Over the past few years, Netflix has developed an array of K-dramas with strong female leads that inspire. From Hellbound to My Name’s lead character Yoon Ji-woo (Han So-Hee), 2021 was a good year. But with Money Heist: Korea sparking the topic again with Tokyo (Jeon Jong-seo), Netflix has given fans plenty of new K-dramas in 2022 with female leads that deserve “Queen” status, but some rank higher on IMDb than others.
Goo Ryeon is a female grim reaper holding onto the pain of her past in ‘Tomorrow’
One most talked about K-dramas of 2022 from Netflix was Tomorrow. The fantasy K-drama is based on an original webtoon surrounding the afterlife. When Choi Ju-woong (Rowoon) accidentally falls into the river, Goo Ryeon (Kim Hee-seon) and her partners offer him a deal. He becomes a temporary grim reaper and helps the crisis management team save lives.
Tomorrow was praised for its impressive main cast and leading female character, Goo Ryeon. Fans gravitated toward the character as they uncovered her dark and tragic backstory. She was once in love, but she faces a grim reality due to circumstances in her time period. Theories circulated that Goo Ryeon’s lover was the person that hated her the most, grim reaper Park Joon-gil (Lee Soo-hyuk).
As the K-drama progressed, fans saw resilience and power in Goo Ryeon to face her past, keep the people closest to her safe, and rescue people from death.
Tomorrow has an IMDb score of 7.6.
‘The Sound of Magic’ is a 2022 musical K-drama from Netflix with a young female character
There are far few K-dramas with a musical element. Netflix’s The Sound of Magic is based on a popular black and white webtoon. A young high school student named Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun) lives a difficult life, and her resistance is part of why fans tagged her as a strong female lead.
As a young teen, Ah-yi has a lot of weight on her shoulder with her parents gone, and she is left to fend for her younger sister. Fans felt emotional for Ah-yi as she resorts to working multiple jobs and eating less than desirable food. Her life changes when she meets a magician named Ri-eul (Ji Chang-wook).
Through him, she ignites her childlike wonder again. But what made Ah-yi resilient was her kind heart to believe Ri-eul was not a bad man and stand up against people who ridiculed him.
The Sound of Magic has a 7.7 IMDb score.
‘Thirty-Nine’ tells the story of three best friends who face the troubles of life
One of Netflix’s 2022 K-dramas that stuck with fans was Thirty-Nine. The K-drama focuses on three lifelong best friends near their 40s who are struck with the fragility of life when one of them is diagnosed with cancer. Thirty-Nine broke K-drama rules by stating the future death of a character.
Cha Mi-jo (Son Ye-jin) owns her dermatology clinic, has a good family, and has a developing love story. But her life crumbles when she learns her best friend Jeong Chan-young (Jeon Mi-do) has stage four cancer. Their other best friend, Jang Joo-hee (Kim Ji-hyun), battles with finding love and her purpose in life.
Meanwhile, Chan-young is forced to realize how little time she has. She spent her career being an acting coach instead of becoming an actor as she had always dreamed. Thirty-Nine has more than one strong female lead that faces life changes.
Thirty-Nine has a 7.7 IMDb score.
‘My Liberation Notes’ became one of Netflix’s biggest hits for 2022
Fans gravitated toward My Liberation Notes thanks to one of its leading female characters, Yeom Mi-jeong (Kim Ji-won). The 2022 Netflix K-drama is a “Slice of Life” K-drama about the woes of being stuck in life. Mi-jeong is one of three siblings who finds herself in a gray area of life with no spark.
Her older brother has a stable job but wishes to find his real purpose in life. The oldest daughter has failed at love but desperately wants to find a good partner. Over time, she started to think she was the problem. Mi-jeong impressed fans as the female lead as she takes command over small instances in her life, especially her relationship with Mr. Gu (Son Seok-koo).
My Liberation Notes has an 8.4 IMDb rating.