K-wave, or Hallyu, has swept across the world in recent years, and Singapore is no exception. Its influence is so widely felt that many of us are enamoured with consuming the various K-dramas to ensure we are not left out of the conversion. As a result, many of us find ourselves getting hooked on these television series, no matter the genre. The more enthusiastic crowd has even taken up Korean lessons to better understand the stories they are consuming.
Its impact has only grown with the COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the Singapore government. These measures have provided us with the perfect opportunity and excuse to cosy up on our couches, turn on our TV, and start our K-drama binges.
However, if you have finished your latest K-drama binge and are looking for something fresh to watch this summer, let us share some of the hottest trending K-dramas you should keep your eyes on in 2021.
1. The Penthouse Season 3 (펜트하우스 시즌3)
If you have not yet heard of The Penthouse, you might want to take a look at its ratings. Ever since the primetime K-drama hit online streaming services last year in October, it has secured a reputation as a wild ride with plenty of over-the-top, dramatic events. In addition, there always seems to be a new heart-racing scandal in each episode. As a result, viewers are constantly on the edge of their seats, anxious to find out what happens next.
The Penthouse tells a tale of wealthy families and the characters’ ambitions for their children. The show revolves around three female characters who each harbour resentment for one another. However, things start to unravel when the various characters begin their revenge scheme, which revolves around the titular penthouse suite.
The show has garnered significant praise from critics and fans for its portrayal of the various characters and the cliffhanger endings that leave viewers eagerly anticipating the following season. Thankfully, the first episode of season 3 was recently released on the 4th of June, and only one episode is released each week, so new viewers have plenty of time to catch up on the prior seasons before it ends.
2. Vincenzo (빈센조)
Vincenzo is the drama to watch if you are looking for something different from the usual Korean crime shows. The involvement of the Italian mafia gives this drama a distinct identity, allowing it to stand out in a crowded genre.
The plot revolves around Vincezo, who is the adopted son and consigliere of the Cassano family. When the head of the Cassano family dies, Vincenzo sets out to uncover a secret stash of gold hidden in the basement of Geumga Plaza to recover his fortune. His interactions with the building's tenants are some of the stand out scenes from the series, offering moments of levity while providing a contrast to the numerous action and thriller elements found in the series.
The series is completed, so you can start binging the show without having to worry about the long wait for new episodes. Given the various cliffhangers at the end of each episode, you will be thankful you can finish this series in one go.
3. Hospital Playlist Season 2 (슬기로운 의사생활 시즌 2)
Like the Penthouse, Hospital Playlist also received high ratings during its debut season, leading the show’s broadcaster tvN to renew the show for a second season. The new season was recently released on the 17th of June, so you will have two seasons’ worth of content to catch up on if you have not watched it yet!
What makes this medical drama stand out is its realistic portrayal of the doctor-patient relationship. This heart-warming series is guaranteed to have you laughing and crying along with the main characters as they navigate the different life and death situations found in a hospital.
4. Mine (마인)
If you love the glimpses of Korea’s high society that The Penthouse provides and can’t get enough of its melodrama, then Mine should be another series right up your alley. The drama follows the tumultuous lives of Seo Hi-Soo and Jung Seo-Hyun, two women who marry into a chaebol family. Along the way, they will have to overcome society’s prejudice towards women while ensuring they do not lose their true selves even as they spiral ever deeper into the complex web of lies spun by the Hyowon Group.
The series recently ended its 16 episodes run on Netflix, so you will have an entire season’s worth of content to binge from the start. Like The Penthouse, expect to be on the edge of your seat as new revelations unfold that will leave you constantly questioning who is the mysterious perpetrator behind the show’s central mystery.
With several K-dramas to keep an eye on, you will likely find yourself busy bingeing and discussing the shows with your friends over the summer. There are various genres on this list, so you could easily pick a favourite among them to start your latest binge-watch.
If you are interested in learning Korean so you can follow the plot of the show without reading the subtitles, you can consider enrolling in ONLYOU’s Korean classes. Our teachers aim to use non-traditional teaching methods in our classes, including incorporating K-dramas into the lessons, to make your learning journey that much more enjoyable. So sign up for our Korean courses today!