Netflix’s South Korean slate received lots of love from fans all over in 2022, with more than 60% of the streamer’s global members having watched K-content throughout the year.
From high school zombies to prodigious lawyers, check out these titles that cracked the charts locally and in over 90 countries worldwide.
1. ‘All of Us Are Dead’
The gripping tale of a group of students trapped in their high school amidst a zombie virus outbreak, “All of Us Are Dead” garnered 124.8 million viewing hours in merely three days of its release in January.
Ranked fourth in Netflix’s global top 10 most popular television (non-English) ranking of all time, and having spent a remarkable 10 weeks on the top 10 TV list in Malaysia, this series proves that the K-zombie virus just might be here to stay.
2. ‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’
Set primarily in the 1990s, this romantic series, which was released in February, follows a teenage female fencer and a young man who develop a special kindred-spirit relationship.
Full of nostalgia, humour, and emotion, the challenges faced by these youths in chasing after their dreams resonated with fans: “Twenty-Five Twenty-One” spent at least 10 weeks on top 10 TV lists across markets in Southeast Asia.
3. ‘Business Proposal’
In this quirky comedy, Ha-ri goes on a blind date in disguise with the intention of scaring away a potential suitor, but her plans go awry when he turns out to be her CEO.
Since its release at the end of January, this romantic laffer reached top 10 TV (non-English) lists in 58 countries, and also ranked No. 1 on the top 10 TV list for five weeks in Malaysia.
4.’Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area’
Given the popularity of the original “Money Heist”, expectations surrounding this spin-off – which launched in June – were high. Thankfully, it did not disappoint.
Staying true to what made the original Spanish caper so popular while spicing it up with distinctly Korean flavours, this group of thieves robbed banks and hearts when it took first place in five markets across Southeast Asia.
What a treat for the adrenaline junkies! Waking up with no memories, the titular character follows a mysterious voice via a device in his ear and sets off on a dangerous hostage rescue mission.
Well-crafted stunts and thrilling fight sequences paired with incredible cinematography pleased action aficionados all around the world, and sent this movie well on its way to global top 10 film lists in 92 countries following its August premiere.
6. ‘Seoul Vibe’
This action-comedy, which debuted in August, hit the sweet spot with its antics, slick driving moves, and vintage vibes that transported viewers back to South Korea, 1988.
The entertaining tale of a team of drivers and mechanics who are roped into going undercover to dismantle a massive money-laundering ring, “Seoul Vibe” spent three weeks in the top 10 ranking in Malaysia.
7. ‘Alchemy of Souls’
No K-series list is complete without at least one historical fantasy drama, and June’s release of “Alchemy of Souls” delivered with its spellbinding story of a sorceress’ soul trapped in a blind woman’s body.
While trying to regain her powers, she encounters a man from a renowned family who wishes to change his destiny. The result? A charming piece of Korean entertainment that stayed on global top 10 lists for 15 weeks.
8. ‘Little Women’
The story of three sisters with a strong bond but never enough money, this addictive series gained serious mileage with over 133 million hours watched since its September debut, while spending 11 weeks on top 10 TV lists in Malaysia and worldwide.
Inspired by true events, this series tells the unbelievable tale of an ordinary entrepreneur who ends up on a mission with secret intelligence to capture a drug lord.
“Narco-Saints”, which launched in September, made top 10 TV lists in 82 countries thanks to its stellar cast and compelling story.
10. ’20th Century Girl’
In 1999, a teen girl who plans to keep close tabs on a boy on behalf of her deeply smitten friend gradually finds her heart becoming entangled as well.
This sweet story, which premiered in October, tugged at global heartstrings and stayed on top 10 film lists worldwide for four weeks in a row.
11. ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’
The brilliant lawyer with autism spectrum disorder continues to capture the hearts of viewers worldwide. Covering a range of cases, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” – which launched in June – highlights various societal issues while showing off the titular character’s growth as a professional and person, delighting viewers with her prodigious intelligence.
This hit series spent an extraordinary 21 weeks on global top 10 lists, and ranked No. 1 in top 10 TV lists for at least five weeks across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.