Updated: April 27, 2022
The Red Sleeve (2021) is a sageuk-romantic Korean series that tells the romance between a Crown Prince and a court maid, starring Lee Jun-ho and Lee Se-young.
It premiered on November 12, 2021 through MBC and attained the highest nationwide viewership rating of 17.4% during its final episode. It also gained popularity overseas through the streaming platform, Viu.
On April 11, 2022, the drama received seven (7) nominations from Baeksang Arts Awards (BAA) including Best Drama, Best Actor (Lee Jun-ho), Best Actress (Lee Se-young), Best Supporting Actor (Lee Deok-hwa), Best Supporting Actress (Jang Hye-jin), Best Director, and Best Art.
The Red Sleeve (2021) has not only captivated the award-giving body but the audience as well. Here are some of the reasons why the drama is one of the best of 2021:
“My expectations were not high when I started watching this, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I have watched so many historical dramas that it takes a fair amount to impress me at this point, but this actually did! It has all the elements that I love in this type of drama — simple and punchy political scheming balanced by a lot of romantic chemistry between the leads and a nice dose of both fluff and action.” – al2000
“I started to watch this drama just out of curiosity because it’s very famous currently but eventually, I fell in love with this drama because of beautiful cinematography and strong chemistry between the leads. Nice drama.” – poepoek-18641
“I am not particularly fond of period or historical dramas but I made a rare exception for this series after watching episode 1. The first hour went by without me getting bored or losing interest. Its splendid plot, dialogues, casting, acting and production design collectively kept me captivated and wanting for more so I kept on watching all the available episodes. I clearly see why this drama is fast gaining popularity and winning against its present rivals in the ratings game.” – Melania Cruz
“This historical drama ranks up there with the best. Although we’re only halfway through the series, the quality of the writing, the production value and the amazing performances all point to continued success.” – sareed1971
“Its very captivating. Both male and female leads have strong characters. I skip historical dramas because of lengthy politics but this one is truely a gem.” – debjanibhattacharya-5763
“Since the end of ‘Grand Prince’, I was missing those Korean historical dramas, in which emotions are on point, stories well written, and actors super good.” – loeikat
“Highly recommended historical drama! The plot is very interesting and unique from the past historical dramas I’ve watched, the chemistry of junho and Lee se young gets stronger in each episodes.” – lexafalcon
“This drama has everything a proper sageuk needs: 1. Acting skills & strong chemistry between Lee SeYoung & Lee JunHo 2. Cinematography 3. Music score & OST 4. Storyline 5. Teamwork.” – khaziansk
“The core plot is cinderella but the telling and acting is refreshing. A great balance of comedy, gravity with some foreshadowing of very difficult times coming (I think).” – jesse aurelia
“Not a fan of historical or costume dramas. it’s not my genre. But this one hits different. I’ve only watched 4 episodes, but something about this captivating prince and this court lady has got me hooked like no other. The prince: his husky, sexy voice, the curls of his mouth with he sheepishly smiles, and commanding yet comedic demeanor. The court lady: her confidence, her charisma is very satisfying to watch, Their chemistry so far gives all the butterfly feels that’s borderline electrifying. All other support characters are pretty standard, nothing to write home about. But watch for the main leads as they light up the screen.” – vivalf
“Junho is a great actor since the first time I saw him when he first started he’s great and he portrayed his character very well in this drama, Lee Se-young i watched her multiple times and I love her sarcastic and funny persona is this drama she’s great as well. Their chemistry, the cast is perfect I could not have asked for a better drama. ” – ghizlanhamli-52695
“Yi San and Sung Deok Im’s chemistry is out of this world incredible, my heart raced for their sweet but sour love story. Romance!! It’s nuanced, realistic for the era, and mature. The dialogue is so poetic I can’t omg it’s p e r f e c t.” – arisu
“The chemistry between the main leads is potent, and there is a nice blend of humor and palace politics. The costumes beautiful and cinematography is quite lovely.” – tinkkytone
“The acting ML and FL leads are so believable in their roles, the story is so complete, the writing and directing couldn’t be better. In these 15 episodes, they couldn’t have added or deleted anything, it is perfect. Lee Jun-Ho is perfectly cast in his lead role. With his looks, acting, smoldering eyes, grin, and emotions showing all over his face, he is so believable in his role. He makes this drama as great as it is.” – Kdrama fanatic
Genre: Romance, Historical drama
Synopsis: It tells the record of a royal court romance between the King of Joseon who believes his duty is to his country first above love, and a court lady who wants to protect the life she has chosen.
Based on: The Red Sleeve Cuff by Kang Mi-kang
No. of episodes: 17
Starring: Lee Jun-ho, Lee Se-young, and Kang Hoon
Written by: Jung Hae-ri
Directed by: Jung Ji-in and Song Yeon-hwa
Date: November 12, 2021 – January 1, 2022
Network: MBC, Viu