March seemed like it lasted ten years, with the entire world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and many countries going into lockdowns. Luckily, there are always Korean dramas to lighten our mood and help us de-stress. Out of 13 new series this month, only three made it to the top 10 list of the most talked-about Korean dramas. While it comes as no surprise that the latest show from the creators of Reply 1988 entered the top 5, the achievement of a brand new JTBC melodrama is astonishing.
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. Nobody Knows (SBS) — 2.05%
SKY Castle star Kim Seo-hyung’s crime investigation drama rounds out the top 10 this month. Nobody Knows revolves around a detective (Kim) who is working to catch a serial killer who murdered her friend 19 years ago. She forms a close bond with her neighbor’s son who looks up to her. When the boy begins behaving erratically, she is shocked to realize that it has something to do with the serial killer she’s after. Also starring Ryu Deok-hwan, An Ji-ho, and Park Hoon, this drama explores the theme of responsible adults looking out for vulnerable children and establishes Kim Seo-hyung as leading lady material. (Peak position: no. 7 in the first week)
9. Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life (KBS2) — 2.25%
March finally saw this 100 episode family drama wrap up with decent ratings. Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life revolves around several people who are struggling in life and choose to give up on love. It stars Jo Yoon-hee and Kim Jae-young as two people who are successful in their careers and don’t consider love and relationships to be that important in life. Yoon Park plays the eldest son supporting his family with his job as a chef, while Seol In-ah portrays someone who is only focused on the civil services exam she has been trying to pass for years. How these people deal with their struggles and family drama to learn to love again forms the crux of this feel-good story. (Peak position: no. 7 in the second and third week)
8. Find Me In Your Memory (MBC) — 2.66%
Find Me In Your Memory stars Kim Dong-wook as a news anchor with a condition called hyperthymesia that makes him remember every memory with vivid clarity, and Moon Ga-young as a rising young actress who is losing some of her most important memories. The drama revolves around how these two people with unusual memory conditions find solace in each other and fall in love. Although it has just been two weeks since this show premiered, the chemistry of the leads is already receiving praise. (Peak position: no. 5 in the third week)
7. The Cursed (tvN) — 2.74%
Retaining the same place as in the previous month is the supernatural thriller The Cursed, starring Sung Dong-il and Uhm Ji-won. Uhm stars as a gutsy reporter investigating Sung Dong-il’s IT firm which is under suspicion of using shamanism. During her investigation, Uhm’s character meets a teenager who appears to have supernatural abilities and develops a close relationship with her. The drama is thrilling, has well-paced plot twists, good writing, and features amazing performances by the main cast, especially Jung Ji-so, who plays the possessed teenager. (Peak position: no. 6 in the first and second week)
6. When The Weather Is Fine (JTBC) — 3.50%
When the Weather is Fine is a romance melodrama starring Park Min-young as a cello player who pursues her dream in Seoul, only to get hurt by unfortunate events and move back to her hometown to give herself time to heal. Seo Kang-joon stars as the sweet and gentle owner of a book shop, who has liked Park’s character since their high school days in their hometown. Moon Jung-hee, Kim Hwan-hee, and Lee Jae-wook add some much-needed dose of fun to this sweet story. (Peak position: no. 4 in the first week)
5. The World Of The Married (JTBC) — 4.50%
American TV series being remade into Korean dramas has been a trend for a while. JTBC takes it a step further by adapting the BBC One series Doctor Foster for Korean TV. The World of the Married stars Kim Hee-ae as a woman who seems to have it all – a successful career as a doctor, a loving husband, and a son. Park Hae-joon stars as her husband who runs an entertainment company and dreams of becoming a successful movie director. He falls into a forbidden relationship and ends up betraying his wife. Overnight, their happy married life falls apart. The premiere of this fifth most talked-about Korean drama made history as it became the first JTBC series to hit the 10 percent mark during its premiere week. (Peak position: no. 1 in the fourth week)
4. Hyena (SBS) — 7.94%
Hyena is led by Kim Hye-soo and Ju Ji-hoon as elite lawyers who don’t hesitate to bend rules and take advantage of the legal system for their benefit. The two have an electrifying love-hate relationship in the drama, which slowly develops into something deeper as the show progresses. The legal cases flow hand in hand with the dynamics between Kim and Ju, making the drama a refreshing cocktail of thrilling legal plot-twists, comedy, and romance. (Peak position: no. 3 in the first week)
3. Hospital Playlist (tvN) — 8.26%
K-dramaland’s favorite writer-director duo—writer Lee Woo-jung and PD Shin Won-ho of the Reply series—have made their comeback with Hospital Playlist. Like their previous shows, this one also revolves around a group of friends. Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yoon-seok, Jeon Mi-do, Jung Kyung-ho, and Kim Dae-myung star as doctors who have been friends since medical school. Through their friendship, the show explores how ordinary doctors deal with the pressures and joys of working in a hospital. It features generous doses of humor, romance, heartbreak, and nostalgia, as is characteristic of Shin Won-ho’s dramas. (Peak position: no. 2 in the second and third week)
2. Hi Bye, Mama! (tvN) — 10.95%
I expected Hi Bye, Mama! to do well because it is Kim Tae-hee’s comeback drama, but it has surpassed my expectations. Kim stars in the family comedy as a woman who died five years ago but wants her human life back so she can look after her only daughter. She is granted 49 days on earth to accomplish a reincarnation mission, following which she can win her old life back. Meanwhile, her ex-husband (played by Lee Kyu-hyung), a surgeon, has gotten married for a second time. Despite the comedic elements, this one is a real tearjerker! (Peak position: no. 2 in the first and fourth week)
1. Itaewon Class (JTBC) — 28.12%
Is anyone surprised that Itaewon Class became the most talked-about Korean drama in March? The drama stars Park Seo-joon as an ex-convict whose life was ruined by a rich kid (Ahn Bo-hyun) and his father (Yoo Jae-myung). After his release from prison, he sets up a pub with the aim of making it big in the restaurant industry and taking revenge on the people who destroyed his life. On this mission, he is joined by Kim Da-mi, a social media influencer who falls for him. The writing of the show faltered miserably in the second half, but evidently, that flaw was not enough to dissuade fans from watching it until the end! Itaewon Class concluded its run as the sixth highest-rated Korean drama in cable TV. (Peak position: no. 1 the first three weeks)
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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