13 of the Best Korean Dramas I Recommend to My Friends (And 4 I Don’t)
Here’s a post I probably first drafted at the beginning of this blog (aka five years ago) and then let sit in the blackhole of my drafts folder: the best Korean dramas I recommend to anyone who will listen!
I have been a watcher of Korean dramas for a decade and an Asian drama watcher for even longer. For years I suffered through bad kiss scenes, questionable fashion choices, and frustratingly conservative romances complete with aggressive wrist grabs. You guys don’t know how good you have it these days!
Anyway, I completely missed the first Hallyu (Korean Wave), so I never got sucked into “Winter’s Sonata” and its contemporaries. Instead, my introduction came because one of my favorite Taiwanese dramas, “It Started with a Kiss,” was turned into a Korean one called “Playful Kiss” in 2010. The drama was cute but forgettable. What it really introduced me to was how much better quality K-dramas were.
I went from “Playful Kiss” to “Boys Over Flowers” since it was based off my favorite manga. Considering “Boys over Flowers” helped launched the second Hallyu, you can see how quickly I was sucked in!
Now, ten years later and I feel like a seasoned pro! Keep in mind, I’ve watched significantly less dramas than a hardcore fan. I probably average a few a year and walk away loving even less.
Before I tell you my favorites, here are some quick tips for viewing!
My Best Korean Drama Tips
I know what you’re thinking. It’s easy TV, why the heck do I need tips for watching? Trust me, friend, as any K-drama watcher knows, there’s a certain art to enjoying them, especially if you don’t speak Korean.
1. Korea is much more conservative than you might be used to.
Socially, Korea is like… the US in the 1950s and 1960s. Trust me, it’s progressed a lot in the last decade, but it’s still got a ways to go. The fact that “Itaewon Class” had a trans character is like the most risk-taking I’ve ever seen.
This means the restrictions for dramas are crazy high, and why if you get a love scene, it’s like the most PG love scene known to man. It’s also probably why kiss scenes back in the day were so, so, SO bad.
2. The best stations these days are tvN and JTBC.
You know how HBO and Netflix can get away with all sorts of tawdry things ABC, NBC, and CBS in the US can’t? Same with TvN and JTBC. Keep in mind this is still Korea, so add about ten more layers of conservative restrictions.
Anyway, I’m not super sure when tvN and JTBC became the phenomenons they are today, but they far outperform KBS, SBS, and MBC in terms of cultural relativity. I’m sure regular network dramas still get higher numbers, but you don’t hear people talking bout them nearly as much as you do about tvN or JTBC dramas.
3. Never watch a drama live
Of all the times I’ve watched a drama lives, I’ve been satisfied once. Every other time I’ve wanted to throw my laptop at a wall. There’s this curse most dramas face because of how they produce them. Without fail, the second half of most dramas do two things: 1) dragggggg and 2) begin to make no sense and go off the walls. If you’ve ever experienced this, I’m sorry. It’s caused a lot of distrust in me. After two back-to-back betrayals, I actually stopped watching them for a year and a half!
Why does this happen, you ask? Well, the problem is when a show goes live in Korea, it’s actually only been pre-filmed for the first six or so episodes. Which means after those six, everyone is on set trying to pump out at least two episodes a week. That’s minimum an hour a week but usually it’s closer to three with the big dramas. With 30-minute episodes, you’re looking at a minimum of an hour/week but most dramas wind up being 90 minutes, which means it’s more like three. Movies half that long take months to film and edit, so imagine how hectic and crazy drama sets are.
This also means drama teams get realtime feedback on their plots and couples and it can really affect how the plot goes towards the end. It drives me NUTS.
For example, one drama I kind of liked but am not recommending below is “The Producers.” Initially it was like a mockumentary-type show and I thought the premise was so fun! Sadly, Koreans apparently did not find the style interesting, so PDs scrapped the whole thing before it got going and it became paint-by-numbers drama that not even the charm of the main cast could make unique.
4. Remember, K-dramas take more concentration than regular TV.
This kind of a “duh” tip, but I do think it’s important to note. With a K-drama, you need to focus 100% because otherwise you won’t understand a thing going on. I feel like when we watch shows in our native language, we can do ten other things simultaneously and still know what’s happening, but unless you speak fluent Korean, this will not ring true.
