One of the matters that make 2021 a special yr for Korean dramas is “Squid Game’s” worldwide success at an unprecedented degree. The show have become Netflix’s biggest series of all time in phrases of hours viewed inside 28 days of release, pulling in 1.sixty five billion hours. And with its 3 wins at the SAG Awards, it is no question the most successful Korean drama in 2021. But that’s when we talk about K-dramas being adored internationally.
It’s a special story when we study TV scores, that are the basis of our scores of the best rated Korean dramas of 2021. Forget approximately worldwide popularity because the lists below mirror the viewing behavior of those shows’ main target market. Read directly to find out which dramas pulled in millions of visitors all over South Korea even as they have been airing.
Historical or duration dramas dominate the rating in each the cable and unfastened-to-air (non-cable) classes—a total of 7 out of 20! SBS and tvN are the main networks with 5 and 6 collection inside the top 10 rating, respectively.
In a stunner, JTBC has no consultant within the top 10, that is actually a wonder thinking about that it is domestic to the most-watched cable drama in 2020 (“The World of the Married”) and 2019 (“Sky Castle”). Each of the three ‘minor’ or lesser acknowledged cable channels, in the meantime, managed to put as a minimum one display inside the listing.
We also have multi-season dramas gaining floor, that could lead to a recreation-changing event in an enterprise wherein one-season layout has been the norm for decades.
(Methodology explained after the 3 rankings.)Highest Rated Korean Dramas 2021: Free-to-Air Top 10 by means of Ratings
Ratings can be probabilities of families, adults 18-49, or any described group looking a given show. In South Korea, Nielsen in particular reviews ratings in phrases of families. A 10% score manner that an predicted 10 out of every a hundred families all through the u . s . watched the given drama when it was airing. The remaining ninety families both watched something else or did not watch TV in any respect. 10. River Where the Moon Rises
“River Where the Moon Rises” (KBS2) became one of the dramas struck difficult via a urgent subject throughout manufacturing in 2021. But despite introducing a new male lead—Na In-woo changing Ji Soo over bullying and sexual abuse allegations—and re-shooting greater than 10 episodes, the series managed to hold a 7 to eight percent score for the duration of its run. Both Na In-woo and his co-big name Kim So-hyun obtained reward for their transferring performances, a praise pondered in their nominations for a Baeksang arts award.9. The Veil
MBC were suffering to acquire decent viewership for its dramas till “The Veil” came out. The series became a “savior” for the broadcaster in phrases of ratings. With a total production finances of 15 billion received (US$12.1 million), the network need to have been thankful that its funding paid off to an appropriate diploma. Namgoong Min stars as a pinnacle National Intelligence Service agent in a story based at the winner of the 2018 MBC Drama Screenplay contest.eight. Lovers of the Red Sky
The eighth highest rated Korean drama of 2021 is every other historic series, “Lovers of the Red Sky” (SBS). Did you already know that it turned into helmed by way of the director of the hit delusion romance “My Love from the Star” and the Baeksang-triumphing sageuk “Tree with Deep Roots”? Starring Kim Yoo-jung and Ahn Hyo-seop, the unconventional-based drama tells the fateful stumble upon of a painter and an astrologer who fall in love and locate themselves painfully entangled in politics.7. The King’s Affection
The seventh region also is going to a ancient drama—a tale of switched identities and the affection that comes after. In “The King’s Affection” (KBS2), Park Eun-bin pretends to be the crown prince of Joseon and hides her proper identity after the death of her dual brother. But this is easier said than performed, specifically when she falls in love along with her royal teach, performed by means of SF9’s Rowoon. The series premiered with a modest six percentage viewership and went directly to double this quantity throughout its finale.6. Royal Secret Agent
The fourth sageuk on this list (and there’s one greater!), “Royal Secret Agent” (KBS2) stars Kim Myung-soo as a royal inspector who conducts undercover investigations into the corrupt practices of Joseon authorities officers. Although this process includes dangers and serious battles against the bad guys, the show is much less darkish and greater funny. That style truely labored, considering that its 5 percentage viewer score inside the first episode almost tripled in the finale.5. The Red Sleeve
Making it to the pinnacle 5 highest rated Korean dramas of 2021 is “The Red Sleeve,” the most watched historical series and the biggest sleeper hit in loose-to-air tv closing 12 months. Also based on a unique, it follows the romance between a Joseon King, performed by means of Lee Jun-ho, and a royal courtroom female, portrayed through Lee Se-young. It also simply commenced with a modest 5-6 percentage score but when it entered its 0.33 week, there has been no stopping it from becoming the most a hit drama of MBC in 2021.
“The Red Sleeve” earned seven nominations on the 2022 Baeksang Arts Awards consisting of Best Drama and Best Director. It is the second one maximum-nominated collection at the back of “Squid Game.”4. Taxi Driver
Lee Je-hoon performed the titular position in this SBS movement-crammed drama that turned into inspired by means of real-lifestyles heinous crimes devoted in Korea. But he isn’t any regular taxi motive force as the experience aims to avenge the suffering of passengers whom the regulation has didn’t guard. The series acquired a double-digit score right off the bat, even though you’ll be able to say it in part benefited from the popularity of its megahit predecessor, which additionally has an area on this list.3. One the Woman
The 1/3 highest rated Kdrama in 2021 is the comedy “One the Woman” (SBS), approximately a prosecutor who loses her reminiscence because of an coincidence and wakes up with a new identification. Lee Ha-nee performs this person and her actual appearance-alike, the plenty belittled daughter-in-law of a rich own family. The splendor queen-became-actress seemed to have selected her latest projects very cautiously, considering that her preceding collection “The Fiery Priest” and film “Extreme Job” done large achievement in 2019.2. The Penthouse Season 3
Average + Peak: 36.6p.c1. The Penthouse Season 2
The second and 0.33 seasons of “The Penthouse: War in Life” (SBS) are the top two maximum rated Korean dramas of 2021. The immensely popular series that began in 2020 tells the story of the citizens of a luxurious penthouse rental whose lives start to collapse whilst a younger woman falls to her death inside the one-of-a-kind rental. Due to a few similarities, many visitors could not assist however evaluate it to “Sky Castle”—the maximum watched Korean drama in 2019—however “The Penthouse” is more extreme, leaning heavily into makjang or overly dramatized elements.
Check out this summary earlier than you continue to the next ranking:Highest Rated Korean Dramas 2021: Cable Top 10 through Ratings10. Bossam: Steal the Fate
MBN’s best drama in 2021 rounds out the top 10 within the cable class. Produced as the channel’s 10th anniversary special collection, “Bossam: Steal the Fate” virtually did not disappoint. It began with only 2-three percentage viewership but went on to emerge as the highest rated K-drama ever broadcast by means of MBN, unseating preceding name holder “Graceful Family.” ‘Bossam’ refers to a normal practice in Joseon where a widow is abducted and forced to end up the spouse of the kidnapper.9. Show Window: Queen’s House
“Show Window: Queen’s House” functions no big names in its solid but with a riveting story approximately love and betrayal, it pulled off a exceedingly successful run and wound up as Channel A’s maximum a success series of all time in phrases of viewership. It barely hit 2 percentage in its first week however it went on to move the 10 percent mark in its final episode, which made it the most important sleeper hit cable drama ultimate year.eight. Love (toes. Marriage and Divorce) 1