The Greatest Love

This article is about the South Korean TV series. For the Whitney Houston concert tour, see The Greatest Love World Tour. For other uses, see Greatest Love.
The Greatest Love

Promotional poster for The Greatest Love
Also known as 'Best Love'
Written by Hong Mi-ran
Hong Jung-eun
Directed by
  • Park Hong-kyun
  • Lee Dong-yoon
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 16
Producer(s) Kim Jin-man
Running time 60 minutes
Original network Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Original release May 4 (2011-05-04) – June 23, 2011 (2011-06-23)
External links
Korean name
Hangul 최고의 사랑
Hanja 最高의 사랑
Revised Romanization Choego-ui Sarang
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oekoŭi Sarang

The Greatest Love (Hangul: 최고의 사랑; RR: Choego-ui Sarang; also known as Best Love) is a 2011 South Korean romantic comedy television series about true love in the fake world of entertainment. Starring Cha Seung-won, Gong Hyo-jin, Yoon Kye-sang and Yoo In-na, it aired on MBC from May 4 to June 23, 2011 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 16 episodes.[1][2]


Gu Ae-jung (Gong Hyo-jin) was the most popular member of girl group Kukbo Sonyeo, literally meaning "National Treasure Girls," some 10 years ago, but fell from grace after becoming embroiled in scandals. She makes appearances on television programs to eke out a living for her troublemaker father and brother.

On the other hand Dokko Jin (Cha Seung-won) is the most beloved star in the nation, topping all kinds of popularity polls and appearing in many commercials, but has several character flaws. Ae-jung discovers a secret about Jin by chance and reveals it on a talk show, incurring his fury. However, their ill-fated relationship unfolds in an unexpected way as Jin falls for Ae-jung and tries to win her heart.[3]

Another star Kang Se-ri (Yoo In-na), also used to be in Kukbo Sonyeo with Ae-jung. But whereas Ae-jung was more famous in her heyday and Se-ri was a nobody, now every girl wants to be just like Kang Se-ri. She dated Dokko Jin for a short time, but despite their breakup, they continue to pretend that they’re still dating to avoid negative publicity. Se-ri is also the host of popular TV dating show Couple Making Season 3.[4]

Yoon Pil-joo (Yoon Kye-sang) is a well-manner, thoughtful and a caring doctor of Oriental medicine. He has no interest in celebrities and their outrageous lives. Under pressure from his mother, he agrees to appear on a TV dating show, but after finding out that Ae-jung will also be appearing on the same show, he is more eager to meet her.[3][4] Fictional dating show Couple Making Season 3 is based on MBC’s real variety program We Got Married, where they throw celebrities into fake relationships for the cameras. The concept is a competition-based mat-seon program, essentially setting up people on blind dates for the purposes of finding a marriage partner. The major difference is that in Couple Making, celebrity ladies compete over a non-celebrity eligible bachelor who gives them roses to prevent their elimination (a la The Bachelor), which is how Yoon Pil-joo ends up as a contestant on the show.

The mix of the main characters’ mismatched personalities with the necessity to maintain (or recoup in Ae-jung’s case) public sentiment makes for great hijinks and drama, not to mention an interesting meta social commentary on the entertainment industry and the star-making and -breaking power of image.[5]


Cameo appearances

Episode 1

Episodes 1-2 (Quiz to Change the World)

Episodes 3-4

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 14 (Section TV)

  • Kim Yong-man
  • Gu Eun-young
  • Park Seul-gi
  • Lee Sung-bae
  • Seo Hyo-myung
  • Hwang Je-seong
  • Jung Hwan-gyu

Episode 15-16 (Ideal Type World Cup)


The series was written by Hong Jung-eun and Hong Mi-ran, known collectively as the "Hong Sisters",[6][7] who also wrote other Korean dramas such as Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang (2005), My Girl (2005), Couple or Trouble (2006), Hong Gil-dong (2008), You’re Beautiful (2009) and My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010). According to director Park Hong-kyun (who previously helmed Queen Seondeok), the Hong sisters' adeptness at character comedy is how The Greatest Love hoped to differentiate itself from other trendy dramas airing on Korean television in Spring 2011.

