Best Korean Dramas of 2017

Best Korean Dramas of 2017 - Yoo Seung Ho, L, Ji Chang Wook, Nam Ji Hyun, Suzy, Lee Jong Suk, Yeo Jin Goo, Baek Jin Hee, Jung Kyung Ho, Yoon Shi Yoon, Yang Se Jong, Lee Min Ho, Jun Ji Hyun, Joy, Lee Hyun Woo, Taecyeon, Seo Ye Ji, Woo Do Hwan, Jang Na Ra, Son Ho Jun, Heo Jung Eun, Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Im Siwan, Yoona, Hong Jong Hyun, Park Hyung Shik, Park Seo Joon

Is 2017 really already almost over? How is that even possible? But it is, and that means it’s time to reminisce about all of the kdramas that graced our screens in 2017. It was another fantastic year for kdramas with so many wonderful stories to enjoy. I also still love blogging about them and sharing that love with so many wonderful people across the world.

So here we go! This list includes all of the dramas that I watched which aired and concluded their runs in 2017. We’re going to be counting down my favorite dramas from least to most favorite. I honestly enjoyed most of these dramas with only a few real duds. Full reviews are also available for all of them.

As always, this is completely my opinion on these dramas, and it does not reflect Korean or international ratings or the popularity of any particular drama among fans. I watched a ton of dramas again this year, so stay tuned for the grand total when combined with other dramas at the end of the article 🙂

40. Man to Man

Man to Man Korean Drama - Park Hae Jin, Park Sung Woong, Kim Min Jung

Man to Man is one of those dramas that seems fine enough as a whole, but I just really didn’t care for it. It never really clicked. The drama does have a really nice story that mixes secret agent spy action with romance and comedic elements. The actors all nailed their roles, and the drama looked sharp with pretty good cinematography. My favorite thing was the fun bromance between Park Hae Jin and Park Sung Woong.

But the pacing felt slow, the story was presented in a confusing way, and I thought the romance was pretty weak. Mostly I was just bored though. For me, this drama may have just suffered from being a bit average combined with bad timing.
My Rating: 4/10 (Man to Man Review)

39. Chief Kim

I’m terribly sad to say that I ended up being completely disappointed in Chief Kim. Nam Goong Min was easily the bright spot of the drama, and he delivered a spectacular performance that was both humorous and poignant.

But that was not enough to make up for how incredibly boring I found the drama to be. It had a slow moving plot that completely centered around constant business politics, characters I didn’t bond with, and not enough humor to make up for the shortfalls. I only ended up completing it because of how captivating and hilarious Nam Goong Min was. So for me, it was a disappointment.
My Rating: 4/10 (Chief Kim Review)

38. Revolutionary Love

Revolutionary Love Korean Drama - Choi Siwon, Kang So Ra, Gong Myung

Revolutionary Love was an odd drama for me. My feelings were kind of neutral towards it. There were lots of funny moments as well as sweet ones. There was also plenty of drama and scheming. But mostly I found myself indifferent. It felt tonally uneven as it swung between zany humor and serious moments and the plot was lacking. The show really just felt messy as a whole.

The main draw for the drama is Choi Siwon who had plenty of opportunities to showcase his comedy skills and to flash that cheesy and endearing grin of his. Kang So Ra was also nice in this role. But despite having a fun cast that delivered some laughs and heartfelt moments on their journeys of growth, the sloppy writing, simplistic circular plot, and company issues left it feeling oh so average.
My Rating: 5/10 (Revolutionary Love Review)

37. Solomon’s Perjury

Solomon’s Perjury is one of those dramas that is really quite good, but it just wasn’t my kind of drama. It’s like a legal drama disguised as a high school drama. And well, legal dramas aren’t really something I love.

It has a really solid story and the plot developments were there, but I just didn’t feel the stakes were very high. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that many of the important plot developments are exposed at the trial in a more matter of fact manner. For me, this made these very emotional moments seem sterile. While I most certainly enjoyed parts of Solomon’s Perjury and appreciated what it was trying to do, it just wasn’t to my tastes and didn’t really come together for me.
My Rating: 5.5/10 (Solomon’s Perjury Review)

36. My Only Love Song

My Only Love Song is a comedy drama that is light and easy and knows how to have fun. Gong Seung Yeon is so lively and funny while Lee Jong Hyun was also enjoyable. Their bickering was spot on and very entertaining. They made a very cute couple.

The drama is heavy on the comedy, especially in the beginning. This is when I liked it best. Things get more serious as the story progresses which is something I would normally like, but I found that I lost interest as it went along. While it did lose its steam and initial appeal, I did enjoy several elements of it overall, especially for being a unique genre of being a very comedic historical drama.
My Rating: 6/10 (My Only Love Song Review)

35. Lookout

Lookout Korean Drama - Kim Young Kwang, Lee Shi Young, Key, Kim Seul Gi, and Kim Tae Hoon 2

I found Lookout to be a unique tale in the drama landscape with its legal crime thriller genre coupled with a group of vigilantes seeking justice. The story as a whole is mostly solid with a nice web of corruption in place that connects all of our characters together. There’s a mystery element, tension, and some very well done action sequences.

