The Kdrama Kisses 2019 Korean Drama Awards are here! Be sure to check out the big list of my favorite dramas of the year in my Best Korean Dramas of 2019 post, but now we highlight some of my favorite performances and dramas in each genre. There were a lot of great ones to choose from this year, but I was able to select some of my favorites of 2019:
Yeo Jin Goo (The Crowned Clown)
Yeo Jin Goo easily won best actor for his roles in The Crowned Clown. He is phenomenal as always, and he does ample justice to playing two very different roles, a crazy king and a sweet clown, while making each character completely distinct. He is just such a nuanced actor who has had talent well beyond his years since he was a child. Fantastic performance!
Jang Na Ra (The Last Empress)
This was a fantastic role for Jang Na Ra in The Last Empress. At first, she depicts so cheerful and naïve Sunny which is more the type of character Jang Na Ra is really known for. But as she finds herself in the middle of the palace power struggle, we see her transform into a formidable opponent with her own plans of serving justice. It was a great thing to see!
Best Breakout Actor:
Jinyoung (He is Psychometric)
Jinyoung of the kpop band GOT7 has been around for a few years in supporting roles and web dramas, and I’ve certainly enjoyed him in those. But he stepped into his first lead role in a full length drama for He is Psychometric and really did fantastic. He gave both a fun and moving performance that showed he is a very capable actor.
Best Breakout Actress:
Kim Hye Yoon (Extraordinary You)
Kim Hye Yoon made an impression in a supporting role in SKY Castle earlier this year, but it was her lead role in the fantasy rom-com Extraordinary You that really let her shine. She was completely adorable as a sassy and energetic high school student who learns she’s actually a character in comic. She was so much fun in this role!
Best Romantic Comedy:
Her Private Life
Her Private Life had a good amount of comedy, a sizzling romance, and a solid main story. It also gave us quite a swoony couple in the form of Kim Jae Wook and Park Min Young. They had some sizzling chemistry with all kinds of great moments that will get your heart fluttering! On top of that, they had such a mature relationship with good communication and were also so supportive of each other. A fantastic romantic comedy in every way.
Best Crime/Thriller Drama:
Vagabond was jam-packed with action and thrills from start to finish. The corruption mystery was intriguing with consistent plot developments. I also loved Lee Seung Gi and Suzy’s big reunion, and they both gave great performances. This was a large scale drama that was a whole lot of fun.
The Last Empress
Best melodrama went to my favorite drama of the year, The Last Empress. It’s crazy makjang in every way with scheming, revenge, seduction, and murder. It’s over the top with plenty of angst, and it delivers its story at a thrilling pace with lots of surprising plot developments. It left me thoroughly entertained!
The Tale of Nokdu
The Tale of Nokdu won me over for best historical. It had an intriguing story, excellent production, action, romance, heart, and an amazing cast of talented actors. The pacing was great all the way through, and it left me feeling completely satisfied.
Lee Dong Wook & Yoo In Na (Touch Your Heart)
Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na reunited for Touch Your Heart making fans everywhere happy. Their fantastic chemistry continued as they gave us a sweet and adorable relationship that really made the drama.
Lee Yi Kyung, Kim Sun Ho, & Shin Hyun Soo
(Eulachacha Waikiki 2)
Lee Yi Kyung, Kim Sun Ho, and Shin Hyun Woo were tons of fun in Eulachacha Waikiki 2. They sure did get into a lot of trouble, but this quirky bunch of guys had a lot of heart and were always ready to help each other out. They were too funny!
Park Min Young and Park Jin Joo
(Her Private Life)
I loved the girlmance between Park Min Young and Park Jin Joo in Her Private Life. These besties were very close and loved to fangirl together every chance they got which was super adorable. They were also very supportive of each other and really showed what a great friendship looks like.
Shin Sung Rok (The Last Empress)
No contest for best villain. It had to go to Shin Sung Rok in The Last Empress. He’s made for these kind of roles as he’s an over-the-top villain who is selfish, dramatic, and a touch crazy. There is a heart buried underneath it all which gives him some redeeming qualities, but mostly he’s the kind of villain you just love to hate. Shin Sung Rok did amazing!
Yoo Seung Ho & Jo Bo Ah – Our First Night Kiss
(My Strange Hero)
Yoo Seung Ho and Jo Bo Ah were an adorable couple in My Strange Hero. They had lots of great moments together, and one of my favorites was the Our First Night Kiss. They spend their first night together and this results in a very tender and heart-fluttering encounter between the two.
The Last Empress
The Last Empress was a unique drama with its modern setting that still made use of traditional clothes. This gave us some gorgeous hanboks on the ladies as well as some very stylish suits on the guys. The costumes were fantastic and really added to this already great drama.
When the Devil Calls Your Name
When the Devil Calls Your Name had an absolutely amazing soundtrack! Not only were the songs themselves fantastic, but they were also perfectly utilized within the drama to maximize the emotional impact of events happening to the characters, especially because the characters themselves sing some of the songs. You don’t see an OST executed this well and with so much intention that often, and it definitely enhances the experience for the audience.
Although a few dramas really took the spotlight, I think I spread the love around a little more this year. There were so many fantastic performances and entertaining dramas. I’m happy I got to highlight a few of them.
So who were your favorite actors and what were your favorite dramas in 2019?