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You’ll Be Hooked on These 20 Compelling Korean Series
You're losing out on lots of interesting things if you don't watch Korean dramas, also called K-dramas. First, there is the overall, cultural impact to take into account: K-dramas and K-movies have gained popularity all over the world, so if you want to be a productive online user who enjoys entertainment (and you're here, so you clearly do), you need to be knowledgeable about K-drama. The second, more crucial justification for watching Korean dramas is as follows: You'll be grateful to yourself for including them in your daily routine since they are compelling and addictive. From romance to comedy to action, K-dramas will never fail to amaze you, so keep on reading for 20 binge-worthy K-dramas. We’ll divide the list into categories so it’ll be easier on you to choose your next show.
Here's where to start if your knowledge of Korean entertainment doesn't go beyond Squid Game. These exciting thriller K-dramas are full of action and mystery, and some of them, like the movie Parasite, also touch on social themes.
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Vincenzo is the show for you if you're on the hunt for something that sits somewhere between "K-Drama" and "Mafia Drama." In it, Song Joong-ki plays Vincenzo, a Korean guy who was brought up in the mob in Italy after being adopted by an Italian mafia family. After his adoptive father passes away, Vincenzo must flee back to Seoul because his adopted brother has made it his mission to kill him.
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This realistic zombie thriller has a lot to surprise you with at every moment, starting with the fact that it's one of the few to mention the COVID-19 outbreak. When she gets an opportunity to move into a high-rise with her high school acquaintance, Detective Jung Yi-hyun (Park Hyung-sik), Officer Yoon Sae-bom (Han Hyo-joo) realizes a dream she has had of having her own apartment. Soon after they arrive, a contagious illness spreads throughout the nation, giving those who catch it a need for human blood. In the end, the apartment complex is quarantined, with Sae-bom and Yi-hyun attempting to maintain order among the peculiar residents.
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Ji-woo (Han So-hee), a young woman who was entangled in the criminal underworld, embarks on a mission to avenge her father's death in this suspenseful thriller. She acquires a new identity and joins the police, where she teams up with Choi Mu-jin (Park Hee-soon), the former partner of her father.
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In this time-traveling detective thriller, a team of detectives from several eras joins forces to crack cases based on actual crimes. In order to solve heartbreaking riddles and experience thrilling thrills, Lee Jae-han (Choi Jin-woong), a detective from the year 2000, collaborates with criminal analyst Park Hae-Young (Lee Je-hoon) and investigator Cha Soo-hyn (Kim Hye-soo).
Jung Hae-in plays An Jun-ho in this brutally realistic drama, which follows the young gentleman as he joins the South Korean army as part of his required military service. Following his basic training, in which he struggles with the "survival of the fittest" bullying culture and ritualistic hazing, he is assigned to the Deserter Pursuit unit, where his mission is to find soldiers who have strayed from their posts. The narratives of the deserters are gripping, and the drama sheds light on abuse within the military.
Romance / swoon-worthy K-dramas
Boys Over Flowers
An old-school teen high-school drama, Boys Over Flowers centers on a gang of popular, affluent, and unkind males attending the elite Shinhwa High School. Until a working-class girl, Geum Jan-di, joins the school on a scholarship and confronts the boys - a group, known as F4, bullies others to get their way. Unexpectedly, she falls in love with one of those guys and both face several hardships throughout their complicated love story.
This is one of the good old K-dramas that never fails to amuse, entertain, and charm its watchers. It’s about a woman Han Ji-eun who returns home to find that her house has been sold by her friends while she was away on a vacation planned by them. She insists on getting married to the new owner, an actor Lee Young-jae, in order to reclaim what is rightfully hers.
This amusing teen drama is for you if you want to be a part of a high school love triangle. Im Ju-yeong (Moon Ga-young), a high school student, suffers from an inferiority complex as a result of years of bullying for her appearance from classmates and family members. She gains popularity at school and is referred to as a "goddess" after mastering makeup artistry on YouTube. The enigmatic Lee Su-ho (Cha Eun-woo), who recognises her from her makeup, and his ex-best friend Han Seo-jun (Hwang In-youp) soon become involved in a love triangle, and she soon finds herself in it.
Crash Landing on You
Yoon Se-ri, a South Korean heiress, is paragliding when she gets caught in a storm and is blown into North Korea. Then, Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok of the North Korean Special Forces and another member of the elite family in North Korea cross paths with Se-ri. With the aid of his team, Captain Ri eventually devises a strategy to return Se-ri to South Korea, but not before they have all overcome the challenges that stand in their way—and some more. The story of two lovers who cross paths is ultimately portrayed in this romantic comedy-drama. You may be interested to know that the stars Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin got married and had their first born just recently!