And you know how I said many dramas suffer from the second part curse? Yeah, imagine having to sit through minutes of just staring without playing Candy Crush on your phone.
5. The best places to watch are Netflix and Viki.
*Puts on bifocals* Back in my day, we had to find all sorts of way to watch our favorite Asian dramas. I remember downloading a special video player just to get subtitles to work or scrounging Youtube for bits and pieces.
These days, it’s so easy to watch any of these K-dramas! Most of them are on Netflix but if you can’t find them there, then head over to Viki, which has been around forever.
Bonus: I also like going over to Drama Beans to read recaps and comments after I’ve finished an episode.
6. Don’t sleep on the OSTs
So unlike US shows, which typically use songs that already exist, Korean dramas create brand new original soundtracks (OSTs). Yes, every single drama gets its own score and original songs. And if a drama does well, those songs usually dominated the digital charts. I highly recommend getting into the OSTs; you’ll have songs you still listen to years later.
The Best Korean Dramas I Tell Friends to Watch
Alright, now what you came here for! My picks for the best Korean dramas; aka the ones I tell all my friends to watch. These are all listed in chronological order, not by my preference!
1. Squid Game (2021)
- Korean Name: 오징어 게임
- Best OST Song: “Pink Soldiers” by 23 (of course!)
Seong Gi Hun is in some serious debt from gambling when he gets a mysterious invitation to join a series of children’s game in the hopes of winning money against 455 other players. However, what seems like an easy challenge proves sinister after the very first round.
WHY I LOVED IT
I mean, how could I not add “Squid Game” to my list of recommended Korean dramas? This show took the world by storm to the point that even my sister and brother watched. I don’t even think they saw Parasite!
This drama is not for the faint of heart and because it’s a Netflix production, it didn’t have to deal with all the rules and restrictions of a normal network. It feels more like an extended movie than a K-drama. It’s a very violent portrayal of how messed up capitalism is not only in Korea but worldwide.
I’ll say my only big fault with it is the English-speaking characters. The acting is atrocious, and it seems like such an oversight given how much attention to detail the director gave to literally all other aspects of the show (including the actual set design of the English parts). I think it would’ve sent a much stronger message to keep that section as all older Korean men to represent the many chaebols that absolutely run most of the Korean economy and beget some pretty unsavory offspring. (See: “nut rage” heiress)
2. Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)
- Korean Name: 사랑의 불시착
- Best OST Song: Too many, but “Photo of My Mind” by Song Ga In was my KKT song for a while
When Yoon Seri falls into North Korean territory after a freak accident, she must rely on a group of soldiers to keep her safe all while falling in love with their leader, Ri Jeong Hyuk.
WHY I LOVED IT
Remember when I said of all the dramas I’ve watched live, I was satisfied once? This was that one exception! I still can’t believe I watched it live after all the betrayal I’ve suffered, but between Hyun Bin’s cheek bones, Son Ye Jin, and the plot, I just had to.
The premise honestly sounds ridiculous but “Crash Landing on You” turned out to be SO GOOD. It’s just the right amount of funny, sweet, and utterly heart-wrenching. Two dramas have made me cry at the end, and this was one of them. Every character was so well done, from the duckling soldiers (got that term from Drama Beans) to the funny ahjummas and more, our lead couple was so well supported.
On a bigger scale, I think this did a LOT to humanize the typical North Korean. One of the things I’ve heard is that the longer the peninsula remains split, the more foreign North Koreans seem to the south (and the world), and I think this show and its popularity has done a lot to combat that.
3. Hotel del Luna (2019)
- Korean: 호텔 델루나
- Best OST Song: “All About You” by Taeyeon (of course!)
Jang Man Wol runs a peculiar hotel right in Myeongdong. Hotel del Luna isn’t just any old luxury hotel, it’s a luxury hotel for ghosts, and Man Wol has been running it for over a millennium. After meeting Goo Chan Sung’s father, she makes a deal with him that Chan Sung will come work for her hotel as their human manager in return for his father’s life and financial security.
WHY I LOVED IT
It’s always fun to watch IU play a feisty character because what got her famous was being the Nation’s Little Sister! I’m definitely a fan of where she’s taken her career the last decade, and “Hotel del Luna” is one of her many amazing decisions.
