In 2020, K-dramas soared in popularity as pandemic-driven lockdowns drove viewers to the small screen. They made waves across the globe thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix.


Melodrama “Crash Landing on You” caused a sensation in Japan and historical zombie drama “Kingdom 2” attracted attention after viewers raved about the gripping storyline, sumptuous sets and elaborate costumes.

After such a strong year, some of the freshest new TV series will land on TV this year. They traverse genres including fantasy, thriller and period dramas. Here are our picks of the K-dramas of 2021 to watch.

TvN drama “Cliffhanger,” also known as “Jirisan” starring Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon, is a mystery thriller that depicts mountain rescuers and park rangers trying to help lost hikers. Written by Kim Eun-hee (“Kingdom”) and helmed by director Lee Eung-bok (“Mr. Sunshine” and “Sweet Home”), it is one of the most anticipated series to look out for.


“Hospital Playlist 2” is a follow-up to the popular tvN series about five doctors who have been friends since they went to medical school together in 1999. Actors Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung and Jeon Mi-do will reprise their roles for the second season.

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Legal drama “Vincenzo,” fronted by actors Song Joong-ki and Jeon Yeo-bin, revolves around Vincenzo Cassano, a Korean-born but Italian-raised lawyer and Mafia consigliere who returns to his motherland to join a high-profile law firm.

JTBC drama “Sisyphus: The Myth” is a sci-fi mystery about a genius engineer embarking on a perilous journey to uncover the hidden identity of mysterious creatures. Park Shin-hye and “Stranger” actor Cho Seung-woo will lead the cast.

Set in 1987, “Snowdrop” is a historical romance drama that features a stellar cast and crew. It’s written and directed by the same team that created “SKY Castle” (2019), one of cable network’s highest rated K-dramas. Jung Hae-in will star alongside Jisoo of BLACKPINK.


SBS will focus on producing period dramas to attract viewers. “Joseon Exorcist” is a fantasy action historical series that revolves around exorcists defending the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom from demons. Actors Gam Woo-sung, Jang Dong-yoon and Park Sung-hoon will play the lead roles.

Set in the Joseon era, “Red Sky” is a fantasy romance series based on the novel of the same name by Jung Eun-gwol, whose stories “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” and “Moon Embracing the Sun” have also been adapted into hit dramas. Kim Yoo-jung will play the female painter who was born blind but miraculously gains vision. Kim will star opposite rising star Ahn Hyo-seop.

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KBS will roll our school romance dramas to target the younger generation. “Dear. M” is about university students searching for “M,” a mystery individual who is mentioned in an anonymous post on the university’s online discussion forum.

Another coming-of-age series “School 2021,” featuring Kim Yo-han of boy band Wei, follows a group of high school students as they go through various struggles.

In the MBC drama “Black Sun,” actor Namgoong Min will play the role of an NIS agent who disappears and returns to the organization to track down the person who betrayed him. The TV network and local streaming platform Wavve invested 15 billion won ($13.8 million) into this 12-episode series.

Netflix will roll out several original K-drama series in 2021 including one-off special episode “Kingdom: Ashin of the North,” zombie series “All of Us Are Dead” and director Yeon Sang-ho’s “Hellbound.”

Source: The Korea Times

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