Below are the best dramas in the first half of 2022 according to drama editors’ evaluations.
As the competition of OTT platforms intensified, many dramas were introduced in the first half of 2022. Disney+, which entered the Korean market in the second half of last year, presented its original series one after another while Netflix also released new works with anticipation that they would create another huge craze like “Squid Game”. However, their performances were quite disappointing. Disney couldn’t cause a sensation and Netflix has not produced any remarkable work except for “Our Beloved Summer”.
In terms of genre, romance is receiving overwhelming responses. The delightful romantic comedy “Business Proposal” and youth romance “Our Beloved Summer”, which were released through Netflix, enjoyed amazing global popularity. “Yumi’s Cells”, which recently returned with the second season, are also doing well. Also, “Our Blues” and “My Liberation Notes”, which clearly expressed the writers’ colors, were praised as healing dramas.
Juvenile Justice & Bloody Heart
Editor Hye-ran: The first half of 2022 seems to be filled with joy since many highly-anticipated dramas were introduced. “Juvenile Justice” is the work that I had high expectations of because of the name of Kim Hye-soo, and the result was better than expected. The script was full of intense worries and none of the scenes were wasted. The actors’ performances were also impressive. The actors who played the juvenile judges took the center stage and the rookie actors who played the juveniles provided support harmoniously. The drama let us see a glimpse of how the future of Korean movies and dramas will become.
“Bloody Heart” was a great shock for many editors who love both politics and romance genres. The atmosphere full of tension, the actors’ brilliant acting, and the view filled with bold colors caught the eyes of many viewers. Although the ending received mixed evaluations, it seems to be a perfect one for the main couple, who have fought hard in love and politics.
Our Beloved Summer & Business Proposal
Editor Won-hee: Exciting youth romances have dominated the hearts of K-drama fans in the first half of this year. “Our Beloved Summer” captured the fresh story of first love in school days and the lovely romance that begins again when ex-lovers reunite as more mature adults. The beautiful scenes of the drama allowed us to feel the freshness of the summer vibe and the youth stories of young people. In addition, Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-sik’s characters and their chemistry were also impressive. The warm and delicate lines drew a great empathy to the extent that created a craze of fans collecting script books because of the pleasant aftertaste after finishing the drama.
Webtoon-based “Business Proposal” depicts the love story between a CEO and an employee. Many scenes might have been considered clichés of romance, but the director of this drama emphasized them skillfully and humorously to maximize the true charms of a rom-com. The comical and exciting acting performances of the actors, who seem to have enjoyed the work so much, were also outstanding.
Through The Darkness & The Sound of Magic
Editor Hong Sun: “Through The Darkness” is a work that changed the paradigm of rhetoric drama. Rather than reason, the main character reads the criminal’s mind carefully by walking slowly rather than running on his feet. Thanks to this, it has depicted the anguish of investigators and the cruelty of crimes that were not well covered in existing investigative dramas. Amid Kim Nam-gil’s expressionless acting in the process, his more emotional acting gives me goosebumps. It is premature, but I think Kim Nam-gil will be the most likely winner of this year’s SBS Drama Award. “The Sound of Magic” gives me an ecstatic experience just by looking at it. Beyond exciting musicals and magic, the director’s directing ability has reached a magical level that can give any viewer a childlike smile. The best part was the message of the drama, showing how the magical consolation delivered to this harsh world warmly approaches and touches the heart. This drama went on to ask, “Do you believe in magic?” and as it satisfied the audience with its level of perfection above expectations, I want to say “Yes” confidently.
Business Proposal & Our Blues
Editor Young-joon: In the first half of this year, the works that made me laugh and cry comfortably are especially memorable. “Business Proposal” is a drama that made my cheeks ascended to heaven all the time. I think it is thanks to the shamelessness of using the material from romance comedy’s familiar clichés openly and the exaggerated acting of actors who seem to have met their life characters. The development was cool, and the narrative of the sub-couple as well as the main couple was interesting, so I had no choice but to immerse myself in the work. “Our Blues” is a work that draws the life of ordinary people. It may be obvious, but it is a drama that made us realize that the story of ordinary people like us can still be the greatest comfort. It is also attractive that Jeju Island was portrayed as a “people-living neighborhood” rather than a “tourism destination,” showing a new aspect of Jeju that has not been seen before.
Through The Darkness & My Liberation Diary
Editor Hyun-jung: “Through The Darkness” contains earnestness. The investigator’s desperate desire to catch the criminal on the side of the victims and their families. As it is based on actual events, the drama is notable in terms that it does not consume crimes as entertainment. At the same time, the process of solving the case with tension through profiling the psychology of the criminal, which is an invisible evidence, colorfully portrays the era in which this new investigation technique emerged. “My Liberation Note” is both realistic and literary. Each character stands out for its realistic surroundings, and each of them shows a feeling of helplessness and loneliness that cannot be filled. So I fall deeper into this story of those who seek hope, love, and life, and look back on myself in the process. It is a work of great power to drive viewers forward.