2022 Korean Drama Reviews

Updated: April 9, 2022

So far, here’s what we think about the Korean dramas that premiered, ended, or aired in 2022: Rankings will be updated regularly until the end of the year.

12. Ghost Doctor (2022)

What we liked: The concept of body-swap in a medical setting. It has its own educational and comedic value. The chemistry and bromance of Rain and Kim Bum.

Insights on life: The hospital setting always brings us to the reality of life and death. Despite its fantasy-ghost set-up, the drama teaches about putting value in your work, career, relationships, and the limited time given to us as human beings. It also talks about the many chances and opportunities to correct a mistake, learn from failures, and begin life with a renewed mindset.

Most outstanding performances: The duo doctors, Rain and Kim Bum, did well.

Genre: Fantasy, Medical drama
No of episodes: 16
Starring: Rain, Uee, Kim Bum, and Son Na-eun
Written by: Kim Sun-soo
Directed by: Boo Seong-cheol
Original network: tvN, TVING, IQIYI, Viu
Date: January 3 to February 22, 2022

11. All Of Us Are Dead (2022)

What we liked: We’ve seen Train To Busan, #Alive, Kingdom, and Happiness. No doubt that South Korea stands out in producing zombie shows. All Of Us Are Dead differs in a way that the main characters are teenagers trying to survive the apocalypse while struggling to deal with coming-to-age issues on crushes.

Insights on life: The narrative explores the reality of school bullying and harassment, causing physical, emotional, and psychological harm to victims such as suicide. It unearthes the underexplored concern of many voices who were silenced, threatened, or repressed to avoid social shame and discrimination. It also exposes the tendency of those in high status to lean on the powerful and dismiss the concerns of those in lowly positions. “We live in a system of assault,” said the anxious father who created the virus to help his bullied son fight back against the offenders. All Of Us Are Dead may be fictional but the show subtly tells us the grim reality that more than the zombies, it’s humanity that kills humanity.

The most outstanding performances: The entire cast did well but we were drawn to the scene-stealing performances of Cho Yi-hyun, Yoon Chan-young, and Yoo In-soo. The zombie actors were also great.

Genre: Coming-of-age; Zombie apocalypse
No of episodes: 12
Starring: Yoon Chan-young, Park Ji-hoo, Cho Yi-hyun, Park Solomon and Yoo In-soo
Written by: Chun Sung-il
Directed by: Lee Jae-kyoo and Kim Nam-su
Network: Netflix
Date: January 28, 2022

10. Thirty-Nine (2022)

What we liked: It laid down the reality of life and death and the matchless joy of keeping company close to your heart. It also discussed adoption, family, and mental health.

Insights on life: Life is short. We may obtain everything we want or achieve what we want to do in life, but one truth that will always remain is that life on earth is but limited and short. One precious thing that this drama also reminds us of is that our limited time on earth is best spent alone with significant people in our lives. We need people, whether in small or large communities because to be with people is what makes life richer. Yes, life is indeed full when it makes time for families, friendships, and other relationships.

Most outstanding performances: Son Ye-jin is truly a top-tier actress while Jeon Mi-do’s theater experience shows in her detailed acting.

Genre: Romantic, Drama
No. of episodes: 12
Starring: Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do, Kim Ji-hyun
Written by: Yoo Yeong-ah
Directed by: Kim Sang-ho
Network: JTBC, Netflix
Date: February 16 – March 31, 2022

9. Uncle (2021-2022)

What we liked: Uncle is a feel-good show with a comedic value and an emphasis on family relationships. It’s the kind of drama that touches many human emotions, relational issues, and relatable lines.

Insights on life: It is a good show for families that reflects on achieving dreams despite hurdles and mending relationships amid crisis. It also deals with bullying, child abuse, and domestic violence.

Most outstanding performances: Oh Jung-se and Lee Kyung-hoon were both brilliant performers. You will be drawn to their funny yet warm relationship as uncle and nephew. Their chemistry is endearing to watch as well.

Genre: Family, Comedy, Music, Drama
No of episodes: 16
Starring: Oh Jung-se, Jeon Hye-jin, Lee Kyung-hoon, Park Sun-young, Lee Sang-woo and Lee Si-won
Written by: Park Ji-sook
Directed by: Ji Young-soo
Network: TV Chosun
Date: December 11, 2021 – January 30, 2022

8. A Business Proposal (2022)

What we liked: The refreshing and comedic approach on romance. The romantic pick-up lines of Ahn Hyo-seop as Kang Tae-moo. The funny and adorable character of Kim Sejeong as Shin Hari. The show is fully entertaining.

