South Korean TV Series of 2021 Worth Watching ... Besides 'Squid Game'

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TV remote     - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
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K-Drama has proved to be an absolute sensation in the world of entertainment. The dystopian 'Squid Game' wowed audiences all over the globe and astonished Netflix executives as the surprise triumph of the year. But this is not the only one of its genre to have delighted fans over the past 12 months.
Welcome to Sputnik's guide to the best of K-Drama. Whether you missed the shows when they first aired or have developed a taste for the genre as it goes from strength to strength, sweeping all competition out of its path, here is a handful of must-see South Korean TV series which appeared in 2021.
True Beauty - The Advent of a Goddess
Classical school K-Drama replete with awkward situations, sudden kisses and a love triangle. Based on the popular webtoon, it tackles the issue of discrimination and appearance topic. The series tells the story It tells the story of Ju-kyung (played by Moon Ga-young), a teenage girl who suffers from an inferiority complex after being bullied because she is considered ugly. With the help of make-up and various other subtle devices, she gradually transforms into a gorgeous "goddess". The cast includes idol actor Cha Eun-woo as Ju-kyung's enigmatic classmate Lee Su-ho, Hwang In-youp as his former best friend Han Seo-jun, and Park Yoo-na.
Sell Your Haunted House
This comedy/fantasy series is about Jong Ni-ah (played by Jang Na-ra) who is an estate agent as well as an exorcist and who drives spirits out of the houses she is trying to sell. She teams up with con artist Oh In-Beom (Jung Yong-hwa) who uses ghosts to make money. They both have mysterious pasts - Jong's mother died 20 years earlier during an exorcism and Oh's uncle perished in an inexplicable circumstances - and they are both looking for closure and as a result they soon develop a bond. Good K-drama if you want to dive not too deeply into South Korean beliefs and experience the nation's attitude to supernatural powers.
Doom at Your Service or One Day Destruction Entered the Front Door of my House
This is simply one of the most underrated K-Dramas of the year since the synergy which exists between the two stars, Park Bo-young and Seo In-guk, is indescribably powerful. The series tells the story of a young woman Tak Dong-kyung (Bo-young) who lives an ordinary life as the editor of a web novel company. However, her life is turned upside down when she learns that she is dying from glioblastoma and has only three months to live. Filled with despair, she makes a wish and Myul Mang (In-guk) the spirit of destruction hears her. The result is a beautiful love story with profound conversations about such philosophical questions as suffering which cannot help leaving the viewer unmoved.
Happiness
This apocalyptic thriller from the stable of Studio Dragon first hit our screens in November and attracted an army of fans from the start. The story is set in the near future where infectious diseases are the new normal and is tells how Yoon Sae-bom (Han Hyo-joo), a member of the Special Operation Unit police squad, is scratched by someone suffering from mad person disease - a fearful scourge spread by scratches and bites which causes the victim to suffer unquenchable thirst and to turn a deathly pallor. As a consequence of her scratch, she is introduced to Han Tae-seok (Jo Woo-jin) who places her under observation.
This is a thrilling zombie series which includes the ever-popular Park Hyung-sik as baseball star-turned-detective Jung Yi-hyun who strives to keep Sae-bom safe. It shows with striking verisimilitude how madness can possess a person and how far it can carry its victims.
The Devil Judge
The story is set in a dystopian version of South Korea where chaos reigns thanks to a widespread mistrust of authority, and justice is meted out by a live TV court show. K-Drama legend Ji Sung plays Kang Yo-han, a merciless judge who hands down the harshest sentences and is consequently deemed a saviour of the people. However, he has a dark past and he doesn't welcome people prying into it. He is opposed by Jung Sung-ah (Kim Min-jung), a young woman who came from humble beginnings and used to be in love with Yo-han. She now heads the corporate social responsibility fund. The plot revolves around a quest pursued by rookie judge Kim Ga-on (Park Jin-young - better known to the army of K-Pop fans of Got7 boy-band as Jinyoung) and Yoon Soo-hyun (Park Gyu-young), Ga-on's childhood friend and a lieutenant in the Regional Investigations Unit, to discover the truth about Yo-han - whether he is in fact the devil incarnate or an avenging angel. The is a drama that thrills with suspense.
Mr Queen
A light-hearted tale which will be reminiscent to fans of Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin of their fabulous double act in the 1984 film 'All of Me'. Directed by Yoon Sung-sik and based on the Chinese web drama 'Go Princess Go', this was one of the highest-rated dramas in Korean cable television history. Jang Bong-hwan (Choi Jin-hyuk) is a chef at the Blue Horse and is in his prime both in his personal and professional life. But one day, after a series of mishaps, he finds himself trapped in the body of Queen Cheorin (Shin Hye-sun) who reigned towards the end of the Jeoson dynasty in the mid-19th century. The fun gets even whackier when it transpires he is married to King Cheoljong (Kim Jung-hyun) who is not the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer and also has something of a Jekyll and Hyde split personality. But Bong-hwan soon realises that the king is not as dim as he seems and he is plunged into a maelstrom of tricks to balance his life inside a queen's body while trying to outwit Cheoljiong.
A funny K-Drama which not only gives an insight into the monarch's life in the ancient South Korean court, but also highlights the differences that exist between the mind of a man and a woman and what would happen if they accidentally were to be combined.
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