Contrary to popular belief, some of your all time favorite K-dramas were not popular in their home country. It's very hard to believe that some gems we hold near and dear to our hearts didn't achieve Descendants of the Sun or Goblin status. Nonetheless, there are several masterpieces that are absolutely impossible to ignore!

Let's take a look at a few dramas in recent years that were amazing despite the low numbers in the ratings.

1. My Shy Boss

Eun Hwan Ki's transformation from extremely withdrawn to one of the best K-drama lovers was shocking! Granted, he opened up gradually to his employees, but his sexy kisses and cuddle time with his girlfriend Park Hye Soo gave us life. My Shy Boss should have been in the top 3 every week it aired, instead of 3.5% being the highest rating for episode 1 in South Korea. 


My Shy Boss

Starring Yeon Woo Jin and Park Hye Soo

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2. Hwarang

I don't understand how being surrounded by flower boys does not guarantee instant ratings success! A Ro was one lucky doctor that she was given the opportunity to treat the most handsome men in the kingdom. The future leader even falls head over heels in love with her! How could the TV ratings never surpass 14% in South Korea is beyond me. Our Strong Woman Do Bong Soon hottie Park Hyung Sik is king!  

3. Scarlet Heart: Ryeo

This historical jewel never caught on in its home country either, however, it instantly scored a billion views when it started streaming online in China. Way to go! Hae Soo did have a rough time towards the end of the series, but being showered with love by a few hot princes eased the pain. Her prince filled scenes brought out the K-drama jealously in all of us.


Scarlet Heart: Ryeo (Director's Cut)

Starring Lee Joon Ki and Lee Ji Eun (IU)

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4. Please Come Back, Mister

The highest rating this SBS series achieved was 11%, even though this fantasy drama starred global superstar Rain. Supernatural elements made it a Secret Garden meets Oh My Ghostess type show, so it is a must see for fans of those hit K-dramas. Thankfully, international audiences were given the chance to enjoy what SBS viewers missed out on.


Please Come Back, Mister

Starring Rain (Bi) and Oh Yeon Seo

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5. School 2015

Honestly, this youth series was pure genius! It had the right mixture of mystery, suspense and a touch of romance that kept international viewers tuning in week after week. It was unlike any school series before it, and that was the beauty of School 2015. Plus, Nam Joo Hyuk's career took off after taking on the leading role. I'm surprised such an incredible show never surpassed 12% in the ratings at home. 


School 2015

Starring Kim So Hyun and Nam Joo Hyuk

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Which K-drama from the past were you surprised wasn't popular at home? 

Shelly M is an author and blogger. Follow her personal blog at