Though the drama draws from gossip people hear about celebrities, Cha Seung-won said during the drama's press conference that he also wanted to show a bright, healthy side of the entertainment scene in Korea. He admitted that entertainers do hide behind their image due to their job. "However, this drama will show they are just genuine people off-camera," Cha said. Yoon Kye-sang added that, "The script is very realistic, giving a fun sneak peek into what is going on behind the scenes."[3][8] Cha has described his comedic acting as technical while his co-star Gong Hyo-jin's is more naturalistic and reactive. They believe they struck a good balance between their two acting styles, which benefited the drama greatly.[9][10][11][12][13]


Several of the locations used in the drama are Cafe Monet in Pyeongchang-dong (ostensibly run by Gu Ae-jung's friend Jenny), Kim Jong Young Museum (which served as Dokko Jin's luxurious house), Lotte World Magic Island (setting of Dokko Jin's love confession), D Square Gallery in Nonhyeon-dong (as Dokko Jin's management agency), and Choonwondang Museum of Korean Medicine in Jongno-gu (as Yoon Pil-joo's clinic).[14][15]

Product placement (PPL) were integrated into the characters' storylines, and the drama's popularity resulted in increased sales of products such as smartphones LG Optimus Black and Optimus Big, social networking service Me2day, and energy drink VitaminWater. But the production received a warning from the Broadcasting Commission for what it termed the drama's "egregious" use of PPL.[16]

Original soundtrack

The Greatest Love
Original Sound Track
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released July 15, 2011
Genre Pop, K-pop, soundtrack, R&B
Label The Grove Entertainment
LOEN Entertainment
No. TitleArtist Length
1. "리얼러브송" (Real Love Song)K.Will  
2. "내 사람이라서" (Because You're My Man)G.NA  
3. "두근두근" (Pit-a-Pat[17])Sunny Hill[18]  
4. "내 손을 잡아" (Hold My Hand)IU  
5. "나를 잊지 말아요" (Don't Forget Me)Huh Gak  
6. "눈물나게 사랑해" (Loving You Makes Me Cry[19])Big Mama Soul  
7. "아이캔't 드링크" (I Can't Drink)Baek Ji-young  
8. "LOVE LOVE"  Choi Su-jin  
9. "Hero (Inst.)"  Various Artists  
10. "Destiny (Inst.)"  Various Artists  
11. "네잎클로버 (Inst.)" (Four-leaf Clover (Inst.))Various Artists  
12. "Good Boy (Inst.)"  Various Artists  
13. "사랑은 (Inst.)" (Love (Inst.))Various Artists  


The Greatest Love posted an average viewership rating of 16.6 percent on Total National Multimedia Statistics' (TNmS) chart and 19.5 percent on AGB Nielsen Media Research's (AGB) poll, with its final episode reaching 21 percent on AGB's survey to surpass the 20 percent mark for the first time. It topped the Wednesdays and Thursdays primetime TV chart for five consecutive weeks.[20]

Episode # Original broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS Ratings (%)[21] AGB Nielsen (%)[22]
Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area Nationwide Seoul National Capital Area
1 May 4, 2011 6.5% 8.6% 8.4% 10.0%
2 May 5, 2011 7.1% 9.6% 9.7% 11.5%
3 May 11, 2011 8.6% 11.2% 12.1% 13.6%
4 May 12, 2011 9.7% 12.3% 13.9% 17.1%
5 May 18, 2011 10.4% 13.9% 14.0% 16.2%
6 May 19, 2011 10.2% 12.7% 15.1% 17.5%
7 May 25, 2011 14.4% 17.9% 17.4% 19.8%
8 May 26, 2011 15.2% 18.0% 17.9% 20.2%
9 June 1, 2011 14.4% 17.0% 17.8% 20.3%
10 June 2, 2011 13.8% 17.4% 18.4% 21.2%
11 June 8, 2011 14.3% 17.3% 18.4% 21.3%
12 June 9, 2011 14.6% 18.5% 18.4% 20.9%
13 June 15, 2011 13.1% 17.7% 17.8% 20.4%
14 June 16, 2011 14.5% 18.1% 17.9% 20.1%
15 June 22, 2011 15.9% 19.3% 18.0% 21.3%
16 June 23, 2011 17.4% 21.2% 21.0% 23.7%
Average 12.5% 15.7% 16.0% 18.4%

