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2020 MBC Drama Awards


Park Hae-jin

It’s nice to get a bit of normalcy during such an abnormal year, and as always, MBC was the first of the Big 3 networks to hold their year-end awards ceremonies. The 2020 MBC Drama Awards had TV personality Kim Seong-joo hosting solo with all attendees wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Dramedy Old School Intern grabbed the most awards (four) with its headliner Park Hae-jin getting the honored Daesang. In Old School Intern, Park’s character Ga Yeol-chan is a successful ramyun company executive who, by a twist of fate, reunites with his former boss from hell (played by Kim Eung-soo) when his former boss becomes his intern. The other big winner of the night was 365: Repeat the Year with three awards.

Overall, MBC had a pretty quiet year drama-wise; they actually produced fewer shows in 2020 than they did in 2019. There were still quite a few solid shows, Kairos being the most recent among them, but the quietness was reflected in the reduced the number of award categories for this year.

Park Hae-jin debuted in 2006 and this is the first Daesang of his career. While accepting his award he said, “I received the MBC New Actor Award in 2008 and I’m so grateful to receive such a major prize after working on my first MBC project in twelve years…I’m grateful to my loving family. To my grandmother who’s currently in the hospital, though I can’t go visit you right now, I hope to see you healthy and well.”

On the fashion front, I know how important masks are for COVID prevention measures, but it’s so strange seeing everyone dressed up to the nines while masked up. Though masks were a new feature of the awards ceremony, one thing that didn’t change was the perennial love of white dresses for the red carpet. I did enjoy seeing the various gloves that the men and women alike donned, they’re a nice combination of practicality and fashion.

The full list of winners awaits you below!

WINNERS LIST
Daesang (Grand Prize): Park Hae-jin (Old School Intern)
Drama of the Year: Old School Intern

Top Excellence, Monday-Tuesday Miniseries, Actress: Nam Ji-hyun (365: Repeat the Year)
Top Excellence, Monday-Tuesday Miniseries, Actor: Shin Sung-rok (Kairos)
Top Excellence, Wednesday-Thursday Miniseries, Actress: Im Soo-hyang (When I Was the Most Beautiful)
Top Excellence, Wednesday-Thursday Miniseries, Actor: Kim Eung-soo (Old School Intern)

Excellence, Monday-Tuesday Miniseries, Actress: Nam Gyuri (Kairos)
Excellence, Monday-Tuesday Miniseries, Actor: Lee Jun-hyuk (365: Repeat the Year)
Excellence, Wednesday-Thursday Miniseries, Actress: Kim Seul-gi (Find Me in Your Memory)
Excellence, Wednesday-Thursday Miniseries, Actor: Im Joo-hwan (The Game: Towards Zero, The Spies Who Loved Me)

Golden Acting Award: Shim Yi-young (My Wonderful Life)
Best Couple: Moon Ga-young and Kim Dong-wook (Find Me in Your Memory)

Supporting Actress Award: Kim Sun-young (Old School Intern)
Supporting Actor Award: Lee Sung-wook (365: Repeat the Year)
New Actress: Kim Hye-joon (United Effort to Accomplish One Thing)
New Actor: Ahn Bo-hyun (Kairos)


Nam Gyuri


Ha Suk-jin


Im Soo-hyang


Kim Seul-gi


Kim Hye-joon


Lee Joo-bin


Park Ki-woong

Via Newsis

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Thanks for weecapped @laica and even loved this show to @katakwasabi, Kairos got only 3 winners! Congrats to Kairos team.

Meanwhile, unlike both this year's SBS and KBS drama awards this year (I don't knowif there's a disinfection for both of this two drama awards), I felt luckiest that MBC had only the safest drama award during Covid-19 pandemic with all masked and gloves despite the one of the year of the third and the lowest non-cable ratings with so many flops around MBC (sorry, Kairos).

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I saw a red carpet photos for this year's KBS Drama Awards and they're all wearing facemasks only. But why no gloves? :( I knew that all attendees of KBS Drama Awards sanitized and cleaned their hands. So I'm looking forward for the Dramabeans article on 2020 KBS Drama Awards.