The mystery of why Man Wol is made to be the hotel CEO is interesting, and the blossoming romance between she and Chan sung is hilarious. Plus I love the secondary characters so much! Quite the crush on Block B’s PO after this and his variety stuff.
A big thing that makes “Hotel del Luna” unique is how it handles death, and we see it throughout the whole show. I feel like it’s actually been very cathartic for me watching the different ghost plot lines of each episode.
Oh, and Man Wol’s fashion is incredible.
4. Hello My Twenties! (2016 & 2017)
This drama follows five girls who wind up rooming together at a house called Belle Epoque while attending the nearby university. Throughout the show you get to know each of their personalities and follow their different trials and tribulations. There are two seasons, and one of the girl is swapped out for a new character while one of the original characters changes actresses. It’s done really well, don’t worry. I’m still mad we don’t have a Season 3.
WHY I LOVED IT
This drama! I love it so much and I just want to hug all the girls and make sure they get through life okay. You’ll be rolling with laughter and then wishing you too lived with a group of girls in a city like Seoul.
It also has SO MANY good messages for women, especially in Korea, and I’ve never seen a show that so casually references things we all go through. Sex? Periods? Adult diapers? Female sexuality? It has it all. Plus, it also goes into a lot of heavier material incredibly well: work harassment, stalking, domestic abuse, childhood trauma… I promise it doesn’t feel forced.
5. Reply 1997 (2015)
- Korean Name: 응답하라 1997
- Best OST Song: “All for You” Cover by Eunji & Seo In Guk (org. by Cool); Did you know there’s actually no official OST for Reply 1997? This cover was done after the fact!
Turn back the clock to 1997 and experience what it was like to be a Korean teenager in the late nineties during the First Generation of K-pop stars! In the present day (2012) our cast meets up for a high school reunion and we must guess who the main character’s husband is based on the story that unfolds 15 years prior.
WHY I LOVED IT
You know, maybe “Reply 1997” was what started the cable channel storm. It seriously did SO much in its run:
- 7.5% viewing at a time when successful cable dramas got 1 to 2%
- filmed mostly in Busan, complete with the satoori dialect, at a time when nearly all dramas were filmed in Seoul
- featured an LGTBQ character in a satisfying way
- sparked the retro trend that is still very much a thing today
I binge-watched in college at some point during my junior or senior year because I liked APink and Eunji. It immediately became my favorite drama. The pacing is perfect as all 16 episodes are under 30 minutes, so you can watch this in a day or two.
Even if you have no relation to Korea in the nineties and won’t get 80% of the pop culture references, you’ll enjoy the ride. Just the pure fact they managed to get Eun Ji Won, a First Gen idol, to convincingly play a high school student in 2012 is a joke goldmine. By the end, you’ll have all the feels for this rowdy group of friends and wish you had twice as long with them.
6. Reply 1988 (2015-2016)
- Korean Name: 응답하라 1988
- Best OST Song: “Ice Cream Love” by Im Byeong Su; like 1997, there are SO many 80s songs and references. Had to pick “Ice Cream Love” because it’s in Spanish and Korean and I went and learned all the lyrics lol. “Last Night Story” is a close second for this gem of a scene
Turn back the clock another nine years to Seoul in 1988! This is the year of the Seoul Olympics and takes place right in the middle of Korea’s rapid growth from a war torn country of the 50s to the technological behemoth it is today. In a little Seoul neighborhood, lives a handful of families whose kids are all teenagers navigating the late eighties.
WHY I LOVED IT
As you might guess, the success of “Reply 1997” spawned two more spinoffs with the Sung Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa playing the main parents in every iteration. While there’s a “Reply 1994,” I didn’t love it and thought it got a bit draggy towards the end, which why it’s not on this list.
By the time “Reply 1988” premiered in 2015, the show’s team knew what to do to make the perfect drama. While the first two relied more heavily on the main romance, they must have realized the real reason Korean audiences loved them was more for the accurate nostalgia and cast camaraderie. So what to do they do with a bigger budget? Amp up the scenery and the cast!