Insights on life: The differences on social status and wealth do not matter when it comes to choosing a lifetime partner. A true bestfriend sticks closer than a brother. Amid the troubles that surround us, there will always be people who bring laughter and make bad days lighter.

Most outstanding performance: Shin Hari’s performance stood out.

Genre: Romantic, Comedy
No. of episodes: 12
Starring: Ahn Hyo-seop, Kim Se-jeong, Kim Min-kyu and Seol In-ah
Written by: Han Sul-hee, Hong Bo-hee
Directed by: Park Sun-ho
Network: SBS, Netflix
Date: February 28 – April 5, 2022

7. Forecasting Love And Weather (2022)

What we liked: The creative use of weather, predictions, and signs to resemble life experiences. The character development. The lessons on relationships and how it tackles responsibilities of an employee, director, lover, father, husband, daughter, or son. The hardworking squad at KMA is also fun.

Insights on life: The drama brings the viewer to a weather-like level of grasping red flags on life and love conscientiously, perceiving what traces are good or not. Like the weather forecasting that needs lots of attention and staff on standby to foresee dangers and avoid damages, love also needs lots of good accountability to help us steer clear of painful traps. Signs. Sounds. Visuals. Hints. Warnings. Advices. Name it. Life has bestowed us every opportunity to discern something as healthy or unhealthy. We also have every freedom to choose which path to walk or words to take heed. And yet, despite all the cards laid down in front of us, the drama is realistic in conveying that we sometimes still pick what is strange, dangerous, or unknown, either out of curiosity or brokenness.

The most outstanding performances: The entire cast did well.

Genre: Romantic, Drama
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Park Min-young, Song Kang, Yoon Park and Yura
Written by: Seon Yeong
Directed by: Cha Young-hoon
Network: JTBC, Netflix
Date: February 12 – April 3, 2022

6. Bulgasal: Immortal Souls (2021-2022)

What we liked: While we have been consumed with various action-filled, thrilling, and romantic series, Bulgasal: Immortal Souls sets a new kind of offering. We were drawn to the uniqueness of this masterpiece—a fantasy drama that covers intriguing mysteries, interesting plot twists, astounding flashbacks, and blend of iconic characters that kept us hooked until the end. We were also moved by the heartbreaking scenes and emotive moments between the characters, whose lives were devastated by a cycle of bloody curse. It was well-written from start to finish. Moreover, the cinematography and visuals are impressive. It was an epic ride—fully entertaining with depth and heart.

Insights on life: This drama delved into the heart of human relationships, especially family. It teaches that no distance nor time can ever separate us from the powerful love of family.

Most outstanding performance: Lee Joon as the villain stole the show.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Thriller, Supernatural
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Lee Jin-wook, Kwon Nara, Lee Joon, Gong Seung-yeon, Jung Jin-young, Park Myung-shin, Kim Woo-seok
Written by: Kwon So-ra, Seo Jae-won
Directed by: Jang Young-woo
Date: December 18, 2021 – February 6, 2022
Network: TVN and Netflix

5. Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

What we liked: The 1990s and youthful vibes. The character development. The inspiring quotes on achieving goals and thriving in life. The playful and supportive squad. The visuals and cinematography. The funny and adorable character of Na Hee-do plus her relationship with Ko Yu-rim from strangers to enemies to bestfriends. This drama will make you feel young, appreciate lasting friendships, as well as motivate you to work on your dreams.

Insights on life: Twenty-Five Twenty-One is the kind of drama that takes us to life’s highs and lows and motivates to appreciate relationships around us as long as we can because the times are but momentary. It tackles dreams, friendships, love, family, forgiveness, chances, as well as it teaches viewers to live positively, wisely, and freely despite hardships. Every character is rich in portraying life’s reality on how humans can easily choose to give up, at the same time, motivational in showing that one brave step of choosing to stand up and face the fight can be worthwhile and rewarding. It also displays a healthy kind community or a good company of friends that makes life more meaningful. Moreover, it teaches that not everyone we meet in life remain with us forever, but comes for the purpose of breaking us and molding us for growth.

Most outstanding performance: Kim Tae-ri proves that she is indeed one brilliant Korean actress.

Genre: Romantic, Drama, Coming of age
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Bona and Lee Joo-myung
Written by: Kwon Do-eun
Directed by: Jung Ji-hyun
Network: TVN, Netflix
Date: February 12 – April 3, 2022

4. Juvenile Justice (2022)

What we liked: The realistic venture on human behavior problems, the psychological discoveries on why teenagers commit crimes, and the thought-provoking lessons on how the wider society contributes to the underlying intent of juvenile delinquents. Cinematography, visuals, and the whole production are of high-quality.