I did have trouble really connecting with the characters for a long while and found myself losing interest as the drama progressed. But overall, it’s a decent drama, and fans of the genre should definitely give it a look.
My Rating: 6/10 (Lookout Review)

34. Chicago Typewriter

Chicago Typewriter Korean Drama - Yoo Ah In, Go Kyung Pyo, and Im Soo Jung

Chicago Typewriter was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It had a really unique story set during two time periods including one of my favorites being the 1930’s.  The 1930’s story line by far had the most appeal with high stakes and a layer of suspense. The modern story was just not that engaging with a weaker plot and characters I had a hard time warming up to. I never fully clicked with the drama as a whole and it ended up quite average.

But I give a lot of credit to Chicago Typewriter for its unique story. Better pacing and a thicker modern plot could have made this drama fantastic. The 1930’s portion was wonderful, and it did have its moments in the modern portion. The drama does well at highlighting the strong friendship between our trio, and at least it went out on a very moving note.
My Rating: 6/10 (Chicago Typewriter Review)

33. My Sassy Girl

My Sassy Girl Korean Drama - Joo Won and Oh Yeon Seo

My Sassy Girl was a nice enough watch that’s mostly light and breezy. Joo Won and Oh Yeon Seo completely had that fun, bickering chemistry that was very enjoyable. The plot was thin in the first half, and I think the drama would have benefited from giving us more story in the very beginning so we felt that the stakes were higher rather waiting until halfway through the drama to really get the story going. It just wasn’t plotted that well.

I thought most of the supporting characters were also weak. They were underdeveloped and not really utilized that well. Mostly, the drama just felt average, but average worked well enough in this case, and I found it to be a decent watch from start to finish. A talented main cast, a sweet romance, and a little drama delivered a nice story.
My Rating: 6.5/10 (My Sassy Girl Review)

32. Bride of the Water God

Bride of the Water God Korean Drama - Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung

Bride of the Water God has a lot of issues. It lacks a strong narrative, it withholds most of the back story for too long, and most of the characters aren’t that well developed. Despite those things, I thought it was a decent watch. I liked the fantasy element and the concept. It was also very lovely to look at. Nam Joo Hyuk and Shin Se Kyung were cute enough as a couple. But Im Joo Hwan gets most of the credit for delivering an amazing and layered performance.

Bride of the Water God is a bit all over the place in terms of things it does right and things it does wrong. It has many glaring issues, but it also has things that are very enjoyable. Your enjoyment of this drama will heavily depend on if you feel the good outweighs the bad. It could have been so much more, but it had enough good parts to make it worthwhile for me.
My Rating: 6.5/10 (Bride of the Water God Review)

31. Fight for My Way

Fight for My Way Korean Drama - Park Seo Joon, Kim Ji Won, Ahn Jae Hong, Song Ha Yoon

Fight for My Way is a cute drama that is very slice of life. It was an overall enjoyable watch, though I did find it pretty average and lacking a bit in plot. The two main plots focus on Bong Man and Ae Ra’s career goals and their friends to lovers relationship.

Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won play their characters well, and they have some very heartwarming moments where they support each other, but I did think it took way to long to get around to them actually becoming a couple. While I found Fight for My Way to be average, it does have plenty of good things to enjoy. If you like slice of life dramas or friends to lovers stories, definitely give this one a look.
My Rating: 6.5/10 (Fight for My Way Review)

30. Voice

Voice Korean Drama - Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na

Voice is a very dark and gritty crime drama. It’s violent, bloody, and quite disturbing. It was pretty thrilling in the beginning with our cop duo constantly battling the clock to save lives, but it did lose a lot of that initial excitement.

Overall, Voice did well by providing a decent serial killer story and remained pretty entertaining throughout. But the one dimensional characters that experience little growth was extremely evident and definitely brought the show down. Voice certainly had some great moments, but it also could have been so much more.
My Rating: 6.5/10 (Voice Review)

29. Because This is My First Life

Because This is My First Life is a nice romantic comedy that is both fun and sweet. It explores a lot of relationship issues in modern society concerning dating and marriage. It also tackles subjects such as the treatment of women in the workplace as well as what society expects of men and women in a marriage relationship. The drama really excels at bringing these subjects to light and conveying them in a sincere and relatable way.

Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min were a cute couple. I did find Lee Min Ki’s character to be bland, so I didn’t experience a lot of warm fuzzies for a long while concerning their relationship. But there are some very sweet moments, and I enjoyed them as a whole. Because This is My First Life could have used a little extra oomph, but overall it is very well executed and extremely down to earth.
My Rating: 7/10 (Because This is My First Life Review)

28. Hospital Ship

Hospital Ship Korean Drama - Kang Min Hyuk and Ha Ji Won

Hospital Ship is a warm, character driven drama with a unique medical setting aboard a ship. It develops its characters well through their stories of tragedy and growth. The doctors felt like a family that we could laugh and cry with as we went along with them on their journey.

