I often get asked to recommend dramas but its so hard to gauge what others like or are in the mood for, whereas I watch what floats my boat sometimes in line with the consensus on quality and other times personally enjoying admittedly crappy dramas. Those wanting rec’s for recent K-dramas are in luck as TV Report just released an industry veteran PDs vote on the best K-dramas of the last two years. I think TV Report is on a poll roll since it recently did a survey of the industry veterans on the most bankable actors and actresses this year.
To no one’s surprise, tvN‘s Misaeng ran away with the vote as best drama of recent years, followed by Punch from SBS in second place, and MBC‘s Kill Me Heal Me rounded out the top three. Funnily enough, I’ve watched all the dramas on this list other than the top two, heh. The mood hasn’t ever struck for me to pick those up still but it’s good to know that I’ll always have a quality drama on the backburner when I find myself with nothing new to watch. Did your favorites make the list? Any drama not worthy to be mentioned here, or a hidden gem egregiously overlooked?
Industry veterans pick the best dramas of 2014-2015 – a total of 40 voters include 30 PDs from SBS/KBS/MBC, 5 PDs from CJ E&M, and 5 PDs from jTBC:
1. Misaeng tvN (14 votes)
2. Punch SBS (8 votes)
3. Kill Me Heal Me MBC (5 votes)
4. Secret Love Affair jTBC (4 votes)
5. You From Another Star SBS (3 votes)
5. Heard it Through the Grapevine SBS (3 votes)
5. What’s With the Family KBS (3 votes)
8. It’s Okay It’s Love SBS (2 votes)
9. Jeong Do Jeon KBS (1 vote)
9. Pride and Prejudice MBC (1 vote)
I’ve seen not a single one of these.
No wonder the k- dramas lately aren’t catching my interest anymore – and lower viewership ratings speaks volumes. PD taste sucks.
ha.. the rating drop coz people didn’t have to watch the drama only in TV anymore duh
Actually the PDs have great taste. Misaeng was a standout. One of the best written and acted dramas I’ve seen in years.
@earone No, that’s just an excuse, because in 2014, there were 20%-30% ratings for Empress Ki. Of course people are watching online but if the drama is really good, you’ll also rope in the tv viewers. Duh. With the exception of Misaeng, I dropped most of the other dramas on the list.
Misaeng was a standout indeed, but it’s weird they all voted for it… because it’s pretty atypical for a kdrama.
If they all think it’s so good, I wish they would make more dramas like that, but not seeing that happening yet. We seem to be continuing with the same sort of stuff so far…
You spoke of my voice. I’ve been finding it harder and harder to locate a K drama that piques my interest to an extent that I won’t hesitate to marathon through the final episode as I did for several dramas which are not in this PDs’ list.
Then you’ve missed out some gems.
And heard it through the grapevine is absolute delight to watch. So far to recent episode, there’s nothing to complaints about this drama writing, directing, and acting.
Pride and prejudice. Ugh! I’m surprsed Healer didn’t make the list and that snooze-fest did.
Ugh I know right?! I displayed extraordinary levels of patience for that drama but still couldn’t finish it. Healer should definitely have made the list. Definitely successful if I rematch a drama right after I have finished the whole series.
Pinocchio should have been there too. Felt that it had one of the tightest plots.
Misaeng is good but super depressing :/
Yeah i do wonder how come Pinocchio didn’t make it to the list. it was very interesting and intense.one of its strong points was the plot.
I dropped both Pinochio and Hearlers, got so bored so quickly.
so true. i couldn’t even finish P&P and dropped cause it was so boring. healer on the other hand..it was one of the best dramas this year and to think it started airing in the end of 2014. hehe
Agree, Healer and Pinocchio should have been on the list… Dropped P&P in the middle…
Yes! How can Healer have such ardent fans, yet not even rate in the top 10?
Pride & Prejudice? Really? Was that one vote cast by the PD of that drama, because it started out so promisingly but its storyline got more and more convoluted by the end so we didn’t even care what the central mystery WAS anymore. But the cast was fantastic, so I give them credit for that.
The rest of the list looks good and I totally agree with the choice of Misaeng for the best drama of recent years, but if cable series were being considered, then jtBC’s Can We Get Married + Yoona’s Street and tvN’s Answer Me 1997 should have been considered too. Especially CWGM.
Yeah, from the list above, I just interested in Punch. And I agree with you… can we get married is really good.
Misaeng, Punch, Kill Me Heal Me and What with This Family were definitely my favorites lately.
I haven’t watched Misaeng or Punch either.. I know they are good dramas but the genre nor cast appeals to me.. I’ll watch it someday LOL! I’m surprised Pinocchio didn’t make the list though since the ratings weren’t bad and it did get very good reviews.
