Survey: Entertainment industry people choose worst Korean dramas in 2021

What are the worst Korean dramas to air 2021?

Korean media outlet Joy News 24 conducted a survey from Oct. 12 to 19 to mark its 17 anniversary. The respondents in the survey were 200 entertainment industry people including employees of entertainment and broadcasting companies, film and broadcast content producers, and entertainment reporters.

1. “Joseon Exorcist” (SBS)

The No. 1 worst Korean drama in 2021 so far is SBS’ “Joseon Exorcist,” which garnered 75 votes from the respondents.

Starring Jang Dong-yoon, Park Sung-hoon and Kam Woo-sung, “Joseon Exorcist,” about a royal family fighting off evil spirits, was abruptly cancelled just after two episodes after Korean viewers accused the drama of distorting history. The controversy started when the character King Taejong (Kam Woo-sung) was portrayed as someone who founded Joseon in partnership with evil spirits and slaughtered villagers due to his visions, a work of fiction but Korean viewers said it distorted Korean history.

“Joseon Exorcist” (SBS)

The Korea Communications Standards Commission received more than 5,000 complaints about “Joseon Exorcist” while the signatories to a petition filed with the website of the Office of the President of South Korea reached more than 210,000.

Last March 26, TV channel SBS announced that "in recognition of the seriousness of the situation, we decided to terminate the contract to purchase the broadcasting rights for ‘Joseon Exorcist’ and cancel the airing.” SBS also deleted the page and contents related to "Joseon Exorcist.”

About 20 companies withdrew their advertisements in the drama including Samsung and LG Household and Health Care due to the controversy.

Jang Dong-yoon, Park Sung-hoon and Kam Woo-sung, the director, producer and the scriptwriter all apologized for the controversy.

2. “The Penthouse” (SBS)

“The Penthouse,” another SBS drama which aired last year and this year, received 43 votes to become the second worst Korean drama this year. Season 3 ended last Sept. 10 and It was voted as the No. 2 worst drama for its absurd ending as many of the characters died.

“The Penthouse” (SBS)

3. “Lost” (JTBC)

JTBC’s “Lost,” starring Jeon Do-yeon and Ryu Jun-yeol, ranked third as the worst drama this year with 17 votes. “Lost” struggled in ratings with its finale gaining only 2.435 percent nationwide. The drama was evaluated as a work that the public liked and disliked due to its dark and deep storyline. There was a lot of disappointment as the drama progressed due to high expectations in the beginning, according to Joy News 24.

“Lost” (JTBC)

4. “Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)” (TV Chosun)

TV Chosun’s “Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)” got 10 votes to rank as the fourth worst drama this year. It starred Sung Hoon, Lee Tae-gon, Park Joo-mi, Lee Ga-ryeong, Lee Min-young, Jeon Soo-kyeong and Jeon No-min.

“Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)” (TV Chosun)

Other dramas that garnered votes for the worst dramas of 2021 are:

5. “Young Lady and Gentleman” (KBS2), “Sisyphus: The Myth” (JTBC) - 7 votes

6. “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” (tvN), “Hospital Doctor” Season 2 (tvN), “Dark Hole” (OCN), “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” (OCN) - 5 votes

7. “Nevertheless” (JTBC), “Imitation” (KBS) - 4 votes

8. “Hush” (JTBC), “Undercover” (JTBC), “You Are My Spring” (tvN), “Kingdom: Ashin of the North” (Netflix) - 2 votes

9. “The Devil Judge” (tvN), “Doom at Your Service” (tvN), “Yumi’s Cells” (tvN), “She Would Never Know” (JTBC), “My Roommate Is a Gumiho” (tvN) - 1 vote