Kdrama Kisses 2019 Korean Drama Awards

2019 Korean Drama Awards 2 - Yeo Jin Goo, Shin Sung Rok, Jang Na Ra, Yoo In Na, Lee Dog Wook, Jang Dong Yoon, Kim So Hyun, Kim Jae Wook, Park Min Young, Lee Seung Gi

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:

Best Actor:
Yeo Jin Goo (The Crowned Clown)

The Crowned Clown Korean Drama - Yeo Jin Goo

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!

Best Actress:
Jang Na Ra (The Last Empress)

The Last Empress Korean Drama - Jang Nara

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)

Extraordinary You Korean Drama - Kim Hye Yoon

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 Korean Drama - Kim Jae Wook and Park Min Young

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 Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi

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.

Best Melodrama:
The Last Empress

The Last Empress Korean Drama - Shin Sung Rok and Jang Nara

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!

Best Historical:
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.

Best Couple:
Lee Dong Wook & Yoo In Na (Touch Your Heart)

Touch Your Heart Korean Drama - Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na

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.

Best Bromance:
Lee Yi Kyung, Kim Sun Ho, & Shin Hyun Soo
Eulachacha Waikiki 2)

Eulachacha Waikiki 2 Korean Drama - Lee Yi Kyung, Kim Sun Ho, Shin Hyun Soo

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!

Best Girlmance:
Park Min Young and Park Jin Joo
(Her Private Life

Her Private Life Korean Drama - Park Min Young and Park Jin Joo

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.

Best Villain:
Shin Sung Rok (The Last Empress) 

The Last Empress Korean Drama - Shin Sung Rok

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!

Best Kiss: 
Yoo Seung Ho & Jo Bo Ah – Our First Night Kiss
(My Strange Hero)

My Strange Hero Korean Drama - Yoo Seung Ho and Jo Bo Ah

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.

Best Costumes:
The Last Empress

The Last Empress Korean Drama - Shin Sung Rok and Jang Nara

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.

Best Soundtrack:
When the Devil Calls Your Name

When the Devil Calls Your Name Korean Drama - Jung Kyung Ho and Park Sung Woong

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?

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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12 Responses to Kdrama Kisses 2019 Korean Drama Awards

  1. Timescout says:

    That’s a nice selection. You did end up watching a variety of dramas.

    I have to leave my year end musings till next weekend as I haven’t had any time for that so far and I’m not going to be home during Christmas either. So, I haven’t really sorted out my thoughts in genereal about the dramas I watched this year, but none of them was truly outstanding, though I liked some a lot. Also my feelings for most of the kdramas are predominantly lukewarm, I dropped SO many.

    The best (k)drama for me this year is definitely The Light in Your Eyes/Dazzling. It turned out to be really impactful with a story that had lot of things to tell about aging and what it means to different people. I could relate, in so many ways. As Joy of Life is still ongoing, I guess my fave drama of 2019 is The Untamed. The OST from The Untamed is the best soundtrack as well, no contest there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It’s always nice to get in a variety of different kinds of dramas 🙂

      I still need to watch The Light in Your Eyes. It’s a drama I definitely have to make sure I’m in the right mindset for, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for a good time. Still plan to give The Untamed a whirl too, hopefully early in the new year.

      I’ll look forward to some of your musings when you get a chance. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! 🙂


  2. Snow Flower says:

    Here are my favorites:

    Best drama – Nokdu Flower
    Best actor – Yeo Jin Goo (The Crowned Clown)
    Best actress – Kim Hye Ja (The Light in Your Eyes)
    Best romance – The Tale of Nokdu
    Best bromance – My Country
    Best Girlmance – The Light in Your Eyes
    Best OST – My Country
    Best costumes – My Country
    Best villain – Mr. Temporary
    Best kiss – The Tale of Nokdu
    Best breakout performance – Son Seok Koo (Designated Survivor : 60 Days)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      Oooh, you have such a good list! I had My Country coming up second in several categories as well as The Tale of Nokdu. It’s hard just choosing one for each category! hehe 🙂


  3. Snow Flower says:

    I forgot to add Designated Survivor: 60 Days as my pick for best thriller. I did not include the name of villain in Mr. Temporary because I did not want to spoil the story for anyone who is planning to watch this drama in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Much appreciated on the non-reveal for Mr. Temporary! That’s on my watch list as well as Designated Survivor. I enjoyed the first season of the American version, so I’m curious to see the differences between versions as well as if all of the thrills carry over 🙂


  4. Snow Flower says:

    I think 2019 was a very good drama year. There were a couple of worthy contenders in every category and genre. While Mr. Sunshine was the clear winner of 2018 for me, this year it was difficult to pick just one winner. And that’s a very good thing! I wanted to add that most of my 2019 favorites shared thematic elements. Character transformation was one of them. Dramas like Nokdu Flower, The Crowned Clown, Designated Survivor: 60 Days” and The Tale of Nokdu all featured characters who faced various challenges, but rose to the occasion with courage and dignity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Definitely! It’s always a good problem to have a hard time choosing the best 🙂

      That’s really interesting that your favorites followed a theme this year. I’m a sucker for great character transformation stories myself, so I can totally see why you would love dramas that do that well. Nokdu Flower, The Crowned Clown, and The Tale of Nokdu were a few that had some amazing character journeys (and I’m guessing Designated Survivor too since you included it 🙂 ). Such good stories all around 🙂


  5. Snow Flower says:

    I already mentioned My Country as my favorite instrumental soundtrack. I want to add Blue Bird from Nokdu Flower as my favorite vocal OST.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Good morning,

    I know I’m quite late for this, but I just finished Doctor John, and The Last Empress, for me to add them on the nominations. 😀 🙂

    “My K-Dramatic Awards 2019”

    BEST ACTOR: Ji Sung (Doctor John)
    BEST ACTRESS: Jang Na Ra (The Last Empress)
    BEST NEW ACTOR: Ahn Bo Hyun (Her Private Life)
    BEST NEW ACTRESS: Kim Bo Ra (SKY Castle)
    BEST CHILD ACTRESS: Oh Ah Rin (The Last Empress)
    CHARACTERS OF THE YEAR: Oh Sunny (The Last Empress), Dr. Yo Han (Doctor John), Jang Man Wol (Hotel Del Luna)
    BEST COUPLE: Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na (Touch Your Heart)
    BEST KISS: Yoon Kyun Sang and Kim Yoo Jung (Clean with Passion for Now)
    BEST STORY: Hotel Del Luna, Melting Me Softly
    BEST VILLAIN: Kim Soo Hyung (SKY Castle), Shin Sung Rok (The Last Empress)
    BEST OST: Let Me Hear Your Song by O.WHEN
    BEST ASSEMBLE: Hotel Del Luna ‘Hoteliers’
    DRAMA OF THE YEAR: What’s Wrong, Poong Sang?
    2019’s 2ND LEAD SYNDROME: Ahn Bo Hyun (Her Private Life)
    SCENE STEALER OF THE YEAR: Kim Sung Kyu (Kingdom)

    Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oooh, I love all of your picks! Of course, we have some of the same ones (The Last Empress won a lot of awards from me, hehe), but many of your other choices were so deserving too. We had so many great dramas, actors, and characters in 2019. It makes it hard to choose just one winner in each category! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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