Top 10 K-Dramas of 2023 [Editor’s pick]

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2023 was undeniably a spectacular year for K-Dramas enthusiasts, offering a diverse array of captivating stories that resonated with viewers around the world. As someone who delved into this captivating world during the pandemic, my journey began with the spellbinding “Crash Landing On You,” forever holding a special place in my heart. In 2023 alone, I ended up watching close to 40 K-Dramas, and all the dramas included in this list are the ones that I have watched.

Most of the shows that I watched this year were from this year, but there were also a lot of shows from earlier years that I was catching up on. Among these, the standout ones were Taxi Driver, Big Mouth, It’s Okay Not to Be Okay, Flower of Evil, and K2. If I compile a list of the best K-Dramas of all time, then I am sure some of these, if not all, will definitely be on the list.

While crafting this list, there are a couple of notable dramas that missed. Unfortunately, I am yet to see some of the notable December 2023 releases, such as Twinkling Watermelon, Vigilante, and Matchmakers.  I have been hearing good things about these shows, and I am sure that they could have easily found a place among the best, but their omission is not a reflection of their quality. Unfortunately, the limitation lies in my own viewing experience, as I am yet to watch these highly appreciated shows.

Here is a list of my selection of Best 10 shows of 2023

The Good Bad Mother

The Good Bad Mother masterfully weaves together the intricate threads of mother-son dynamics along with flavors of romance, revenge, and suspense to deliver an emotionally charged show. The series excels in maintaining a compelling storyline that effortlessly combines various genres, ensuring a rollercoaster of emotions for its audience. The well-developed characters contribute to the show’s richness, and stellar performances across the board elevate it to new heights.

Lee Do-hyun had a fantastic 2023. He was one of the highlights of the show Glory, but with The Good Bad Mother, he exceeded expectations with his exceptional performance. His portrayal adds depth and nuance to the narrative. He is great as the opportunist prosecutor but shines when he has to portray a disabled person with the mind of a child.

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Where to Watch: Netflix

Death’s Game

I had been looking forward to Death’s Game and am so glad that it lived up to the hype. The show has a stellar cast and a thought-provoking premise. The unique take on the sensitive theme of death adds a layer of intrigue that keeps viewers hooked.

The storytelling shines as individual character narratives seamlessly intertwine with the overarching plot, creating a captivating viewing experience. While the show can be emotionally intense, the well-timed story breaks keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Special kudos to the talented cast, with Seo In-guk and Lee Do-hyun delivering standout performances that elevate the series. Their on-screen chemistry adds depth to the characters, making the unfolding drama all the more compelling.

Death Game’s on Amazon Prime Video offers a fresh perspective on storytelling, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating what twists and turns lie ahead in the next four episodes. This K-drama is a must-watch for those seeking a gripping narrative and stellar performances.

IMDb Rating: 9.1

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


Moving gets most of its components right. It has a stellar ensemble cast, impressive production values, and a multifaceted storyline that seamlessly blends elements of action, adventure, mystery, coming-of-age, and rom-com. Despite spanning a total of 20 episodes, the series manages to captivate without a dull moment, presenting a Korean take on the X-Men narrative that doesn’t disappoint.

While the show excels in most aspects, I was a little underwhelmed with its ending, which leaves something to be desired. Unfortunately, like many K-Dramas, “Moving” struggles to conclude on a high note. The final episode feels rushed, with an attempt to tie up loose ends, leaving viewers wanting more clarity. For example, [spoiler alert] I am unable to understand why Bong-seok had to move away without completing his education. This move also raises questions about his relationship with Jang Hee-Soo and whether they will be united in the future. Another aspect that I feel the makers could have toned out was the gore. I am not a big fan of this, and thus, I would have enjoyed it more if the action was less gory. Despite this, Moving stands as an engaging and entertaining watch, showcasing the occasional challenge that K-Dramas face in delivering satisfying conclusions.

IMDb rating: 8.5

Watch it on Hulu

Crash Course in Romance

What got me hooked on K-drama is their perfectly balanced rom-coms, and Crash Course in Roamnce is a classic example of that. The show has a perfect blend of romance and comedy that draws viewers in with its refreshing storyline. The series strikes an ideal balance, ensuring the narrative remains engaging without falling into the trap of predictability. As a dedicated fan of rom-coms, “Crash Course” offers a feel-good experience, making it an ideal candidate for binge-watching sessions.

Jung Kyung-ho’s transition from supporting cast roles in shows like Hospital Playlist and Prison Playbook to the main lead in Crash Course in Romance is nothing short of a revelation. His portrayal of the charismatic Celebrity Math Teacher Choi Chi-yeol not only highlights his acting prowess but also adds a layer of charm to the series. The on-screen chemistry between the cast members further elevates the viewing experience, making “Crash Course” a standout addition to the world of romantic comedies. If you’re a fan of Jung Kyung-ho’s work, this series is a must-watch, showcasing his charm.

IMDb rating: 7.8

Watch it on Netflix

Mask Girl

Mask Girl emerges as a riveting thriller that captivates audiences with its intricate plot, compelling subplots, and a chilling dark undertone. The initial episodes stand out as some of the most engaging and well-written segments, drawing viewers into the mysterious narrative. The series successfully navigates the complexities of a socially connected lifestyle, offering a thought-provoking portrayal of the perils that accompany it.

