Soompi & Viki Staff Talk: What Was Your Favorite K-Drama In 2022?
For 2022’s final edition of the “Soompi & Viki Staff Talk” series, some of our staff members talk about our favorite K-dramas from the past year.
Check out our picks below!
Warning: minor spoilers ahead
Sala: “Summer Strike”
2022 has been another great year of diverse K-dramas, with especially amazing and big name titles such as “Twenty Five, Twenty One,” “Reborn Rich,” “Our Beloved Summer,” and many more being some of my (everyone’s) favorites. However, I want to take the time to also highlight one of the great underdogs of the year “Summer Strike,” which captured my heart in many unexpected ways. Taking place in the quiet seaside village of Angok, “Summer Strike” tells a heartwarming story of Ahn Dae Bum (Im Siwan), a shy math genius and village librarian, and Lee Yeo Reum (Seolhyun), a burned-out young professional who quits her job and ventures into the unfamiliar in order to find herself. Like the literal translation of the Korean title “I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything,” Lee Yeo Reum at times really doesn’t do anything, but watching her come to the realization that it’s okay to let go is one of the most healing and relatable messages to hear. It’s arguably (definitely) not the best or most realistic advice at times, but just watching the story of Dae Bum, Yeo Reum, and the misfit gang of Angok Village makes you feel a little less alone in the same struggle, and in my books, any drama that tries its best to highlight both the good and bad, the painful and the happy, is a story worth giving a try. At times, “Summer Strike” is a bit slow-paced, but you’ll be left wanting for more while finding yourself smiling as the characters gradually bond with one another, building one big supportive family when they need it the most in their lives.
Watch “Summer Strike” below:
Somni: “Today’s Webtoon”
I had a hard time choosing just one favorite out of dozens of dramas with amazing casts and narratives this year. Among the strong candidates, I chose “Today’s Webtoon” because as an office worker myself, I could deeply relate to the characters On Ma Eum (Kim Sejeong), Goo Joon Young (Nam Yoon Su), and Seok Ji Hyung (Choi Daniel). I was deeply inspired by their mindsets and attitudes toward their professions and life tasks. The drama portrays various hardships and people you meet at work in an entertaining way. In particular, On Ma Eum enlightened the viewers including myself that maintaining positivity and believing in yourself are the most important and easiest ways to get through. She has also taught me that being a person who can have a positive influence on others should also be a goal in life. I would strongly recommend anyone having a hard time with work or needing a refreshing perspective on life to watch this drama. Moreover, viewers can have a second-hand experience of what it is like to work at a webtoon company!
Watch “Today’s Webtoon” below:
Ginny: “Reborn Rich“
My favorite drama of the year is “Reborn Rich.” Yoon Hyun Woo (Song Joong Ki) used to be a devoted and loyal secretary to the Jin family but gets betrayed by the family and framed for embezzlement. He gets killed by the family but is somehow brought back to life as the family’s youngest son Jin Do Joon. He decides to take revenge and buys the company Soonyang from his grandfather Jin Yang Chul (Lee Sung Min). It’s interesting to see how Jin Do Joon makes decisions while knowing what will happen in the world. Plus Lee Sung Min and Song Joong Ki showcased phenomenal acting, perfectly transforming into their characters. It is a definitely a drama not worth missing out on!
Watch “Reborn Rich” below:
Yeon: “Sh**ting Stars“
As someone who lives for rom-coms, my favorite drama this year is a pretty easy decision. “Sh**ting Stars” is a rom-com about people who work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry and features the romance between Oh Han Byul (Lee Sung Kyung), the head of the PR team at Star Force Entertainment, and the A-list star Gong Tae Sung (Kim Young Dae). Although Gong Tae Sung usually has positive intentions, he is quite the troublemaker, and Oh Han Byul is the one who has to deal with the aftermath of his antics. It’s adorable to see how their love-hate relationship since college gradually develops into only love, becoming each other’s biggest support system. The drama also delves deep into the hidden stories of the entertainment industry, which is bound to be intriguing for anyone who is interested in the field. It’s a charming drama that brought me lots of smiles and occasional tears—I’m sure it will be the same for anyone else willing to give this drama a watch!
Watch “Sh**ting Stars” below:
Winnie: “Gaus Electronics”
Although I didn’t have very high expectations at first, I found “Gaus Electronics” surprisingly hilarious, delightful, and fun to watch, even becoming my favorite drama of 2022. Based on a popular webtoon about the marketing team of an electronics company, it’s a wild and hysterical drama that is far from a typical romantic comedy. It’s impossible to guess what’s going to happen in the next scene and what unexpected words will come out of the characters’ mouths. Featuring a cast of young stars including Kwak Dong Yeon, Go Sung Hee, Bae Hyun Sung, and Kang Min Ah, the actors show explosive chemistry with their iconically funny characters. Just make sure to be open-minded when checking out this drama and enjoy all the craziness!
Watch “Gaus Electronics” below:
Jessie: “Jinxed at First”
I HAVE to talk about “Jinxed at First” as my favorite drama of the year. Based on a famous webtoon, this drama has really touched my heart personally. The story features Lee Seul Bi (Seohyun), who has mystical powers to foresee the future, and an honest but very unlucky fishmonger Gong Soo Kwang (Na In Woo). Seul Bi had known Soo Kwang ever since she could remember and believed their love to be fate. Although Soo Kwang rejects her at first due to the connection between her and his unlucky day, the two slowly start to gain trust and love toward each other. I love how pure Seul Bi’s character is both in love and life and how Soo Kwang slowly understands her nature and accepts it. It’s also lovely to see them protect each other, with Seul Bi protecting Soo Kwang from bad luck and him protecting her from those who stole her freedom. If you’re a strong believer in fate (like me), this romantic fantasy K-drama is very hard to pass. I highly recommend it!
Watch “Jinxed at First” below:
Sehee: “Bad Prosecutor”
Being a fan of EXO, I never miss an opportunity to see D.O. act! In “Bad Prosecutor,” D.O. stars as ill-mannered prosecutor Jin Jung who is determined to take down those that use wealth and power to live above the law. D.O.’s character in this drama was completely different from most of the other roles he has taken on. Contrasting from his more serious and dramatic roles, this drama showcases D.O.’s funny, goofy, and witty sides. I really enjoyed the harmonious balance between thriller, action, and humor in this drama. If you want to watch something that makes you sit on the edge of your seat and laugh hysterically, “Bad Prosecutor” is the drama for you!
Watch “Bad Prosecutor” below:
JJin: “Yumi’s Cells 2”
My favorite drama of 2022 is “Yumi’s Cells 2,” the second installment of the drama based on my favorite webtoon. The animations that depict human emotions are hilarious, relatable, and help us better grasp the characters’ true emotions, which can be challenging to explain through acting. The naughty cell was undoubtedly my favorite to watch. The amazing chemistry between the main leads Kim Yumi (Kim Go Eun) and Yoo Babi (Jinyoung) is another reason I love this drama. Although I’m neither Team Babi or Team Goo Woong (Ahn Bo Hyun) as both of them were considerate boyfriends for Yumi, I particularly admire Babi for being such a supportive and encouraging boyfriend for her when she made the decision to quit her job and pursue her dreams. Although Yumi didn’t end up with anyone at the end of Season 2, she achieved success as a writer and found happiness, which is what I truly wanted for her. “Yumi’s Cells 2” is the best drama if you’re looking for a romantic comedy to keep you warm this winter!
Watch “Yumi’s Cells 2” below:
What was your favorite K-drama of 2022? Let us know in the comments below!