It’s safe to say 2017 has brought us a lot of great dramas we would’ve never dreamt of.
2017 had two dominating themes, time travel theme and alien/supernatural theme.
There were good and bad adaptations of the two themes, today at jazminemedia.com I will be discussing the best kdramas that 2017.
Fight My Way
“Fight My Way” was not only one of the best kdramas of 2017, but one of the best Korean dramas of all time. It was also one of the best Korean youth dramas I have ever seen.
“Fight My Way” not only did well internationally but nationally as well. No one had thought that this drama was THAT good.
The drama has a simple yet realistic beautiful theme, it tells stories of youth struggling to prove their worth in this cruel world.
The drama is led by Park Seo Joon, Kim Ji Won, Ahn Jae Hong, and Song Ha Yoon.
The drama four main stars are not rich, famous or hidden chaebols of any sort, the drama is about youth who is struggling with debt, society expectations and pressure. Its about couples and real-life problems, its not about scenarios that hit far away from home.
Both national and international fans noticed that and appreciated the drama, it was one of the most talked about dramas of 2017. It also gave birth to two amazing couples, Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won, Ahn Jae Hong and and Song Ha Yoon.
Many kdrama fans are waiting for Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won to confirm they’re dating, the two suited each other so well in the drama and were so lovely and cute off-screen as well.
I am expecting the two to win best couple award in KBS awards.
Another great office drama that is about a bad con man who becomes a good man and fights for the justice of those who can’t.
“Chief Kim” is another realistic drama that tells the story of the struggling working adults in South Korea who struggle in their jobs facing the injustice of the system over the hands of rich people who only want to take advantage of them to make more money.
The drama is led by Nam Goong Min who plays Kim Sung Ryong, the Chief of Accounting Department TQ Group who gets hired because he’s a con man, he’s hired to do whatever the upper management wants of him. When he meets Yoon Ha Kyung played by Nam Sang Mi, he changes and starts becoming a better person who helps out those in need.
2PM’s Junho and Jung Hye Sung joined the cast as well, and of course the great Kim Won Hae puts on another amazing performance.
“Chief Kim” was a very successful nationally and internationally, fans loved it, we also appreciated how the bad guy becoming a good guy, the bromance between Junho and Goong Min was also a treat.
Goong Min’s comical perfect acting and hilarious facial expressions made this drama a must watch.
“Mad Dog” is another amazing KBS drama that should’ve gotten more buzz than it did. (initially)
The drama tells the story of a former police played by Yoo Ji Tae of Taeyang Insurance’s investigators team, after an airplane crash that took the life of his wife and son, he decides to go independent with the team members whom he trusts to find more about that airplane crash.
He meets Kim Min Joon (Woo Doo Hwan), a genius former swindler whose brother was also a victim of the crash, thus begin their rivalry and cooperation.
The drama is very interesting and intriguing, it also has many plot twists and turns that kept viewers on the edge of their seat, the drama performed okay in ratings, but when compared to many other kdramas that aired in 2017 it was one of the best.
The script, chemistry between cast and rivaly between Yoo Ji Tae and Woo Doo Hwan was very enjoyable, the sexual tension between Hwa Young and Woo Doo Hwan was also a great addition to the drama.
The drama picked up after “While you were Asleep” and “Hospital Ship,” its competitors aired their final episodes, it was nice to see the drama shine so brightly after the competitors were away.
Go Back Couple
Wanna cry your heart out?
Wanna fangirl over a very handsome second lead?
“Go Back Couple” is the drama for you.
Just like the name hints, “Go Back Couple” is about a divorced couple who goes back in time to their 20s when they used to be in college. They both regret marrying each other at such a young age, in the past they continue to try and change their fate.
At first the drama script might not make it sound like a great drama but both Jang Nara and Son Ho Joon put on such amazing performances that had me sold from the first episode.
Despite the overused ‘time travel’ scheme, the drama manages to take a different approach that will have you laughing, crying and emotionally blown away.
The story is not only about the cast but also about all their friends and their love interests. The drama also features their cute daughter Seo Jin, whom you’ll fall in love with the moment you see.
The heart-wrenching story and the main couple struggles beside the time travel theme made this drama so intriguing and different from the normal rom-com dramas we’ve seen this year.
Who else can make us so emotional as much as Jang Nara who puts on an amazing performance that will have you hooked from the first episode?
Besides, unlike what many people have initially expected, Jang Nara and Son Ho Joon have great chemistry together.
If you’re a fan of Ji Chang Wook, this is the drama for you.
Aside from that, the drama has a great cast that boasts great chemistry.
It tells the story of a cold prosecutor who goes against a hot headed one when she’s being suspected for the murder of her ex-boyfriend.
With the help of Ji Chang Wook’s character (Ji Wook), Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) is freed, but she lost people’s respect and he lost his job.
They meet again a couple of years later, a romance and a deadly serial killer on the loose is out, they must catch him before he kills more people.
