Best Combinations in Kdramaland

When you have lived long enough in Kdramaland, you will start to notice that there are certain groups of people who produced things that you love or even hate. 

Lee Woo Jung (writer) + Shin Won Ho (director)


(Reply 1997Reply 1994Reply 1988)

What they offer: nostalgia trips, the story of our lives, warmness of people.

Three of them focus on the past story of a group of friends in their teens or early 20s. The story itself is as simple as our daily lives, yet the viewers are deeply attracted due to its simplicity as well. The most interesting part is that the writer always show us some short scenes of their present lives in every episode, having us to guess who the female lead's husband will be as the story goes.

I personally like Reply 1988 the best among the series as it focuses not only on the youngster friendship but the one between the parents too. I also love the family aspect of it which made me cry like a baby at every episode.

Fun fact: Lee Woo Jung is also the writer in charge whenever Na PD makes variety shows, i.e 2 Days 1 Night Season 1, Three Meals a Day, Grandpas Over Flowers, Yoon's Kitchen.

Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon 

(writer combo)


(Queen SeondeokTree With Deep RootsSix Flying Dragons)

What they offer: spectacular sageuk (historical) stories, layered characters, villains you can't bring yourself to hate.

Actually, I wanted to mention the directors, but they don't work together with just one person so I am just skipping it. Three of them are based on the real Korean history, but they added some fictional stories and fictional characters to it which made the drama more exciting. I am always intrigued by the pilot episodes, craving for more in the middle, and feel the emptiness at the end of the drama. Also, I often found myself attached to the characters and there were many times I hate to say goodbye.

Patiently waiting for their next sageuk called Pa Cheon Hwang. I have no idea when it will air or who the cast will be, but it definitely will be as amazing.

Noh Hee Kyung (writer) + Kim Kyu Tae (director)


(Padam Padam the Sound of His and Her HeartbeatThat Winter, The Winds BlowsIt's Okay That's Love)

What they offer: melo love story that tears you up and realistic writing style.

They have previously worked together in The Worlds Within as well, but KKT wasn't the main director. Some people hate the director's camera style because he often shoots the actors too close that you almost see their nose hair. Sometimes I get annoyed by it, sometimes I don't; I like how he managed to capture the actors' raw emotions and how he shot the beautiful sceneries. 

I have no idea how to judge the prior two dramas as I didn't manage to finish it, but It's Okay That's Love is definitely a must watch. The shows challenged the stigma toward mental illness (which wasn't a common topic in Korea), yet it was able to make it lighter to watch with its little comedies and beautiful directing. The closeness of IOTL team can be seen in their bts and they even celebrated their show anniversary by going holiday overseas.

"During the rehearsals, we cried and laughed. Because I felt a bit sad about the time left with the team, I forgot about the pain of creativity and wanted to write a couple more episodes." - Noh Hee Kyung

Their current new project is a drama called Live. AND the good news is it will be aired on tvN!

Hong Sisters (writer) +  Gong Hyo Jin


(The Greatest LoveThe Master's Sun)

What they offer: rom-com that makes you laugh so hard.

Gong Hyo Jin is romantic comedy drama queen, no doubt. However, when she works with Hong Sisters, it's just the best. I am not a fan of Hong Sisters' works, but I like these two dramas. And I know I don't have to write more for you to understand, right.

Honourable rom-com mention: Song Hyun-Wook director's Marriage Not Dating and Another Miss Oh.

Kim Eun Sook (writer) + Lee Eung Book(director)


(Descendants of the SunGoblin)

What they offer: sky-rocketed ratings and fangirling at the beautiful actors.

Kim Eun Sook is not just a writer. She is a brand name. A guarantee of high ratings and a guarantee of making the originally famous male stars to become more famous. When these two work together, they just BOOM commercially, making the craze everywhere. 

KES used to work with Shin Woo Cheol director for 7 projects in 2004-2012, I have no idea what happened to these two now, but their past dramas together were super famous in Korea as well. I picked LEB director just because they are more recent and still continuous.