The show was a bit episodic for me as well as being slower paced. But it’s emotional story lines involving our doctors were well crafted, and I definitely shed a few tears. I grew very attached to our stellar surgeon, the handsome doctors, and the fun supportive staff. All in all, it was a very heartfelt and moving drama.
My Rating: 7/10 (Hospital Ship Review)

27. Tunnel

Tunnel Korean Drama - Choi Jin Hyuk

Tunnel was a very nice crime drama with a side of time travel. It has an interesting overarching story as well as very engaging characters. It’s fascinating to peel back their layers and also see how they fit into the story. Tunnel offers a few twists along way to keep things exciting too.

I would have liked to have seen the time travel utilized a bit more, and the drama lagged a bit in the second half where things just felt like they were moving a bit slow. But overall, Tunnel did a solid job as a crime drama with a well presented mystery, and the time travel element added a little something extra.
My Rating: 7/10 (Tunnel Review)

26. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

weightlifting-fairy-kim-bok-joo-nam-joo-hyuk-and-lee-sung-kyung-9

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo was a nice slice of life story on a college campus. The drama has some laughs with lots of heartwarming moments. The romance between Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung was very cute with a lot of playfulness and fun that provided a lot of humor. I didn’t find them particularly swoon-worthy, but they are still unbelievably adorable, and their strength comes from how natural they are together.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a fun and inspirational drama on many levels. While I did find it a bit slow overall and would have liked to have seen more story with higher stakes, it still had plenty going for it. If you like cute couples, slice of life stories, and dramas without a lot of angst, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a perfect fit.
My Rating: 7/10 (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Review)

25. Manhole

Manhole is a fun time travel drama that explores the concept of changing one thing in the past and having to deal with the unforeseen consequences of the butterfly effect in the present. The drama is pretty wacky in the beginning with an off the wall sense of humor, but this lessons as the characters and story are more fleshed out. This leaves us with a fairly nice romantic comedy with a fun story and heartwarming elements.

It definitely has some plot holes and nonsensical happenings, but the good things more than made up for them. It was fun with moments of warmth and romance.  The characters all grew on me and were portrayed well by the actors. While it certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes, I thankfully found it to be a pretty enjoyable ride and had plenty of fun watching it. It’s the kind of drama you shouldn’t think to hard about and just sit back, go along for the ride, and enjoy it for what it is.
My Rating: 7/10 (Manhole Review)

24. Radiant Office

Radiant Office Korean Drama - Ha Suk Jin and Go Ah Sung

Radiant Office was a very well done office drama. It mixes in touching stories of the workers struggles with comedic elements. The romance is very subtle, but I really enjoyed the natural progression as they went from enemies, then to a thoughtful friendship, and finally to a sweet romantic relationship.

There’s nothing really exceptional about Radiant Office, but it’s simply a good solid drama. By delivering compelling characters that are easy to root for, I found myself very invested in their lives. It was heartwarming and humorous which brought a nice balance to the office happenings. Overall, Radiant Office was a very nice watch.
My Rating: 7/10 (Radiant Office Review)

23. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Korean Drama - Park Hyung Shik and Park Bo Young

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon was a fun drama that mixed in romantic comedy along with darker crime elements. There is plenty of humor as well as a few thrills to keep things exciting. It does have quite a few issues and could have benefited from better pacing of the story, exploring it more in depth, being more tonally even throughout, and including less of some of the silly side stories.

But of course, the main thing to get excited about with this drama is the main couple. Park Hyung Shik and Park Bo Young are about as cute as it gets. If you want to see tons of adorable couple moments, look no further than these two. They are so wonderful that they make up for many of the drama’s shortcomings.  So overall, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon was more than enjoyable and left me with mostly good feelings.
My Rating: 7/10 (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon Review)

22. Tomorrow With You

Tomorrow With You Korean Drama - Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah

Tomorrow With You was such a compelling drama. Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah had sizzling chemistry right from the get go. Their love story was both heart wrenching and heart warming. They both display so much cuteness with each other and have an abundance of delicious skinship. They completely sent my heart racing so many times!

Despite some major issues with the pacing and story development in the beginning, it blossomed into a wonderfully suspenseful romantic thriller, and the stakes felt very high. The time travel element was extremely fascinating, and it was handled beautifully. I really enjoyed how the story consistently peeled back its layers throughout the drama. There was a lot of thought that went into the details of how everything would connect from beginning to end. I’m glad I went along on this time traveling romance journey.
My Rating: 7/10 (Tomorrow With You Review)

21. The Sound of Your Heart

Sound of Your Heart Korean Drama - Kim Byung Ok, Jung So Min, Lee Kwang Soo, Kim Day Myung, Kim Mi Kyung

The Sound of Your Heart was such a funny web drama! Much of the comedy is very ridiculous and on the exaggerated side, but if you like the style, the drama completely nails it. The characters get into all kinds of crazy situations, and most of the fun comes from just how absurd they are.

Lee Kwang Soo was hilarious and really shines. The Sound of Your Heart is a simple comedy drama, but very entertaining. I would love to see more comedy dramas such as this in the future.
My Rating: 7.5 (The Sound of Your Heart Review)

20. Lingerie Girls’ Generation

Lingerie Girls’ Generation is very much a slice of life drama with a nostalgic feel to it both in look and tone that completely captures its 1970’s setting.  It’s breezy and fun as we get to know this group of teenagers and go along with them on their relationship journeys. Yet behind the fun was a melancholy undertone as it follows some serious issues the teens have to deal with. The drama develops a very bittersweet quality to it as it progresses.

