2022 is quickly coming to a close, so that means it’s time to reflect on the Korean dramas of this past year. There were still tons of dramas to choose from, and it seems impossible to get in all of the dramas we would like to. Luckily, I made my choices and came out with a mostly good crop of dramas as well as a few gems.
It’s been another great year chatting dramas with all of you, and I’m so glad to have this wonderful community to be a part of!
Time for list! It includes all of the dramas that I watched which aired and concluded their runs in 2022. We will be counting down my favorite dramas from least to most favorite. There were lots of dramas in that okay to good range this year along with several that I really loved. Full reviews are 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. Stick around for the grand total of how many new and old dramas I watched at the end of the article 🙂
14. Welcome to Wedding Hell
Welcome to Wedding Hell was a decent watch overall. The drama is mostly light, but there are some serious moments and a bit of angst. It’s a pretty simple and straight-forward drama with a couple dealing with the challenges of wedding planning. And there sure are a lot of challenges!
It brings to light quite a few realistic issues that couples and their families face when planning a wedding. Communication, understanding, and compromise are what’s needed to face these issues. There was romance, humor, and some angst. Nothing revolutionary, but nice if you want something easy.
My Rating: 6/10 (Welcome to Wedding Hell Review)
13. Once Upon a Small Town
Once Upon a Small Town is a shorter drama with a very basic premise with the city boy coming to a small town and slowly connecting with a local woman. We’ve seen this story many times, but the drama does tell the tale pretty well. It has an overall light and fun quality to it that is easy to watch. There is humor, a slow-burn romance, quirky townspeople, and helping animals.
The drama was a bit slow for me, and the romance took too long to get going, but overall, Once Upon a Small Town is a quick watch that is nice and easy. This might be a good drama for you if you need something lighter between the more serious dramas to add a bit of sweetness to your watchlist.
My Rating: 6/10 (Once Upon a Small Town Review)
12. Sh**ting Stars
Sh**ting Stars was an okay drama for me. It was like a rom-com/entertainment slice of life hybrid. It had its pluses and was a nice enough watch, but it also had its cons. There are several romances to enjoy with humor and a little behind the scenes look at the entertainment industry. Things pick up in the second half in the drama department.
The show wasn’t particularly engaging though and was lacking in story with one-note characters. It was still a decent enough watch and can work for you if want something mostly light-hearted with a focus on multiple relationships and a few more serious issues.
My Rating: 6/10 (Sh**ting Stars Review)
11. Soundtrack #1
Soundtrack #1 is a short 4 episode drama that was a decent watch. It’s very basic as we get a straightforward friends-to-lovers story. The drama has a sort of melancholy tone but is pretty light overall. It also has a more realistic, slice of life feel to it.
Both Sun Woo and Eun Soo begin to explore their feelings for each other and what their relationship means too them. We didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to go really deep with the characters, but overall, the drama did well with the time it had, and it was a sweet little romance.
My Rating: 6.5/10 (Soundtrack #1 Review)
10. Dear X Who Doesn’t Love Me
I was pleasantly surprised that I ended up enjoying Dear X Who Doesn’t Love Me quite well. It was more serious and thoughtful than I would have guessed. I found the story itself pretty interesting and well-developed. We see Hee Soo, who suffers from low self-esteem, use a magic notebook to make all of these guys fall for her. At first, it seems great, but then she realizes it brings a host of problems.
Dear X Who Doesn’t Love Me was nicely done for a shorter drama with romance, angst, a light fantasy element, and nice character explorations. A positive message of self-love was at its core. It’s a quick and easy watch that flew by.
My Rating: 7/10 (Dear X Who Doesn’t Love Me Review)
9. The Sound of Magic
The Sound of Magic is unique in the drama landscape in that it is a musical. It only had 6 episodes, but it manages to weave together a good story that includes a mystery and a blending of psychology and fantasy.
It is a solid series with a more serious tone and several difficult subject matters, but there is an air of hope throughout it too. Add in a side of magic, and we have an intriguing drama. I didn’t find the show particularly gripping, but the combination of the good story, engaging characters, mystery, and heart made for an overall enjoyable watch.
My Rating: 7/10 (The Sound of Magic Review)
8. Dear M
Dear M is a simple drama that is like a slice of life campus romance with a small mystery element. The show is a mostly light and pleasant watch with a side of angst. We have a large core group of friends at the center of the story which includes three romances. Once I figured out the dynamics, I was invested in the characters and their relationships.
Overall, Dear M was a bit meandering at times, but it was a very nice drama. Definitely nothing revolutionary, but enjoyable nonetheless. It’s a group of friends dealing with college, relationships, and life. They have joys and sorrows to go through, but they do so together. The drama had a fun quality that I found entertaining.
