Welcome to the Kdrama Kisses 2021 Korean Drama Awards! In addition to this, don’t miss out on the big list of my favorite dramas of the year in my Best Korean Dramas of 2021 post, but now we will focus on some of my favorite performances and dramas in each genre. There were plenty of great ones to choose from, but let’s see what made my list of the best in 2021:
Yoon Shi Yoon (You Raise Me Up)
Yoon Shi Yoon was spectacular in his role as Yong Shik in You Raise Me Up. All of his mannerisms, facial expressions, and voice tone embodied this character struggling so deeply with mental health issues. His story was heart-wrenching to see. Yoon Shi Yoon’s acting was phenomenal, and he brought me to tears right along with him many times. Fantastic job!
Shin Hye Sun (Mr. Queen)
Shin Hye Sun was made for this role in Mr. Queen. She went all in for the the character of a modern man trapped in a Queen’s body. Her mannerisms were very funny including her acting out Bong Hwan’s more manly personality while in the Queen’s body. She was incredibly entertaining to watch.
Best Romantic Comedy:
True Beauty was all kinds of fun! It had a breezy and entertaining storytelling that was so easy to watch. We get romance, bromance, friendship, family, and stories of personal growth. It’s zany brand of humor provided plenty of laughs. There are some very heartfelt elements to the story that deliver emotion and tears. In the midst of the fun are also nice little moments of insight that add some depth to the drama. Laughs, fun, and heart make for a terrific watch.
Best Crime/Thriller Drama:
Sisyphus: The Myth
Sisyphus: The Myth is a grand dystopian style story that mixes fantastic action and thrills with some heart and cheesiness. I love a good sci-fi story, and Sisyphus: The Myth was that. It starts out with a lot of mystery and then slowly peels back the layers. The plot was very interesting, and it kept me engaged all the way through. It was also good to have solid characters and heart in order to anchor the story. We get a nice little romance amidst all of the action too. The acting was also wonderful all around. Sisyphus: The Myth was was so much fun and enjoyable in every way.
Mr. Queen is a fun historical with lots of laughs. It excelled with the humor with Shin Hye Sun shining in her role as the Queen. There is also a nice helping of palace intrigue to balance things out and propel the plot along. Overall, it was entertaining drama with a fresh spin on the typical relationship dynamics we usually see at play combined with a good story to flesh things out.
Moon Ga Young and Cha Eun Woo (True Beauty)
Moon Ga Young and Cha Eun Woo gave us a sweet and fun romance in True Beauty. We get to see plenty of fun bickering as well as lots of meaningful moments. It takes a while for them to get on the same page with sharing their feelings, but it’s a fun journey to watch. Then we see their relationship blossom quite nicely.
Park In Hwan and Song Kang
We got a unique cross-generational bromance in Navillera, and it was beautiful. Things start off a bit rocky between these two as they both were pursuing their dreams to do ballet, but then a wonderful friendship develops. These two end up having a truly special bond that was such a joy to see.
Choi Kang Hee and Lee Re
Hello, Me! featured an interesting girlmance with a 37 year old meeting her 17 year old self and spending the entire drama together. We see a wonderful character exploration of Ha Ni as an individual as both versions care for and support each other. It was a unique relationship for sure. It’s a lovely journey to see play out, and the drama is filled with wonderful positive messages about self love.
Kim Byung Chul (Sisyphus: the Myth)
Best Villain goes to Kim Byung Chul in Sisyphus: The Myth. His performance as Sigma was incredible. This is my kind of over-the-top super villain, and he was so entertaining to watch. Kim Byung Chul played him to perfection, and I was thoroughly impressed.
Jo Seung Woo and Park Shin Hye – Beach in the Void Kiss
(Sisyphus: The Myth)
Jo Seung Woo and Park Shin Hye gave us a bit of romance amidst the thrills in Sisyphus: The Myth. One of their most meaningful moments was a kiss on the beach in the void of time. Emotions were running high as they were trying to get back to the real world, and they shared this lovely kiss.
I quite enjoyed all of the lovely costumes in Mr. Queen. There were lots of vibrant, colorful clothes that really complimented the actors and added to the overall quality of the drama.
The soundtrack for Hello, Me! was a perfect fit for the drama and delivered a great variety of emotional songs as well as very fun ones. The background music was also wonderful and really added a nice layer of extra fun to the series.
As always, there were a lot of wonderful performances and dramas this year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but these are at least a few of the actors and dramas that stood out to me and left an impression.
So who were your favorite actors and what were your favorite dramas in 2021?