Lingerie Girls’ Generation delivered at being both a cute and fun relationship drama as well as a thoughtful and poignant look at life in 1970’s Korea. It’s a very moving and heartfelt drama that offers a little something different.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Lingerie Girls’ Generation Review)

19. Queen for Seven Days

Queen for Seven Days Korean Drama - Yeon Woo Jin and Park Min Young

If you’re looking for a historical drama that is pretty much solid all round, look no further than Queen for Seven Days. It has a very solid and intriguing story in place that is filled with plenty of interesting plot developments. Yeon Woo Jin and Park Min Young were both wonderful as our ill fated lovers.

Being a political romance, I did find some of the palace politics slow and felt that it took away from time I would have rather spent with the character’s relationships. But the overall pacing is good, and things really ramp up in the last quarter as the inevitable showdown between the brothers takes place. It’s completely solid as a political romance with it’s rich story, talented actors, lovely cinematography, and beautiful soundtrack.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Queen for Seven Days Review)

18. Defendant

Defendant Korean Drama - Ji Sung

Defendant is a very well done legal thriller. There is an excellent mystery in place as we go on a very compelling journey with our hero to figure out how his family died and how he ended up in prison for killing them.

The drama did a wonderful job keeping things intense as we carefully peeled back the layers to the story as Jung Woo slowly got back his memories. The swift pacing combined with the engaging and heart wrenching journey of Jung Woo always kept things interesting. Ji Sung was absolutely fantastic and gave such a memorable performance. It’s definitely an entertaining legal thriller.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Defendant Review)

17. The Package

The Package moves along at a leisurely pace as we join a tour group on their journey in France. It’s a very pleasant adventure as we join these travelers on a journey of exploration, self discovery, and healing. And what a moving drama this was! The characters were very well developed being both nuanced and flawed. They were a very quirky and interesting group, and I shed some tears as I watched them struggle with life and love.

This drama made me feel very comfortable while also touching my heart on a deep level. It’s unique setting freshens things up a bit. It’s also the perfect drama for a pleasant and contemplative experience as you enjoy the beauty of France and go on a moving journey of exploration and love.
My Rating: 8/10 (The Package Review)

16. The Best Hit

The Best Hit was such a cute drama! It’s very light and fun with a slice of life sort of feel. Plus it has that fantasy element of time travel to add a little something extra. It has a strong comedic element coupled with characters that are so likable and so much fun. And Yoon Shi Yoon was absolutely perfect for this role, and he is simply made for comedy!

The drama also explores a lot of different relationships from family to friends to co-workers. This allows for some very heartfelt moments as these characters go through life together and grow. It’s a refreshing and heartwarming story that made me feel good and gave me a lot of laughs and smiles. I grew very attached to these characters, and I miss them greatly.
My Rating: 8/10 (The Best Hit Review)

15. Missing 9

Missing 9 Korean Drama - Jung Kyung Ho and Baek Jin Hee

Missing 9 was an exciting ride with plenty of twists and turns. I absolutely love stories of a group of very different people fighting for survival together. Of course, Jung Kyung Ho is also fantastic in his role!

The drama does have plenty of illogical scenarios, inconsistencies, and plot holes. But if you can just take it for what it is, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had in Missing 9. The story itself is quite captivating and thrilling with a very addicting quality to it. Also, the thing this drama excelled at the most was concerning its characters. The characters are diverse, intriguing, and nuanced. They are what makes you invested in the drama as well as the journey they have to go on. I enjoyed all of the castaways because of how well written and developed they were.

So in the end, I found Missing 9 to be a fun and thrilling ride. There’s mystery, murder, and drama balanced with camaraderie and heartfelt personal journeys. It had plenty to pick apart, but it got the important things right. I felt for these characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed the drama.
My Rating: 8/10 (Missing 9 Review)

14. While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping - Lee Jong Suk and Suzy 20

While You Were Sleeping is a drama that I was really looking forward to, and thankfully, I was very pleased with the drama as a whole. It nails that mix of rom-com-thriller that I so love by giving us an intriguing story with romance, laughs, and tension. It also delivers well crafted characters that are likable and full of depth.

I really adored Lee Jong Suk and Suzy as a couple! They are super cute together and give us plenty of adorable couple moments. I really enjoyed their supportive relationship, thoughtful conversations, and watching the romance blossom. The drama provided plenty of excitement with a dash of fantasy, but it was the characters, the relationships, and our wonderful couple that truly shined for me.
My Rating: 8/10 (While You Were Sleeping Review)

13. The Liar and His Lover

The Liar and His Lover Korean Drama - Lee Hyun Woo and Joy

The Liar and His Lover was a very sweet and engaging drama with a lovely romance. It was emotionally compelling with very well developed characters that tug at your heartstrings. I also tend to really like dramas that have a focus on music that follow the struggles of singers and bands. It completely encapsulates what I enjoy about dramas in that genre.