My Rating: 7/10 (Dear M Review)
7. Yumi’s Cells 2
Yumi’s Cells 2 was a very nice continuation of the first season. I had almost the exact same experience with this season, which is mostly positive with a couple of negatives. It’s a light and fun series overall.
The series has a very sweet romance between Yumi and Ba Bi. Relationship issues are explored nicely, and the story is thickened up with some career explorations by Yumi. The animated brain cells have their own story too and add an interesting dynamic to the drama. Yumi’s Cells 2 has a very nice feeling to it overall that made it an easy and enjoyable watch all around.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Yumi’s Cells 2 Review)
6. Let Me Be Your Knight
Let Me Be Your Knight has one of those silly-sounding romantic comedy premises that I just can’t resist. A woman pretending to be a doctor and secretly living in a boy band’s dorm to treat one of them members? Now that’s just primed for hi-jinks!
The drama has a light and fun feel with a sprinkling of heavier topics throughout. We do get plenty of fun with Yoon Joo living with Luna and all of the awkward situations that come with it.
Let Me Be Your Knight is pretty standard fare from a story perspective, but it executes everything pretty well. There’s humor, romance, music, heart, and a side of angst. It all made for an overall fun watch.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Let Me Be Your Knight Review)
5. Love in Contract
Love in Contract is a very entertaining drama that I enjoyed quite well. It has well-developed characters and a decent back story. There were always new plot developments and things going on which made for a great pace.
It was an interesting mixture of genres with the first half leaning towards being a romantic comedy while the second half became sort of a light chaebol melo. There was a nice amount of humor, angst and romance.
Park Min Young had great chemistry with Go Kyung Pyo, and they had an adorably awkward romance. There was a great cast of supporting character that I enjoyed too. All in all, it was a good watch.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Love in Contract Review)
4. Gaus Electronics
Gaus Electronics is a comedy drama that was quite a bit of fun. It’s a silly show that focuses heavily on the comedic aspects with lots of quirky characters getting involved in crazy situations. I love this sort of over-the-top zany style.
The drama does have several basic plots as well a nice little romance to enjoy between Kwak Dong Yeon and Go Sung Hee. Both gave great performances and were hilarious. We also had a wonderful supporting cast.
Gaus Electronics was very enjoyable overall. It’s all very silly, but I liked the zany comedy and feel good nature of the drama. This is the kind of show where you just relax and don’t take it too seriously, and that made for a very good time.
My Rating: 8/10 (Gaus Electronics Review)
3. Business Proposal
Business Proposal is an all-around fun romantic comedy. We get romance, humor, heart, and just a side of drama. It contains a fair amount of rom-com tropes, but it delivers them in a refreshing way and nails the overall execution.
Our main romance between Ha Ri and Tae Moo was very enjoyable with nice growth and a helping of swoony moments. There’s a nice secondary romance as well as a fun bromance and girlmance. Business Proposal is entertaining from start to finish. The drama flew by with the 12 episodes delivering excellent pacing. A fun drama all around.
My Rating: 8/10 (Business Proposal Review)
Moonshine is a fun historical that I really enjoyed. It has unique premise with it being set during Joseon’s prohibition and the story heavily revolving around that topic. The drama has nice, steady pacing with an interesting story and plenty of action to keep things exciting.
Yoo Seung Ho and Hyeri were both fantastic in their roles, and I quite enjoyed their romance as well as their individual stories. There was also a great cast of supporting characters that were memorable. Moonshine really is the kind of historical that I love and was a great watch all the way through.
My Rating: 8.5/10 (Moonshine Review)
And the #1 drama of 2022 is…
1. Alchemy of Souls
I loved Alchemy of Souls! This kind of drama is my bread and butter. It has a little bit of everything with history, fantasy, action, romance, heart, and humor. And it was a fun and thrilling ride from start to finish!
It’s a world of magic, mages, and epic battles. I was always interested to find out what would happen next and was never bored. It has a huge cast of characters that were all fantastic including our main duo of Lee Jae Wook and Jung So Min. Their relationship was so unique with many complex and interesting elements.
Alchemy of Souls was an amazing ride and such a fun experience. I was engaged and fully absorbed into the world. It’s a high fantasy blockbuster that was truly fantastic.
My Rating: 9/10 (Alchemy of Souls Review)
Other Dramas I Completed in 2022
As a year end review, here is a list of the older Korean dramas and dramas from other Asian countries that I completed this year.
Full reviews for each drama are available by clicking on the drama title. I usually break them into categories depending on how much I liked them, but they all fell into the “Good” category this year, so that made things simple! lol
That ends up being 14 new dramas and 4 other dramas for a grand total of 18 dramas! That’s not near as many as I would have liked, but that just means there are many more shows left to enjoy! So now we get ready for a whole new batch of dramas that will be heading our way in 2023!
How was 2022 for you? What were your favorite dramas of the year?