More than 1997 and 1994, which are in the past but still somewhat resemble the present, 1988 really does feel like we’re seeing a whole different Korea. Not only do you care about the main teen crew, you care about each and every one of their families and their individual plot lines. If you got nostalgic watching the first two, you’re going to be sobbing by the time Duk Seon warns her friends not to try to revisit their old neighborhood because too much as changed in the last 30+ years.
Guys, I loved this drama so much that I’m not even mad about the romantic ending. It’s so much more of an ensemble cast than any other drama on this list, so it softens the blow. I watched it semi-live, so I was pretty ticked off at how shoehorned the romance ending was, but looking back, in a 90 minute episode, that was maybe 5 minutes of disappointment versus 85 minutes of happiness.
7. She Was Pretty (2015)
- Korean Name: 그녀는 예뻤다
- Best OST Song: “Close to You” by the Carpenters; also not an official OST but by far the most prominent song in the drama
Kim Hye Jin wants her childhood friend, Ji Sung Joon, to remember her as the pretty preteen she once was, so she gets her friend, Min Ha Ri, to pretend to be her when they reunite as adults. The only problem is he’s now her superior at The Most magazine.
WHY I LOVED IT
Listen, if you developed a crush on Park Seo Joon from “Itaewon Class,” you’ll adore him in “She Was Pretty,” and he has better hair. This has to be one of my favorite “realistic dramas” as the cast is so damn charming and the plot is fun and light. Super Junior’s Siwon absolutely steals the whole show as the goofy, eccentric senior feature editor, and I still haven’t looked at danmuji the same way since.
Of all the “makeover” dramas, this one does the best job. A reviewer pointed this out, and I agree, one of the best things about the male lead is that he never once comments on her appearance, no matter what changes she goes through. And I love that her makeover is temporary and more of a confidence boost than a complete lifestyle change.
8. The Last Empress (2018-2019)
- Korean Name: 황후의 품격
- Best OST Song: “Deep Voice” by Park Ji Min
What if Korea still had a monarchy? Pretty much the premise of this drama as Emperor Lee Hyuk marries commoner Oh Sunny, and she must go from being a silly girl with a crush to the Empress of the Korean Empire.
WHY I LOVED IT
I watched this drama in 3 days. THREE DAYS. Sure, the episodes are around 35 minutes, but there are FIFTY-TWO episodes and I watched it on Viki, which meant commercials! From the initial scene where they’re exhuming the body of the first empress to the very last scene, this is the most bonkers K-drama train I’ve ever ridden. I struggled to even give you a quick plot because there’s SO much going on every episode!
Let us all take a moment to appreciate Jung Nara who is a national treasure who manages to go through so many different emotions in one drama. Also honorable mention to Princess Ari, who is hilarious, and Sunny’s family, who have the best reactions to everything.
9. Fated to Love You (2014)
- Korean Name: 운명처럼 널 사랑해
- Best OST Song: “Goodbye My Love” by Ailee
A remake of the Taiwanese drama, Lee Gun and Kim Mi Young find themselves in a shotgun marriage after their accidental one night stand ends up with a pregnancy.
WHY I LOVED IT
This was another K-drama where I’d seen the original first, so I knew how much heartache I was asking for. I do feel like they sanitized things a lot (this is where I learned that pounding rice cakes is a euphemism for sex) and added a lot more plot elements the Taiwanese omitted, but it’s still a lot of fun and pulls at your heartstrings. Plus we’ve got Jung Nara again, this time with Jang Hyuk, and the two are just perfect in their roles.
10. I Need Romance 3 (2013-2014)
- Korean: 로맨스가 필요해 3
- Best OST Song: “Don’t Cry” by Lee Hyori
A noona romance! Heh heh. Shin Joo Yeon is 33 and committed to her job at a home shopping network. Her love triangle includes the 26-year-old Joo Wan who she used to babysit until he went abroad 17 years ago, and her sunbae, Kang Taeyoon, who’s still hurt by his ex-girlfriend, Oh Se Ryung.
WHY I LOVED IT
There are three “I Need Romance” series, but the third is the only one I really liked (more on the others below). Of all of them, this one balances the romance with the workplace and friendships the best. The main romance is really sweet, and at the time there weren’t a lot of shows where the woman was the older, more established one in the relationship.