I would describe The Liar and His Lover like a mix between a fluffy romantic comedy and a baby melodrama. In many ways it’s a light and easy drama to watch, but the things that happened to our characters always felt quite dramatic though. Lee Hyun Woo and Joy were an adorable couple and had tons of cotton candy sweet moments to keep you smiling.

It was a heartfelt journey that I went on with these characters, and I really connected with them as they went through so many emotions on their road to love and success. I smiled with them, I cried with them, and I celebrated their journeys. It was a lovely drama that left me with a warm feeling that will always connect me with it.
My Rating: 8/10 (The Liar and His Lover Review)

12. Go Back Couple

Go Back Couple Korean Drama - Son Ho Jun and Jang Na Ra

Go Back Couple was such a special drama. It offers a truly moving commentary on what love and relationships look like as well as how life doesn’t always turn out like we had imagined. It delivers a poignant story that I found both warm and heartachingly real. At the same time it mixed in humor and plenty of joy to balance it out.

I truly loved seeing this couple grow throughout the drama. I was brought to tears so many times as I watched their relationship falling apart and then slowly getting put back together. Those moments of remembrance and appreciation that developed were so heartfelt, and Go Back Couple moved me on so many levels. Such a beautiful examination of what love is and that it is something we should make every effort to hold onto.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Go Back Couple Review)

11. Save Me

Save Me Korean Drama - Seo Ye Ji, Taecyeon, Woo Do Hwan, Lee David, Jo Jae Yun

Save Me is one wild ride! It’s completely different from any drama I have ever seen. With its unique story of a cult, there’s no real solid pattern for predicting how it will unfold. With a dark and creepy tone throughout, you just never get a chance to feel at ease with this one. And one crazy thing after another keeps happening! The tension and suspense are high from start to finish.

Save Me was a truly fantastic drama. It’s dark, powerful, and very unique. It’s the kind of drama that makes you feel a wide range of emotions and really makes you think. The cast was wonderful with no weak links to really bring to life this disturbing yet moving story of one woman’s harrowing journey to regain her freedom.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Save Me Review)

10. The King Loves

The King Loves Korean Drama - Im Si Wan, Yoona, Hong Jong Hyun

The King Loves was a wonderful drama with a REAL love triangle! The relationship between Won, Rin, and San was beautiful and complicated. At the heart of the drama is the theme of friendship. Won and Rin had such a wonderful brotherly relationship that was truly a beautiful thing. It was very emotional watching as they not only had to deal with their feelings for San, but also some very complicated power struggles.

The King Loves maintained a wonderful pace throughout, and I was always completely interested to see what would happen next. I’ll certainly remember the wonderful friendship between Won, Rin, and San.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (The King Loves Review)

9. Duel

Duel Korean Drama - Yong Se Jong

Duel was such a fantastic ride! It was thrilling and emotional with a well developed mystery in place surrounding the clones. The drama was plotted wonderfully as it carefully revealed pieces of the puzzle while maintaining a good pace and intensity to keep me engaged.

Yang Se Jong was fantastic in dual roles as the good amnesiac Sung Joon and the villainous kidnapper Sung Hoon. I fully believed that Sung Joon and Sung Hoon were two separate people. I’m still thoroughly impressed by Yang Se Jong for being so convincing as each guy.

I really enjoyed the characters and the intense journeys they went on. The clone element was handled well and certainly added a freshness to the story. And finally, Duel is exactly how I like my crime thrillers: with intensity, action, mystery, and heart. It was a wonderful combination.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Duel Review)

8. Hwarang

Hwarang was such a wonderful historical! I was surprised at just how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was excellent and developed so nicely with great pacing from start to finish with a wonderful balance of lighthearted humor, romance, political scheming, action, and angsty goodness.

I really enjoyed the love/hate relationship and dynamic between Park Seo Joon and Park Hyung Shik. The complicated relationships between our three main leads was always intense, and the way all of the elements were balanced was just fantastic.

There are so many wonderful and well developed supporting characters with meaningful stories. The setting and the great soundtrack also created such a wonderful atmosphere. I really loved Hwarang for so many reasons.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Hwarang Review)

7. Goblin

Goblin: The Lonely and Great God Korean Drama - Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na

Goblin is an epic tale with some amazing characters, talented actors, stunning visuals, and a fresh and unique story woven beautifully throughout each episode. I really love seeing a kdrama with such a heavy fantasy concept. It creates a full mythology surrounding the characters and how certain things work. That makes discovering this world and its secrets very interesting.

My favorite parts of the drama were the more dramatic aspects that focused on the story surrounding Shin, his back story, his curse, and how everyone was connected to that. The story is very rich, and I loved delving deep into it. The drama sets up the story very well with high stakes and plenty of questions. While it does take a while to get answers, once we continue deeper into the story, the drama just gets better and better. I also absolutely loved the bromance between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook.

Goblin is a unique drama in the kdrama landscape. It’s an epic story of love, friendship, and forgiveness that tugs at the heart. It’s a poignant and moving drama that definitely left a lasting impression.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Goblin: The Lonely and Great God Review)

6. Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea Korean Drama - Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun

Legend of the Blue Sea was a fantastic drama! It’s a beautiful love story with that twist of fantasy. Romance, humor, and drama along with a gorgeous couple that have many obstacles to overcome on their journey to happiness makes this a wonderful drama.

