I must admit that I didn’t get to watch a lot of Korean dramas in 2021. I stuck mainly to rewatching some of my favorites because the current trend in romance tropes didn’t quite appeal to me as much this year (although I have a couple of dramas I am waiting to binge). Here’s my list of my personal favorites though and I hope you give them a watch.

Jirisan will keep you guessing until the very end but it definitely served up a satisfactory finale well worth the watch. It provided closure for all the characters we have come to love and delivered poetic justice to those who deserved it. I’m actually glad I decided to wait for the final week of airing before I got started on watching the series because I don’t know if I could have stood waiting for the weekly episodes to come out to find out what happens next. Jirisan is definitely one series I wouldn’t mind watching all over again and one that I would definitely recommend to everyone.

After fearing the zombies for the better part of two seasons of Kingdom, Ashin of the North made me want to root for them somewhat because of this special episode. As usual, I was blown away by everything, from the production, to the story (Kim Eun Hee), to the masterful direction (Kim Seong Hoon) — and to think this was shot during a pandemic. Amazing. The level of badassery in this installment was nothing short of masterful. Bravo! Well done, Netflix!

All in all, I loved “Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days” because of its moving multi-layered story, as well as the message of forgiveness and second chances that it offered. The action scenes were really cool, as was the script that focused on family just as much as the first movie, although this time, it comes with the additional message of atonement and peace. Truly an entertaining feast for the senses, well acted and well executed. I have little to no complaints. 

“Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds” is one of the very rare occasions that an all-star cast delivered on expectations mostly because the writer and director Kim Yong Hwa did not focus on giving the actors equal exposure. Rather, the filmmaker served the needs of the script, no more, no less. Actors seemed to be happy with their doing their part to pull off a good movie and their teamwork truly showed. The movie was entertaining from start to finish and it was also interesting to explore different beliefs on the afterlife and creation, as well as the mystic powers that surround it. 

All in all, I would consider Kingdom to be one of Korea’s finest saeguk dramas that can rival the suspense and intensity of HBO’s Game of Thrones. By the first season’s end, it had Battle of Castle Black feels which only fueled one’s desire to see what happens next when the second season opens. Too bad filming will only begin next month and fans will have to wait for another few months before we could binge on another epic season. I for one, could not wait to see if my conspiracy theories are correct. One word for the entire thing — brilliant, even though it ended on a cliffhanger. I could not think of more superlatives for this series. Seriously.