Contrary to the expected, “Suspicious Partner” does have a dark tone to it. It discusses some very sensitive topics but also manages to make audience laugh every once and a while.
It might be not the best Ji Chang Wook drama to date, but it is one hell of a good drama; the entire cast has great chemistry, everyone did a very a good job.
People, including me were also shocked by how well Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun suited each other, despite their large age gap, the two had great chemistry.
Not to mention the cute upcoming actor Dong Ha whom we were introduced to in this drama, he plays an unlikely dark role in the drama (you’d have to see to figure for yourself).
The drama has good 20 episodes and any good fans of any actors in the lead should totally watch the drama, it kept me on the edge of my seat, I laughed at times while fangirling over how adorable and cute Ji Chang Wook and Nam Ji Hyun look together.
Some of the key plot points of the drama won’t make sense, and how Ji Wook almost does what police are supposed to do was also confusing and annoying at times, but overall, the drama remains one of this year’s cutest dramas.
While You Were Asleep
One of SBS’s hit 2017 dramas has to be “While You Were Asleep.”
“While You Were Asleep” tells the story of a reporter who dreams of future events and a prosecutor, the two team up and try to stop bad accidents before they happen.
“While You Were Asleep” was a pre-produced drama that garnered lots of attention due to the fact that it featured both Lee Jong Suk and Suzy as a couple and when it finally aired people were in awe of how cute the two appeared together on-screen.
The drama was the talk of the town for the second half of 2017; people were anxiously waiting for each episode to air.
The drama did well in south Korea, not as well as we had anticipated it would do, it averaged 8-9% in ratings for each episode, the drama had trouble keeping up and beating the underdog “Hospital Ship” that turned out to be a worthy competitor that didn’t allow the drama to fully shine.
Nevertheless, the entire cast of the drama had great chemistry together, we were also introduced to Jung Hae In, the cutie who basically stole the spotlight from Lee Jong Suk with his deadly cute smile and his sexy abbbsss.
The story of the plot is not all there is to the actual drama, which shocked lots of fans. This might become Lee Jong Suk last drama, as he might be enlisting any time soon, but his adorable likeable character in the drama as well as his chemistry with Suzy made the drama a must-watch.
Suzy was shockingly excellent in the drama and had given one of her most stable praise-worthy performances. I had thought she was an okay idol actress but had completely changed my mind once I saw her immersed in her character in the drama.
With all honesty, the drama plot isn’t huge, or as dramatic as I had hoped it would be, but its still a fun drama to watch, it never reached the climax I had hoped it would, but it was still entertaining.
And besides, do you need any more reason to watch beside Jung Hae In?
Because This Is My First Life
This tvN drama is arguably one of 2017’s most unexpected successful dramas.
I recapped the drama on my blog, at first, I didn’t like it whatsoever, I thought it was dull and pointless, but something drew back to watch the 3rd and 4th episode, I was hooked ever since.
“Because This Is My First Life” is one of the rare 2017 kdramas that were persistence, it had a consistent plot, it rarely dragged, it only got better with each episode.
I was anticipating each Monday and Tuesday because of this drama, it was a treat to me, I related to this drama so much during its run time, and I missed it a lot when it aired its final episode.
Everyone’s performance in the drama was amazing, all are top actors who gave their all to their roles. All the characters were equally interesting and very relatable, sometimes annoying because of the choices they made, nevertheless, relatable.
You don’t really need to be a kdrama fan to enjoy this particular drama, its not overly cheesy and not filled with your average kdrama clichés, which made it even more interesting.
I admit I didn’t like Se Hee’s (played by Lee Min Ki) until episode 11, but he ended up growing on me, I still don’t quiet like his character, but I appreciate him.
The drama deals with many everyday life issues that all of us can relate to, it was one of tvN’s most popular dramas, tvN had a slow bad start in 2017, but picked up the pace in the second half of the year with interesting dramas that deals with everyday life issues, it went back to its roots.
“Black” will go down in history as one of the most amazing infuriating Korean dramas of all time.
I didn’t know whether this should be on my list on the best 2017 kdramas, but up until its last couple of episodes, it was one of the most enjoyably Korean dramas I had seen in a long time.
Despite its forced happy ending, the drama itself is a masterpiece!
I have been watching Korean dramas for such a long time, “Black” has one of the best written kdrama scripts and it shows.
Of course, how the drama ended up and some of its plot-holes were pretty annoying, but the drama baseline was one of the best I had seen in 2017 and in a long time.
It seems like most Korean drama screenwriters opt out for less elaborative plots that don’t require the audience participation. “Black” is an exception, the writer worked hard on making this drama enjoyable and kept us guessing for a very long time.
The first half of the drama infuriated me, this is why many had stopped watching midways, a lot was going on and nothing was being explained, we had to wait until the latter half of the drama to get an explanation, finally things started to make sense and I saw for myself, how beautiful the script was.