I loved Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun as a couple. They are what make this drama shine. I adored all of their interactions from Joon Jae’s humorous reactions to Chung, his falling for her, and the lovely romance between the two.

This couple just made me happy on so many levels. There’s just something about a fated romance such as theirs that hits all the right spots. I completely enjoyed their past and present love stories that was filled with laughter, heartache, and romance. Legend of the Blue Sea is simply a beautiful love story.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Legend of the Blue Sea Review)

5. Suspicious Partner

Suspicious Partner Korean Drama - Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun

Suspicious Partner is one of those really solid dramas that has a great story coupled with interesting characters played by a talented group of actors. It’s a nice mixture of genres with romantic comedy, mystery, and legal thriller elements. And I loved it!

It had a solid overarching serial killer mystery with a few twists. I thoroughly enjoyed going on the journey with the characters as they tried to overcome obstacles and find happiness. It also had this atmosphere that made me feel completely comfortable.

Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun had such wonderful chemistry, and I loved watching their relationship progress. All of the characters were so well done, and they really brought the drama to life. It was a joy to watch on so many levels.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Suspicious Partner Review)

4. Reunited Worlds

Reunited Worlds Korean Drama - Yeo Jin Goo

Reunited Worlds is simply a beautiful drama. It’s such a warm, healing drama that heavily focuses on relationships. A major theme is Hae Sung’s journey to bring healing to his friends and family. As always, Yeo Jin Goo was phenomenal, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.

The drama is filled to the brim with those heartwarming moments between characters and has plenty of feels. It crafted a world of characters that I loved and couldn’t help but root for.

Reunited Worlds is a special drama because of its focus on healing, and Hae Sung was a truly amazing character. In the same way he brought joy to everyone around him, he also brought joy to me. He was a beautiful character that I immensely enjoyed going on a journey with. His bright spirit and that amazing smile will be something I always remember.
My Rating: 9/10 (Reunited Worlds Review)

3. Circle: Two Worlds Connected

Circle Korean Drama - Yeo Jin Goo, Kim Kang Woo, Kong Seung Yeon, and Lee Gi Kwang

Circle was one intense ride! It completely nails the science fiction genre. There is such an intriguing mystery that is put in place right from the get go and is perfectly woven between the two timelines. The pace is fast and full of suspense as there is a constant sense of urgency. And there always new plot developments with plenty of twists to keep things interesting.

The actors were all amazing, and they completely drew me into their characters. Yeo Jin Goo was especially wonderful, and he really wowed me. I seriously enjoyed this drama on many levels. Circle: Two Worlds Connected immersed me in a thrilling story full of mystery and suspense. It was a gripping tale that left me completely moved.

This was a science fiction story with that heart that Korean dramas are frequently known for. It exceeded my hopes for this genre and left me in awe and more than satisfied. I consider it a must watch.
My Rating: 9/10 (Circle: Two Worlds Connected Review)

2. Oh My Geum Bi

Oh My Geum Bi Korean Drama - Heo Jung Eun

What a moving and heartfelt drama! The oh so talented Heo Jung Eun completely shined as our little Geum Bi. She took on this weighty role of a child suffering with a terrible, incurable disease and completely nailed it.

Oh My Geum Bi excelled at hitting the right emotional beats to completely warm my heart while watching the relationship of a father and daughter blossom. The drama perfectly built up the conflicts and issues between the two and then delivered completely moving and beautiful moments where the characters experienced growth. And this special little girl transformed the lives of everyone around her.

Geum Bi brought many smiles to my face with her humorous and heartwarming moments, but then her harrowing journey through illness broke my heart. But even in the midst of sadness, there was always hope. This story was told so beautifully, and I’m glad I ended up giving it a chance.
My Rating: 9/10 (Oh My Geum Bi Review)

And the #1 drama of 2017 is…

1. Ruler: Master of the Mask

Wow! Ruler: Master of the Mask was an intense journey! It’s everything I love in a good sageuk, and it had me very much on the edge of my seat. It has a very rich story with extremely high stakes. All of the characters were so interesting and well played by a fantastic cast. With swift pacing and new story developments constantly happening, emotions run high and there is so much intensity!

We had another fantastic performance by Yoo Seung Ho, and I was also thoroughly impressed by L. Some of the most intense scenes were played out between these two. I went through so many different emotions watching them, and their relationship turned my insides upside down in the best possible way!

