This list is a little late but we are still in January so I think it will be fine. If you guys have listened to the Tea and Soju - A C-drama Podcast for The Drama Trio's End of the Year Wrap Up episode, some of these Kdramas will be familiar. If you have not listened to that episode or any of the other Drama Trio episodes on the podcast, you can listen to the podcast here.
As per usual, just like other years, I have split this list into 2 blogposts. This blogpost is all about Kdramas. The next blogpost will be all of the non-Korean dramas I loved from 2023. 2023 was a different year for me. I did not watch a ton of the popular Korean dramas due to my support of the strikes. This caused me to diversify my watchlist and watch a lot more variety. It was actually a little difficult making my top kdramas of 2023 list because I didn't have as many choices to choose from as I did other years. My blogpost for the other dramas of 2023 was a lot harder to make because I had a bigger pool of dramas to choose from. I also don't have any honorable mentions in kdramas for 2023 and that is saying something.
Now my list for the Kdramas of 2023 are in no particular order and the dramas are not ranked. The Kdramas also did not have to air in 2023. I just had to watch them and complete the dramas in 2023. For my 2023 list, all of these dramas did air in 2023 which is a first for me. JUST HAVE FUN WITH MY LIST! I make them to suggest some good dramas for you to watch in the future that you might have missed when they aired OR to try out a new genre or type of Kdrama.
FIRST UP - TOP 11 KDRAMAS OF 2023!
Episodes: 16 (VIKI)
I know this kdrama was not watched by many people but that is also why I am mentioning it here. I know a ton of people did not watch this kdrama because it is set in a time of Korean history which could lead to a sad narrative. I may be a little bias with this drama because I love the male lead. I really only clicked play because of him. The reason why this is my top Kdrama of 2023 though is because of the plot. About 4 episodes into the drama, I wished this story would turn into the gangster version of the Count of Monte Cristo and WHEN IT DID, I WAS SO EXCITED! I had so much fun watching this kdrama because it turned into the story I wanted. It still was a sad watch but had AMAZING acting and just was everything I wanted in a drama and I even surprised myself that I loved it so much.
Episodes: 12 (Amazon Prime)
I wish this Kdrama got more attention, more people watched it and got more awards but we all know why that didn't happen. I don't need to bring it up. This is a mature revenge kdrama. It has great acting. I mean if you look at the cast, you would know that it has great acting. If you like found family and a very satisfying revenge ending - PLEASE WATCH THIS DRAMA. The twists in the plot were AMAZING! I feel like if you are going to do a revenge drama right, YOU NEED TO HAVE GREAT TWISTS! Or you need characters that the audience absolutely hates and needs to see them get the end they deserve. PLEASE SO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND WATCH THIS ONE!
Episodes: 12 (VIKI)
I am not surprised I loved this drama but I am surprised that it got so popular! This drama was right up my alley with its revenge plot and makjang tendencies. Normally that doesn't work for a lot of people BUT a lot of people enjoyed this kdrama which I am happy about this. If you have not watched this revenge kdrama, you should because you are in for a treat. It had horrible people that you hated and wanted to see them get what was coming to them. It had a wonderful leading couple that you cheered for. I loved the male lead's family and how supportive they were. This kdrama was just a joy to watch and I was invested until the very end.
Episodes: 14 (VIKI)
I was very surprised I loved this Kdrama so much. It is not a Kdrama I normally go for because it has a lot of angst in it. THE ANGST WORKED FOR ME!! The leads were great together and had AMAZING CHEMISTRY! I loved the story and how we essentially had two timelines. I will agree with other people's sentiments that the historical timeline was a little more interesting for me. I thought the acting was great. It wasn't a perfect drama by any means but definitely one of my favorites of 2023. I was INVESTED in the leads' story and wanted to see how they would end up at the end.