11. Secret Garden (2010-2011)
- Korean Name: 시크릿 가든
- Best OST Song: “That Man” by Baek Ji Young (followed closely by “Here I Am” by 4men)
Gil Ra Im is a tough stunt woman whose only weak spot is her fan love for Oska, a Hallyu idol, while Kim Joo Won is a prickly department store CEO and also cousin of Oska. While the two initially clash, they develop feelings for each other. Toss in a case of body swapping, you’ve got the biggest drama of 2011!
WHY I LOVED IT
I’m honestly not sure how this drama would hold up today because technically it’s pretty full of cliches. However, it was my favorite drama for a long time even though the second half just barely avoids the curse. I think it’s a lot because Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin were so good in it and their chemistry was off the charts. I remember I used to have the finale saved to my iTunes, and I’d watch it for a pick-me up!
2 Drama’s I’m in the Process of Finishing or Need to Start
12. Mister Sunshine (2018)
- Korean Name: 미스터 션샤인
I’m about halfway through this historical drama and it’s just utterly breathtaking. The shots of the Korean countryside are something else. It focuses on the Korean Empire in the late 1800s as Eugene Choi returns to his homeland as an American soldier.
It feels more like a complete movie production than it does a drama, especially with names like Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri attached. The only things I don’t love is the massive age gap (luckily romance is like 1/100th of the drama), and the English acting, which is the best I’ve seen in an Asian drama but not great.
13. Kingdom (2019 & 2020)
- Korean Name: 킹덤
Autumn has been telling me to watch this for a year, and she is the pickiest person I’ve ever met when it comes to pop culture, so I’ll take her word. It sounds kind of ridiculous: zombies in Joseon, but it’s supposed to be amazing. And Autumn says the cinematography is some of the best she’s ever seen of Korea!
4 Dramas Not to Waste Your Time On
1. Cheese in the Trap (2016)
This drama starts off SO good. Like the webtoon is incredibly clever and nuanced, and the show seems to do a good job taking that on and then…. the main guy disappears half way through the show! Turns out there was drama behind the scenes that we’ll never know the details of, but it makes the show go from clever to bad in a matter of episodes. I don’t even think I watched the finale once I read the recap!
2. 12 Years Promise (2014)
I could not get through this drama. It was so drawn out and boring, and the characters made no sense. Even how they wind up sleeping together is weirdly forced and awkward. I started skipping through it to see what would happen, and when I realize the way they reconcile in the end was crappy too, I gave up altogether.
3. I Need Romance
Cho Yeo Jeong (who you guys might recognize as the rich mom from Parasite), is one of my favorite actresses. However, this drama was a mess. Her character was insanely annoying (like you know Cho is an amazing actress when you realize she was doing Concubine and Bangja around this time). The whole relationship between In Young and Sung Soo is weird and toxic, and I don’t really think he ever did anything to deserve being forgiven for cheating on her.
4. I Need Romance 2012
So… I didn’t hate this one as much as I disliked the first one. But it didn’t really do anything for me. I remember thinking Ji Hoon and Yeol Mae got way too serious way too fast for the plot, and Yeol Mae was just kinda whiny.
Phewww! If you just read nearly 4,000 words on my K-dramas, I’m sorry haha, But also, I hope it was helpful! Now I have a proper list to send my friends when they ask me for recs!
What do you think are the best Korean Dramas to watch?
share this on pinterest
want to support?
I’m always grateful when friends and readereach out wanting to support There She Goes Again. Truthfully, I’m just happy my posts are helping people travel! If you’d like to support the blog, here are some companies and brands I’m affiliated with. Simply click the links, and I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!
- Booking (Hotels)
- Bookaway (Transport)
- Sixt (Car Rental)
- Klook (Tours)
- Viator (Tours)
- Get Your Guide (Tours)
- Trazy (Korea Tours)
- Tiqets (Entrance Tickets)
- World Nomads (Insurance)
BLOGGING / SOCIAL MEDIA
I recall watching one of my first K Dramas a long long while ago and thats when i fell in love with them . This drama was called- ‘I am Sorry, I love You’ .
There was one other drama that i faintly recall and have been trying to find it desperately…could be sometime in between the 2007-2014. It was about two large families and their children. I dont recall much except that among the many characters there was this school girl who was a brat/tomboyish and there is this hadsome professor who tries to bring out the best in her and they probably fall in love later…couldnt get to watch the entire drama though. This girl also has a sister who is extremely studious and hardworking.
