These are the Allsorts Kdrama’s Top 5 Historical Korean Dramas till Date!
Starring Park Min-young, Park Yoo-chun, Yoo Ah-in & Song Joong-ki
Inspired by the famous novel The Lives of Sungkyunkwan Confucian Scholars, the drama depicts how a woman who disguises herself as a man and gets enrolled in the prestigious Sungkyunkwan, the Joseon Dynasty’s highest educational institute.
In those times where women were not allowed to educate or employed, Kim Yoon-hee (played by Park Min-young) who disguises herself as her brother, Kim Yoon-shik, works at the bookstore to cope up with her family needs! She was then offered to impersonate as candidates to take up the entrance exam at Sungkyunkwan University as a substitute test taker which was an illegal act! Reluctant Yoon-hee agreed to take up the test as a substitute since it would add some amount to her income!
She gets caught by the righteous student Lee Sun-joon (played by Park Yoo-chun), but later he supported her to enrol herself in the institute and gradually fall for her!
The real story starts when she shares the room with Moon Jae-shin (played Yoo Ah-in) and when she has to bear with upperclassman Gu Yong-ha (played Song Joong-ki) and the strict student body president Ha In-soo (played by Jun Tae-soo)!
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is a quite different drama, it does not have any unrequited love (with the female lead) unlike usual korean dramas!
The drama embraces a fantastic friendship which everyone wants as a student! The bromance between song Joong-ki and Yoo Ah-in will be a treat to watch!
The drama depicts how gradually the 4 friends support each other in spite of having differences in their beliefs!
- The original soundtrack, which featured Park Yoo-chun’s band JYJ, sold 110,000 copies in a couple of weeks.
- Park Yoochun won Best New Actor Award at KBS Drama Awards 2010
- The Drama won Outstanding Korean Drama Award at 6th Seoul International Drama Awards,2011
- The Drama won Bronze World Medal for Best Miniseries at 55th New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards
- Kim Kap-soo won Top Excellence Actor Award at KBS Drama Awards 2010
- Park Min-young won Excellence Award, under Actress in a Mid-length Drama category at KBS Drama Awards 2010
4.ROOKIE HISTORIAN GOO HAE-RYUNG:
Starring Shin Se-kyung & Cha Eun-woo
Set in the Joseon era, where women are objectified and underrated, a free-spirited noble class(classes were defined in Joseon Dynasty),26 years old lady, Goo Hae-ryung is brave enough to break the existing customs and engaged herself in Learning for Knowledge which was a mere dream for women in those ages. Not only that , she is also dare enough to defend people who are abused and wronged
Contrary to that, the young and handsome 20-year-old Prince Yi Rim has been living his lonely life! He stays alone in his chamber by remaining from the politics of the royal court. In spite of this, he has found solace through writing and his hobby comforted him from his depression of loneliness. He hides his own identity and had a pen name “Maehwa”, and keep himself engaged by writing romance novels that became famous all over, especially popular among women readers.
However, His novels failed to impress Goo Hae-ryung as she always believes in reality rather than the heroic romance, and finds his novels an utter waste of time! The time has let them meet each other! When they both encountered, the prince criticized her lack of knowledge in literature and Angry Goo Hae-ryung rebuked him without being knowing that he is a prince.
To comply with the Anual of Joseon (True record of the Joseon dynasty), the Royal Court has decided to recruit female historians for the first time in history! Hae-ryung and other 3 female Historians were selected as Apprentices!
Despite that, they had to face and fight the gender stereotypes as they are underestimated to the core when compared to their male counterparts!
After a few encounters, the Prince starts liking the attitude of Hae-ryung who is now a female Historian(apprentice) and she started to reciprocate as well.
Then the story flows on how Hae-ryung with the help of colleagues and Prince, fights against the oppression!
Though seemed to be a very NORMAL DRAMA, you can find very different scenes that are quite unusual in the historical genre.
First and foremost, the characteristics of Goo Hae-ryung, neither a warrior nor a typical girl portrayal! Quite unique! further, She does not like romance, rather, the Prince does!