Pride and Prejudice! Really!!!
I’m really surprised pinocchio didn’t make the list. Because it was the higher rating drama more than the dramas in the list except YCFTS. And it was commercially huge success more than YCFTS.
punch highest rating 14,8%(final episode) Pinocchio highest ratings 13.3% (final episode) – AGB
Pinocchio is more commercially successful than YWCFS?!? No way, not even close.
pinocchio is the most expensive drama so far and yes its price is several times of YWCFS
I am not defining “commercially successful” just based on the price of the drama sold. All K-dramas got more and more expensive since YWCFS, including 3 Days which aired right after it. Would you say then 3 Days and all the rest of the 2014 dramas more commercially successful than YWCFS?!? No way, not even close.
@Kate.. yes I do agree. actually what I want to say was that Pino is the most expensive drama so far so its fan think it was a commercially successful.
I hope this blog has edit button haha
Punch is still the reigning king of weekdays drama after the slump in 2014. If I’m not mistaken it even gets to 17% (maybe in Seoul) according to some sources. It’s about ‘best dramas’ not ‘commercially/rating success dramas’.
They had high times in different times but what matters is the average ratings..
KMHM, Punch, and Pinocchio had the same ratings while healer was clearly a failure seen it was on the sad end of 10& which means actully 8% average viewers.. they didn’t even made the 2digits but however KMHM, punch and Pinocchio did 2 digits 10,1%, 10,6% and 10,6%.. So team pino deserved to be on the list considering ratings and had better viewership in these dramas overseas but they couldn’t be sold because of the shaft deadline and Pino got thru before that so they can’t that fact since it would be under fair for Punch and KMHM but aside from that they were all equal shows…
Sorry to much gram-errors! lool!
what I meant is that all these shows are equal.. But pino was sold before the deadline? so there overseas viewership shouldn’t count? where as KMHM and Punch didn’t..
That is incorrect of Healer ratings, and no failure at all. It average 9% and broke double digits several times — 10%, 10.8%, 11.3%, 10.4%. So clearly, not a failure by no mean AT ALL and was close to others, so if it was a failure, the others are failures too. They are all with 1-2% difference.
Also, because there is a lot of incorrect information here.
Punch was released in 2014, so it did make the deadline, but there was no appeal internationally.
But, Hyde Jekyll and Me was sold internationally in the same level as Healer and Pinocchio, and that was released the same time as KMHM, but KMHM was in no levels compared to others international success. Although I am not a fan of HJM, it had big international appeal. Healer and Pinocchio was a huge success internationally. Punch and KMHM did not translate well internationally.
Pinocchio was nowhere near YCFTS when it comes to commercially success. However I do agree with the list except maybe you who came from the stars should have been in the first place..
Pinocchio on the other didn’t have better ratings then KMHM, Punch or Misaeng even heard it thru the grape wine
It’s true that YWCFTS is more commercially successful but pino has better rating than KMHM in both nationwide and seoul. Even the average rating pino is higher and has the same average rating as punch; 10.6% while KMHM 10.1%
@radiantglow: KMHM had greater buzz around it and a fantastic performance from Ji Sung to boot. Pinocchio in comparison… well…
good drama is not about rating, many good drama has less rating because the story mostly didn’ t captivate many audience may many people like story that telling about fairytale which is happy n fun n usually story about reality didn’t attract attention or story which need our brain to think many people didn’t like it
If you want to talk about rating,You’re All Surrounded(2014) earned the second highest viewer ratings in 2014 after YCFTS(2013-2014) and also quite popular in China. Unfortunately, Sewol tragedy does affect the number of viewers. K-netz not in a mood to watch dramas.
I’ve watched everything except secret love affair.
I am glad that MISAENG is number one cause it is super awesome drama. A little sad NINE did not make it to the list, or HEALER as well as any of any REPLY series. But over all I like the list. The drama posted are some of my faves.
Punch, Misaeng & Heard it Through the Grapevine my favourite
Kill Me Heal Me The Best
Grapevine must be quite impressive, it’s still airing and still got 3 votes. I’ve heard it is really good but will wait till it’s finished airing to watch.
Misaeng, SLA and Punch were very exceptional kdramas. One of few that were as or almost as good as high caliber Korean movies.
‘Punch’ and ‘Kill Me, Heal Me’ were amazing so its great to see them in the top 3. I still haven’t come around to watch #1 drama ‘Misaeng’ but it must be good as everyone are recommending it.
