The universe of Korean dramas is both bizarre and lovely. As Kpop, Korean films like Parasite and Minari, and Korean television series sweep the world by storm, the South Korean entertainment sector is steadily expanding to become the most powerful in the world. No matter the subject or genre, any fictitious South Korean television series is referred to as a “Kdrama” or “Korean drama.” That includes everything from romance to science fiction to horror. The majority of these television shows are based on webcomics, a type of South Korean-originated narrative that is akin to comics. The top 10 K-Dramas of the year are as follows:
1. Twenty Five Twenty One
There are very few K-dramas that have the power to permanently change you. One of those shows is Twenty Five Twenty One, with its captivating cast and moving narrative making for an unstoppable combination. Five young friends are followed as they struggle to achieve love, happiness, and success while also adjusting to adulthood against the backdrop of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, which threatens to ruin their lives.
Pachinko, an expansive film adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s 2017 novel, illuminates the complex relationship between Korea and Japan by tracing the lasting journey of a Korean family through one of East Asia’s most turbulent decades. Sun-ja, a young Busan lady compelled by a cruel twist of fate to leave her life behind and start over in Osaka, is at the centre of it all (beautifully performed by Minari’s Youn Yuh-jung and newcomer Kim Min-ha). Pachinko is a moving story of exile and oppression, but it’s also a story of hope because Sun-ja and her descendants find a sense of belonging in one another.
3. Extraordinary Attorney Woo
The drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo excels not only in its warm, sincere, humanised, and truthful portrayal of the autistic lawyer Woo Young-woo, but also by accepting the fact that she is different from everyone else, which defines her existence. The show never apologises for Woo’s autism or minimises her as a person, even when she is treated cruelly and insensitively. This is a subtle but significant declaration that Woo’s successes do not come as a result of her differences. Extraordinary Attorney Woo demonstrates its comprehension of neurodivergence by totally embracing her identity.
4. My Liberation Notes
There are certain television shows that deserve recognition for their writing, casting, or director. And when you have all three, you have a masterpiece on your hands. That is a key representation of life in the 2020s provided by My Liberation Notes. The banal little details of our lives—family meals, long commutes, unspoken remarks, and dull jobs—are the subject of this captivating series about three adult siblings who live with their parents in a small-town setting. Despite a sluggish beginning, the series masterfully examines our deepest longings through insightful storytelling and great dialogue.
5. Business Proposal
The plots of several Korean films this year have been inspired by webcomics, and Business Proposal is no exception. This source material can result in some implausible, even ridiculous notions, but not in this upbeat office rom-com. It takes the most popular romance clichés and runs with them, such as fake dating and a relationship between a wealthy CEO and his subordinate at work. Of all, the romances in Business Proposal are not at that unique in the context of K-dramas. But when done with the same level of attention that this series did, you have a cult masterpiece.
6. Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice, a Netflix original series, explores the private lives of law-breaking teenagers who avoid harsh punishment because of lenient legislation. If the antisocial teenagers are unclean, the magistrates aren’t much better; dark secrets lurk behind their stuffy, upstanding personas. Shim Eun-seok, played by Kim Hye-soo of The Queen’s Umbrella, is a poised, stoic judge who utilises her intellect to punish the guilty while giving victims and their families closure in the drama.
7. Little Women
The Little Women adaption in Korea explores the themes of conflict and struggle in Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel by setting the story in contemporary South Korea. In a plot that spins a compelling web of murder, fraud, and embezzlement, the Oh sisters—Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun, and Park Ji-hu, all excellent—take on Korea’s wealthiest family.
8. Our Blues
The show focuses on the struggles faced by its diverse ensemble, who come from a variety of backgrounds, temperaments, and values. Each protagonist fits together like a puzzle, from modest trader Lee Dong-seok to fish store owner Jeong Eun-hui (Lee Jung-eun). Our Blues, one of the year’s most subtle K-dramas, is both thought-provoking and heartbreaking. It dives right into the issues of the heart.
9. Thirty Nine
The three 39-year-old women who make up the core of Thirty Nine are fiercely independent but also dealing with issues related to job, family, love, and, for one of the three BFFs, a serious health condition. The show celebrates enduring relationships and the complexity of life even when you’re supposed to have it all figured out.
10. Semantic Error
In a year of heightened Boys’ Love drama production, Semantic Error stood out. The two main characters butt heads and fall in love, which is a classic college romance, but the leads’ chemistry and cooperation in this bite-sized production are off the charts.Chu Sang-woo (Park Jae-chan of DKZ) and Jang Jae-young (Park Seo-ham) are unlikely to run into one other, but a group project pulls them together. As exuberant Jang tries to charm aloof, rigid Chu, banter ensues. Every scene that features them both is transformed into a work of art by their pursuit, not to mention the incredibly satisfying conclusion.