Please if someone can help me with this.
Thankyou in advance
Hm I’m stumped on this! Hopefully something else might know. If you can remember any other details that might help!!
Not much really ! But i recall that there were two large families..and there were these two sisters as i mentioned ..both high school students . It was some sort of family drama and there were many characters in it. It was really a long time ago but a few scenes from that are still etched in my memory.
These old k dramas probably had more episodes tha now but the acting, the cast , the storyline ..everything felt so intense ! i have been looking for it ever since.
Also, would really suggest everyone to watch I’m Sorry , I love you ! A beautiful drama on love, loss and soulfulness !
I was going through list of kdramas to watch and I came across this
I must say I absolutely love ‘crash landing on you’ the drama is so good that you will be glued to the screen
I’d recommend ‘whats wrong with secretary Kim ‘ also
You guys need to watch ‘angels last mission:love’ it’s as good as crash landing on you
I just love kdramas
Love the recommendations! Here are a few of my own:
1. Reply 1988
2. Somehow 18
3. Squid Games(ofc)
4. 20th Century Girl
5. Weightlifting Fairy Bok-Joo
I agree, in that it’s pretty hard to sit through the second half of a drama, but all those on my list are ones I finished and enjoyed. ☺️
Also try Whats Wrong With Secretary Kim.
No love for My Mister? I thought it was amazing and very different from the other kdramas i have seen. The acting was superb from all the main characters and almost all of the supporting roles. A high tension level was created that lasted all the way through the series. The series is also beautifully shot with backgrounds and lighting having just as much importance to many scenes as the dialogue. The ambiguous ending is frustrating and rewarding at the same time. It is not a typical feel good series as everyone in the show has serious flaws and struggle to find their happiness inside. It is simply a brilliant work for any genre.
Haven’t seen it yet; but it’s on my list! IU is one of my favs
Vengeance of the Bride (2022)
the best drama I have watch this 2022 is All of us are dead. Oh my god that was just amazing Korean drama and so addictive, the suspense each and every episode was so exiting.
Ohhhh! I’ve never heard of this one! Will have to check it out.
Oh the kdramas… they are so addictive!! Read all the comments too and agree with most. I’d just add Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo staring Lee Joong King and IU. Really my all time favourite along side Goblin & Mr. Sunshine. Cant watch this on Netflix though. Its only on Viu.
In addition these 3, my list would include (other than those already mentioned):
Mr. Queen (Viu)
Miss & Mrs Cop
Bad and Crazy
The winter the wind blew
I realise I can keep going… but shall end there. Happy watching!
I’ve been addicted to K-drama lately, but I always love kdrama even before it’s just I am more busy before. I watched too many this is the list of the K-dramas I want to recommend. I really love to share it with y’all!!
-All time favorite
My love from the star
Dream High (1)
Boys over flowers
Moon Embracing the sun
-Good Storyline and Romantic
Legend of the blue sea
King ethernal monarch
It’s okay not to be okay
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim
Fight for my way
She was Pretty
Oh my venus
Strong girl bong soon
Weightlifting fairy kim bok joo
Touch your heart
Her Private Life
I can hear your voice
Twenty-five twenty one
One Ordinary Day
Tomorrow (even though there’s some episodes that are not released yet)
Well y’all know I’m here to look for recommendations but I end up giving mine! lol haha pls let me know in the reply box what else K-drama should I watch. gomabseubnida! annyeong
My 1st K drama was Mr Sunshine! I loved it so much. After this I was hooked.
I would like to recommend:
Crash Landing on You
The Kings Affection
Move to Heaven
My Country The New Age
The Crowned Clown
The King Eternal Monarch
Its Ok to not be Ok
100 Days my Prince
Your recommendations are wonderful! Crash Landing on You was one of my best.
Please se Navillera. It will squeeze your heart! Loved Song Kang. Also loved Nevertheless.
Ahh adding to my list!
The list is amazing and I would love to see more Korean dramas recommended on this list.
I think Goblin,strong woman do bong soon,Lotbs,touch your heart,oh my Venus, scarlet heart,it’s ok to not be ok are a must watch too..