However, as Mask Girl progresses into its second half, there’s a noticeable shift in tone. The show, at times, tends to lean towards the melodramatic realm of a soap opera, accompanied by a slight slackening in the writing. While the character development takes a back seat during this phase, the series manages to retain its entertainment value. Despite its flaws, Mask Girl intelligently conveys the challenges inherent in our digitally interconnected world. The show stands as an engaging thriller that successfully explores the darker facets of our socially entwined lives.

IMDb rating: 7.3

Watch it on Netflix

My Demon

My Demon is personal favorite among shows currently on air. With ten episodes already released out of the total sixteen, the series has consistently delivered entertainment. The show’s delicate balance of endearing cute moments, combined with the swoonworthy chemistry between the lead pair, Do Do Hee and Jung Koo Won, has undoubtedly struck a chord with audiences.

Jung Koo Won’s portrayal remains a mysterious and sexy enigma, with an aura that adds a captivating layer to the narrative. The ongoing plot has successfully maintained its intrigue, leaving viewers eagerly anticipating each new episode. Do Do Hee, with her charming smile and powerful acting, emerges as a captivating force, solidifying her status as a girl crush for K-Drama enthusiasts.

Navigating the fine line between mystery, romance, and entertainment, My Demon holds its own, and its inclusion on this list is a testament to the series’ ability to capture the hearts of viewers, even before the final episodes have unfolded.

IMDb rating: 8.2

Watch it on Netflix

The Glory

Glory takes a poignant and powerful dive into one of South Korea’s pervasive social issues – bullying. Released in two parts, with the first dropping in December 2022 and the second in March, the series delves into the harsh realities of school bullying, shedding light on the imbalance of justice, particularly where the privileged are concerned. The show’s standout feature is the stellar performances of its entire cast, elevating the narrative with authenticity and emotional resonance.

The show successfully navigates the complexities of its subject matter, keeping audiences glued with its unpredictable twists and turns. The show skillfully captures the audience’s empathy, as they root for the main protagonist’s quest for revenge against those responsible for the bullying. The last episode, while slightly stretched out, hints at the possibility of another season, adding an element of anticipation for viewers. It would indeed be disappointing if the makers don’t follow through and give us the next season of this show.

IMDb rating: 8.1

Watch it on Netflix


Queenmaker is a gripping, fast-paced political thriller brimming with unpredictable plot twists, leaving viewers on the edge, questioning the possibility of a happy ending. The show’s strong writing and compelling performances ensure audience investment, making it challenging to escape the enthralling power struggle. The series, culminating on a high note, revolves around two self-made individuals in their 40s and 50s, hailing from divergent ideologies. Forced to collaborate and form an unlikely alliance, their journey unfolds as a captivating tale of friendship and resilience against a common enemy.

IMDb rating: 7.5

Watch it on Netflix

Taxi Driver Season 2

The second season of Taxi Driver welcomes back the beloved characters led by Kim Do-ki and his gang at Rainbow Taxi, yet it slightly diverges from the high stakes and intensity of its predecessor. While the vigilante theme persists, the emphasis on philanthropy over revenge dilutes the impact, leading to a somewhat subdued narrative. Despite this shift, the series manages to sustain its grip on the audience, primarily due to the engaging dynamics within the central team. The manipulative Bishop emerges as a standout villain, adding depth and complexity to the storyline. His close aide’s integration into the main group for extracting information adds a layer of intrigue, contributing to the overall suspense.

Apart from the overall impact, the the absence of Kang Ha-Na from the first season did leave an ardent fan like me feeling a sense of unfulfilled anticipation. The expectation of her return remains unmet, marking a slight letdown in the continuity of the narrative. The show is already renewed for season 3, so I’m hoping to see her then.

The series is crafted with finesse, blending storytelling, suspense, and action to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

IMDb rating: 8

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video


Celebrity offers a compelling exploration into the opulent lives of the rich and famous, providing an insightful glimpse into the intricate world of influencer culture. The series is skillfully crafted, with a suspenseful narrative that keeps viewers engrossed. The lead pair’s exceptional acting and the well-executed plot twists contribute to the show’s appeal.

While it may not boast the most impactful storyline of the year, “Celebrity” proves to be a worthy binge-watch, delivering an entertaining and thought-provoking experience. Notably, the background music (BGM) deserves commendation for adding an extra layer of excellence to the overall viewing experience. In the ever-expanding landscape of K-Dramas, “Celebrity” stands out as a must-watch for those intrigued by the complexities of fame and influence.

IMDb rating: 7.4

Watch it on Netflix

Here are a couple of shows that could have made it to the list but missed by a whisker.

King The Land

King of the Land falls short of creating a memorable love story, lacking the hurdles that elevate romance narratives. While initially perfect, the series loses momentum after episode 10 with unimpactful plot twists. Noteworthy for its exceptional chemistry and music, it remains a pleasant, albeit somewhat monotonous, romantic watch.

IMDb rating: 4.8

Watch it on Netflix

 DP season 2

The second season of “DP” almost secures a spot on the list yet falls short due to its comparative lack of impact in relation to its predecessor. Despite Jung Hae-In’s commendable performance as An Jun-Ho and the series effectively shedding light on military life and bullying, it struggles to resonate as deeply as the first season. While still a worthy exploration of its themes, the second season faces the challenge of living up to the high standards set by its impactful predecessor.

IMDb rating: 8.2

Watch it on Netflix


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