It has been an exciting six months for the consumers of Hallyu. There has been no dearth of content on streaming platforms, and K-drama aficionados were spoilt for choice. From fencing battles in Twenty Five Twenty One to soul-searching in Tomorrow, the first half of the year saw some stellar Korean shows. If you have missed out, here’s a list of what left fans impressed this year.
Twenty Five Twenty One
A heartwarming and bittersweet tale, Twenty Five Twenty One, starring Nam Joo-hyuk and Kim Tae-ri tells the story of a girl learning about her mother’s first love through a collection of diaries. Funny, thoughtful and yet poignant, the story takes place with the Asian financial crisis in the backdrop, and how people struggled to build their lives again. The conclusion was an unexpected one and left fans debating and fuming for days. The show has an 8.7/10 IMDB rating.
My Liberation Notes
My Mister writer Park Hae-young returned with a heavy, yet moving story. My Liberation Notes is a slice-of-life drama that will tug at your heartstrings. It relates the anguish and frustrations of three siblings and the entrance of an enigmatic personality in their lives, named Mr Gu (Son Suk-ku). This nuanced story delves into the topic of personal freedom without being heavy-handed. My Liberation notes has a rating of 8.4/10 on IMDB.
With an unusual omnibus format, Our Blues takes us to the inhabitants of Jeju Island. The show is in no rush and does not mix up the stories, instead sensitively deals with relationships, of all kinds. A thought-provoking and impactful show, Our Blues has a star-studded cast that includes Kim Woo-bin, Shin Min-ah, Lee Byung-hun and Kim Hye-ja. Our Blues has a rating of 8.4/10 on IMDB.
Korean romantic comedies can never disappoint, especially ones starring Ahn Hyeo-sop and Kim Sejeong. An enjoyable tale, Business Proposal relates the story of chairman Kang Tae-moo (Hyeo-sop), who is compelled to find a bride for himself on his grandfather’s strict instructions. A series of misunderstandings leads him straight to Shin Ha-ri (Kim Sejeong), an employee in his own company. With hilarious slapstick moments, the show’s second lead romance is just as riveting. Business Proposal has a rating of 8.8/10 on IMDB.
The Grim Reapers are back, and this time they mean business. Welcome to the corporate world of fashionable death angels, who have an unpleasant task entrusted to them. After two reapers accidentally send one person into coma, they’re forced to take him on as an intern. He joins them on their expeditions, and soon painful secrets that had been buried for years are dug up. Tragic, hilarious and yet hard-hitting, Tomorrow is for those who enjoy Korean fantasy shows. The show has a rating of 7.6/10.
All Of Us Are Dead
In this gripping apocalyptic tale, zombies take over a high school and the remaining survivors fight for their lives as they try to escape from the school grounds. They have to battle the government, their old friends who are now zombies, and perhaps themselves. An addictive show, this one’s for the horror aficionados. The show has a rating of 7.5/10.
Apple TV brought forth an intricate tale of Korean immigrants in Japan, and received high acclaim. Starring Lee Min-ho, Kim Min, Pachinko is a tale of love, hope, loss and grief, spanning generations. A second season is on the cards. The show has a rating of 8.4/10.
Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area
If you loved the original series, then you’re in for a treat. It’s not entirely different the original plot apart from the unique setting of South Korea. You’re in for a slick thriller and nail-biting twists. The second part is expected to be out soon.
Two best friends finding love. This K-drama trope has been done to death innumerable times and yet it is just as wholesome and sweet as if it is the first. Starring Park Hyung-sik and Han So Hee, this warm and wholesome show is streaming on Hotstar. It’s got a rating 8.9/10 on IMDB.