The Korean Entertainment industry has been releasing breathtakingly amazing content for more than two decades now, but the world has only truly recognized its potential and gave it the recognition it deserves just recently. Whether it happened because the pandemic put us all inside our homes or because ”Parasite”, a movie made in South Korea, won the Best Picture Award at the Oscars, people have hopped onto the Kdrama bandwagon. Netflix has become the hub of all entertainment, has been releasing a lot of Korean Dramas to fulfill the desire of the masses.
Netflix currently has more than 178 Korean Dramas and keeps releasing new Korean dramas almost every single day. Korean Dramas are loved by fans because of their short run time, nearly every series is just one season long, which is such a breath of fresh air from watching 9 or even 17 seasons long television series. Korean dramas are masterfully designed, they are a perfect combination of all things good. They have comedy, romance, thriller, mystery, and emotions all mixed in one. On top of the amazing storylines that they present, the Korean drama industry is home to some of the best actors in the world, not to mention their extremely good looks and glass skin that literally reflects light. Whether you are already a fan of Kdrama or you are just trying to find your way into the Kdrama world, this article will take you through some of the best dramas on Netflix in 2021.
1. Love Alarm Season 2
After the successful release of Love Alarm Season 1, which presented a unique twist to the typical high school romance, Netflix released a Season 2 of Love Alarm. The first season of Love Alarm was released in August of 2019. The first season revolves around a young high school student Kim Jojo, who is beautiful and hardworking. The world around her is obsessed with an app that alerts people if someone in their vicinity likes them. Kim Jojo experiences sweet love but while dealing with traumas of the past and hardships of her reality.
The series has one of the most popular young actresses in Korea named Kim So-Hyun, playing the role of Kim Jojo, the handsome rookie actor Song Kang playing Hwang Sun Oh, and the sweet Jung Ga-ram playing Lee Hye-Yeong. The second season focussed on Jojo removing the shield that blocked her from ringing anyone’s Love Alarm, the shield was a gift to Jojo from the app developer. Jojo is determined to find the maker and remove the shield so that she receives proof of her feelings and makes the app ring for her true love.
This drama has broken multiple records with its viewership rating. I would like to mention that the magical ingredient to make a successful Korean drama is Song Joon Ki. His youthful features combined with his amazing acting (this guy has been acting in front of a green screen, and nobody would have known if we weren’t told) is the perfect formula that has brought him a loyal fanbase both in the Korean nation and worldwide. The success of this drama cannot be credited solely to Song Joon Ki because the storyline was like no other kdrama. It was packed with comedy, thriller, and a romance we could not get enough of. Vincenzo was first released on February 20 on Netflix. Song Joon Ki plays a Korean-Italian mafia lawyer who has returned to Korea to the betrayal of an organization. The dark comedy focuses on Song Joon Ki as he gives the villains a taste of their own medicine alongside lawyer Hong Cha Young. The cast includes performances by talented actors such as Song Joon Ki, Jeon Yeo Been, Ok Taec Yeon, Kim Yeo Jin, and Kwak Dong-Yeon.
3. Sweet Home
The series was released on Netflix in December of 2020. The series is easily one of the best thrill-inducing apocalyptic dramas created in a long time. The story revolves around a suicidal high school student named Cha Hyun Soo, who loses his parents in a tragic car accident. He leaves his home and moves to a new apartment, where he realizes that there are monsters all around whose aim is to wipe out humanity. Hyun Soo, along with the other residents of the building shield themselves inside the building. The story unfolds in a very eery way, and you will be forced to watch the entire season in one go. The cast includes amazing and convincing performances by Song Kang, Lee Jin Wook, Lee Si Young, Lee Do Hyun, and Go Min Si, among others.
4. The Silent Sea
Mark your calendars for this upcoming mystery thriller Korean drama named The Silent Sea or Sea of Tranquility. The series has many fans excitedly waiting as it will mark the return of the talented Gong Yoo to our screens, he was last seen in the fan-favorite fantasy drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. This drama is an adaptation of a short film released in 2014 named Sea of Tranquility which was directed and written by Choi Hang-Yong, who will be directing the series as well. The story takes place in a dystopian world, where the future earth is barely left with food and water due to global desertification. Some elite agents go to an abandoned research base on the moon to collect unusual samples. The cast is packed with powerful and promising actors like Gong Yoo, Bae Doona, Lee Joon, and Lee Moo Saeng. The series will be releasing in 2021, although the timing has not been released.
5. Hospital Playlist Season 2
This medical drama gained the position of the ninth highest-rated Kdrama in television history. The show has to be quite phenomenal to get that kind of rating. This drama revolves around five undergrad medical students who remain close and grow up to work at the same hospital. These five friends share a love for music and stick by each other through the tough scenarios life throws at them. This is a slice of life drama and has scenes that will make you sob as well as scenes that will make you laugh out loud. The cast has performed wonderfully and includes Jo Jung Suk, Yoo Yeon-Seok, Jung Kyung Ho, Kim Dae Myeong, and Jeon Mi-Do. The drama is written by popular South Korean screenwriter Lee Woo Jung who is known for writing the Reply series. The second season of this popular series will air on June 17, 2021, and will be available on Netflix.
