We’ve had a wonderful year of K-dramas in 2017, with solid entries in varying genres. There were strong female leads to root for, romantic male leads to swoon over, vulnerable villains to love-hate, fantastical stories to captivate us, and beautiful cinematography to ogle at.

So in an attempt to honor all these dramas that have accompanied us through the year, that have been with us through thick and thin; that have comforted us during hard times or just put us in another world for a few hours, I give you a superlative style round up.

This list (in no particular order) is more fun than authoritative, and aims to spread the love and include as many dramas as possible. So feel free to nominate your own dramas in the comments below!

Minor spoilers ahead!

Most relatable drama

Because This Is My First Life

Aired on: tvN
Air date: October 9 to November 28, 2017 (16 episodes)
Starring: Lee Min Ki, Jung So Min

Everything about this drama is just so relatable! The workplace struggles of being pressured to compromise, or the financial struggles that ring true to those of us in our 20s and 30s. The message from Episode 1 has stuck with me even now – it’s okay to make mistakes, because “this life is everyone’s first.”

Catch the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:

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Most bone-chilling villain

Cha Min Ho (Uhm Ki Joon) in “Defendant

Aired on: SBS
Air date: January 23 to March 21, 2017 (18 episodes)
Starring: Ji Sung, Uhm Ki Joon, Kwon Yuri, Oh Chang Seok

I started watching “Defendant” for Ji Sung, and fell in love with it immediately. Other than the thrilling and engaging storyline, another factor for its success are its actors, with Uhm Ki Joon’s portrayal of villainous character, Cha Min Ho, deserving much of the praise. Min Ho is complex, calculative, manipulative, and with a hint of insanity, which makes him all the more deadly.

Uhm Ki Joon as Cha Min Ho in “Defendant”

Catch the first episode of “Defendant”:

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Best runway strut


Aired on: tvN
Air date: December 2, 2016 to January 21, 2017 (16 episodes)
Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook, Yoo In Na, Yook Sung Jae

This is somewhat of a cheat because this particular moment happened at the end of Episode 2, which was aired in 2016. But, hey, semantics right? The moment where Kim Shin and the Grim Reaper appeared out of the fog in their trench coats, looking all model-esque and I’m-coming-to-save-you-ish, and coupled with Heize’s “Round and Round” just made it such an iconic moment. It was the moment that bumped the drama into overdrive for me, and let me tell you: I! Was! Hooked! The producers knew just how impressive that moment was, that they even parodied it a few episodes later.

Catch the first episode of “Goblin”:

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Most swoon-worthy moment

Morning after, “Suspicious Partner

Aired on: SBS
Air date: May 10 to July 13, 2017 (40 episodes, 30 mins each)
Starring: Ji Chang Wook, Nam Ji Hyun, Choi Tae Joon

Fans were eagerly waiting for the two leads to finally get together and boy did the drama deliver! After the two give in to each other and sleep together, the camera cuts away to the morning after, where Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) is enveloped in Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook)’s arms. He kisses her first on her head, then places another on her bare shoulder (cue the screams and fainting spells).

Catch the first episode of “Suspicious Partner”:

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Most girl-crush worthy female lead

Ma Yi Deum (Jung Ryeo Won) in “Witch’s Court

Aired on: KBS
Air date: October 9 to November 28, 2017 (16 episodes)
Starring: Jung Ryeo Won, Yoon Hyun Min

Ma Yi Deum is a smart, charismatic prosecutor with determination and killer instincts. She is able to skillfully extract information from the opposing sides and is such a strong, confident woman that she doesn’t let her opponents get to her. Jung Ryeo Won plays this role superbly, showing off a wide acting range. She also spoke out against sexual violence during her acceptance speech at the 2017 KBS Drama Awards, cementing both the actress and the character as girl-crush material.

Catch the first episode of “Witch’s Court”:

Watch Now

Most awesome cameo

Cha Tae Hyun in “The Legend of the Blue Sea

Aired on: SBS
Air date: November 16, 2016 to January 25, 2017 (20 episodes)
Starring: Jun Ji Hyun, Lee Min Ho

This drama had quite a few memorable cameos, including Krystal Jung, Jo Jung Suk and Kim Seul Gi, but it was Cha Tae Hyun’s cameo appearance in Episode 4 that made us squeal like giddy little girls. This was Cha Tae Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun’s first on-screen reunion in 15 years, after working on the hit film “My Sassy Girl” in 2001. And with a wink to their past, Cha Tae Hyun’s conman character commented on how sassy Jun Ji Hyun’s character was!