April has been such a busy month for Korean dramas amidst the global pandemic. It saw The World of the Married set TV ratings record and surpassed what SKY Castle achieved last year. It also welcomed the premiere of one of the most anticipated Korean dramas of 2020—Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun’s The King: Eternal Monarch. Read on to know more about the 10 most talked-about Korean dramas in April.
Note: a buzzworthy or most talked-about Korean drama is one that is frequently mentioned or discussed on Korean blogs, forums, social media, and other online platforms. Buzz scores are different from TV ratings. This composite ranking is based on research done by Good Data Corporation, which publishes the most buzzworthy dramas and actors every week. Contact us to learn more about our methodology.
10. Once Again (KBS2) – 1.88%
Starring Lee Min-jung and Lee Sang-yeob, Once Again claims the 10th spot for this month as a family drama that tells the story of the messy divorce of one of the Song family’s daughters to a fellow doctor. The lead characters got married after falling in love in medical school. They work in the same hospital, but their lives soon took a different turn as they struggled with their marriage. The show may depict the typical family drama element as each member continues to discover the true meaning of familial love and self-happiness. But it draws fans to the series because of its realistic characters and their interesting relationship with each other. (Peak position: No. 8 in the first and third week)
9. When the Weather Is Fine (JTBC) – 2.67%
In When the Weather Is Fine, Park Min-young plays an unemployed cello teacher, while Seo Kang-joon takes on the role of her former neighbor and classmate who now owns a book store. Both roles are very different from the actors’ past rom-com characters, but their onscreen presence complemented each other well. The show centers on healing and forgiveness. While it may have had a slow progression of the plot from start to finish, it was still lauded by the audience for its impressive countryside cinematography and calm, peaceful storytelling amidst the global chaos. Along with its light and refreshing take on romance, the literary and musical arts that set the mood of the whole show made the characters more relatable with its audience. (Peak position: No. 7 from the first to the fourth week)
8. A Piece of Your Mind (tvN) – 2.96%
Jung Hae-in takes on the lead role in A Piece of Your Mind where he plays the character of an AI programmer who cannot move on from his unrequited love, played by the charismatic Chae Soo-bin. The show is a heartwarming tearjerker with a slow-paced but rather good plot. The series was cut from its original 16 episodes down to 12 episodes due to the consistent decrease in audience ratings, leading to tvN’s lowest ratings in two years for its Monday-Tuesday time slot. Despite this, the show still recorded high buzz ratings until its final episode, with the fans praising the drama’s beautiful cinematography, storyline, characters, and even its official soundtrack. (Peak position: No. 6 in the first and second week)
7. Hyena (SBS) – 2.99%
Despite the heavy comedy, lead cast Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hye-soo’s undeniable chemistry in this legal drama as two elite lawyers contributed to Hyena‘s success. The series made it to the fourth spot during its last two weeks. While it did not rank for the rest of the month after its finale, it clinched the seventh spot for the month of April due to its high episode ratings. The series also made consistent rankings, both in TV and buzz ratings, which is why it never left the top 10 most talked-about K-dramas ever since it premiered last February. Hyena is Kim Hye-soo’s first drama in four years, following the award-winning crime thriller Signal. (Peak position: No. 4 in the first and second week)
6. 365: Repeat the Year (MBC) – 3.27%
Coming up on our sixth spot is another binge-worthy drama starring Lee Joon-hyuk, Nam Ji-hyun, and Kim Ji-soo. 365: Repeat the Year follows the story of 10 people who are given the opportunity to travel back to one year ago to reset their lives. As a consequence, mysterious events started happening that threatened their own lives. The lead characters’ chemistry and well-laid storyline complemented the fantasy mystery thriller that centers on time travel, leaving its viewers asking for a second season. The audience also praised the writers and directors of the show for a well-written script and the unique plot twists that keep the viewers guessing with every released episode. (Peak position: No. 5 in the fifth week)
5. Hi Bye, Mama! (tvN) – 5.44%