Not a princess, but a Historian! The relationship between her and the fellow historians was depicted in a funny way, however, when needed, it pictured how supportive a colleague should be!
Coming to the Prince, he is charming, lonely, depressed, and his reactions on Hae-ryung criticism will be very humorous.
The last one is, live in relationship concept in joseon era? Very very unique!
The second lead pair hide and seek romance will be a nice watch!
If you want to see a pleasant drama, then give it a go!
- Shin Se-kyung won Top Excellence Award under Actress in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama category at MBC drama Awards, 2019 and Cha Eun-woo the award under Actor in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama category
- Shin Se-kyung and Cha Eun-woo best couple awards at MBC drama Awards, 2019.
- Shin Se-kyung was nominated for Grand Prize (Daesang) award!
3.MOON EMBRACING THE SUN:
Starring Kim Soo-hyun & Han Ga-in
Adapted from the novel moon embracing the sun written by Jung Eun-gwol, the drama pictures the pitiful and secret love between a king and a shaman.
Crown Prince Lee Hwon and Yeon-woo(palace’s Chief Scholar daughter ) fall for each other despite she is loved by the Crown Prince’s half-brother Prince Yang Myung.
Finally, after defeating Queen mother’s (who is actually the Crown Prince’s grandmother ) conspiracy, the crown Prince married Yeon-woo!
The Queen mother cast a curse on Yeon woo and she is buried alive. The crown Prince reluctantly went on to marry as per Queen mother ‘s wish.
But after 8 years, After seeing a shaman who looks like Yeon woo, the King(then crown prince) started an investigation on his wife’ s death, and still, the King has to protect his throne and the woman he loves!
This is a very sad drama with a happy ending! But serious and unique plot make this drama interesting.
The Eunuch character will be your only hope if you are looking for hilarious scenes.
The lead pair chemistry is amazing and it is basically a fantasy drama touching the historical genre!
If you want to watch a serious drama, then this is the perfect one.
- The rating was phenomenal! The drama has reached a peak rating of 42%.
- As reported by the AGB Nielsen Media Research, the first episode achieved a nationwide rating of 18 percent which was considered a peak rating and the rating went up to 42 in the last episode.
- The Drama has won multiple awards and considered one of the best dramas of the year.
- Kim Soo-Hyun won almost all awards under Best Actor and Popular Actor Categories. He was even nominated for Grand Price Award along with Han ga-nin.
- Finally, Moon embracing the sun won the Special Jury Award at 46th World Fest-Houston Festival.
2. LOVE IN THE MOONLIGHT:
Starring Park Bo-gum and Kim Yoo-jung
Based on the novel Moonlight Drawn by Clouds ,the story revolves around the Childhood and adolescence of Crown Prince Lee Yeong (Played by Park Bo-gum).The Story further describes how the loneliness of the crown prince vanished after the eunuch named Hong Ra-on (played Kim Yoo-jung) came into his life.
On the Other end, the story depicts about whom exactly the Ra-on is, her family background, and the reason for disguise!
The Entire Plot, Music, and the performances are magnificent! Park Bo-gum is praised as “Nation’s Crown Prince” by the media.
The couple’s chemistry was beyond its run and one of the best onscreen couple in the Korean Dramas.
Other than the two main protagonists, the two characters, Kim Yoon-sung (used to be a best friend of the crown prince) and Kim Byung-Yeon(trusted confidant) is impressive!
- The First Teaser of Love in the Moonlight was a Super hit and reached many audiences! The moves of Bo-gum, dressed in dragon robe and dancing to Jessy Matador’s French pop-song “Bomba” in front of Gwanghwamun was lauded by the critics!
- The drama was highly praised for the Performances and the music!
- The extensive popularity of the drama was described as “Moonlight Syndrome” by the media!
- When the drama was released, novel Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, was proliferated to 50% increase in sales!
- The drama has achieved a high Audience rating of 23.3% in South Korea!
