Film & TV

These Are the 13 Best K-Dramas of 2022

‘Twenty Five, Twenty One,’ ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ and more.

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18,564 Hypes

These Are the 13 Best K-Dramas of 2022

‘Twenty Five, Twenty One,’ ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ and more.

2022 was once again a successful year for the world of K-dramas as platforms like Netflix, Apple TV and Disney+ continued to roll out buzzy releases.

Viewers looked to feel-good titles like Twenty Five, Twenty One that tapped into Y2K nostalgia, as well as Our Blues set in Jeju Island. Friendship was a popular theme throughout the year with series such as Thirty-Nine, while viewers were kept on the edge of their seats with unsettling dramas like Somebody and Money Heist: Korea. Other series that were widely loved by the global audience include Narco-SaintsLittle Women and All of Us Are Dead.

Continue scrolling to see some of our favorite K-dramas of the year.

All of Us Are Dead

CAST: Park Solomon, Park Ji-hoo, Cho Yi-hyun, Yoon Chan-young
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Based on a popular webtoon, All of Us Are Dead is a zombie apocalypse series set in a high school in South Korea. As the zombie epidemic breaks out in the country and across the world, surviving students are forced to stick together as they escape those infected.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

CAST: Park Eun-bin, Kang Tae-oh, Kang Ki-young
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Extraordinary Attorney Woo, one of the buzziest K-dramas of the year, is about Woo Young-woo (Park Eun-bin), a young lawyer with autism spectrum disorder tackling cases as part of one of the biggest law firms in South Korea. Upon its release, the show gained interest from the U.S. for a potential remake, being compared to titles like Good Doctor, a 2013 show about an autistic pediatric surgeon that also received a U.S. remake starring Freddie Highmore.

Juvenile Justice

CAST: Kim Hye-su, Kim Moo-yeol, Lee Sung-min
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Sim Eun-seok (Kim Hye-soo), a judge known to be stern and strict, gets assigned to a local juvenile court, where she comes across multiple crimes committed by minors. She is forced to work with Cha Tae-ju (Kim Moo-yeol), a compassionate judge who believes in giving second chances to the children.

Little Women

CAST: Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun, Park Ji-hu
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Loosely based on the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is set in the modern day, following three sisters — In-ju (Kim Go-eun), In-kyung (Nam Ji-hyun) and In-hye (Park Ji-hu). One day, In-ju comes across a large amount of cash that eventually gets the sisters involved in one of South Korea’s richest families.

Money Heist Korea — Joint Economic Area

CAST: Yoo Jitae, Yunjin Kim, Jeon Jong-soo, Park Hae-soo, Lee Hyun-woo, Kim Ji-hoon, Lee Joo-bin
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Thanks to the global success of the original Spanish series, Money Heist received a South Korean adaptation. The series is set in a unified Korean Peninsula as conflicts between North and South Koreans continue. The Professor (Yoo Ji-tae) plots a massive heist with his crew including Berlin (Park Hae-soo), Tokyo (Jeon Jong-seo), Rio (Lee Hyun-woo), Denver (Kim Ji-hoon) and more.

My Liberation Notes

CAST: Son Seok-goo, Kim Ji-won, Lee Min-ki, Lee El, Lee Ki-woo
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

My Liberation Notes follows three siblings — Mi-jeong (Kim Ji-won), Chang-hee (Lee Min-ki) and Gi-jeong (Lee El) — as they navigate life in the outskirts of the Seoul Metropolitan Area in Sanpo Village. The three come across Mr. Gu (Son Seok-goo), an often drunk, mysterious man who suddenly appears in their neighborhood.

Narco-Saints

CAST: Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jo Woo-jin
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Loosely based on a true story, Narco-Saints is about an ordinary man Kang In-gu (Ha Jung-woo), who decides to move to Suriname to sell skatefish, only to be arrested after a large amount of drugs are found in his products. He is later recruited by the South Korean NIS to help on a mission to catch Jeon Yo-hwan (Hwang Jung-min), a drug king in the country disguised as a priest.

Our Blues

CAST: Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-a, Cha Seung-won, Uhm Jung-hwa, Lee Jung-eun, Han Jimin, Kim Woobin
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

We highly recommend anyone with planning to travel to Jeju Island to watch Our Blues, a K-drama series revolving around a group of friends from the same town. Presented in an omnibus format, the star-studded cast delivers stories of friendship and romance over 20 episodes.

Pachinko

CAST: Lee Min-ho, Kim Min-ha, Jung Eun-chae, Youn Yuh-jung
WHERE TO WATCH: Apple TV

Adapted from the New York Times bestseller written by Min Jin Lee, Pachinko is about a Korean immigrant family across four generations. The story begins in South Korea in the early 1900s, covering Japan’s brutal occupation of the country.

Reborn Rich

CAST: Song Joong-ki, Shin Hyun-been, Tiffany
WHERE TO WATCH: TVING, Rakuten Viki, Disney+

Based on a web novel of the same title, Reborn Rich follows the character Yoon Hyun-woo (Song Joong-ki), who is a higher-up at the chaebol Soonyang Group. After being murdered by a member of his family, Hyun-woo is reincarnated, waking up in 1987 in the body of Jin Do-jun, the youngest grandson of the family.

Somebody

CAST: Kang Hye-rim, Kim Young-kwang, Kim Yong-ji
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Directed by Jung Ji-woo (EungyoTune in for Love), Somebody is a disturbing, unsettling series following Kim Sum (Kang Hye-rim), a young developer who creates an online dating app called “Somebody.” She comes across Seong Yun-O (Kim Young-kwang), an attractive architectural designer who seems suspicious as Sum suspects he is hiding something.

Thirty-Nine

CAST: Son Yejin, Jeon Mido, Kim Ji-hyun
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Thirty-Nine is a touching K-drama series focusing on friendship, family and love. Cha Mi-jo (Son Yejin), the main character, is a 39-year-old, single physician who runs her private clinic in Seoul. She navigates everyday life with her two best friends Jeong Chan-young (Jeon Mido) and Jang Joo-hee (Kim Ji-hyun) by her side.

Twenty Five, Twenty One

CAST: Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Choi Hyun-wook, Bona, Lee Joo-myung
WHERE TO WATCH: Netflix

Twenty Five, Twenty One is a feel-good drama series set in the late ’90s and early ’00s, following Na Hee-do (Kim Tae-ri), an aspiring fencer who chases her dreams. As she transfers to Taeyang High School to pursue her goals, she comes across Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk), who supports her along the way. The TV show was loved for tapping into Y2K nostalgia, covering some of the key moments in South Korea’s history such as the IMF crisis as well as the Asian Games and Olympics during that time.

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