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I think it's only fair to award ratings, and Kkondae Intern was MBC's highest-rated drama this year. It was so good to see Extraordinary You's Kim Ro-woon and Lee Jae-wook present New Actor and Actress. Ahn Bo-hyun and Kim Hye-joon were shoo-ins for the award, but I rooted for Kim Do-wan in She Knows Everything.

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"I think it's only fair to award ratings"

But... aren't the high ratings already an award? LOL

I would prefer awards shows try to be a bit more critical and objective rather than just being popularity shows. Popularity is an award in itself, IMO, and popularity itself shouldn't be awarded without taking into account quality, or what the industry insiders and critics (who judge media on a critical basis for a living) consider quality. Not saying Kkondae wasn't good (I didn't finish it) or that Park Hae-jin wasn't good in it, but just a general opinion I have about awards shows.

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The impression I get is that these network awards often link quality with ratings. E.g. my favourite Korean actor Jung Jae-young got a Top Excellence award a few years ago for a performance that he could have given in his sleep, but the show happened to be Investigation Couple which topped its timeslot ratings for many weeks.

IMO Kkondae Intern is not an undeserving winner. Apart from the fact that it did well in the ratings and created quite a lot of buzz, it's a very funny and unique show, and it's nice to see a comedy getting awards cos they are often regarded as inferior to serious dramas even though they are arguably more difficult to make.

Park Hae-jin getting the Daesang is pretty hard to take, though. He was good in Kkondae, but it was no tour-de-force like Kim Dong-wook's Special Labour Inspector Jo in the previous year. There are loads of more impressive MBC performances in 2020, including in Kkondae itself.

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In many ocassions is what u say,the drama who get's the highest rating of the station would grab the most important prizes,sometimes is worthy sometimes not so much and again in many ocassions over the years this awards shows are more of a pleasing feast,awarding almost everyone with something to thank them and remain on positive terms to work in the future again.

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On PHJ: I remember people thought Han Ji Min was finally going to get a Daesang for One Spring Night. The ratings for a bit higher to for OSN (Double digits:10%). So KDW winning was a nice surprise.

In MBC's case this year, it could've gone to Lee Joon Hyuk for 365 Days: Repeat the Year, since the ratings were at least 5%-6%. Personally, LJK is a better actor/person so that would've been nice to see a hard working actor finally get his due.

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Oh I forgot Han Ji-min in 2019! She was great in One Spring Night too, and you're right it was one of MBC's most successful shows that year. But I think OSN had more of an ensemble cast (everyone was so good!), and HJM's role was kind of quiet compared to KDW's larger-than-life and very central character Jo Jang-poong.

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Sometimes the nuanced performances go un-noticed in comparison to the more bombastic ones. She's another actress whose in the SHK/JJH/SYJ lineage of actresses. But I feel like she's a bit under-appreciated compared to them. She's become a great actress starting from Age to Shadows, Miss Baek, Familiar Wife, Radiant, and One Spring Night.

What I notice is every yr recently that MBC/KBS for one have their ups, and then downs more. Like last yr, KBS had a nice hit w/ WTCB hitting 24%, but this yr for weekday dramas, none have hit the 5% mark. So it seems, people don't have an allegiance to a particular channel, which could be troublesome in the streaming age in the future.

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@soulsearch12 Agree about Han Ji-min and more nuanced performances. Compared to OSN, her Miss Baek character was in-your-face noticeable, and accordingly she won loads of awards for it. She deserved to, but like you said her quieter acting in dramas ought to be acknowledged too.

As for MBC having ups and downs, better not to mention it when commenting under the ratings reports, cos an unregistered poster there keeps insisting that MBC is a complete "failed channel" :P

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MBC had some good dramas this year. Khondae was one I dropped early on. I don't remember why. Was there a lot of yelling? Congrats to the team though I can't take Park Hae-jin winning a Daesang seriously (though you can't take any award show seriously). I hope his grandma gets better.

I know it's because of COVID, but I like the gloves.

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Congratulations for Best Actor Award Shin Sung Rok! Totally deserved for his daesang-worthy performance in Kairos πŸ†.
Congratulations Kairos team: Nam Gyuri and Ahn Bo Hyun. Sad that Lee Se Young didn't win for Han Aeri~ but overall I'm happy Kairos team got awards too 😊.