I thoroughly enjoyed diving into this rich world filled with so much intrigue. It was an intense and moving drama that completely drew me in and left me always wanting more. Fantastic on so many levels!
My Rating: 10/10 (Ruler: Master of the Mask Review)


Other Dramas I Completed in 2017

As a year end review, here is a list of the older Korean dramas, drama specials with less than the equivalent of 3 full length episodes, and dramas from other Asian countries that I completed this year. Full reviews for each drama are available by clicking on the drama title. Here they are broken into categories depending on how much I liked them with each category listing the dramas alphabetically:

Loved:

High School King of Savvy

high-school-king-of-savvy-seo-in-guk-and-lee-ha-na-34


Great:

It’s Okay, That’s Love


Monstar

Monstar Korean Drama - Yong Jun Hyung and Ha Yeon Soo


That Winter, The Wind Blows

That Winter, the Wind Blows Korean Drama - Jo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo


Good:

7 First Kisses

7 First Kisses Lotte Korean Web Drama - Lee Joon Gi, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, Kai, Taecyeon, Lee Jong Suk, Lee Min Hoo

Capital Scandal


Good Doctor

Good Doctor Korean Drama - Joo Won and Moon Chae Won

Princess’ Man

Princess' Man Korean Drama - Park Shi Hoo and Moon Chae Won


Surplus Princess

surplus-princess-jo-bo-ah-2

Warrior Baek Dong Soo

Warrior Baek Dong Soo Korean Drama - Ji Chang Wook and Yoo Seung Ho


Okay:

Star in My Heart

Star in My Heart Korean Drama - Cha In Pyo, Choi Jin Sil, Ahn Jae Wook


Disappointed:

Simple Man (Chinese)

Simple Man Chinese Drama - Lee Si Yang

So I ended up with 40 new dramas and 12 other dramas for a grand total of 52 dramas! The addiction lives on! It really was a great year overall, and it was fun reliving the many wonderful memories from it. And I’m more than excited to see what 2018 has in store!

How was 2017 for you?  What was your favorite drama of the year?

Click here for more Kdrama Reviews.

Sign Up to receive email updates of kdrama reviews, casting news, trailers, and more.

Copyright © 2015-2017 by Kdrama Kisses.  All rights reserved. This website or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author.  Excerpts may be used provided that credit is given to Kdrama Kisses (kdramakisses.com) with clear and direct links to the original content.
Advertisements

About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
This entry was posted in Articles, Drama Guides and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Best Korean Dramas of 2017

  1. I’ve watched about 10 on this list and have about 10 in my queue. Not sure there are enough hours in the day to get through my ever expanding list! Surprised to see Kim bok joo I and Do bong soon so low on the list but to each his own 🙂 Thanks for the excellent round up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, I definitely know the feeling! Despite watching all of these, my list is still huge. I just have to accept that I’ll never be able to watch all the dramas, lol. And even though Weightlifting Fairy & Strong Woman were lower on the overall list, I still really enjoyed them both 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    Holy moly….52 dramas! 😮😮😮 That really, really is a lot. Seriously I am completely in awe over this. I seriously wish I had this much time on my hands to watch them, but that would mean quitting my job 😂😂 Seriously though, this is a great list. I have just watched way too little K-dramas this year, something that has now become one of my new year’s resolutions: watch more K-dramas. My choice for this year is definitely Goblin. I just really enjoyed that one. I had such great drama, a truly beautiful story, great characters, and even though I am not a huge comedy fan, even that worked for me. Great post, and as I said. Really amazing to see that you have seen so many shows: awesome 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It really is a lot! The crazy thing is 52 is actually lower than last year, lol. I know it seems like a ton of time, but most of the time it’s just watching a couple eps a day in the evening with the occasional weekend marathon. I just watch consistently 🙂

      I certainly hope you get the chance to check out more kdramas in 2018. There are soooo many I’m sure you would love. And Goblin is definitely a fantastic choice for a favorite! It really had everything. I even watched that one twice! But yes, it was a great year overall with lots of good dramas to enjoy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! That’s so many! Congratulations on finishing all of them and congrats on writing informative reviews for them! *claps*

    Let’s start 2018 with watching a new kdrama! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Terri says:

    I haven’t watched a lot of kdrama this year as they have become somewhat boring, so congrats at your list.However, How can hwarang and legends of the blue sea be ranked more than defendant and Goblin? Gues it’s based on your preference, but thanks for the listing, now I can try other dramas I didn’t know where out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Sorry to hear you didn’t find as many you liked this year. I hope you at least found a few you really enjoyed 🙂 Yes, it just comes down to preference. I loved both Defendant and Goblin but enjoyed Legend of the Blue Sea just a little more. Just a little bit though, lol 😉 Hope you find some more good ones from the list!

      Like

  5. kadynomlid says:

    Tunnel looks really interesting! I’ll have to check it out!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kimchi Korner Blog says:

    Love this list!! So many shows I’m adding to my must watch list now LOL. How did you manage to watch 52 shows?? That’s amazing!! Congrats on finishing all of those. Your reviews are always so great. I’m already looking forward to another round of dramas in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Glad to help grow that list, lol 😉 It really does seem like a lot when I see them all listed together, hehe. But mostly just watching a couple eps a day with a little extra on the weekends consistently. I’m glad you enjoy the reviews and look forward to chatting about dramas more in 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Timescout says:

    Wow! You should get a medal or something. 😀 I watched 12 of those on you list and most of the ones I really liked are at the tail end, LOL! I don’t have as much time for dramas as I used to so I’ve become even pickier that I was before. I was actually surprised I did watch as many as 12. I dropped so many and couldn’t be bothered with even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Haha, yes, a medal to forever remember my drama achievements for the year 🙂 I knew most of your favs were a bit lower on my list. But honestly, everything I rate a 7 or above I really enjoyed. So there are quite a few that are very low on this list that I still liked a lot. I think having such a big list just makes them look like I didn’t like them so much. But I have lots of drama love to share around 😉 I’m really glad you found 12 to watch this year. I think that would count as pretty successful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timescout says:

        Well, the number will probaby rise a bit as there are still fiew I aim to finish. I’ve got time off between Xmas and New Year and I’m going to dedicate some of that for dramas. 😉 Right now the only thing I seem to be watching with any regularity is ‘Tribes and Empires’. Looks like I’m finishing yet another year with a cdrama. *g* I did check out ‘Just Between Lovers’ though and it looks quite promising.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Oh yes, some holiday time off will be nice to polish off a few dramas 🙂 Although I can see how Tribes and Empires would take up most of the time. I’m excited to check out Just Between Lovers. Though I guess that one will hopefully end up on next year’s list 🙂

          Like

  8. shamrockmom3 says:

    **Bows from the waist deeply**
    Major respect for the disciplined viewing and all of the reviews that you accomplish each year. It’s been a bummer year for me….not much to rave about in the Kdrama world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      **Bows in return**
      I thank you for your kind words and for taking time to comment and read the blog 🙂 Sorry the year hasn’t been so good to you kdrama wise. Did you at least find some you enjoyed?

      Like

  9. I feel like I’ve watched dramas till my eyes bled this year but I’ve still only seen about 10 on this list. I already knew you and I have very different taste but I feel like any list of the best 2017 dramas should definitely have Stranger (Forest of Secrets) at number 1. I also think you’re being a bit harsh on Chicago Typewriter and a bit too kind to Legend of the Blue Sea, which I thought was derivative and had an awful mind-wipe ending. I hated Goblin with a fiery passion but I already know I’m in a minority on that.

    Out of curiosity, where do you stand on Black?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      We definitely have a bit different tastes, but luckily we have a shared love of dramas, and it does seem like there are quite a few we both enjoyed 🙂 Yeah, I know Stranger was the big drama this year. I was super excited for it, started it up, watched a few eps and was bored out of my mind, and dropped it. I still don’t like doing that, but I decided to take my own advice and move on, hehe. And I really have a soft spot for Legend of the Blue Sea. Even I know it had issues, but I just loved the fairy tale romance so much that it overrode those for me 🙂

      I haven’t got around to Black yet. I really have no idea though what I will think of it. I like fantasy and thrillers but don’t love crime dramas especially if they are of the procedural kind. Also not a big fan of emotionless main leads. And I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on it. I still plan to check it out, but I feel like it could go either way as to whether I will like it.

      Like

      • I personally thought Black was the second best drama of 2017… until the last ten minutes. The internet has basically melted down about how bad the ending is. So it depends on whether you want to invest so much time in a drama knowing that ending is coming or if you want to skip it.I will say that SSH was amazing. This was the first drama of his I watched and his acting was a revelation.

        I am really glad I took the journey while it was airing. If I’d binge-watched it, this would be Big all over again. I still haven’t gotten over that trauma.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          I had heard the outcry of disappointment about the ending (which I have avoided spoilers for though). Lucky for me, I just happen to be someone who is very rarely bothered by terrible endings, lol. I’m more in it for the ride, so if I love a drama up until the last scene and then it tanks, 9 times out of 10 it won’t effect my view of the drama. There are a few dramas here or there that I found bothersome, but still not to the extent that I regretted watching. So no worries on that front. It’s just a matter of it I like the drama itself 🙂

          Like

  10. Dannyela says:

    TOP10 looks really interesting! I’ll have to check it out! thank you<3

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cha Min Ho says:

    where is BLACK it is recommended hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am always surprised how different our tastes are in dramas. You like the ones I love and I never even watch the ones you love. But man, I am super impressed that you watched 40 shows that aired in 2017 AND wrote reviews for them!!! That is just…wow…daebak. I will have to look into some of the ones you liked best. They are not to my usual taste but trying new things is the best way to find my new favorite drama! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      And don’t forget my 12 dramas from previous years too, lol 😉 Thank you for the compliment! I definitely added a lot to the blog over the year. I’m definitely in the minority with my love for a couple of my top dramas. Ruler: Master of the Mask got a lot of hate whereas I thought it was perfect. Reunited Worlds wasn’t well received either and I fell in love with it. I tend to be more forgiving of things that bug a lot of people as long as I’m not bored and feel entertained, lol.

      Circle was a bit under the radar, but most people seemed to really like that one though. And Oh My Geum Bi was way under the radar but was excellent. And all four of those dramas are completely different from each other in terms of genre and style. So what were your favorite dramas this year?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Kdrama Kisses 2017 Korean Drama Awards | Kdrama Kisses

  14. I am disappointed to see good dramas low on the list, I have seen about 30 of them. also, dramas like rebel thief who stole the people, secret forest etc., were some of the best dramas of the year

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Sounds like you got in a lot of dramas this year too 🙂 I had a really good year and except for the first few I really enjoyed most of the dramas on the list, even the lower ones. Sadly, I tried Secret Forest, but it ended up being one of the few I dropped. I also still need to watch Rebel. It’s on my list, and it’s one I’m really excited to check it out 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s