February saw the broadcast of four highly popular dramas in terms of both buzz and TV ratings. These series premiered last December or January, so maintaining their popularity during their final weeks is child’s play. As a result, the two anticipated new shows starring Kim Tae-hee (Yong-pal) and Kim Hye-soo (Signal) had to settle for 5th and 6th places in the ranking of the 10 most talked-about Korean dramas in February 2020.
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. Money Game (tvN) — 1.69%
Rounding out the top 10 is the financial thriller Money Game, which has a looming financial crisis as its backdrop. Go Soo stars in the drama as an economist at the Financial Services Commission while Lee Sung-min plays the chairman of the commission who aims to reform the country’s financial infrastructure. Shim Eun-kyung joins them as a new employee at the commission who does her job with passion. Together, the three deal with the situation to prevent the collapse of the Korean economy. The series didn’t do well in TV ratings but at least it became one of the most talked-about Korean dramas in February. (Peak position: no. 6 in the fourth week)
9. Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life (KBS2) — 2.04%
This slice-of-life family drama just keeps on getting more charming as time passes. Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life is one of those long-running series that make a home in your heart. It’s the kind of show that is dramatic but not too dramatic, sad but not too sad so that you can enjoy it slowly. It stars some promising but little-known actors like Seol In-ah, Kim Jae-young, Jo Yoon-hee, Oh Min-suk, and Yoon Park. Their characters are people just like us—caught in the middle of family complications, stressful marriages, heartbreak, commitment issues, and so on—who, at the end of the day, still find reasons to be hopeful and fall in love. (Peak position: no. 7 in the fourth week)
8. Forest (KBS2) — 2.13%
Park Hae-jin has made his return to the small screen after three years, so Forest is bound to get people talking. He is joined by Jo Bo-ah in this unique series that is a mix of fantasy, medical drama, romance and, melodrama. Park plays a businessman who enters a mysterious forest disguised as a member of a special rescue team while Jo is a surgeon who is sent to the same forest. The two get caught in strange coincidences, start to fall in love, and discover secrets about their past. (Peak position: no. 7 in the second week)
7. The Cursed (tvN) — 2.35%
I love horror in K-dramas, so you can imagine my excitement at The Cursed, an occult thriller headed by two fine actors, Sung Dong-il and Uhm Ji-won! This show has everything that makes a thriller great—a righteous reporter (Uhm) who wants to fight evil, an evil chairman (Sung) of an IT company, a shady cult headed by a creepy woman (Jo Min-soo), and a possessed teenager caught in a conspiracy (Jung Ji-so). (Peak position: no. 5 in the second and third week)
6. Hyena (SBS) — 4.07%
Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hye-soo star in Hyena as two elite lawyers who value money more than justice. The show seems to be heavy on comedy and chemistry despite being a legal drama. Since its premiere in the middle of February, it ranks high up on the list of the most talked-about Korean dramas weekly, which speaks volumes about the leading couple’s combined star power. It’s interesting to note that this series is Kim Hye-soo’s first drama in four years after starring in the award-winning crime thriller Signal, which won best drama, screenplay, and actress (for Kim) at the prestigious 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards. (Peak position: no. 4 in the third and fourth week)
5. Hi Bye, Mama! (tvN) — 5.52%
tvN’s Saturday-Sunday dramas usually make it to the top 5 every week, and Hi Bye, Mama! is no exception. The angelic Kim Tae-hee is playing a woman who has died but wants to stay with her daughter. She can win back her human life if she successfully carries out a mission within 49 days. Lee Kyu-hyung is also starring in the series as Kim’s husband. Based on buzz and TV ratings, the drama is likely to achieve a commercially successful run, which will delight Lee as the show marks his first leading role in a prime-time TV series. (Peak position: no. 3 in the third and fourth week)
4. Stove League (SBS) — 8.22%
The success of Stove League can be gauged from the fact that despite ending two weeks into February, it is still high up on the list of the most talked-about Korean dramas. Namgoong Min, Park Eun-bin, Oh Jung-se, and Jo Byeong-kyu teamed up in this hilarious and emotional sports drama about a baseball team that ranks at the bottom of the league. Actor Lee Je-hoon (Where Stars Land) made a special appearance in the final episode, which got people talking about it even more. (Peak position: no. 2 in the first week)
3. Dr. Romantic 2 (SBS) — 14.64%
Retaining its position from the January list is Dr. Romantic 2. It has now become clear than the second season of the medical drama is as explosive as the first one. Han Suk-kyu remains just as eccentric and charismatic as the iconic Dr. Kim Sa-bu. This season’s new leading pair—Ahn Hyo-seop and Lee Sung-kyung—have stepped nicely into the shoes of the couple in season one. The sequel is just as good as, or even better than the original—from the medical cases and the young doctors’ relationship with Dr. Kim to the supporting cast from the first season who reprised their roles! (Peak position: no. 2 in the third and fourth week)
2. Crash Landing on You (tvN) — 16.48%
Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin’s Crash Landing on You ended in mid-February as a smash hit, becoming the second drama in Korean cable TV history to surpass 20% in TV ratings. Son and Hyun excelled in their roles as a South Korean heiress and a North Korean soldier, respectively, who fall for each other. The finale of the drama featured a generous dose of thrill, lovey-dovey moments, comedy, reunions, and a heartbreaking plot twist. It was everything fans could have asked for and more!], which is why it almost topped the list again this month. (Peak position: no. 1 in the first two weeks)
1. Itaewon Class (JTBC) — 23.22%
Itaewon Class is based on a popular webtoon and headlined by Park Seo-joon, so it comes as no surprise that it became the most talked-about Korean drama in February. But it keeps surpassing expectations! In terms of peak TV ratings, it has already become the second-highest-rated JTBC drama, next only to SKY Castle. With two more weeks to go before its finale, the ratings are expected to go even higher. Park Seo-joon takes center stage in the story as a righteous and principled ex-convict who wants to make it big in the restaurant industry and take revenge on the man who destroyed his life. Although the series does not focus on romance, Park forms a love triangle with Kim Da-mi and Kwon Na-ra, who said during a press conference that Jo Gwang-jin—the screenwriter of the series and author of the original work—is the secret to Itaewon Class‘s popularity. (Peak position: no. 1 the last two weeks)
ONGOING KOREAN DRAMAS: 365: Repeat the Year | A Piece of Your Mind | Eccentric! Chef Moon (NEW) | Find Me in Your Memory | Hi, Bye Mama! (POPULAR) | Hospital Playlist (POPULAR) | Hyena | Memorist | Meow: The Secret Boy (NEW) | Nobody Knows | Once Again (NEW) | Rugal (NEW) | Somehow Family (NEW) | The World of the Married (POPULAR) | When the Weather is Fine
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