Learn More About the Top 15 Dramas of All Time
Are you a fan of Korean dramas? Up until now, there have been hundreds, or maybe thousands of dramas aired on the television. Not only popular nationally, but Korean dramas have also gained attention from the rest of the world. Moreover, the quality of the dramas is becoming finer as time goes by, which succeeded in piquing many people’s interest. However, among all of the dramas aired up until now, there are dramas that are just great to watch even though a long time has passed from the first time the drama was aired. Are you curious about these dramas? Today, Channel-Korea will explain to you everything about the top 15 dramas of all time. So, stay tuned!
Jewel In The Palace
Jewel In The Palace, also known as Dae Jang Geum, is a historical drama that was aired in 2003 on MBC. With the story set during the Joseon Dynasty, the drama tells the tale of Jang-geum, an orphan kitchen cook who became the king’s first female physician while she lives in a time when women held little influence in society. Even though she suffered many hardships and obstacles in the palace, her strong will and perseverance made her reach her goal eventually. In this drama, the roles are played by many great actors such as Lee Young-ae (Jang-geum), Ji Jin-hee (Min Jeong-ho), Hong Ri-na (Choi Geum-young), Im Ho (King Jungjong), Yang Mi-kyung (Han Baek-young), and Kyeon Mi-ri (Choi Seong-geum).
Besides a great story and great cast, Jewel In the Palace also has an amazing soundtrack. The most popular soundtrack is the theme song of the drama, “Onara,” a song in Old Korean and sung in pansori style. Not only that, but the theme song has many different versions, some even in different languages: Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Sinhalese, Tamil, and Philippine.
The drama itself was so great that it became one of Korean Wave’s primary factors as they increased the spread of Korean culture to other countries. Jewel In The Palace also made its contribution to Korea’s tourism where Daejanggeum Theme Park is opened at the site of the filming set. The drama also rekindled many people’s interest in Korean traditional cuisine, both nationally and internationally.
Winter Sonata is a Korean romantic drama that was aired in 2002 on KBS. Just like Jewel In The Palace, Winter Sonata is considered as one of the primary factors that launched the Korean Wave throughout the world. Moreover, the drama also has been adapted into an anime series and a stage musical. The drama starred Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo as the main characters of Winter Sonata: Kang Joon-sang and Jeong Yoo-jin.
The drama tells the story of Kang Joon-sang, a quiet and introverted teenager who sincerely believes that no one truly loves him because of his belief that his biological father is dead and his serious disagreements with his mother. However, the thought changed when he fell in love with Jeong Yoo-jin, whom he met on a bus, and opens her heart to him. However, a car accident makes Kang Joon-sang suffer from amnesia and not remember anything from his past. Seeing her son’s condition, Kang Joon-sang’s mother has Kang Joon-sang brainwashed by a psychologist and makes him move in with her to the United States under the identity of Lee Min-hyung, while his friends and teachers are told that Kang Joon-sang is dead.
Years later, Lee Min-hyung returns to Korea and Jeong Yoo-jin catches sight of him. This prompts her to put off her engagement to her childhood friend, Sang-hyuk. On the other side, she also doesn’t know that Lee Min-hyung is dating her friend and past rival, Chae-rin. However, Jeong Yoo-jin still wonders whether Lee Min-hyung is her first love who is supposed to be dead, Kang Joon-sang.
This drama was loved by many and even caused a second wave of Korean Wave, extending it to Japan and the Philippines as the drama succeeded to improve the image of South Korea among the Japanese. Not only that, but the drama also contributed to Korea’s tourism, because the number of visitors to Korea, especially Nami Island, increased enormously. Besides the plot, the drama also has many great soundtracks to listen to. Here is a list of songs from the soundtrack of the drama:
- From the Beginning Until Now – Ryu
- My Memory – Ryu
- First Time
- Only You – Ryu
- The Love I Cannot Send – Seon
- The Beginning
- Don’t Forget – Ryu
- Inside the Memories
- Lover – Ryu
- Violet – Ryu
- Love Hurts – Yiruma
- When the Love Falls – Yiruma
Stairway To Heaven
Stairway to Heaven is a Korean drama that was first aired in 2003 on SBS. The drama is the second entry of the Heaven Trilogy, which included Beautiful Days (2001) and Tree of Heaven (2006). The drama starred many amazing actors such as Choi Ji-woo, Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Tae-hee, Shin Hyun-joon, Park Shin-hye, and Baek Sung-hyun.
The drama tells a story that revolves around Han Jung-suh and Cha Song-joo, childhood friends who have a special bond due to a shared pain of losing a loved one. Their feelings later blossom into love, but they start to face hardships after Jung-suh’s father gets remarried. Jung-suh’s stepsister, Han Yoo-ri, feels jealous toward her and makes her look bad so her mother starts to turn on Jung-suh. Because of this, Jung-suh’s stepmother thwarts Jung-suh’s attempts to study abroad with Song-joo, resulting in their separation. Meanwhile, knowing that Song-joo is the heir of his family fortune, Jung-suh’s stepmother plots for Yoori to win his affection. On the other side, Jung-suh who tried to be nice to her stepbrother, Han Tae-hwa, makes him fall in love with her.
