Twenty years? Seriously, twenty years! Who would have thunk it and who here remembers living through this entire experience which kick started the Hallyu era. Today on January 14th, 2022 marks the exact 20th anniversary of the date Winter Sonata premiered on Korean televisions. I don’t think ANYONE could have predicted on January 14th, 2002 that this drama would change the future of South Korean television programming. Korean movies were already gaining a niche cult status around Asia but dramas it was not until Winter Sonata that the dam burst open. To say this drama was huge is an understatement, it singlehandedly created Hallyu (the Korean wave) which impacted more than just dramas but also brought K-pop to other Asian countries and later of course worldwide recognition to date. Dae Jang Geum elevated K-drama watching one step over WS years later but WS was the trailblazer. It’s sad that the four leads are Winter Sonata are not active in K-ent in different ways 20 years later – Choi Ji Woo hasn’t done a drama since The Most Beautiful Goodbye in 2017 and had a baby last year so who knows when she will be back, Bae Yong Joon leveraged his fame and fortune to step into agency management and hasn’t been seen on TV in a decade, my beloved Park Yong Ha is no longer with the world since his passing in 2010, and Park Sol Mi was in a drama last in 2018. But these four will always live on forever as their youthful selves capture on celluloid in Winter Sonata, even if Bae Yong Joon as a thirty year old back then playing a 17 year old high school student remains one of the most lulz teenage counterpart performances.