I gotta say...the cast for both dramas that premiered on 26 Oct 2020 : Penthouse and Kairos swept awards in their respective channels drama awards. Hahaha πŸ˜†

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I would kinda give him the Daesang to be fair but hey...

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That's what I thought too!

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Hehe. Quite a lot of knetz were rooting for Sungrok-daesang that night~ I don't think anyone would really complain if he got it for his role as Kim Seo Jin. Sad Seyoung didn't win anything for Han Aeri~ she was amazing πŸ₯Ί. MBC didn't give any joint awards this year~

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On Lee Se Young, she's matured into a talented adult actress. She's one to watch. I really like that compared to her peers in her age group, she does different genres and roles that aren't just romance based. I think b/c of that and her more mature vibe than her peers, she'll be one of those actresses that won't be relegated to teen/young adult stuff. I can see her getting a juicy breakthrough role in her 30s.

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SSR deserves one!! He's another actor whose been working for ages. In fact, so many shows from the mdi 2000's K-dramas, he's either 2nd or 3rd ML in. It was a bit shocking how long he's been in the industry tbh. Like woah, and his co-stars there are still big names working today. Perhaps his time will come soon? I say keep working at MBC lol, since his ratings don't have to in double digit territory to win. JK ;)

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Shin Sung Rok is underappreciated in dramaland. Typecasted as the villain after MLAFS. He doesn't fit the normal kdrama lead look so it's no surprise he's not casted as ML despite his amazing acting skills. Perfume in 2019 was his 1st ML role. I want him to get more ML roles...but he steals the show even if he's the 2nd lead. But he needs more ML roles for a chance to win a daesang. He really deserve one and I hope he gets a daesang before he retires.

Iinm MBC in 2020 didn't have any drama with double digit ratings...they really need to beef up promos and increase reruns. Their dramas are good, most are unique and praised...but it's not reflected in the ratings.

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Indeed he is. He's very well respected for his talents, he's an acclaimed musical actor.

K-dramas tend to be tricky land. Every yr, newer/younger actors get brought up. That even I'm like, the fact that one can keep working and still get ML's or FL's in a highly competitive industry like that is lucky. I also notice that actors who've worked hard in bit parts or 2nd leads, do get upgraded to lead status gradually. Slow and steady wins the race?

As for ML roles, I think him choosing Kairos over Penthouse means he wants to do quality projects. As for Daesang, that's a bit of a wild card. But Nam Goong Min worked hard for decades un-noticed until he finally got one for Stove League.

As for MBC, it's not for lack of script qualities. But lack of star power/script-writers at MBC. I think they been on a steep decline since 2015, ratings wise or any drama that got some pop culture zeitgeist in Korea. Interesting, I mean other than one variety appearance, I don't think that really does much for a show. Private Lives: Both SH/GKP went on Knowing Brothers to promote the show, but it didn't do much for the show.

Anyways, KBS/MBC last yr sorta had a lackluster yr compared to SBS (In terms of ratings). As the TV industry changes, and more avenues start popping up, who knows how the stations will adjust to those changes going forward. Hearing other foreign companies coming over is hmm...news too. It feels like a lot, but in reality, K-dramas have been producing fewer and fewer in the last half decade.

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@soulsearch12 He already accepted the role as Ju Dan Tae in Penthouse. But the script read was delayed in the beginning. And then they announced that Penthouse is planned to be a season drama. From the sources I read, it was because he just joined Master in the House as a fixed member. It seems that a season drama does not work for his schedule. Only after that was he in talks for Kairos. And he accepted the role as Kim Seo Jin.

Penthouse is not a lesser quality project. It's makjang at it's finest and a sure hit thanks to the content, writer/PD + cast starpower. I've stopped watching it for now because I was too focused on Kairos haha. Though I do think if he continued to be Ju Dan Tae, it's a copy of Oh Tae Suk, his role in Return, complete with the same sidekicks. Even his wife in Return is in Penthouse, but now she's the wife of Ju Dan Tae's sidekick 🀣.