The writer herself complained about how the drama ended up, she posted a blog post about its ending and the entire drama, she said,
“I felt sad and had mixed emotions as I watched the drama on-air. I was very upset the story I wished to tell was portrayed differently on air against my will. I worked hard, but think there was a lack of communication.”
Now that I think about it, I feel like a lot of parts of the drama were contradicting, it seems like the director and the writer weren’t always on the same page. The writer had worked so hard on making such an interesting plot.
The drama, in my opinion, needed to be at least 22 episodes long, for everything to wrap up correctly, I also felt like the ending of the drama wasn’t what the writer wanted, despite the fact that I like happy endings, I wanted this drama to end in a bitter way, this is how it was supposed to be, instead it felt like the production felt it was necessary that it ends happily.
Despite all of its flaws, “Black” remains one of the most interesting Korean dramas I had seen in a long time, I like dramas that challenges me and makes me think, this is how I felt with “Black.”
Arguably one of 2017’s best male lead performances, Yang Se Jong proves that he isn’t just a pretty face, he portrays not one, or two, but three different characters for OCN’s “Duel.”
Lets just admit it, OCN had a pretty good year, all the dramas that aired in “Duel” time slot including “Black,” “Tunnel” and “Save Me” OCN proved just how good of a broadcasting stating it really was.
“Duel” tells the story of a crime squad leader. At home, he is kind and friendly father to his daughter. He meets a human clone who kidnaps his daughter, he finds the other clone
It might be because I love horror and gore and I am into challenging dramas more than I am into romantic dramas, but OCN really pushes boundaries with its dramas. All of its 2017 dramas had an interesting different plot, something you don’t usually see on public broadcasting channels such as MBC or SBS.
A lot of people had mixed reviews about Yang Se Jong’s performance but I loved it, some thought that he screamed too much, but the character he played was supposed to be like that, I found his performance in the drama breath-taking.
I liked that the drama didn’t find it important to end with a complete happy ending, it was such a beautiful drama about clones and humanity.
The subject of clones itself interests me, being a chemical engineer and into the subject of tissue engineering and its implications and boundaries, this drama was a treat.
The entire cast did a good job pretending to see two people in one takes rather than one, it must’ve been difficult to picture a 3rd person that isn’t there with them.
Yang Se Jong worked so damn hard for the three characters he played, he showed serious professionalism and consistency, he is an amazing rising actor that stole the spotlight in 2017.
I love love all of the characters he played.
The drama had many twists and turns and it was a lot of fun.
One of OCN’s great dramas.
Voice tells the story of voice-profiler woman and a tough detective, both lost their loved ones to a psychopathic serial killer, they team up to find the killer responsible for the death of their loved ones.
Jang Hyuk put on an amazing performance as the tough detective who will stop at nothing to catch criminals. Kim Jae Wook also puts on what might arguably be his best performance ever.
Although the drama is dark, it remains interesting, thought provoking and emotional. I loved watching it every week.
Lee Ha Na had also portrayed her character perfectly. The entire cast was amazing and had done a great job in what became one of OCN’s highest rated dramas ever.
It held the record for the highest rated OCN drama until “Tunnel,” the drama that took over its timeslot broke that record.
Kim Jae Wook has to be one of my favorite Korean actors, he is underrated and deserves more attention. The performance he put on in the drama was one of this year’s best male performances.
I love crime related dramas and despite the fact that this drama has no romance at all, it was a lot of fun to watch, it made early 2017 amazing.
So, this is my list for the best Korean dramas of 2017. I have also made a list of 2017 worst Korean drama, you can check it out here.
What were you personal favorite Korean dramas of 2017?
Love Suspicious Partner a lot
Been watching it for 5 times now.
Just love the way the director makes all the character leave a strong memorable mark to the series, the villain, the office squads, even the moms
Love love love
I think you should have added Save Me, it was an excellent thriller and I had never seen the theme of a cult and religious fanaticism.
Queen of Mystery – definitely in the top3 of 2017 for me.
Those series were really good and am glad that you added Duel too. I watched it when it aired and it was one of my all time favourite drama. Was glad to have Mad dog. I didn’t like the storyline of WYWS but loved the chemistry and friendship. I watched this only after I saw episodes of Mad dog. Another drama which I liked was Hit the top. It was good with unexpected ending though it was themed on Time travel. I also liked Circle.
Interesting list, cause in 2017 there’s not many drama that got me interested, I keep on watching the old one. So now I think I’m going to start with black and suspicious partner.
I just stumbled on your blog and i like it 🙂 Can you make your all time favourite list too? And have you watch Empress Ki?
i agree with you that all the character are remarkable but i think the justification of the villain character is lacking..i am not satisfied with director reason towards villain character.
i agree with you that suspicious partner character are remarkable but i think the justification of the villain character is lacking..i am not satisfied with director reason towards villain character.