Korean dramas have taken the entertainment world by storm. Intriguing plots, captivating storylines and unique genres coupled with phenomenal performances by the star cast — there are more reasons than one behind why some of the best K-dramas of 2022 have garnered global fans and ardent viewers.
While titles like Squid Game, Hellbound and Red Sleeve Cuff were major highlights of 2021, the K-dramas of 2022 are no different. For instance, Ghost Doctor, Business Proposal and Twenty-Five Twenty-Nine have already garnered a massive fan following.
Such is their fame and global appeal that streaming giants like Netflix and Apple TV have broadened their content base and are now the best options to watch some of the most addictive Korean dramas.
Here are some of the best (and highest-rated) K-dramas of 2022
All of Us Are Dead
The series debuted on Netflix in January and became one of the highest trending shows. Garnering incredible global attention, All of Us Are Dead almost reached the fame and success of Squid Game, and a second season is also underway.
One of the most talked-about series, it is based on the Naver webtoon Now at Our School by Joo Dong-Geun. It follows students trapped in a school in South Korea, who try to escape a zombie apocalypse that started due to a failed science experiment.
Ensuring the nail-biting thrill of classic zombie movies, this K-drama stars newcomers, including Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young and Cho Yi-hyun in lead roles, who deliver stellar performances.
Ghost Doctor introduces an interesting concept of ‘coma ghost.’ Director Boo Seong-cheol has blended the medical and fantasy genres in this drama series based on two doctors, who get attached in a very strange way.
Cha Young-min (Rain) is an extremely renowned and excellent cardiothoracic surgeon, but he is arrogant. After a car crash, he wanders about the hospital as a ‘coma ghost’ and possesses Go Seung-tak (Kim Bum), a first-year thoracic surgery resident, who is absolutely opposite in nature to the spirit possessing him. After being possessed by such a genius surgeon Go easily takes on difficult surgeries and unearths controversies.
Watch this supernatural medical drama for the much-needed thrill.
Based on a webtoon of the same name, written by Haehwa, Business Proposal is one of the most popular K-dramas of the year.
The series, also known as The Office Blind Date, is a fun rom-com revolving around Shin Ha-Ri (Se-Jeong Kim) who accepts her friend Jin Young-Seo’s (Seol In-ah) request to go on a blind date in her place, which is set by the friend’s father. However, the situation suddenly changes when Shin finds that the guy is actually her CEO — Kang Tae-Mu (Ahn Hyo-Seop). Interestingly, he offers her a proposal, which she accepts but her life changes dramatically post that.
It is difficult to resist a Korean drama featuring the enigmatic Kim Hye-Soo. Her brilliant performance makes Juvenile Justice one of the best K-dramas of 2022 as the series gets more intense with every passing minute.
Sim Eun-seok (Kim) has a particular dislike for juvenile criminals. And, when a senior and elite judge like her is appointed to head a juvenile court, a lot of legal drama and thrill unfolds. While handling serious and sensitive juvenile cases, she has to keep her distaste aside and pass proper verdicts as per law.
This K-drama also stars Kim Moo-yeol and Lee Sung-min.
One of the best K-dramas of 2022 is undoubtedly Thirty-Nine. This series tells a heart-warming and relatable story, and brings back Crash Landing on You star Son Ye-Jin as Cha Mi Jo, with Hospital Playlist actress Jeon Mi-Do as Jeong Chan Young and Kim Ji-Hyun as Jang Joo Hee.
The story revolves around the life and journeys of three best friends who have been together through thick and thin. While approaching middle age (40), they experience love, loss and laughter in this much-loved K-drama series.
Twenty Five Twenty One
This series is a coming-of-age 90’s love story starring Kim Tae-ri as Na Hee Do and Start-Up actor Nam Joo-hyuk as Baek Yi-Jin. With a beautiful narrative and an excellent cast, this is one of the highest-rated K-dramas of 2022.
Set against a tumultuous backdrop of South Korea facing a severe financial crisis, the story revolves around characters who see their hopes and ambitions crash down. They grow together through difficult times and look forward to a better tomorrow.
The effort to portray the upheavals and changes in society, culture and economy and a gripping storyline make Twenty Five Twenty One not only one of the best series but also an extremely addictive Korean drama.
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Fantasy lovers are sure to enjoy this K-drama to the core. The series follows a group of grim reapers and death angels who take in the dead and save people from ending their lives.
Made half human and half spirit by accident, Choi Jun-woong (Rowoon) meets grim reapers Goo-Ryeon (Kim Hee-Seon) and Lim Ryung-gu (Ji-On Yoon). They take Choi in and make him a part of their crisis management team. What happens next makes Tomorrow one of the highest-rated K-dramas.
It also stars Lee Soo-Hyuk as Park Joong-gil, Kim Hae-Sook as The Jade Emperor and Nu-ri Kim as Jang Jae-hee.
This Korean drama is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Min Jin Lee. It chronicles the story of a Korean immigrant family across four generations set against the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of Korea, and its devastating effects that continue to influence lives even today.
Arguably one of the best K-dramas of this year, Pachinko stars Lee Min-Ho, Soji Arai and Jin Ha. The series depicts the journey of the family that fights all odds to survive and leave their roots with hopes and dreams.
Forecasting Love and Weather
This is another sweet love story but with a rather unusual setting. The Korean drama series shows the budding relationship between a hardworking weather forecaster and her colleague.
The impeccable performances by lead actors Park Min-Young, who plays Jin Ha Kyung, and Song Kang, who portrays Lee Shi Woo, became a major reason for all the praise it received. The way the two balance their work life and romance makes it an interesting watch.
Alchemy of Souls
The Netflix synopsis of this fantasy K-drama reads, “A powerful sorceress in a blind woman’s body encounters a man from a prestigious family, who wants her help to change his destiny.”
The story is set in Daeho, a fictional country, the events of which are inspired by South Korea’s Jaeson period. The drama takes viewers into the realms of the other world and blends romance with elements of fantasy. It depicts the journeys and fates of people that are twisted because of certain changes that their souls must adjust to.
The Korean series stars Jae Wook Lee as Jang Wook, Min-Hyun Hwang as Seo Yool and Jung So-Min as Mu-deok.
(Main image: Courtesy Ghost Doctor/Netflix; Feature image: Courtesy Juvenile Justice/ IMDb)