The plot: Oh Mi-joo, a writer of movie subtitle translations, meets Ki Seon-gyeom, a well-known sprinter turned sports agent. Mi-joo feels they were meant to be together. Along with some compelling supporting characters, their rising romance serves as the story's focal point.
This is a different category where it's best described by a specific vibe. These shows show characters dealing with the normal, everyday emotions that make up life, as opposed to the heightened emotions of melodrama. These shows are ideal when you want to root for characters you'd consider friends while they encounter familiar circumstances.
Something in The Rain
Yoon Jin-a, a career-minded single woman, starts dating her friend's younger brother Jun-hui, after he gets back from an overseas assignment. However, their families, who disapprove, are very critical of their relationship. Additionally, Jin-a works in a sexist environment where her male coworkers make fun of her and her female coworkers.
A complete box of tissues should be nearby if you plan to watch Navillera, just so you know. Shim Deok-chul, a 70-year-old former mailman with ballet aspirations, is the main character of the show. Deok-chul fights growing Alzheimer's disease while pursuing his passion.
Record of Youth
Three passionate people from various social groups who are working in the competitive fields of show business and fashion are the focus of this show. Models with acting aspirations wind up making friends with the makeup artist An Jung-ha and the three of them have to work together to overcome a number of challenges that could prevent them from attaining their goals in the entertainment industry.
Lovestruck in The City
This rom-com follows six unmarried urban residents who have all had a bad experiences with dating. Marketer Lee Eun-oh and architect Park Jae-won had a romance a year prior, and both regret how it ended. In the meantime, the multi-talented Suh Rin-yi and architect Choi Kyung-joon are dating, and novelist Kang Geon who hasn't dated in two years, runs into the serial dater gym teacher Oh Sun-young.
In this series, Park Sae-royi, a former prisoner who had been sentenced for assaulting chaebol heir Jang Geun-won, starts a café in Itaewon. Sae-royi wants to licence his restaurant DanBam and make it more well-known than Jangga Group despite the two of them having a troubled past.
While many people associate "melodrama" with women slapping each other in stunning gowns (and yes, that does happen), we define the genre as whatever involves extreme feelings of the non-romantic type. Think about life-or-death circumstances, bitter family conflicts, lifelong plans for vengeance, and severe misery.
When Moon Dong-eun was a senior in high school, a group of her other students, led by the oblivious Park Yeon-jin (Im Ji-yeon), severely bullied and physically assaulted her. The bullies force Moon Dong-eun out of school and leave her with severe emotional wounds, leading her to dedicate her life to exacting vengeance. Years later, after qualifying as a teacher, Dong-eun starts her complex plan when she becomes Yeon-jin's young daughter's homeroom teacher.
In the posh Hera Palace neighborhood, a 100-floor high-rise that extends out into the Seoul skyline, three wealthy families are striving for dominance and this show follows their struggles. The series is centered on three women who conceal their varied secrets and traumas behind their wealth and untamed goals for their children. After a mysterious girl passes away in an accident and the trio tries to hide the scene of her death to preserve the reputation of Hera Palace, their world starts to come crashing down. Even though it's chaotic, you'll love it.
Hi, Bye Mama
This series is for you if you enjoy your drama with a dash of the supernatural. A ghost named Cha Yoo-ri passed away five years earlier, leaving behind a kid and her spouse Jo Kang-hwa. Cha Yoo-ri works on a rebirth initiative for 49 days in an effort to come back as a living person. However, she discovers that Jo Kang-hwa has gone through significant changes since she passed away.
Move to Heaven
Before watching this breathtaking drama of love, loss, and life, bring some tissues. A young guy with Asperger syndrome named Geu-ru (Tang Joon-sang) works as a trauma cleaner, organizing the belongings left behind by the departed and giving them to their families. His uncle Sang-gu emerges after his father's accidental death and takes over as his guardian. Before being granted the inheritance, the ex-convict and martial artist must learn to work alongside Geu-ru in the company called Move to Heaven for three months. The popular show is most known for influencing viewers' perceptions of loss and family.
This vengeance drama, with Yoon Hyun-woo, the dedicated secretary of the chaebol family, is one of the most watched dramas in South Korean cable TV history. Hyun-woo awakens in the body of Jin Do-jun, the youngest member of the family, after being deceived and killed by one of Jin Yang-cheol's children. Hyun-woo creates a plan to take over the business and punish the unidentified family member who murdered him with his new position.
Which of these shows appeals to you the most? How many have you watched already? Don’t hesitate to share your favorite K-dramas with us!
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