K-dramaland will never run out of couples that set our romantic standards high. From friends-to-lovers to idiots-in-love, K-dramas can satisfy every romance junkie’s cravings. And for 2021, these couples took us to very heart-fluttering journeys.
The Frown Crown
Oh Mi-joo (Shin Se-kyung) and Ki Seon-gyeom (Im Si-wan) – Run On
Run On is such a rare gem I swear. Even the second couple in the drama is also award-worthy. The best trait of this couple is their communication. They handle things in a mature way and always respect each other’s personal space. They wait until the other person has organized their thoughts about anything – be it a misunderstanding, a private problem, or a happy moment. Most importantly, they know the importance of consent! Mi-joo and Seon-gyeom showed us what it should look like to be in a secure relationship that’s determined to go long term.
Chu Min-ha (Ahn Eun-jin) and Yang Seok-hyung (Kim Dae-myung) – Hospital Playlist
My dearest HosPlay couple! Their first date in Season 2 Episode 11 has got to be one of the best romantic scenes this year. The awkwardness, uncertainty, and courage all rolled into one perfect confession scene. It’s not technically a “confession” per se, but a formal admission that they’re like each other and are officially together. While Min-ha is waiting for her right one to be ready, Seok-hyung is waiting for the right timing to pursue his love. Min-ha, who’s been dejected, never gave up despite the countless rejections from Seok-hyung. Ladies, don’t be afraid to make the first move – you have the power to choose your Mr. Right, and maybe also get a doctor as a bonus! 😉
Hwang Hee-tae (Lee Do-hyun) and Kim Myung-hee (Go Min-si) – Youth of May
As much as I wanted to remember only the happy scenes of this couple, I couldn’t help but also be reminded of their tragic end. The young lovers were determined to conquer the world, albeit dim, and it’s heartbreaking to witness that only one of them made it in the end. But if there’s one thing Hwang Hee-tae taught us, it’s how to make peace with life despite being the one who’s left behind.
Cho Yeon-jo (Lee Honey) and Han Seong-wook (Lee Sang-yoon) – One the Woman
We all know it’s true love when you hate hospitals but still managed to sneak in food for the patient in the guise of a flower basket! Their love for jokbaengi (pig feet and sea snails) equals my appreciation for this couple in 2021. They took down the powers that be while bonding over stinky food as stress relief. Chaebol son meets chatty prosecutor in a whole different level of chaos and fun. I already miss their jokbaengi mukbang sessions!
Kang Sol (Ryu Hye-young) and Han Joon-hwi (Kim Bum) – Law School
This one was special. It’s fun meeting Solhwi during the summer… I spent long nights watching re-runs of Solhwi scenes, fan edits on TikTok and Youtube. Maknae was the OG KB stan in the blog, but Law School made me a fan of him. It’s just sad that the love line was never confirmed, so we had to be satisfied with the crumbs (thanks to the OP for the embedded video🥰). I almost got confused if I’m watching a mystery drama or a romance one because the murder plot was totally ignored and my focus was solely on Solhwi. Joon-hwi was Sol’s secret knight in a backpack, confidante, and shelter. They were hesitant-friends at first but because of the murder case, they became real-life angels to each other.
Ji So-hyun (Yang Hye-ji) and Kim Yoo-shin (Choi Byung-chan) – Live On
Ji So-hyun didn’t like Kim Yoo-shin at the beginning of Live On. But Yoo-shin continued to woo her despite being rejected multiple times. His patience got rewarded in the end as the elusive Ji So-hyun finally fell for him. This high school couple gave me very innocent banters and a very sweet unrequited-to-requited journey.
Jang Gyeo-ul (Shin Hyun-been) and Ahn Jeong-won (Yoo Yeon-seok – Hospital Playlist 2
To be honest, I wanted to put Jun-wan and Jae-hak in this list but since we’re talking about romantic OTP, I went to my default favorite couple from Hospital Playlist 2. If Season 1 focused on Jeong-won’s inner turmoil and the way Gyeo-ul changed his life plans, Season 2 focused on growing together as a couple. I still have some issues with the lack of airtime for this couple but at least, I’ve got some really beautiful scenes especially those that showed how Jeong-won expresses his love for Gyeo-ul.
Seo Dan-ah (Choi Soo-young) and Lee Young-hwa (Kang Tae-oh) – Run On
Seo Dan-ah and Lee Young-hwa’s story perfectly blends with Mi-joo and Seon-gyeom’s story. I couldn’t think Run On would be as loveable without the other. Unlike our main couple, Dan-ah and Young-hwa had a lot more going on in their plates that they couldn’t stay together in the end. Despite that, I still enjoyed watching these two fall in love, give in to the feeling and let it go in the end.
Cha Joo-ik (Lee Soo-hyuk) and Na Ji-na (Shin Do-hyun) – Doom at Your Service
I was fully on board Team Cha Joo-ik the moment he told his team that Na Ji-na doesn’t have a knack for writing romance. That sparked my hidden desire for an enemies-to-lovers kind of story. Although they didn’t go all out with that trope, I still got a lot of spark-filled scenes with this visual couple.