2021 was such a diverse year of amazing and innovative content – reimagining genres or creating a deep dive into relevant topics, there’s a show for everyone! And because of this, the Viuniverse Team picked and voted for our favorites of the year!
Presenting – 2021’s Editors Picks!
Best Supporting Actor
Na In Woo – Kim Byeong In – Mr Queen
What a great year for Na In Woo! And all because of a wonderful performance in Mr. Queen! A fighter with quiet strength, and when we thought Byeong In was just going to be another second lead, Na In Woo pulls off an unforgettable last scene! After his role here in Mr. Queen, he received the call for River Where the Moon Rises and knocked it out of the park too! We’re all looking forward to his future roles!
Lee Hee Jun – Go Mu Chi – Mouse
Episode 5, ‘nuff said.
Lee Soo Hyuk – Cha Joo Ik – Doom At Your Service
Perfect stoic leading man vibes, charming all the way!
Best Supporting Actress
Cha Chung Hwa – Lady Choi – Mr. Queen
Another gem to come out of Mr. Queen is Court Lady Choi! This ahjumma is so different from the rest! It’s only Ms. Cha Chung Hwa who could make this woman feel all the frustration of taking care of a crazy queen, and be laugh out loud funny at the same time. In retrospect, her scenes are some of the funniest in the show – and that’s says a lot when this cast is full of amazing comedians!
Park Hyo Joo – Jeon Mi Seok – Now, We Are Breaking Up
One of the most powerful and memorable arcs on the show was Jeon Mi Seok’s – and that’s all because of this lady.
Shin Eun Kyung – Kang Ma Ri – Penthouse Series
We love a good redemption arc and Shin Eun Kyung totally sold it!
Best Leading Actor
Kim Soo Hyun is not the highest paid actor for nothing! If you’ve watched his performances from Dream High to My Love from Another Star, Kim Soo Hyun manages to always bring a different spin to all his characters. It’s no different here! In each episode, you can really feel the agony, guilt, and frustration from Hyun Soo. This wasn’t an easy story to tell – and Kim Soo Hyun not only met expectations, he exceeded them.
Shin Ha Kyun – Lee Dong Shik – Beyond Evil
From Episode 1 – 16: CHILLS. CHILLS!
Probably the most memorable character for Lee Jun Ho so far! What an amazing showcase of his raw talent!
Best Leading Actress
Song Hye Kyo – Ha Young Eun – Now, We Are Breaking Up
Not surprised that the Melo Queen, Song Hye Kyo also won this award in the Fan Favorites Poll. The genre is not new for Song Hye Kyo – she’s been doing melos since the 2000s (or perhaps even before that!). But you can really tell that a veteran actress has been on the reins – it shows in every performance, and in every episode.
We felt Myung Hee’s struggle and the joys of first love. And her last scene? *chef’s kiss*
Shin Hye Sun – Kim So Yong/Jang Bong Hwan – Mr. Queen
The way Shin Hye Sun effortlessly balanced comedy and drama is beyond us!
What do you expect from this fish out of water concept? The whole cast from Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun to almost all the secondary characters really upped their game in terms of the comedy! The script was very well executed too – that even though we had some really serious moments (especially the politics that we expect from a historical), it was all well balanced by the wacky and fun.
Always cast Honey Lee in a satire comedy please!
Kim Min Jae and Park Gyu Young’s chemistry was exceptional – loved watching these two cute weirdos fall in love!
Even with all the hijinks and love triangle shenanigans, this was Ju Kyung’s coming of age story of acceptance and self love. It’s really the kindness within that matters!
Best Historical Drama
It started with the cute, and ended with the heartbreak. Lee Jun Ho and Lee Se Young really shined as Yi San and Sung Deok Im, respectively. There’s something about shipping star-crossed lovers, seeing them make huge sacrifices, and hoping against hope that they would finally get a happy ending. They made us fall in love, and root for them in the hardest of challenges. And that’s why, in the years to come, Episode 17 will still be seared in the minds of everyone who watched it.
Amazing production value, and equally amazing performances from Kim Yoo Jung and Ahn Hyo Seop!
Another side to Korean history we rarely see – very relevant and definitely a must-watch!
The perfect love story – just the wrong time and place. Because of the historical implications of the setting of the story, many knew (and were bracing themselves!) for an eventual sad ending. But there was no indication that it would end the way it ended – beautifully poignant, and very well acted by leads Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si. For sure, this will go down in history as one of the most iconic shows of our generation.
A beautiful reminder to live life to the fullest and to keep the ones you love close. All the love for Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young
Now, We Are Breaking Up
No matter what difficulties you come across – if it’s meant to be, it will be! The perfect before-military service drama for Jang Ki Yong, and perfect comeback drama for Song Hye Kyo!
Relevant, timely, and exciting. It’s no surprise that this show is gearing up for a second season as it’s format allows for many relevant issues to be tackled – issues like school bullying or labor exploitation. It’s not just the action scenes that made this show great, it’s the execution showing that justice will always prevail. And with Lee Je Hoon as Kim Do Ki, it’s always exciting to see what role/persona he will play next.
This show revolutionized the zombie genre! Another relevant show with a strong message – a big welcome to Han Hyo Joo and Park Hyung Sik!
Nam Goong Min does it again! Exciting and keeps you guessing!
We hoped it would go a certain route, and was not disappointed! The last ⅓ of the show is definitely what sets it apart!
Did he or didn’t he – that is the question! Each episode just keeps you guessing – and in the year full of crime dramas, this show surprises with fast-paced and arcs that will keep you at the edge of your seat!
Such a courageous move to tackle different issues; gives hope for all the underdogs
A great perspective on Gwangju in the 80s – enlightening!
A dystopian can make you see all that shouldn’t be
Okay we cheated – only because we could not choose! All four shows were amazing in their own right and genres, and excelled well not only in writing, but overall direction and acting. 2021 was such an exciting year for dramas, we hope it would just be as hard to choose a best drama for 2022.
What about you? What are your favorites of the year? Let us know in the comments below!