We asked, and you voted! 2021 was such a great year for k-dramas, from big-budget global phenomena like Squid Game to surprise sageuk successes like The Red Sleeve. Truly, 2021 was yet another year of great storytelling, unforgettable characters, and experimental new genres that made the time spent in k-dramaland so worth it. Let's see who followers like you voted for!
The Big Winners
It's undeniable: 2021's heavyweight dramas brought in the action, the tears, and the sweetest romances. Vincenzo, Hometown Cha-cha-cha, and The Red Sleeve all attracted the most votes across a wide range of categories.
Sageuk sensation The Red Sleeve made most of us weep from its heart-wrenching romance to its beautiful cinematography. Thankfully, Jun-ho was quite generous with his gloriously chiseled abs (bath scene, anyone?), so it helped ease the pain a bit. Read our review of this historical heartbreaker here.
Did we love our Geumga Plaza Cassano family? From the hundreds of votes we got each time Vincenzo was featured, you could say we did love and miss them very much. Song Joong-ki lords it over in his comeback as our favorite vigilante and anti-hero Vincenzo Cassano who goes up against our favorite bad boy Jang Jun-woo/Han-seok (excellently played by 2PM's Ok Taec-yeon). But it's not all guns and vengeance, as we rooted for the bromance between Jang Han-seo (Kwak Dong-yeon) and Vincenzo to blossom into a brotherhood we knew Han-seo longed for all his life. We also got a bit of a fun time as we watched Vincenzo flirt it up with president Tae-ho (Hwang Min-seong), earning him the Best LGBTQ character nod.
La la la la la.....Romantic Awards Sweep Sunday, anyone? From garnering hundreds of votes on our page to all the Twitter party rewatch sessions, Hometown Cha-cha-cha reigned romantically supreme in 2021. The beautiful combination of seaside romance, caring community, and found family was potent enough to propel it as Netflix's most-watched k-drama rom-com of 2021 (at an impressive 300 million hours, second to Squid Game). We loved watching #SikHye and our second couple fall in love, we loved our grandma Gam-ri, we hurt when Hong Bangjang broke down and cried, and we were impressed by Lee Bong-ryun's mixed emotions as a divorced wife. In short, we are all still in Gongjin, and it may take a while before we leave.
We watched a LOT of k-dramas in 2021 and it shows at how we voted for characters that won our hearts over! Gong Yoo figured out that only three minutes of screentime in Squid Game was enough to propel him as our Fave Aj-juicy. Kim So-yeon returns to her iconic role as Penthouse's unhinged Cheon Seo-jin, while Hwang In-yeop returns to his tsundere roots as our favorite second lead in True Beauty. But it's not all slapping and screaming: after all, we loved our U-ju (Kim Jun) in Hospital Playlist 2, as well as the eternal calm and unbotheredness of kween noona Song Hye-kyo.
Is it getting hot in here or is it just Han So-hee and Song Kang making out in Nevertheless? Lucky you if you can relate to those two lovebirds because most of us can relate more to the frustrated Court Lady Choi in Mr. Queen!
Anyway, it wasn't all seaside romance and vigilante action in k-dramaland. We loved our other genres too, and Lee Seung-gi's excellent Mouse kept us enthralled for weeks on end. We also loved our human/9-tailed fox couple in My Roommate is a Gumiho, as well as our mountaineering non-couple-that-should-have-been in Jirisan.