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@katakwasabi I meant more in the sense of if he did Penthouse, it would've been in the same vein as his prior villain roles were. A.K.A Type-casting. So doing Kairos in a more human role/father was a step in the right direction imo, even if the ratings weren't great. His acting did get praised a lot.

As for schedule conflicts with his variety show, that reminds me of another actor lol. As in, what happens when you've to do a variety show but also signed up for/want to do a drama same time. But can't do both b/c of schedule conflicts? Doesn't that suck for the actors? Esp. since acting is their main forte? That their second job (variety) is holding them back in joining a project?

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@soulsearch12 I don't know about other actors but SSR is enjoying his time on Master in the House. Excerpts from his SBS Ent. Award speech: 'I've been on MiTH for exactly one year. It gave me new perspectives on life. I had been only focused on acting. But this show made me realize I could be happy doing something other than acting.'

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@katakwasabi Oh wow, that's enlightening to hear. It seems for actors after their work ends, it's a lonely/sad process going back to real life. It seems for most, acting is their way of life. But they put so much focus on one aspect, that they haven't been able to focus on other things in life? Although, the shooting schedule seems strenuous? Wonder how they balance that out, seems like my brain would be doing back flips doing comedy/gag humor one day, and the next serious/dramatic.

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@soulsearch12 for starters, I don't think he's trying to be someone else on the show. He's just being himself. Master in the House is like a hybrid observational show, they meet new masters each 1 or 2 weeks and learn about their lives, they do challenges once in a while. There's no requirement to do gags, it's not a comedy sketch.

Another excerpt from one of his latest interviews (google trans):
Q: The combination of drama and entertainment activities is exhausting, but is there a driving force for not getting tired?

Sungrok: β€œThankfully, (to me), I have been able to work in various fields. I have been following the flow of consciousness so far, but when I think about it, this process itself seems to be the process of finding my happiness. I have fun and enjoyment while doing work. To my limits. It seems that challenging is the driving force."

https://n.news.naver.com/entertain/article/241/0003082328

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My favourite MBC drama in 2020 :
- 365: Repeat the Year : I still have some questions but I think the plot was pretty solid and the actors did well.
- Find Me in Your Memory : Kim Dong Wook was really charming in this drama. I'm happy that Kim Seul Gi won an award, she underrated as an actress.
- The Spies Who Loved Me : I thought it will be a story about spies but it was more about relationships. The 3 actors did really well, it was nice to see a solid casting.
- Kairos : It's sad that Lee Se Young didn't win anything because she was really good in this drama.

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I loved 365:Repeat the year and Kairos, so I’m glad they got their awards.

I can’t talk about Intern because I didn’t watch it, maybe will give it a try...

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Nam Gyuri's dress is absolutely fabulous!

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So... Did anybody watch kkondae intern and is it good?

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They had this weird scene with imitating a Bollywood/Indian informercial which was a choice...Speaking of, I saw bits of the SBS Awards and I just cringed so hard whenever they showed the Dreadlock wearing/straight up awful cultural appropriation in clips. GROSS. PLS, Korea do better!! Esp. given how much you been vying into the Western market, surely with their 5G Internet speed, can do a better job educating themselves. Sorry for the mini rant lol!

As for the show, it's like a Korean version of The Intern (2015 film). Tough/old boss fires a co-worker. In turn, that guy becomes his boss. Old learning from the new, and vice versa. It was quite short, at 12 episodes too. I really feel like the older actor there who is a veteran should've won the Daesang instead, or co-shared since it was a two man effort.

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Oof it was a 12 episode drama? I'm gonna check then I guess lol it has been under my radar for awhile now because of Han Jieun but I haven't really watched many public network drama this year so i don't know if it worth my time

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Yes. But honestly, it's not a must-watch per say. I too am the same boat, I watched more streaming/cable shows last yr and the yr prior to it. I hope this yr brings in more diversified/interesting content. Glad that romance/rom-com based shows have been switched out for other genres. Altho, we might get sick of those genres as well lmao.