Episodes: 8 (VIKI)
I know a lot of people did not watch this drama. I feel like it was a Kdrama that went under the radar. This is a slow burn creepy suspense thriller where you have no idea where it will go. It is one of those Kdramas where you don't know who to trust because the lead might be an unreliable narrator or the people around her might be influencing her. The way this is revealed in the drama with all its twists and turns is brilliant. The Acting is phenomenal. The cinematography is gorgeous and really stands out in the drama. This is a thriller that keeps you guessing so, if you are someone who loves a good thriller, this is a must watch.
Episodes: 16 (NETFLIX)
Another thriller which I am sure a lot more people have heard about is The Glory. To no one's surprise, I loved this Kdrama as well. It just had everything you ever could want in a revenge drama. I am so glad I waited and watched both parts in 2023. I loved watching the buildup and how the revenge was planned. I loved seeing the plan go into action and the satisfying ending where all the bad people got what they deserved. It is just understandable that this Kdrama was loved by a lot of people and why it got so popular. I will say that even though I loved Part 1, I loved Part 2 more because that was when we saw the revenge happen and everyone got what they deserved.
Episodes: 12 (VIKI)
I know this might not be a kdrama you expected to be on this list BUT here we are. I had a lot of fun with this drama. I will even say that I liked Season 2 MORE than Season 1. Yes, I said that. I loved the brother relationship. I loved the found family in the drama. I liked that there wasn't a lot of romance in Season 2 because the romance in Season 1 did not work for me. I am so excited to see what happens in Season 3. Now, did some plot points in Season 2 make no sense since it is supposed to be a prequel for Season 1? Yes, it did BUT I just had so much fun with this kdrama that I don't care. 😂
Episodes: 10 (VIKI)
Another Kdrama that probably not a lot of people loved or maybe didn't see in 2023. Now even though Season 2 is the only 2023 drama for this series, I am going to cheat a little bit and recommend both seasons. I LOVED Season 1 of this Kdrama and also LOVED Season 2. I might be a little bias because I was invested in the lead couple. I enjoyed revisiting the couple and this world in Season 2. Did the 2nd season bring in some unnecessary characters and plot points? Yes, it did BUT I loved this season nonetheless. Season 2 gave me the satisfying ending I needed from Season 1.
Episodes: 10 (VIKI)
This was such a good drama and I did not expect that. I didn't think it would be bad but it just had a completely different feel with it than what I was expecting. I loved the OSTs. I loved the lighting and cinematography. I loved how supportive some of the side characters were. I loved that it had this indie feel to it which is quite unique in Kdramas. This made it stand out for me. I loved that it brought up the topic of mental health. I loved how it showed one of lead characters going to therapy and actually seeking help for what he was going through. This was a quieter Kdrama of 2023 but a good one to check out for sure.
Episodes: 10 (iQIYI)
This is BY FAR one of the best Korean BL dramas I have ever watched. I may be a bit bias but I enjoyed this BL so much. I was INVESTED in this lead couple. I thought they had a very comfortable chemistry. The 2nd couple had great chemistry as well so, I am excited to see their spinoff drama. I LOVED the OSTS. I loved that we got some of the actors to sing the OSTs. I liked this drama so much that I read the webtoon. I NEVER READ WEBTOONS! I have to love a drama to read the webtoon. I have rewatched scenes from this drama and it has definitely become a comfort watch for me.
Episodes: 6 (VIKI)
I know this is a controversial choice. I am only recommending Part 1 here. DO NOT WATCH PART 2! It was so disappointing compared to Part 1. You will not expect what happens in part 2 and it has a completely different tone to it. I loved every second of Part 1. It was different and unique. I loved the concept. I loved the students. I loved the mix of realism and sci-fi. It was action packed and exciting. It was a bit scary and gory so warning if that is not your thing. I thought the acting was great and the ensemble cast did a great job. It is just so disappointing that Part 2 was not what was advertised to us because Part 1 was AMAZING!
What were your favorite Kdramas of 2023? Did some of your favorite Kdramas make my list?
CHECK OUT MY OTHER LIST - TOP 11 NON - KOREAN DRAMAS OF 2023 WHEN IT COMES OUT!
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