
Lead actors: Yoon Kye Sang and Ha Ji Won
Stream it on: Netflix
Life definitely isn’t a box of chocolates. For Lee Kang and Cha Young, chocolate conjures many childhood memories.
Chocolate is a story of fate and destiny, where old childhood acquaintances hardly realise how their lives were intertwined from their earliest years. Feast your eyes on the quaint town and beautiful seascape of Napflio, Greece where part of the story is told. Delight in the flavours of Lee Kang’s seaside town of Wando, savour Cha Young’s mouth-watering dishes, and see how a bite of chocolate not only brings comfort to their palates but to their souls.
3. 18 Again (Sept 2020)
Lead actors: Kim Ha Neul, Yoon Sang Yoon, Lee Do Hyun
Stream it on: Viu
Can going back to the past erase regrets of the present? Journey with Hong Dae-young back to high school, where he revisits significant events of his past life as his adult self in his teenage body. Suddenly, Dae Young begins to see his past and his present with fresh eyes, and a greater realisation and appreciation for everything he is and everything that he has.
18 Again is both a romcom and family drama. It is led by veteran actors Kim Ha Neul and Lee Sang Yoon and breakout actor Lee Do Hyun. This feel-good K-drama boasts of a stellar supporting cast of 2021’s upcoming crop of Hallyu stars: Hwang In Yeop, Roh Jeong Eui, Ryeo Un and Choi Bo Min.
Fun fact: This K-drama is a remake of the 2009 US movie 17 Again!
4. Where Your Eyes Linger (May 2020)
Lead actors: Han Gi Chan and Jang Eui Soo
Stream it on: Dramacool
Where Your Eyes Linger is an adaptation of a web drama of the same title. It is an eight-episode series, with each episode running for about 10 to 12 minutes. It is a brazen step for a Korean production to tackle societal taboos such as this LGBT romance.
Watch an unusual boyhood friendship blossom into a potential romance. Han Tae Joo is a chaebol heir, while Kang Gook is his long-time bodyguard and BFF in one. While both struggle to sort out their feelings, outside forces compel them to make sense of who they truly are.
Will these two cross the line and shatter what society and social stature forbid?
Find out whether #lovewins in this very today love story. Definitely worth the watch for open-minded people with modern world views.
Note: Here’s a little assurance that this drama is presented with caution and approached in good taste. Consider that much like the Philippines, Korea is a conservative society with common views as ours.
5. True Beauty (Dec 2020)
Lead actors: Cha Eun Woo, Moon Ga Young, Hwang In Yeop
Stream it on: Viu
This drama is a light and fun watch that brings you back to the days of young love and teenage crushes. While K-dramas have a good share of clichéd stories, I still believe that they manage to tell clichés best because they are still presented in unique and entertaining ways. True Beauty is indeed one of them.
Im Ju Kyung hides behind her makeup to seem flawless and has become the new girl at school who’s stealing hearts with her looks and charm. Beauty is only skin deep, and Lee Su Ho knows this for a fact as he is one of those who knows the real Ju Kyung.
Enter Han Seo Jun — the school’s loveable bad boy and ex-BFF of Lee Su Ho. And so, this good-looking and amusing love triangle is born. There are a lot of funny, warm and heart-fluttering moments in this feel-good K-drama; but peeling through its layer, you will find three people hiding behind their good looks to conceal their personal issues, flaws and pain.
Can Ju Kyung prove that beyond being just a pretty face, she too is a beautiful soul? Follow True Beauty to its end on 4 February 2021!
Amidst runaway hits like Crash Landing on You and Start-Up or the likes of trending dramas like Record of Youth, The King or It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, explore these feel-good K-dramas that offer a little bit of everything… with not too much of the drama.