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The 8 Best Things of 2021

3, 2, 1!

The year 2021 was definitely not a walk in the park — but, hey, it wasn’t all that bad either. On a scale of one to ten on the nightmare chart, we’d give it a promising score of seven.

The world has a long way to go before it returns to normal again, but at least we’re slowly beginning to wake up from the nightmare level 11 that 2020 was.

In celebration of everything that this year was, PopMachine is here to breakdown the 8 Best Things of 2021.

From the most enthralling K-drama and K-pop tracks to the sleekest style trends and K-beauty looks, here are the 8 things in 2021 that allowed us to escape reality for a little while and made living in a pandemic a little less horrible.

1. Best K-Drama: “Squid Game”

Squid Game
Squid Game | Image Courtesy of Netflix

Okay, but who on this planet hasn’t watched the hit series Squid Game starring Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, and HoYeon Jung? (OMG. Hi, HoYeonyyy!)

Whether you’re a K-drama fan or not you’re bound to have accepted the invitation to view this show. In fact, 142 million households witnessed the story of debt-ridden players joining in on children’s games with a deadly twist to snatch that ₩45.6 billion grand prize.

Not only will it go down in history as one of the most iconic K-drama series of all time, but now the world has a brand new addition to their list of timeless Halloween costumes to rock each year. (We’re looking at you in the red jumpsuit and black mask.)

2. Best K-Movie: “Space Sweepers”

Space Sweepers
Space Sweepers | Image Courtesy of Netflix

Admit it, you had no idea either what they meant by “Space Sweepers” when you clicked play. But, when you saw people racing to capture valuable garbage floating in space you immediately caught on to the idea. #SoCatchy

Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu and Yoo Hae-jin all had a jaw-dropping performance in what was hailed as Korea’s first space blockbuster flick. As it tackles the issues of wealth inequality, never have we ever found ourselves rooting for ransom-demanding people so badly before.

3. Best Group K-Pop Track: “Butter” by BTS

Whether you’ve got the original track or the “Hotter Remix” on repeat (Personally, we’re incredibly biased towards the “Cooler Remix”), this K-pop track has accomplished its mission of melting your stress away like butter. Plus, the fact that ARMY got an adorable JinKook moment at 2:10 added major plus points too.

It’s clear why the song has shattered so many records, we can hardly even count them anymore.

4. Best Solo K-Pop Track: “Advice” by Taemin

Taemin SHINee
Taemin "Advice" MV | Screen Capture from SM Entertainment

Please give us a moment to find the right words to describe the magnificence of this song…

Okay, there we found it: So. Freakin’. Brilliant.

From the dramatic piano intro to the savage lyrics of “Hey, you! Looking for something to gossip about,” and the killer outfits (I mean, when is Taemin never not the best-dressed person on the planet?) — this song is proof that everyone should be taking advice from Taeminnie.

5. Best Style Trend: Baggy Jeans

After over a decade of struggling to put on those skinny jeans, it’s official: they’re no longer relevant and your veins can finally breathe again.

We transitioned to mom jeans a few years back, but in 2021, baggy jeans became the “it” trend. Pair them with sneakers, Doc Martens, or a chic pair of heels — whatever you do, these jeans bring both superior style and comfort.

You’ve surely seen your fave K-drama stars and K-pop idols sporting this trend!

6. Best Make Up Trend: Sun-kissed Blush

Ever since cream blush stole the spotlight this year, we’ll never look back at super-matte makeup looks the same way ever again. 2021’s makeup trend was uncomplicated — choose dewy and flushed over chalky.

Creamy blush formulas are the best way to add a youthful glow to your look as they really awaken your face. It really proves that you don’t need a kilogram of makeup just to look your best!

7. Best Hair Trend: Two-toned Hair

One tone just isn’t enough. From Jin of BTS to Aespa’s Winter, it was quite evident that 2021 was all about two-toned hair.

It’s a low-maintenance hair trend that manages to change your look dramatically (with less damage from bleaching too!)

8. Best Viral Meme: Don’t Touch Anything

Thank you, 2021!

At this point, we’re pretty sure you’re convinced that this year brought some pretty good stuff into our lives. Clearly, K-drama and K-pop fans were so well-fed with breathtaking content and stunning looks that we can fondly look back on. And for that, we thank you, 2021!

Now it’s time to walk slowly and quietly into 2022 with our fingers crossed that nothing crashes and collapses. As the new year approaches, just remember to stay hydrated and don’t. touch. anything.


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