DotS is famous not only locally but also internationally, especially in China. Song Joong Ki was almost every fangirl's dream husband to the point I heard people were divorcing thanks to their husband for not being as sweet as Yoon Shi Jin. On the other hand, drama Goblin created a new goblin trend in Korea where you can see many examples of people referencing it in varieties, dramas, etc.

Their current project is Mr. Sunshine, starring Lee Byung HunKim Tae RiYoo Yeon SeokByun Yo Han.

Bonus: Chinese dramas by Daylight Entertainment


(Battle of ChangshaNirvana in FireThe DisguiserAll Quiet in Peking)


(Love Me if You DareWhen Snails Fall in LoveOde to JoySurgeons, and more)

What they offer: detailed dramas with a strong plot and cast performance.

Daylight Entertainment established in 2011; their team consists of a well-known director like Li Xue, Kong Sheng, and producer Hou Hong Liang. Their company also signed several actors such as Wang Kai and  Jin Dong

Upcoming sequels to expect: Nirvana in Fire 2: The Wind Blows in Chang Lin and Ode to Joy 3.

Comments (20)

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    rosyprincess 15 days ago

  • Reply
    KMR 16 days ago

    Light bulb moment. great article

  • Reply
    myt124 17 days ago

    I love all the dramas above! Thanks for the article!

  • Reply
    chante 18 days ago

    Two of my favorite historical dramas Tree with Deep Roots and Six flying Dragons.

  • Reply
    AnicsiRoscoe 18 days ago

    I absolutely agree with the combo of 'It's okay that's love'. It's my favorite drama up to date, and I also enjoyed that Winter the Wind blows immensely. I have yet to watch Padam Padam, I've avoided it because, boy, i know it'll make me cry rivers.

    Agree with DOTS and Goblin, as well, epic series with flaws that you just want to overlook.

    I am a huge fan of your Romcom Honorable Mention 'Marriage not Dating' and especially 'Another Miss Oh', more so than the Hong's sisters work (although Gong Hyo Jin is always gold, of course)

    Reply series are classics, of course.

    Good article, I'll wrack my brain to think of more golden combos.

  • Reply
    souldoc70 18 days ago

    I actually prefer Kim Eun Sook's older dramas . Hence her collaboration with director Shin Woo Chul produced mega hits - Lovers in Paris, Lovers, City Hall, Gentleman'sdignity and Secret garden ( their last collaboration). And I realized their combo cast great actors- Park Shin yang , Kim Jung Eun,Lee Seo Jin, Kim Sun Ah, Cha Seung Won, Lee Bum Soo , Kim Ha Neul,Hyun Bin , Ha Ji Won. Wow KES must be super rich now

  • Reply
    HamelinSong 18 days ago

    SOTS wasn't as good as Goblin though...

  • Reply
    Anjaly 18 days ago

    Really great combinations..

  • Reply
    shin 19 days ago

    great article :D
    I also like the combination of writer Park Hye Ryun and director Jo Soo Won (I Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio)

  • Reply
    iamgeralddd 19 days ago

    that's a great article, Sharn! :D
    Now i'm in a need of Noh Hee Kyung + Kim Kyu Tae combination again (Live).

  • Reply
    RueXie 19 days ago

    the article is so interesting and entertaining .. thanks for the brilliant writer

  • Reply
    Oldlady 19 days ago

    Thanks for this article! Very interesting....

  • Reply
    sunflower63 19 days ago

    Wow, what a fantastic article!! Thanks so much for writing this as I had no idea that so many dramas that I loved had writer, directors or production teams in common. This is very helpful in keeping an eye out for the future projects of all these combos. :)

  • Reply
    curlyglasses 19 days ago - edited

    Daylight entertainment dramas are legit such high quality! Thanks for pointing that out Sharn!

  • Reply
    sunah 20 days ago

    "because he often shoots the actors too close that you almost see their nose hair." (΄◞ิਊ◟ิ‵)
    hahaha this caught me waaay off guard, Sha!

(aka Sharnie)
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