Insights on life: The drama reiterates the fact that legal guardians or parents are the most responsible persons when it comes to juvenile cases. However, teenage crimes are not taken lightly in the series. The judge follows a strong conviction that regardless of age, an offender needs to see how harsh the law can be and must pay the consequences of their sinful acts.

Most outstanding performance: Kim Hye-soo‘s talent stands out in this series. She did not only display a perfect portrayal of a tough and sharp judge, but she also showed great emotions as a devastated mother when her son died.

Genre: Crime, Legal, Drama
No of episodes: 10
Starring: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Moo-yeol, Lee Sung-min, and Lee Jung-eun
Written by: Kim Min-seok
Directed by: Hong Jong-chan
Network: Netflix
Date: February 25, 2022

3. Our Beloved Summer (2021-2022)

What we liked: Excellent storytelling. Excellent plot. Excellent characters. Adorable romantic story. From casting to chemistry to cinematography to pacing to musical score, everything about this show is well-executed.

Insights on life: It tackled human imperfections, showing that regardless of status and position, each one is either dealing with a broken need or mending a devastated life. It beautifully portrayed life’s brokenness—the fear of abandonment through the life of an illustrator, the act of avoidance through the life of a smart kid, the bottled-up emotions through the life of a videographer, and the pain of loneliness amid fame through the life of a celebrity. Above all, it delivers the heartwarming message that healing only happens where there is forgiveness and one-anothering.

Most outstanding performances: Kim Dam-i as a smart and perfectionist student but insecure when it comes to relationships. Choi Woo-shik as a happy-go-lucky student but talented illustrator.

Our Beloved Summer is a one-of-a-kind show that is lighthearted yet fully charming and captivating.

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Choi Woo-shik, Kim Da-mi, Kim Sung-cheol, Roh Jeong-eui
Written by: Lee Na-eun
Directed by: Kim Yoon-jin
Date: December 6, 2021 – January 25, 2022
Network: SBS, Netflix

2. Through The Darkness (2022)

What we liked: The courageous emotive dive into the minds and behavior of a serial killer and the realistic portrayal on what detectives and criminal profilers experience psychologically. The plot and cinematography are simply good and not complicated.

Insights on life: The series emphasized that heinous crimes must be punished legally, homes must be good sources of emotional nourishment, police officers are also humans who experience emotional fatigue, institutions should put value on the study of human behaviors, and the wider society must take part in building a safe community for all.

Most outstanding performance: Actor Kim Nam-gil displayed great acting skills. He played as the reserved, deep, and conscientious criminal profiler who has the exceptional ability to discern thoughts and analyze behaviors. He also showed intense emotions when he came to an overwhelming state of psychological anxiety, mental fatigue, and burnout while studying various heinous crime behaviors without a break.

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Psychological
No of episodes: 12
Starring: Kim Nam-gil, Jin Seon-kyu, and Kim So-jin
Written by: Seol Yi-na
Directed by: Park Bo-ram
Network: SBS, Viu
Date: January 14 to March 12, 2022

1. Snowdrop (2021-2022)

What we liked: Firstly, we were enthralled by its powerful narrative that explores the unceasing timely issues on abusive power, dirty tactics, selfish gains, and maltreatment in politics. Secondly, from the 1980s vibes to cinematography to visuals to musical score to plot twists, every episode and character development of this drama is outstanding to the highest level. No flaws. No boring scenes. Thirdly, Jisoo’s on-screen chemistry with Jung Hae-in has the impact to steal the hearts of viewers.

Insights on life: While it deals with the relational ills between South Korea and North Korea, it also reflects the fact that every nation of the world suffers from the same political issues—where power comes first before humanity and violence controls the situation.

Most outstanding performances: Jung Hae-in as a North Korean agent and all the supporting roles. Moreover, it may be BLACKPINK Jisoo’s acting debut, but she delivered her innocent yet empowered character well.

No doubt but Snowdrop is set to be one of the most remarkable Korean series of all time. We hope that more people will get to watch this epic production.

Genre: Black comedy, Romance, Period, Melodrama
No. of episodes: 16
Starring: Jung Hae-in, Jisoo, Yoo In-na, Jang Seung-jo, Yoon Se-ah, Kim Hye-yoon, Jung Yoo-jin
Written by: Yoo Hyun-mi
Directed by: Jo Hyun-tak
Date: December 18, 2021 – January 31, 2022
Network: JTBC, Disney+