- Kim Yoo-jung Won Best New Actress at 5th APAN Star Awards And Best Icon Award at Asia Artist Awards, Other than this, she won Excellence Award under Actress in a Mid-length Drama category at 30th KBS Drama Awards!
- Park Bo-gum & Kim Yoo-jung won Best Couple at 30th KBS Drama Awards!
- Love in the Moonlight won Platinum Remi Award at 50th Annual WorldFest Houston. In addition, it won Top Excellence Award for a Hallyu Drama at 12th Seoul International Drama Awards, where Park Bo-gum winning the Outstanding Korean Actor Award!
- Park Bo-gum Most Popular Actor, Television at 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards with Kim Yoo-jung winning under Actress Category.
1.MOON LOVERS: SCARLET HEART RYEO:
Starring Lee Joon-gi, Lee Ji-eun & Kang Ha-neul
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is inspired by the Chinese novel Bu Bu Jing Xin by Tong Hua. During the time of the total solar eclipse, a 21st-century woman, Go Ha-jin who was then 25 years old, is made traveled back to the Goryeo Dynasty period. She wakes up in the body of Hae Soo, a cousin of Prince Wang Wook’s Wife. She befriends with all the royal princes of Wang Family, which was ruling the Goryeo Nation at the time. Initially, She falls in love with the warm-hearted 8th Prince Wang Wook, who was her ill cousin’s husband. But later, she realized that she loves the 4rth Prince Wang So, a Cold-hearted, fearsome, and dangerous, who hides his face behind a mask due to a scar which was considered as inauspicious at the time.
The Story describes How Hae Soo Struggled after she befriends with the royal princes who were forced to kill each other for the sake of the throne.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is One of the Best Historical dramas ever made in the History of Korean Dramas.Even after a decade ,and even after that,this drama will be in the top 10 list! It deserves to be!
This is not a usual Korean drama(be it historical) where the male lead would be gentle and do anything and everything for his love! This drama portrays the realistic history and the thirst for power that made relationships void!
Terrific performances by all the actors, especially Lee joon-gi and of course, about the poor girl Hae-Soo who was caught between the princes!! A just big WoW! hope none can suit other than Lee Ji-eun. The entire crew has shown their outstanding performances especially Kang ha-neul, Kang Han-na , Hong Jong-hyun, Byun Baek-hyun Nam Joo-hyuk , Ji Soo.
The overall Storyline, unpredictable screenplays, everything was fantabulous.
- At Korea Brand Awards, Moon Lovers received the K-Culture Pride Award.
- At SBS Drama Awards held on 2016, Moon Lovers has won several awards under categories of Excellence Award, Actor in a Fantasy Drama, and Special Acting Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama, Hallyu Star Award, Best Couple Award, Top 10 Stars Award, New Star Award, and Idol Academy Award, Best “Drudge”.
- At Baeksang Arts Awards of 2017, Kang Han-na was Nominated for Best New Actress.
- At Asia Artist Awards of 2016, Byun Baekhyun Won the Popularity Award.
- This drama was a Super Hit in Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
- It was also aired in so many other countries including Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Iran, Romania, and Turkey.
- Despite the Overseas success, the Drama has been severely criticized for its screenplay and performances in South Korea. However, the drama was sold for $8 million to a Chinese channel, marking the highest sold drama ever in 2016.
OTHER FEW NOTABLE HISTORICAL KDRAMAS 2020:
Notorious chef jang bong-hwan, who works for blue House, falls into a water and his soul gets into the body of a destined highness, Kim So-yong, the to-be queen of king cheoljong, the 25th King of Joseon! The story explains the funny doings of bong-hwan in So-yong body! Moreover, His life being Kim So-yong is always in threats, so he must manage to live with all those extremely powerful, ambitious and cunning people to save his soul in order to retain his body. This is one of the extremely funny Korean drama like My Sassy Girl. The Character so-yong steals the show singlehandedly.
Also read: 20 Best Recommended Historical Korean Dramas (2010- 2020)