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result
4th Korea Drama Awards[23]
Best Drama The Greatest Love Nominated
Best Actor Cha Seung-won Nominated
Best Actress Gong Hyo-jin Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Yoo In-na Nominated
Best Writer(s) Hong Mi-ran, Hong Jung-eun Nominated
Best OST "Don't Forget Me" by Huh Gak Won
3rd MelOn Music Awards[24]
Best OST "Pit-a-Pat" by Sunny Hill Won
13th Mnet Asian Music Awards
Best OST "Don't Forget Me" by Huh Gak Nominated
38th Korea Broadcasting Awards
Best Actor Cha Seung-won Won
24th Grimae Awards[25]
Best Actor Cha Seung-won Won
MBC Drama Awards[26]
Drama of the Year The Greatest Love Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Cha Seung-won Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Gong Hyo-jin Won
Best New Actor in a Miniseries Yoon Kye-sang Nominated
Best New Actress in a Miniseries Yoo In-na Nominated
Best Young Actor Yang Han-yeol Won
Writer(s) of the Year Hong Mi-ran, Hong Jung-eun Won
Popularity Award, Actor Cha Seung-won Nominated
Popularity Award, Actress Gong Hyo-jin Won
Best Couple Award Cha Seung-won and Gong Hyo-jin Won
8th New York Television Festival's
International TV & Films Awards[27][28]
Silver Prize, Miniseries category The Greatest Love Won
48th Baeksang Arts Awards[29]
Best Drama The Greatest Love Nominated
Best Actor (TV) Cha Seung-won Nominated
Best Actress (TV) Gong Hyo-jin Won
Best Screenplay (TV) Hong Mi-ran, Hong Jung-eun Nominated
7th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Drama The Greatest Love Nominated

Comic adaptation

Comic book publisher Tooni Plus released the first two books of The Greatest Love in April 2012. The firm expects to boost Korean comic books' sales abroad with drama-based comic books.[30]

International broadcast


  1. Hong, Lucia (March 30, 2011). "Actress Kong Hyo-jin cast for upcoming MBC TV series". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  2. Hwang, Hyo-jin (April 29, 2011). "PREVIEW: MBC TV series The Greatest Love". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 Kwon, Mee-yoo (May 3, 2011). "TV soap to peek into celebrity life". The Korea Times. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Synopsis and Character Descriptions". MBC Global Media. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  5. Hwang, Hyo-jin (May 13, 2011). "REVIEW: MBC TV series The Greatest Love - 1st & 2nd Episode". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  6. Choi, Ji-eun (June 23, 2011). 홍자매 "<최고의 사랑>은 땅에 붙인 이야기로 시작하고 싶었다" [Interview with the Hong Sisters]. 10Asia (in Korean). Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  7. 홍자매 단독인터뷰: ① "'최고사'는 '개콘'같은 드라마". Sports Chosun (in Korean). June 23, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  8. "Today's Photo: April 29, 2011". The Chosun Ilbo. April 29, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  9. "Cha Seung-won: I am Dokko Jin". Dramabeans. May 22, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  10. Lee, Ji-hye (June 27, 2011). "Interview: Actor Cha Seung-won". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  11. Beck, Una (July 8, 2011). "Interview: Actress Kong Hyo-jin - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  12. Lee, Ji-hye (June 25, 2011). "Crashing into wedding shop scene of MBC The Greatest Love". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  13. Jones, Julie (April 21, 2014). "Gong Hyo Jin Talks About Her Funny Appealing Leading Men". KDramaStars. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  14. Yoon, Seo-hyun (September 24, 2011). "Trace the steps of your favorite drama stars". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  15. Kang, Michelle (August 8, 2011). "Seoul shows its dramatic side". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  16. Yoon, Ja-young (October 3, 2011). "Product placement in full swing". The Korea Times. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  17. also translated as "Thump Thump"
  18. Hwang, Hyo-jin (July 20, 2011). "Interview with SunnyHill - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  19. also translated as "Gee, I Love You"
  20. Kim, Heidi (June 24, 2011). "MBC The Greatest Love exits after 5th straight win on TV chart". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  21. "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  22. "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  23. "Winners of the 2011 Korea Drama Awards". Korea Tourism Organization. October 10, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  24. "Winners from the 2011 Melon Music Awards". Koreaboo. November 24, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  25. "Cha Seung-won confident about the MBC Grand Award". Hancinema. December 11, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  26. Hong, Lucia (January 2, 2012). "The Greatest Love snags 7 honors at 2011 MBC Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  27. Suk, Monica (March 23, 2012). "MBC's The Greatest Love wins silver at 2012 NY TV Festival". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  28. Suk, Monica (August 27, 2012). "6 TV series that were inches away from clinching SDA nomination". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  29. Kwon, Mee-yoo (April 27, 2012). "Kim Soo-hyun wins Paeksang awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  30. Suk, Monica (April 17, 2012). "MBC's The Greatest Love, The Moon Embracing the Sun to be produced into comic book". 10Asia. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  31. Hong, Lucia (May 10, 2012). "MBC's The Greatest Love to air in Japan in two weeks". 10Asia. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  32. Sunwoo, Carla (May 23, 2012). "K-drama The Greatest Love begins airing on Fuji TV in Japan". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  33. "A 100-crore budget series on Puthu Yugam". The Times of India. July 29, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  34. "รักสุดใจกับนายซุปตาร์ The Greatest Love – ซีรีย์เกาหลี". (in Thai). September 2, 2015.

External links

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