IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! We are a little half way through the year 2023 WHICH MEANS I have to tell you my FAVORITE KDRAMAS OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2023! Now, this list will look a little different FOR A BIG REASON! As I mentioned on my social media platforms, I will NOT be mentioning anything to do with the struck companies that people are striking against right now. So, you will notice some dramas that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED and ARE some of my favs of the first half 2023 not be mentioned because I watched them on these sites and/or they were made by these sites. So, if you don't see a favorite of yours, that is probably the reason OR I have not watched it yet OR I watched them but they just weren't my favorite.
This is just a list of Kdramas I liked and would recommend to watch if you have not seen them yet. This list might change by the end of 2023 but it also might not, WE WILL SEE! This list also is the Kdramas that I completed in the first half of 2023 (January to June) so it does not just mean these Kdramas had to premiere and air in 2023. It will also not include any Kdramas I have completed this month (July) because this month is in the 2nd half of 2023.
ALRIGHT HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVORITE KDRAMAS I HAVE WATCHED IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2023!
Episodes: 16 episodes (VIKI)
HANDS DOWN and there really no question WHATSOEVER - Oasis is my favorite Kdrama I have watched in 2023. This is the only Kdrama that is ranked on this list because nothing so far has surpassed my rating of this Kdrama this year. I know this is probably not everyone's choice for their favorite drama. I know a lot of people haven't even watched this drama yet. I understand why given the time period it is set in. This won't be everyone's cup of tea. The people who did watch this Kdrama might not have liked the ending but I didn't mind the ending. I also don't really know what would have been my ideal ending anyway. I ADORE THIS DRAMA! I loved that it turned into a revenge drama. I had so much fun watching this drama because I was so invested in it. It has AMAZING acting across the board from the entire cast. It has great OSTS. It is an emotional roller coaster which was tragic and heartbreaking but I was so invested in it I was on that roller coaster until the very end.
Episodes: Season 1: 12 & Season 2: 10 (Both on VIKI)
I know I watched Season 1 in 2022 and Season 2 in 2023 but I am going to put both seasons into 1 blog post. You need to watch Season 1 to understand what is going on in Season 2. So, if you have not watched either season, make sure to watch both. I fell in love the main couple of this Kdrama. They were adorable together and made a good team. I also loved the found family. This drama is not perfect by any means. It has some side characters that I thought were unnecessary. I am a sucker for historical medical/forensic dramas. I loved the messages that this drama said with each episode.
Episodes: 8 (VIKI)
This short Korean BL (boys love) drama was a delight. It was a quick and easy watch. There wasn't a lot of angst to it. The main couple had great chemistry and had some lovely moments between each other. It just made me smile. I will say like most of the shorter Korean BL dramas, I wish it was longer both with episode count and the length of the episodes. I wanted some more depth with some of the plot points - some could have been explored further. You can read my full review of this Kdrama here.
Episodes: 10 (VIKI)
This Korean BL drama sort of came out of nowhere and took the world by storm so, I am sure you are not surprised it is on this list. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL DRAMA! The cinematography and lighting are just beautiful and such a highlight to this drama. I love the OSTs. One thing that really stood out to me about this drama was the discussion of mental health. I have to comment a Kdrama that discussed this in a healthy way and actually showed a character going to a therapist and seeking help. THAT IS CRUCIAL AND SO IMPORTANT IN THIS DAY AND AGE! It wasn't a perfect drama for me due to some of character endings but it is such a unique drama that I highly recommend it. It was just a treat to watch and really has that wonderful indie feel.
Episodes: 10 (iQIYI)
One of my favorite BL Kdramas I have ever seen. I was a huge fan of Cha Seo Won before this drama and this drama just made me love him even more. He is SUCH a great actor and was great alongside Gongchan. I am a sucker for the couple made up of one person being quiet and cold and the other person being a puppy the entire time. I thought both couples did great and had great chemistry. I do wish we got more story with the second couple but I understand why we didn't I actually loved this BL Kdrama so much it made me want to read the webtoon which never happens. I thought the acting was very good and I love the OSTs from this Kdrama. You can read my full review of this kdrama here.
Episodes: 6 (VIKI)
I am going to say this now because I am assuming everyone is in the same boat. I ONLY recommend part 1 of Duty After School. Part 2 is a very different drama and was not expected when I first watched it. Part 2 still has amazing acting but talked about some really heavy topics. If you are not prepared for that, it slapped you across the face. Part 1 is everything we wanted in a survival Kdrama. It has action and found family. It has a good mix of sci-fi and realistic topics. It is a bit gory, scary and violent of course. I loved the students and their dynamic. Part 2 was a huge let down compared to Part 1 which is why I am only recommending Part 1. You can read my full review here.
Episodes: 8 (iQIYI)
Another BL Kdrama that really surprised me with how much I loved it. It was the perfect drama to watch during the summer. The character Ye Chan (played by Yoon Do Jin) put a smile on my face every episode. HE WAS SUCH A DELIGHT AND HIGHLIGHT IN THIS DRAMA! He just was everything for me in this drama. I think this story was really his story. I did think that the "obstacles" brought in were not needed. This was another BL Kdrama that suffered from short episodes/episode count. It is a quick watch that is just really cute.
And there you have it - my list for my TOP KDRAMAS FROM THE FIRST HALF OF 2023!
Now remember, in solidarity with people on strike against those specific streaming sites (we know which ones those are) - some of my favs and I am sure you know which ones I am talking about, are not mentioned. I know it seems like I just watched a bunch of BL Kdramas😂 and I mean I did. I do stand by my list though. I loved all the dramas on this list. I am curious to see how this list changes by the end of 2023.
What were some your favorite Kdramas of the first half of 2023?
Did some of your favorite Kdramas make my list?
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