2021 is coming to an end and to wrap things up, we’re listing the top 20 highest rated Kdramas of 2021.
Note: the list includes cable and public broadcasting channels. The ratings are picked by the highest-rated episode for each drama, the number picked is the average nationwide rating for that specific episode not Seoul’s average rating.
Note: the source is Nielsen Korea.
Highest rated episode: 4th with 7.6% [ongoing]
“Moonshine” is a drama set in Joseon era during a time when the prohibition laws were at their strongest. It tells the love story of Kang Ro Seo (Hyeri), a struggling aristocrat who starts illegally making alcohol in order to support her family, and Joseon’s greatest inspector Nam Young (Yoo Seung Ho).
19. Now we are breaking up
Highest rated episode: 2nd episode with 8% [ongoing]
“Now, We Are Breaking Up” focuses on the fashion industry and on stories of love and breakups. Song Hye Kyo will play the role of Ha Young Eun, a manager of the design team at a fashion label who is a trendy and intelligent realist. Jang Ki Yong is the male lead Yoon Jae Guk, a wealthy and popular freelancer photographer who also has the brains and looks.
18. The Veil
Highest rated episode: episode 3 with 9.8%
“The Veil” is led by Namgoong Min and is a blockbuster action drama about an elite field agent named Han Ji Hyuk [Namgoong Min] at the NIS (National Intelligence Service). He has a perfect record and immense skills at completing missions. However, when it appears that he’s driven an organized crime syndicate into a corner, he vanishes.
17. River Where The Moon Rises
Highest rated episode: 4th episode part 2 with 10%
“River Where The Moon Rises” retells the love story between Pyeonggang and On Dal, who are characters in a classic Goguryeo folktale. Pyeonggang, also known as Yeom Ga Jin, is an ambitious woman who dreams of becoming the first female to lead Goguryeo, and she uses On Dal’s feelings for her to achieve her goals.
16. Lovers of the Red Sky
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 10.4%
“Lovers of the Red Sky” is based on a novel of the same title by Jung Eun Gwol. It’s a fantasy romance set in the Joseon era.
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 10.5%
It’s a drama about tough women who wants to escape world’s judgment and find their true selves. It is being written by Baek Mi Kyung (“The Lady in Dignity,” “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon“) and directed by Lee Na Jung (“Love Alarm,” “Fight For My Way“). It stars Lee Bo Young, Kim Seo Hyung and VIXX’s N.
Highest rated episode: episode 2 with 10.66%
“Jirisan” is written by Kim Eun Hee and tells the story of a top ranger at mount Jiri and a rookie partner. The pair uncover the truth of mysterious events that take place in the mountain.
13. The Uncanny Counter
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 10.99%
Based on a hit webtoon of the same title, “The Uncanny Counter” stars Jo Byeong Gyu, Yoo Joon Sang, Kim Sejeong, and Yeom Hye Ran and tells the story of A group of people are called “Counter,” they hunt down evil spirits and they each have their own special abilities.
12. The King’s Affection
Highest rated episode: the 20th episode with 12.1%
11. Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 12.66%
“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” is a romance drama starring Shin Min Ah as Yoon Hye Jin, a dentist who moves from Seoul to the seaside village of Gongjin, and Kim Seon Ho as Hong Doo Shik, an odd-job expert who helps everyone around town.
10. Royal Secret Agent
Highest rated episode: episode 16 part 2 with 14.00%
9. Hospital Playlist 2
Highest rated episode: episode 12 with 14.08%
Hospital Playlist 2 was a continuation of the first hit season and tells the story of five doctors who have been friends since their college years.
8. The Red Sleeve
Highest rated episode: episode 15 with 14.3% [ongoing]
“The Red Sleeve” is traditional historical drama about the imperial court romance between court lady Seong Deok Im (Lee Se Young) and emperor Yi San (Junho).
Highest rated episode: episode 20 with 14.63%
“Vincenzo” tells the story of an Italian lawyer and Mafia consigliere Vincenzo Cassano [played by Song Joong Ki], who moves back to Korea after a conflict with his organization members. In Korea, he gets involved with a tough lawyer Hong Cha Young. Together they work on bringing down villains using methods that could be considered unlawful.
6. Taxi Driver
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 15.3%
Taxi Driver tells the story of Kim Do Ki (played by Lee Je-Hoon) who graduated from the Naval Academy and became an UDT (underwater demolition team) Official. After his mother was murdered by a serial killer, his life forever changed. He is now a deluxe taxi driver who works for Rainbow Taxi Company. The company he works for is a special company that offers ‘revenge-call.’ if asked to do it, the company will perform the service.
5. Mr. Queen
Highest rated episode: episode 20 with 17.3%
“Mr. Queen” tells the story of a man from modern times whose soul gets trapped in the body of a queen living in the Joseon dynasty era. Shin Hye Sun plays the role of Kim So Yong, the Joseon queen with the soul of Blue House chef Jang Bong Hwan trapped inside her, while Kim Jung Hyun plays her husband King Cheoljong.
4. One the Woman
Highest rated episode: episode 16 with 17.8%
“One the Woman” is a comedy-drama about a corrupt prosecutor [Honey Lee] trying to find her memories after getting amnesia and switching lives with a chaebol daughter-in-law who looks exactly like her.
3. Penthouse season 3
Highest rated episode: episode 1 part 2 with 19.5%
“Penthouse” tells the story of influential families living in the luxury Penthouse Apartments with 100 floors.
2. Penthouse season 1
Highest rated episode: episode 21 part 2 with 28.8%
1. Penthouse season 2
Highest rated episode: episode 12 part 2 with 29.2%
Which one of these kdramas was your favorite?