I haven’t watched anything else from the list besides ‘It’s Okay It’s Love’ and ‘You From Another Star’ and I am surprised that they are so low in the list considering they were so talked about (but I definitely rank them after ‘Punch’ and ‘KMHM’).
clearly PD don’t watch drama just like us viewer watch it hehe. I watch drama mostly for my bias or for fun hhe
Yup! I’m in your school.. LOL..Why should I bother to hurt my head badly with any philosophical thinking or serious refection in supposed-to-be-lots-of-fun dramaland after I’m done with strenuous office work. If I want to appreciate really good drama, I’d rather spend $15 at local theater to watch good movies like The Lord of The Rings trilogy or Life of Pi..I’d never expect K drama or C drama or J drama to be full of serious teachings and life lessons to ponder on.
To this point, Misaeng and Punch are on the bottom of my to-watch list. I quit those two at the 1st or 2nd ep. The ones I enjoyed the most (not in favorite order nor only within the past 2 years) are
Nice Guy (love Song Joong Gi)
I hear your voice
The Moon Embraces the Sun
Well though I think many of them vote for their production (JTBC PDs vote for SLA and so on), glad Misaeng is no.1. I can relate to the top 3 + HITTG. Haven’t watched SLA, WWTF, JDJ, and dropped P&P (sorry it’s a snoozefest).
Kill Me Heal Me! <3 It's honestly wonderful to see the love this drama is getting.
I’m surprised Pinocchio didn’t make it when I think I better than some others in the list
Misaeng ” is one of the best drama ever.
I like a lot” Kill me Heal me” and after comes “I heard it …..grapevine”.
I am glad Punch, KMHM and Pride and Prejudice made it to the list. P&P meandered off at the end, but it was good for first 16 episodes. Koala, you are missing a lot by not watching Punch I must say. If its the impending death that puts you off, don’t let it stop you. Its not a cryfest, its a nail biting thriller. I am someone who hasn’t yet watched It Happened in Bali because I know the ending.
IOIL one of the best drama! 🙂
Misaeng was honestly my favorite drama out of this list. I was hesitant to watch it at first, but once I started it, which was two weeks after the drama ended, I regretted not watching the drama when it was on air.
Misaeng is really the best. I am honestly surprised. I thought this genre is more the typical Japanese drama, but Misaeng team really did great. It got a little draggy during the last ep but overall really good drama
From this list, I really liked Misaeng, YFAS and Secret Love Affair. In the both, the casting and the story were great.
if its talking about quality my list will be
2. Secret Love Affair
3. I Hear Your Voice
4. Man From The Stars
6. Its okay its love
7. Kill me Heal me
8. Master’s Sun
9. That Winter The Wind Blows
just random not according to order
This list looks solid, although I personally failed to get the appeal of KMHM. (I’ll never ever again watch anything with Hwang Jung-Eum in it. Just thinking of her voice gives me goosebumps. *shudders*) But seeing P&P on it (Seriously?! What about Valid Love? We are talking quality here after all!) makes me doubt its value.
I’m glad to see Misaeng on top but I’m surprised Healer didn’t even make it to the list. It’s a rare gem that I haven’t been able to see in drama land for a very long time (last time I was so captivated was with Nice Guy). Oh well…
I think there was a lot of love for Healer because of the chemistry between the leads, but from a producer perspective it it wasn’t actually that well written (nor that original) and came with a number of plot holes. It’s a good drama because it has its heart in the right place and the romance had everyone swooning, but it is quite flawed – many fans of that drama were very much overlooking those flaws. Which is fine, but I’m not surprised the producers didn’t rate it as highly.
I have not watched Misaeng, plan to watch it but not now. I have not watch Punch either and never plan to watch it esp after I watched that nasty movie, Gangnam’s Blue… geeez… I really hope I can unsee what I have seen of KRW character. It has forever changed the way I look at him.
But yeah! I kinda agree with PD’s choice. You From Another Star is overrated!
It seems the top three are at least legit, even though I haven’t had the chance to watch the top 2. I don’t think I’ll watch Misaeng, it has a grim tone (at least, that’s the vibe I got from everyone). I’m a bit scared to watch the reality, I guess. Punch is on my list, just waiting for the mood.
And Kill Me Heal Me is love. Even though it’s not a drama I can recommend to everyone, it had a bit of everything (laughs, cries, swoony moments, Ji Sung..)
The same here btw I watched Misaeng it truely deserves A second on my list.. But going to watch Punch right now!
Misaeng is grim initially but as the series progresses, it’s beautiful and fills you up with hope.
Agree! I quit Misaeng at 2nd or 3rd ep simply it’s too close to reality to pique my interest. KMHM is a delightful surprise. I’m usually not the one for any drama based on psychological or psychiatric related topics. I watched KMHM for Ji Sung and HJU because they had good chemistry in Secret. It ended up KMHM satisfied me more than expected. As to Punch, it’s not my cup of tea in the dramaland because I’m so fed up with court(politics)-struggle-centered story line.