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I loved it! Based on what I know of the Hollywood movie The Intern, the relationship between the older and younger characters in the film is actually a bit more cliched and not as interesting as the one in Kkondae Intern. Kkondae Intern is also quite brutal in its portrayal of abuse, harassment and poor leadership in the workplace, but it's also (IMO) hysterically funny and has a brilliant cast. I agree with @soulsearch12 that Kim Eung-soo would have been a more deserving winner of the Daesang. In any case, his bromance with Park Hae-jin was so intense I thought they would get Best Couple...

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wait so is it actually based on that The Intern or it just has resemblance here and there?

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It's an original script. Although it shares the "senior intern" theme with the film, its approach to the theme is very different.

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Had Kairos beaten Kkondae Intern, SSR would've won 100%. In PHJ's case, his Daesang should've co-shared with his other veteran co-star. Meh.

Better luck next time, MBC. Can't stay it's b/c it's due to their quality of scripts, but hopefully next yr with NGM's show, they do well. Surely, NGM will win another Daesang since it'll do their best ratings wise lol?

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I think MBC truly needs to do some re-branding in it's drama departament inself as people don't tune in as in the past so even dramas like Kairos per ex. get low ratings despite the strong script...Guess the should "steal" the formula from tvN and JTBC who thrive.

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I really hope they invest more in their promotion and marketing for their dramas. For dramas like thrillers, I they should consider using social media to create a buzz.

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They did! I remember on Twitter, when you would tweet out Kairos, it would've a character emoji. For some reason, despite them trying, (K-netizens who watched said the show was very good) their shows don't stick out? An aversion to MBC dramas? Cause their variety shows at least get double digits sometimes. Huh, strange tbh.

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Twitter is ummm...not used by many πŸ˜…. They rerun variety shows more than dramas. They should rerun their dramas too πŸ™ƒ.

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I think they could try rerun their dramas more to get more viewers. I don't know why MBC doesn't do drama reruns. Look at SBS, all their dramas have massive reruns. For example Penthouse is rerun nearly each hour on different channels. All channels including cable have lots of reruns except for MBC. When a drama is rerun a lot, more people can watch = more buzz.

Since I was camping on Naver from the start of Kairos, I've seen Knetz efforts to push MBC to do more reruns. At first the naver chat for Kairos was hidden, so they complained and eventually the naver chat was available on the main page like other dramas. When Kairos was postponed due to baseball, they complained too. They even watched baseball to keep track if the next episode would be canceled ot not. Eventually ep 7-8 was aired back to back. The weekly rerun remained minimal with no reruns on the weekend. Only towards the end of the drama, MBC made a rerun slot on Saturday. It's a mixture of touching, heartwarming and funny watching knetz trying hard to push a drama. But I probably do the same too...it's sad when a good drama gets low ratings. And because it's MBC and not a cable drama, people are more harsh about the low ratings.

Considering Kairos content, it would be difficult to understand the drama if someone doesn't watch from the start, since everything is related. Hopefully more audience will find it as time passes. I applaud MBC though, because they dare to experiment with lesser known writers/PDs and come out with various drama genres.

Anyways...any drama going against Penthouse would be eaten alive, it's brave that MBC didn't change Kairos air date and took the challenge head on πŸ˜†.

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Congratulations to all the winners.
Still upsets me that Seo Ji Hye did not get any award. She was amazing as Woo Do Hee in Dinner Mate. Maybe because it had low ratings. But hey SBS gave Top Excellence Awards to 3 actresses. Not too much to ask when SJH totally deserves it.

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I think at this point we shouldn't add the ratings as kinda all of MBC had low ratings if we look on objective manner.

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Yes. They all had low ratings. Still kinda sad for SJH. She did a 180 degree turn in her role in Dinner Mate. They should have given 2 Top Excellence Awards. KBS and SBS. Why not MBC :(

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Congratulations to all the winners but especially to the cast of Kairos!! Can't help but wish they scooped more awards. Didn't get to check out Old school intern this year, intrigued to see what it is like.

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Congratulations to all the winners especially to 365: Repeat The Year and Team. This is one of My Favourite drama in 2020.. Glad that Nam Ji Hyun (Top Excellence Award) , Lee Joon Hyuk (Excellence award) and Lee Sung Wook won. Im just happy for them.

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Im glad that my Fave Nam Ji Hyun won the Top excellence award. Congrats.

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