It wasn’t simply that 2021 was a implausible yr for Korean content material for Netflix subscribers. I solely want utter three phrases — Squid Recreation, and Hellbound — to supply the reminder, which shouldn’t even be crucial anymore, that Netflix’s Korean collection are more and more tantamount to the most important, buzzy, most blockbuster content material that the streamer has to supply, throughout the whole platform. After all, this pattern isn’t accelerating in a vacuum. It’s not simply streaming content material that’s powering Korea’s ascendance as a worldwide leisure mecca. The nation can be a hits machine, having mastered a music components that’s produced staggering worldwide success for Okay-pop teams like BTS and Blackpink.

Binge-worthy collection on Netflix like Crash Touchdown on You and Itaewon Class (from 2019 and 2020, respectively) are driving that very same wave, whereas on the similar time making it a lot greater. Rankings and lists like these are, in fact, fairly subjective — everybody’s acquired their favorites. However whereas the Netflix Korean collection from 2020 that you simply’ll discover listed under are my picks for among the finest and most gratifying over the previous yr, one factor that may definitively be stated is that all of those will find yourself no less than someplace on individuals’s year-end lists.

Greatest Netflix Korean collection in 2021

Picture supply: Netflix

There are six titles we’ll establish on this publish. Nevertheless, there are two we have to get out of the way in which proper on the outset. Any look again at one of the best Netflix Korean collection over the previous 12 months is nowhere close to full with out the inclusion of the pair we talked about on the prime.

Squid Recreation. This primary one will go down as one of many greatest Netflix releases of all time. As proof of how a lot of a worldwide smash it grew to become? Popular YouTuber MrBeast recreated the collection in a single video for his YouTube channel, garnering greater than 168 million views as of the time of this writing. Saturday Evening Dwell additionally turned the story behind the collection into an impossibly catchy music. In line with our sister publication Selection, Squid Recreation completely dominated the autumn TV dialog, “main Netflix’s High 10 chart within the US for twenty-four days and hitting No. 1 in 94 territories. Netflix knowledge additionally exhibits the collection garnered 1.65 billion hours of viewing within the 28 days following its Sept. 17 premiere.”

Hellbound. Following proper on the heels of Squid Recreation, which is coming again for a second season, is Hellbound. One other darkish collection, this one has a equally weighty message. Solely, as a substitute of specializing in capitalism, it has one thing to say about the price of blind religion. In case you haven’t watched it but, in Hellbound we see a creepy face materialize to inform sinners they’ve been marked for demise. On the appointed hour, proper on time, three scary, large demons present as much as topic the sufferer to a beatdown. After which they’re incinerated, sending their soul on its means.

“Unbelievable demonstrations of hell happen in the course of Seoul proper in entrance of crowds,” reads the official synopsis from Netflix. “Mysterious beings condemn people to be hellbound, and otherworldly beings seem precisely on the specified time to kill the condemned in a brutal burning.”

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woman in pink suit with man in blue suitPicture supply: Netflix

A Mafia lawyer with extra type and swagger in his little finger than most of us have in our total our bodies makes this early 2021 drama a must-add to your watchlist.

The central character right here is the titular Vincenzo Cassano, a Korean-Italian lawyer. He spends a lot of this collection attempting to get his arms on a stash of hidden gold. Alongside the way in which, he befriends (and defends) a bunch of small enterprise house owners. He additionally will get near a fellow lawyer who’s one of the vital memorable feminine Okay-drama characters ever. And, in fact, he dispenses loads of Mafia-style justice towards an evil conglomerate.

Vincenzo: “Solely evil can punish evil.”

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My Identify

a woman with a scared facePicture supply: Netflix

Lead actress Han So-hee completely blew me away in My Identify, a collection that debuted on Netflix in October a few younger lady who units out to avenge the demise of her father. In a story that unfolds in a means that’s barely harking back to Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, her character (Jiwoo) joins the drug cartel her father ostensibly labored for. She begs the large boss for coaching, and he consents. That units in movement the transformation of this petite younger lady right into a brooding, weak, and intensely lethal killer.

I discussed The Departed, particularly, for a cause, although. As a result of there are a couple of fairly scrumptious twists all through this collection.

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Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

With a title like Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, you’ll be able to already let you know’re in for a dollop of candy, romantic whimsy.

There’s a cause this one presently enjoys an ideal 100% viewers rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The essential plot entails a dentist who’s at a crossroads in her life. She strikes to a village by the ocean and meets a handyman who spends a lot of his time serving to out neighbors. These two impossibly handsome and likable characters comprise one of the vital charming {couples} I’ve seen on TV in a very long time. And Netflix viewers all over the world appear to agree. It was launched again in August, however remains to be racking up spectacular viewership. Virtually 10 million hours globally over the previous week alone, based on Netflix.

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Hospital Playlist (season two)

To me, Hospital Playlist feels just a little like a cross between Buddies, ER, and Scrubs. That’s a really imperfect comparability, in fact. However what I imply is that on this perennial fan favourite Korean collection on Netflix, you comply with the camaraderie and the ups and downs of a bunch of pals. Combine that with gripping medical drama. After which throw in hilarious and lighthearted moments to interrupt up the stress. And voila! That’s Hospital Playlist for you.

Buddies since medical college, the characters on the coronary heart of this collection additionally get collectively commonly — setting apart all of the drama and depth of the hospital — and play collectively in a band. To let off steam, to maintain themselves related to one another, and only for the love of music. “Each time I consider Hospital Playlist,” reads one of my favorite reviews in regards to the collection, “I all the time sigh with happiness.”

I do know precisely what that author means. And, actually, you could possibly say that very same factor about so a lot of my favourite Korean exhibits.

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