Yay! So happy to see Misaeng on the top of the list. It was clearly ome of the well acted and well directed drama that Kdramaland was able to produce for the longest time. It was ver solid and very intent on its message. I also have a feeling that it wìll remaim on that spot for a lomg time.
Yeah I agree with this list. In terms of quality, and objectively speaking, they are right on the mark. Misaeng was good and an exceptional drama, Punch was solid, though I couldn’t finish it because it was so tense, and KMHM was to die for. I’ve watched and read reviews of the other dramas on this list, so while they may not all be my cup of tea, they deserve to be on this list. Even P&P which started out so great but got ruined by the extension in its final episodes.
for me, it’s Punch, Pinocchio, My Love From Another Stars. Pride & Prejudice is so boring, Grapevine is boring so.
MISAENG is definitely the BEST k-drama of 2014!
So far my all time favourite k-drama.
Totally agree with PDs pick.
For me it’s okay it’s love deserves a better rank. It should have been on number 3. (Well I didnt watch punch, but if the say its good than fine, but I think ITIL its better than KMHM
Personally, I wish Pinocchio had made the list.
Other than that, I really liked Healer, King of High School Savvy, and Marriage Not Dating, but I don’t think any of those stood out enough to have made it anyways. And of course Angry Mom, but that just finished airing last week.
Haven’t seen 2/3 of that list, and I’m not sure what they mean by recent years, but here’s my list:
1. Nice Guy
2. Arang and the Magistrate
3. I Hear Your Voice
4. Two Weeks
5. It’s ok It’s Love
6. Bad Guys
8. City Hunter
9. You From Another Star
Watched only 3 from this list – YWCFT, KMHM and IOTL. i loved KMHM the most, IOTL in seconde place because of the amazing OTP and third is YWCFT which i did like in a way but it was too much overrated. if we’re talking about the last two years than i will also conclude those dramas in no particular order:
-the master sun
-i hear your voice
My favorite from the list got to be YFAS. Sometime I find there are dramas that not that great narrative wise, or doesn’t have any particular depth, yet they are exceedingly enjoyable due to a particular aspect or another. I recognized Misaeng as having all that quality of a well produced drama with tight acting and coherent narrative, but I also find myself bored to death with it.
I’m surprised I hear your voice isn’t on there. The story got a little crazy at the end, but that drama was all about hearts, and it delivers without being too ridiculous (as some ridiculous some kdrama can be)
My list from 2014 to the early 2015:
1. Saeguk : Jeong Do Jeon
2. Action: Punch
3. Melodrama: Secret Love Affair
4. Romcom: Discovery of Romance.
Agree with these plus melodrama: It’s Ok It’s Love
I think Misaeng has to be one of the all-time Korean best dramas. It’s one of the few dramas that took time to go in depth with the characters and interpersonal relationships. The plot made sense and realistic. But it isn’t perfect with the pacing and it might not be for everyone.
Kill me Heal me story was entertaining. The directing was good and Jisung acting was really great. I think those two reasons are enough to put it as one of the best recent Korean dramas.
I also like Heard it Through the Grapevine. The production is good and the acting is solid. That reminds me that I need to catch up on it.
Punch all the way. Arang.
I have to say, that Koala’s taste of drama is very different from me. I have observed so many years already. Dramas that she loved I did not. However this site has been a regular dose of my click everyday since how many years already. Despite the differences, her writings always managed to grab my attention. But with Smelly Girl has proved how differences our taste of dramas is. I love serious, dark tone and mystery dramas.
hoho, those big 3 are my fave..
MISAENG DESERVES IT.
Punch deserves it.
KMHM deserves it.
i wonder, who’s gonna get the daesang for best actor? every actor deserves a daesang.. they are so great!
i hope, falling for innocence will also make into this list. F4I fighting!
haha…Koala, same here. I never feel like watching the top 2 regardless of all the kudos. Well I actually watched the first 3 eps of Misaeng and eventually quit because I can’t either feel related or feel pleasure from watching it. Also I’m surprised to find one vote for Pride and Prejudice. That drama is hella boring and dry. Drama too close to real life such as Misaeng and PAP is usually not on my favorite-to-watch list.
A drama which managed to make me watch an episode on nothing but presentations (which I think most people would consider boring?) 3 times, deserves to be NO. 1 in my books!
Misaeng is definitely the best Korean drama which I’ve seen in years. There’s just something special about it!
It’s most same my taste except not same order. PD’s great taste when some dramas and actors&actresses…..very very popularity(Awards) not on the list.
I though PDs wrong about good drama That Winter The Wind Blows but remember this drama broadcasted in 2013.