Three years later, Song-joo comes back from America. Upon hearing this news, Jung-suh rushes to greet him, but Yoo-ri who’s jealous hits Jung-suh with her car. After she fakes Jung-suh’s death, she brings Jung-suh to her biological father’s home. Knowing this, Tae-hwa seizes the opportunity to run away with Jung-suh to live under a new identity as Jung-suh suffers from amnesia. Five years later, Song-joo who’s soon to be engaged with Yoo-ri, is determined to finally let go of Jung-suh. However, he meets Jung-suh who now lives as Kim Ji-soo and rushes to her while telling her the truth.
Even though Jung-suh doesn’t believe it at first, she regains her memory back when Yoo-ri tries to hit her again with a car. She tells Song-joo of her recovered memory while she decides to forgive Tae-hwa for running away because he did it out of love. The story thickens again when it is revealed that Jung-suh suffers from eye cancer. At this time, Tae-hwa reveals the truth about what Yoo-ri has done to Jung-suh, resulting in his sister betting arrested and his mother is admitted to a mental hospital. Finally, Jung-suh gets married to Song-joo.
At one point, Jung-suh tells Tae-hwa that her final wish is to see Song-joo’s face for one last time. Upon hearing this, both men try to donate each of their corneas to her, but are unable to do it because the doctor can’t take corneas from a live donor. Because of this, Tae-hwa commits suicide in order to let Jung-suh see again. Thanks to Tae-hwa, Jung-suh is able to see again, but Song-joo finds out about Tae-hwa’s death and tells it to her. Jung-suh starts to feel sick again, and it is revealed that the tumor has spread to her brain. Knowing that she doesn’t have much time, she decides to forgive Yoo-ri and her stepmother because of Tae-hwa. Jung-suh dies a few days later in the arms of Song-joo, at the seaside near her childhood home.
While the drama has a great plot and cast, it also has an amazing soundtrack that makes you fall deeper into the drama. Here is the list of songs from the soundtrack of Stairway to Heaven:
- Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 Op. 11 E Minor 2nd Movement: Romanza
- Memories of Heaven – Jang Jung-woo
- Lethe – Kang Woo-jin
- Ave Maria – Rebecca Luker
- That’s the Only One – Jang Jung-woo
- Only Me For You – Kim Hyun-ah
- Sad Love
- To The Beautiful You – Moon Ji-hwan
- I Will Protect You
- I Miss You – Kim Bum-soo
- This Is Not the End
- Memories of Heaven – Park Mook-hwan
- Though I Am at the End of the World
- That’s the Only One – Park Mook-hwan
- Stairway to Heaven
- Bania u cygana – Zero
Endless Love is a Korean romantic drama that was aired in 2000 on KBS2, starring Song Seung-heon, Song Hye-kyo, and Won Bin. The series is directed by Yoon Seok-ho, the same director who directed Winter Sonata. It’s considered as a pioneer in Korean melodrama and also contributed to launching the Korean Wave throughout the world.
The drama begins when Yoon Joon-suh accidentally causes the switch of his sister with another baby when he drops the name cards on the two babies’ cribs in the hospital room. After the nurse puts back the name card incorrectly, the story jumps forward to the teenage years of Joon-suh and the girl who was switched with his real sister, Eun-suh. Eun-suh, who is the most popular girl in class, is Joon-suh’s real sister, Choi Shin-ae, and is jealous of her. One day, Eun-suh gets hit by a truck and needs a blood transfusion, but then it is revealed that she’s not the daughter of the Yoon family and Shin-ae is not Choi’s family’s daughter. In the end, the two return to their biological parents, which makes Eun-suh separated from Joon-suh due to the Yoon family moving to the United States.
Ten years later, Joon-suh returns to Korea while Eun-suh works at a hotel as a telephone receptionist. Joon-suh’s old friend, Han Tae-seok, falls in love with Eun-suh and manipulates her until she is fired from her job. One day, she sees Joon-suh and finally reunites with him after ten years. In front of the other, they seemed to have a sibling relationship while in reality, they love each other. This fact is later revealed by Shin-ae, and they are opposed by their parents.
As Joon-suh and Tae-seok fight over their love for Eun-suh, she discovers that she suffers from leukemia. She decides not to tell anyone but Tae-seok, who offers to pay for her treatment. But, when her health deteriorates, everyone starts to discover her condition and Eun-suh soon falls into a coma. Upon finding this out, Joon-suh reacts with shock and fear while Tae-seok forces Joon-suh to try to wake her up. Eventually, Eun-suh wakes up but is too weak for the treatment. When it’s clear that there’s no hope for Eun-suh, Joon-suh brings her home to spend the rest of her life with him and proposes to her. They finally get married, and Eun-suh dies as Joon-suh carries her around the beach. Dazed and grief-stricken by Eun-suh’s death, Joon-suh is struck by a truck in the same place as Eun-suh’s accident.
The drama has 13 great songs from the soundtrack to listen to, and here is the list of songs from the soundtrack of Endless Love!
- Main Title (flute ver.)
- Reason – Jung Il-young
- Romance – Choi Tae-won
- Gido (Prayer) – Jung Il-young
- Remember – Park Jung-won
- Sincerely – Yoon Chang-gun
- Reason (Instrumental ver.)
- Romance (Piano ver.) – Lee Hong-rae
- Tears – Lee Hong-rae
- Sincerely (Guitar ver.) – Guitar by Ham Choon-ho
- In My Dream – Jung Il-yong
- Gido (Prayer) (Piano ver.)