6. It’s Okay to Not be Okay
It’s Okay to Not be Okay is a very popular Netflix original South Korean drama. This drama was cheered on by fans both in Korea and around the world because it discusses the sensitive topic of mental illnesses. The series was directed by Park Shin Woo who is popularly known for Encounter in 2019, Jealousy Incarnate in 2016, and Hyde Jekyll, Me. The show was masterfully designed and had the viewers hooked on to their screen. Kim So Hyun plays Moon Gang Tae, who is a selfless caretaker in a psychiatric ward, he is the only caretaker for his older brother Moon Sang Tae who has autism.
Ko Moon Young, played by Seo Ye Ji is a famous children’s book writer who has a lot of past traumas and deals with an antisocial personality disorder. As the three meet each other, a terrible past unravels. The cast did an amazing job in portraying the vulnerable characters that the series presented. This series also marked the comeback of Kim So Hyun, and let us just say he has not lost any of that acting talent in the military. Although fans mostly tuned in for Kim So Hyun, the show stealers were most definitely Seo Ye Ji and Oh Jung Se.
Start-up is a South Korean television drama series that aired on tvN in October of 2020, it is available to stream on Netflix. The drama was a breath of fresh air as it brought forward a story of determination and the struggle of the underprivileged to make it to the top. It is the story of start-up companies. The story revolves around Seo Dal-mi, who is a confident young woman determined to leave her mark in the world. She dreams of becoming Korea’s Steve Jobs. Nam Do San is the founder of Samson Tech, a tech company that he runs with his two closest friends. The story also includes a Korean drama necessity i.e. a love triangle, which is painful to watch because of the dimpled and soft-hearted Han Ji-Pyeong played by Kim Seon Ho. Start-up checks all the ticks for being a successful Kdrama. The cast was wisely chosen as it includes fan favorites such as Bae Suzy and Nam Jun Hyuk along with Kim Seon Ho and Kang-Han na.
8. Record of Youth
Record of Youth is a slice of live television drama aired that aired on tvN in the September of 2020. It is available to stream on Netflix. This drama is an absolute delight to watch as it tells the story of those who are trying to make it big on their own in a cut-throat industry where almost nothing is hidden, and you are judged based on your background. The journey of these three as they try to beat the prejudice of the society is what makes up the core of this drama. This is a heartfelt drama about hope, love, and success. Sa Hye Jun is a model from a working-class family, despite being a successful model, his true dream is to become a top critically acclaimed actor.
With the pressure of military enlistment by his father and constant rejection, Hye Jun tries his best to make it to the top with a clean character. Sa Hye Jun is a cutie with charms much like the actor who plays the character i.e, Park Bo Gum. Ahn Jeong Ha is a make-up artist who is secretly a fan of Sa Hye Jun, she is working hard at a beauty salon in Cheongdam-dong, which caters to a lot of influential people after quitting her office job. Ahn Jeong Ha plans to open her own salon one day, she regularly posts on her video channel. Ahn Jeong Ha is troubled by her mom, who divorced her dad when she was young and now lives mostly leeching off of her.
Won Hae Hyo comes from a rich family and has the same aspiration as Sa Hye Jun, who is his best friend. His mother controls his life and interferes with almost everything. He tries hard to make people see the talent he has beyond his prestigious background. This drama was a breath of fresh air, and fans are hoping for a season 2. The main cast includes Park So Dam from the award-winning movie Parasite, Park Bo Gum, and Byeon Woo Seok. This drama is definitely deserving of the hype and your time.
Itaewon Class is a South Korean television drama based on a webtoon of the same name. The drama was aired on JTBC in January of 2020, it is available to stream on Netflix. This drama won the hearts of many because of the unique portrayal of relationships and society that it presented and won the Best Drama Series at the 25th Asian Television Awards. After a tragic accident that killed his father, Park Sae Ro-Yi decides to take revenge on those who are responsible for his father’s death and ends up getting jailed. After he is released from prison, he opens up a bar-restaurant in Itaewon. He decides to get his revenge by becoming more successful than the rival group i.e., Jangga Group, and while trying to make his business successful, he meets Jo Yi-Seo. The cast includes phenomenal performances by talented actors like Park Seo Joon, Kim Da Mi, Kwon Na Ra, and Yoo Jae Myung.
1o.Crash Landing On You
Crash Landing is a South Korean television drama series that had taken 2020 by storm. The drama was aired on tvN and is available to stream on Netflix. Many could say that Crash Landing On You is their first drama. The drama portrays the love story of two people, the female lead is an heiress in South Korea, and the male lead is an army official and elite in North Korea. Things were going normally, but one day when Yoon Se Ri, the female lead, had gone paragliding and had crash-landed in North Korea due to strong winds life takes an unexpected turn. Ri Jung Hyuk, the male lead, finds her and accepts to help her to return to South Korea. Eventually, both of them fall in love despite the division and diversities of the two nations they live in. The amazing cast consists of A-class actors and actresses like Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin, Seo Ji Hye, and Kim Jung Hyun.