A mother’s love is so powerful, it can transcend the boundaries between the living and the dead. Hi Bye, Mama! is a touching rendition of Kim Tae-hee as a ghost struggling to get her old life back when she was alive. Joining her in the cast are Lee Kyu-hyung and Go Bo-gyeol. Each episode received positive feedback from fans, praising the great performance of the whole cast. The series also made rounds online due to the portrayal of male child actor Seo Woo-jin as Kim Tae-hee’s adorable daughter. Every episode is a valuable lesson of its own, so if you’re looking for a heart-tugging story with a gallon of tears, Hi Bye, Mama! will never disappoint. (Peak position: No. 3 in the first and second week)
4. Find Me in Your Memory (MBC) –5.57%
Find Me in Your Memory tells the story of a news anchor who can remember everything in his life due to a memory condition who falls in love with a rising actress with a forgotten past. With the heart-warming performance of Kim Dong-wook and Moon Ga-young, fans couldn’t help but praise their undeniable on-screen chemistry despite their age gap. Even with the slow-paced plot and predictable storyline, the fans showed appreciation to the actors and supporting characters for their excellent performance. The directing and storytelling are also good, maintaining a stable narrative of emotions throughout the story that doesn’t overwhelm the audience. If you like a slow romance with tidbits of mystery, the series is a must-watch, as recommended by many viewers. (Peak position: No. 4 in the fourth and fifth week)
3. Hospital Playlist (tvN) – 11.16%
Hospital Playlist is a feel-good story about the friendship of five medical doctors. Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, and Jeon Mi-do all graced us with their acting and musical skills as friends, bandmates, colleagues, even as lovers and parents. With no complicated storyline, character conflicts, or stressful scenes, fans are going for the show for its relaxing vibe. There’s at least one character you can relate to, and the songs they play are also quite good and catchy. Fans also pointed out the Prison Playbook and Reply 1988 vibes they got from watching the series. So if you’re a fan of either or both dramas, Hospital Playlist needs to be on your to-watch list. There are already talks of the drama’s renewal for a second season as early as now, but the production team has yet to confirm the rumors. (Peak position: No. 2 in the first and second week)
2. The King: Eternal Monarch (SBS) –15.47%
The ever-majestic roles that Lee Min-ho played in his past dramas always strike fans at heart, and his new royal character in The King: Eternal Monarch is no different. The romantic fantasy series already made a lot of buzz on various online platforms even before it premiered for several reasons, thanks to its famous lead actors Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun, and celebrated screenwriter Kim Eun-sook. The series revolves around time travel between parallel universes, centering on an emperor (Lee Min-ho) and a detective (Kim Go-eun) who team up to close the portal between their worlds. The series garnered both positive and negative feedback from its audience, with some fans quoting the confusing scenes and the drama’s failure to reach fans’ expectations. Nonetheless, some said to give the series more time to build its storyline towards the climax. (Peak position: No. 2 in the last three weeks)
1. The World of the Married (JTBC) –31.93%
Now the highest-rated cable Korean drama of all time, The World of the Married single-handedly dominated the chart of the most talked-about Korean dramas for the whole month of April, reigning consistently as number one every week. While the cheating plot of the drama is not a new storyline, the series’ approach to the trope might be the biggest and maddest story of infidelity we’ve seen in K-dramaland, with every episode giving us one controversy after another. Fans are always at the edge of their seats thanks to the steamy scenes, intense fighting, and vengeful twists between Kim Hee-ae’s and Park Hae-joon’s characters. The fans are so invested in the acting and story of the characters that actress Han So-hee’s Instagram account was reportedly flooded with harsh comments from angry fans. (Peak position: No. 1 every week)
ONGOING KOREAN DRAMAS: Born Again | Good Casting | Dinner Mate (NEW) | King Maker: The Change of Destiny | Kkondae Intern | Mystic Pop-up Bar | Oh My Baby | Once Again | Somehow Family | Soul Mechanic | Sweet Munchies (NEW) | Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation (NEW) | The King: Eternal Monarch (POPULAR) | When My Love Blooms
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