Top 10 Recent K-Dramas That We Predict Will Be Legendary Even After Ten Years

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Decade after decade, K-Dramas keep growing in popularity all over the world. From “Winter Sonata” to “Goblin”, “The Legend Of The Blue Sea” to “Kingdom“, K-Dramas have influenced world culture time and time again. With the accolades and commercial success of K-Contents at a peak, now more than ever, we can already see a couple of K-Dramas that will undoubtedly remain popular 10 years down the line.

Previously on Kpopmap, we discussed the top 15 K-Dramas of the last decade that continue to be legendary even today.

This time, we’re listing the top 10 best recent K-Dramas (2021-2022, excluding ongoing K-Dramas) that we believe will attain legendary status in the next ten years, especially considering their lasting power and timelessness. It is no surprise that a lot can change in ten years, but we can say with conviction that these dramas will be just as popular, if not more, in the future as they are now.

Just like we will never get tired of beaches, this seaside romance will never go out of style. Kim SeonHo and Shin MinA are exceptionally moving as Hong DuShik and Yoon HyeJin as they learn and unlearn, love, and heal, all against the backdrop of the most gorgeous cinematography. The warmth of the story is so palpable and honest that it endears the characters to us even more, and that is what keeps its memory fresh. You cannot help but be curious about them long after the drama is over, which is the primary reason why we think it’ll be an iconic drama for years to come.

“The Red Sleeve” has already earned its place as one of the finest historical K-Dramas of all time. Needless to say, therefore, that it will continue to hold that fort down regardless of how much time passes. Starring Lee SeYoung and 2PM’s JunHo“The Red Sleeve” is a tale of pathos, love, loss, freedom, and royalty, all told in such a poetic and evocative manner that it leaves a deep impression from the very first episode. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Lee SeYoung and Lee JunHo gave us the performances of a lifetime in “The Red Sleeve” and for that, we will forever be grateful.

The K-Drama that revolutionized BLs in Korean mainstream media, achieved feats such as award nominations and wins, broke viewership records, boosted sales for the webtoon and web-novel it is adapted from, and more, “Semantic Error” is highly celebrated all over the world. Not only is it a huge leap for the BL genre, but it is also a step in the right direction for queer visibility, especially in a nation where it is still rather stigmatized. Park SeoHam and DKZ’s JaeChan rightfully received breakout success with “Semantic Error”, and we’re certain that it will grow manifold in the future.

If the 2010s had “My Mister”, the 2020s are going to have “My Liberation Notes” as the drama of their lives. Deeply sentimental, metaphoric, and quietly elegant, “My Liberation Notes” (starring Lee Min Ki, Kim Ji-won, Son Suk Kuand THE) delves into the human mind and heart, exploring the complexity of things that hold us back and those that emancipate us. If you’ve ever felt misunderstood, neglected, or stuck, “My Liberation Notes” is the drama you can turn to for a moment of rest. As long as these human emotions remain unchanging, the popularity of “My Liberation Notes” will constantly be on the rise.

The retro youth drama that stole our hearts, broke them, pieced them back together, and handed them to us on a platter, “Twenty-Five Twenty-One” (starring Nam JooHyuk, Kim TaeRi, WJSN’s BoNa, Choi Hyun Wook & Lee JuMyoung) is the very definition of timeless. To begin with, it takes us back to the 90s and still feels fresher than the present, which already speaks volumes of its charm. Secondly, the universality of the emotions portrayed by our dear characters as they transition from carefree youth to burdensome adulthood strikes a chord with each viewer in a different way. Finally, what hits the hardest is the realism, and that’s what makes it so memorable.

Everyone needs a rosy romance in their lives, and what better way to experience it vicariously than through a K-Drama that will make your heart flutter with every single episode? “Business Proposal” (starring Ahn HyoSeop, Kim Sejeong, Mr. InA, Kim MinGue) is the type of K-Drama to make a Monday afternoon feel like a Saturday night, and once you start, there’s no going back. It has every trope you could possibly ask for: office romance, mistaken identity, love triangles, and even contract dating, but it never gets dull, even for a moment! In addition, the second lead couple is everyone’s OTP! It just couldn’t get any better than this.

When it comes to dark heroes and their morally grey companions, no one could beat Ji Sung as Kang YoHan and GOT7’s JinYoung as Kim GaOn. With fully fleshed-out characters that are both well-rounded and multi-dimensional, “The Devil Judge” does an excellent job of presenting a complete story on an epic scale. Revenge is served, and justice prevails. What could be more satisfying than that? Perhaps the fact that Ji Sung and JinYoung make for the duo of our dreams, and we cannot help but wish for a second season.

The K-Drama industry is famed for its variety and creativity. There are brilliant K-Dramas on the most mundane of topics as well as the most outlandish ones. Somewhere in between, we have a K-Drama that is truly one of a kind – “Tomorrow”. Based on a popular webtoon of the same name, “Tomorrow” is an incredible adaptation that focuses on lives that hang in the balance between this world and the next. Starring SF9’s RoWoon, Kim HeeSeon, Lee SooHyukand Yoon Ji-onall of whom brought the work to life with their mastery, “Tomorrow” will always be a drama that captivates audiences for years down the line.

Over the years, South Korea has made quite a name for itself in the zombie subgenre, and part of that is owed to the extraordinary novelty in each work. “Happiness” also borrows from the overarching concept of a zombie but reinvents it with currency and relevance, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starring ZE:A’s Park HyungSik and Han Hyo JooMore“Happiness” is a social satire/horror drama about an infectious disease that breaks out in an elite apartment complex and the physical chaos and psychological warfare that follow. There might be a hundred new zombie dramas in the next ten years, but “Happiness” will always be irreplaceable.

Have you ever watched a drama and instantly wanted the world to rave about it just as much as you were? “Moonshine” is definitely one such drama for us and clearly innumerable others too because it became one of the most beloved K-Dramas all over the world at the time of its release. Girl’s Day’s HyeRi and Yoo Seungho made for a stunning pair, and their chemistry was simply off the charts. From the strong female characters to a male lead that made us want to protect him at all costs, a serious case of second lead syndrome, and comedy that made us roll over laughing, “Moonshine” was a complete package that will undoubtedly be a delight for anyone that stumbles upon it ten or even twenty years from now.

Bonus: “Squid Game“, “Pachinko“, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo“, “All Of Us Are Dead” &  “D.P.” are also some of the best K-Dramas we’ve had in recent years. All of the above dramas have been renewed for a second season, which is expected to be even grander than the first. Hence, we are mentioning these K-Dramas as bonuses, in light of their limitless potential.

Which of these K-Dramas do you think will be legendary ten years down the line?

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