K-Drama Rewind: 5 K-Dramas From 2021 To Look Back At

It’s never too late to watch a drama. You can still enjoy the classics of 2010 in 2021 and can watch the 2021 dramas next year. There is no rule for that. But before we prepare our hearts for the drama rush of 2022, here is a mini-review of the few dramas I watched this year.

1. Mr Queen

I started my 2021 drama journey with Mr Queen starring Shin Hye Sun. I am not a fan of historical drama because of the prejudice that every plot thickens with political struggle and vengeance, but Mr Queen provided something different on the screen. The idea was fresh when a modern-day man transports into a body of Joseon era Queen’s body; hilarity ensues. A comedic ride with dashes of court politics made it fun to watch.

Things I loved: 

  • Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun acting was spot on, so was the supporting cast.
  • The storyline was plated with hilarious scenes. 
  • Wide range song on its Ost album.

Things not-so-loved: 

  • The drama was 20 episodes long, which could have easily been 16 or a maximum of 18 episodes.
  • Multiple deaths towards the end of the drama changed the tone of the drama to a more serious and dark one. Also, multiple deaths did not feel like a necessary plot device to use in the drama. They could have avoided it.

2. True Beauty

An extremely popular drama based on an equally popular Webtoon. True Beauty did everything right to make it one of the most popular dramas of 2021. Attractive leads, lovable characters, second lead syndrome and a social message. Being a K-Drama veteran, there wasn’t something new that True Beauty was going to give me, but the loveable supporting characters and actors made the drama a good watch for me.

Things I loved:

  • The cinematography of the drama was on point and pleasing to the eyes.
  • Hwang In Yeop…. do I need to say more?
  • The family of Im Ju Kyung and their antics kept me hooked.
  • I am biased towards the actress Yoona and loved her portrayal of Soo Jin
  • Social message and family ties.

Things not-so-loved: 

  • Predictable ending. I wished the writers would have surprised everyone towards the end. Since the Webtoon is still ongoing and writers took the liberty of minute changes in the plot, they could have given us an unexpected ending.

3. Law School

Kim Bum, coming out of his massive success of Nine-tailed Fox gave us Law School in the middle of this year. A classic Korean legal drama keeps you at a second guess for everything, preventing it from turning into a flat story by an inch. As the name suggests, the story is set in a Law University and revolves around their professors and students.

Things I loved:

  • Acting by every actor is spot on and made me invested in the drama.
  • Interesting subplots.
  • The portrayal of abusive relationships. It was my favourite sub-plot, and the drama did its job right.

Things not-so-loved:

  • Screenplay loses its grip towards the latter half of the drama. It becomes repetitive and less engaging. The surprises and big revels in the story lay flat. 

4. Hospital Playlist 2

After the wait of one year, we get the much-awaited second season and it does not disappoint, mostly. The story of the five friends continues and fresh stories add up as new patients come flocking to Yulje. The Hospital Playlist is a comfort drama and even if I want, I can’t nitpick on it. So without giving away much, here is my take on it.

Things I loved:

  • Our beloved characters were back on screen. What more I could ask!
  • The album and Osts are once again beautiful.
  • A happy conclusion and a pin on who is ending up with whom.

Things not-so-loved: 

  • The second season delays in airing its episodes, and the wait was killing.
  • Towards the end, the show became more about patients than doctors. I wanted to see more of our Yulje doctors. The screen space of five lead characters and other staff at the hospital in whose story I have invested in was sidelined.
  • No surety of season 3 (Taking it with a grain of salt)

5. Doom at your Service

Interesting concept. Good chemistry between actors and the hype around this drama could have easily made this drama one of the best ones of 2021, but lousy scriptwriting prevented it from happening. Albeit, the drama still had some good points to rave about and was watchable for most of the parts.

Things I loved:

  • Straight on, Park Bo Young and Seo In Guk were undoubtedly the good parts of the drama.
  • The secondary love triangle. It was amusing to see their story unfold.
  • Loved the fantasy idea of doom mingling with human lives.
  • Happy ending contrary to the dark theme it started with.

Things not-so-loved: 

  • The story started going around in a circle towards the 3/4th of the drama, it started going downhill and that pretty much sums it all.

Honourable Mention

Yumi’s Cell

This became my personal favourite drama of the year. The mature storyline, real relationship problems, not much but still a representation of LGBTQ+ and adorable animation of the cells, made it the perfect cozy watch of the year. Not a single dull moment without stretching the plot till the 16th episode. They wrapped it up with a tight storytelling within 14th episodes. The bonus is that we are getting a second season in 2022.

2 thoughts

  1. Ah, I loved Law School! One of my 2021 favourites. I agree with you on Hosplay 2 SO MUCH – waiting for the episodes was a drag and I also wish they focused more on doctors than the patients (especially since the first season did so).


    1. Tell me about it…Law School was instantly likeable and Hospital Playlist was such a tease. I really wanted to see these 5 friends going on a trip together.


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