The whole process behind the production of a drama includes many steps. Actors, directors, location scouts, production crew, and many more people pitch in to create a television series. However, the first step of making a television series, or any other visual content, is the creation of a story or a script. A script is a stepping stone towards the making of any content. All other decisions regarding casting, direction, and production are taken based on what type of script is written. K-drama has yielded many talented writers over the years like Yang Hee Seung, Kwon Do Eun, Kang Eun Kyung, and Lim Sang Choon. One such talented writer is Kim Eun Sook, who is known as the powerhouse of Korean scriptwriting. In her career of twenty years, she has produced many successful K-dramas and has earned various accolades. Let’s take a look at the top 10 K-dramas written by her.
1. Lovers In Paris
Eun Sook’s breakthrough as a scriptwriter came with the 2004 romance drama Lovers in Paris. The drama became a major hit owing to its beautiful shooting locations in both South Korea and Paris. Not only Lovers in Paris gave Eun Sook a headstart in her career, but it also catapulted the fame of the leads. The drama has become one of the most streamed K-dramas in history, scoring an average of 40% viewership ratings, with the highest recorded rating standing at 58.8%. This drama also won the Best Script award at the 2005 Baeksang Arts Awards.
2. City Hall
This Shin Woo Chul directorial takes place in the fictional city of Inju City, where a low-ranking government worker becomes the mayor of the city and gets entangled in a romantic relationship with the deputy mayor. The drama wonderfully portrays the highs and lows and work-life balance of the protagonist, and this portrayal became the selling point of City Hall. The K-drama received praise for its engaging plot and crisp writing, all owing to the writer Kim Eun Sook. City Hall received acclaim for its raw and relatable struggles of a working-class woman. Kim Eun Sook was applauded for how well she managed to mix the two opposing genres of politics and humor.
3. Secret Garden
This rom-com drama is the perfect blend of fantasy and comedy. The star power couple of drama, Hyun Bin, and Ha Ji-won, helped the series peak at many viewership charts and received overwhelmingly positive reviews. This drama is probably the best work of Eun Sook, as it helped her nab three prestigious awards for her scriptwriting in the drama. For Secret Garden, Kim Eun Sook won the Korean Excellence Writer Award at the 2011 Seoul International Drama Awards, the Best Writer at the 2011 Korea Drama Award, and the Prime Minister's Award in Broadcasting.
4. A Gentleman’s Dignity
The comedy-drama had an industry powerhouse as its star cast. Jang Dong Eun, who made a comeback after twelve years with A Gentleman’s Dignity, portrays the role of an egoistic playboy who meets a beautiful woman Seo Yi Soo (played by Kim Na Heul), and falls in love with her. The drama’s central theme revolves around the four gentleman’s lives as they deal with the wax and wane of friendship, love, and career. The drama is a beloved fan favorite, as depicted by its superb viewership ratings.
5. The Heirs
Every K-drama fanatic has heard the name of this cult-classic drama. The Heirs also known by its alternate name The Inheritors, is one of the dramas that played a major drama in bringing Korean content to international attention. The drama has everything that gives a content a high entertainment value, engrossing love triangle, high school drama, and the ever-famous rich guy poor girl romance. The Heirs earned Kim Eun Sook the Best Screenplay award at the Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2014.
6. Descendants Of The Sun
Descendants of the Sun, or DOTS for short, is best known for giving us K-drama lovers the famous Song-Song couple, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo. It was on the set of DOTS when the Song-Song couple met for the first time and helped them develop a real-life romantic relationship. Sadly, the couple broke up, but the couple’s on-screen chemistry is still appreciated even seven years after the drama’s release. Because of the engaging and beautiful storyline, Kim Eun Sook won the Best Writer Award at the 2016 KBS Drama Awards. The drama was even more popular in other Asian countries like China and Japan.
7. The Guardian: The Lonely And Great God
After giving a spectacular performance as a screenwriter in Descendants of the Sun, Kim Eun Sook delivered another masterpiece, Goblin. While DOTS was a contemporary romance, Goblin was a comparatively different script as it combined supernatural and reincarnation concepts with romance. Nevertheless, Eun Sook delivered a magnificent script for the drama. Goblin was the most-awarded K-drama of 2016, and Kim Eun Sook was awarded the Prime Minister's Award at the Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards.
8. Mr. Sunshine
If you are a fan of historical romance with tragic endings, Mr. Sunshine should be on the top of your watchlist. The series starring Kim Tae Ri and Lee Byung Hun as the leads tells the tragic love story between an aristocrat’s daughter and an American military officer. The series witnessed a steady climb in viewership ratings with each episode’s release. The drama is a fan favorite and won the Baeksang Arts Award for Best Leading Actor in TV in 2019.
9. The King: Eternal Monarch
While Eun Sook has penned many dramas revolving around the supernatural theme, The King was her first rodeo into the concept of alternate timelines and time travel. The hate-to-love trope present in the drama became an instant favorite among fans when it aired in 2020. The romance and the thriller element in the drama were wonderfully portrayed by Kim Eun Sook.
10. The Glory
While The King: Eternal Monarch was a hit, it couldn’t compare to the massive popularity Descendants of the Sun or Goblin had garnered. There was a huge pressure on Kim Eun Sook to deliver the “next big hit”. Actress Song Hye Kyo was under similar pressure to deliver a spectacular performance as her comeback drama three years after her break from the limelight failed to generate hype. The two women collaborated on the revenge drama The Glory. The top-notch performances delivered by the cast as well as the accurate and honest handling of the issue of bullying helped the drama soar in viewership charts. Just three days after the drama’s second part was released, The Glory grabbed a spot in the Global Top 3 of Netflix.