And I have to disagree on cheese in the trap, its also a must watch, it’s slow yes but shows a side of people with mental issues that many fear to talk about ( the male lead having he’s own way of punishing and the girl that stole soel’s look) it’s a nice drama and am saddened that you’d trash it like that…
Have you read the webtoon Cheese in the Trap is based off? It’s SO good and the story is amazing. But the drama let behind the scenes issues (whatever was going on with the main two male actors) affect the plot. Like how are you going to basically cut all the scenes of the main male lead (who’s character and motivations are so nuanced and interesting) by the last few episodes? The only reason I knew about the issues is because I was watching it wondering why we were getting so many scenes of the second male lead. I was ready to make that drama one of my all time favorites because how well the first like 10 episode were done. I’m saddened the production team and PDnim ruined a story that was written out for them.
omg why is no one talking aboout while you were sleeping? its AMAZIng. you guyz have to def check it out! it has themes of law/drama/romance the whole deal for me! the plot is also pretty unique too. also i love the ost, the plot, the humour and the feels . everythings’s just perfection this too T_T
I watched ” The last Empress ” after reading this and I would like to thank the writer! This kdrama became my favorite drama/series ever. I love everything about it and am really sad I already finished it. From funny to mysterious, it is really original and high quality.
If you like thrillers and dramas, this is made for you. As someone who also loves romance, I still got what I wanted! Just take tissues with you, you cannot watch it without dropping at least one tear, belive it or not…
Hi Diana, I’m so glad you loved it!. It’s absolutely WILD, isn’t it?! Every time I tell people to watch it, I try to explain that I flew through 50 episodes in 3 days because you seriously have no idea where this crazy train is going to take you and then all of a sudden you’re crying because Jung Nara has that kind of power haha.
Right?! Plus at first I really didn’t like Oh Sunny, because she was really dumb, but the character evolution whe went through was a total succes! Jung Nara is really amazing, I can’t imagine anyone else playing Oh Sunny!
i just started watching kdrama cuz all my friends pressured me to, I went through so many kdrama lists given to me but for some reason crash landing on you got stuck in my mind and I quite can’t seem to shake it off and I just finished watching it and let me tell you I was a pool of tears. I am very much able to control my tears during something emotional but this got me crying over and over. In the last few episodes, there is nothing I did but cry especially the finale. IDK what it was about the drama but it was so good. I really feel like it’s one of its kind and there isn’t more drama like cloy. I literally fell in love with it. It was something special. I was so desperate to find something similar to Cloy but I don’t think there is anything and tbh I don’t want there to be any. thank you for the recommendations though I’ll try to watch all of those you recommend. thank you for making my first ever kdrama so special and unique. your recommendation site was literally the first one i saw and the very first drama I saw was Cloy and i was like okay it’s final, I’ll begin my journey with this one. So thank you so much
and sorry abt such a long paragraph, i have just loved it so much. i really wanna see more of Hyun bin and Seo Ji Hye together. What do you think ??
Omg, I FEEL you! It truly is such a special drama that hits all the right marks, has the perfect lead and cast chemistry, and creates this world where you care for SO MANY CHARACTERS. I’ve been watching dramas now for over a decade, and it’s got to be the best one I’ve seen.
I will say I also loved Hotel del Luna and I watched it right after CLOY. It’s totally different but also very special and moving.
Some of the landmark Kdramas: Descendants of the Sun broke all reccords & is better than CLOY although Son Ye Jin is a fav especially in Something in the Rain. The oldie but gold standard is Coffee Prince. You Are Beautiful is another a gem starring the Prince of Asia, who does all his own singing & composing. Then there’s Kpop Exrtreme Survival. Never mind that those last are all gender benders the heroines are special.
i am kinda new. i keep watching shows,movies all around the world so am unable to take a deep dive in a particular thing except anime, japanese movies and indian cinema(bollywood,tollywood,kollywood). i watched squid game ( thought it was good ) so i tried “vincenzo” ( it was disappointing so i dropped it) based on the 8.5 imbd rating and finally tried iteawon class ( finally something i really like). i started “sweet home” but after the first episode realized it was based on a amazing manhwa i read years ago so i stopped.
from my experience till now i see a problem of cartoonishly evil villian( like their is no character or personality but just evil for the sake of being evil). iteawon class solves it to a certain degree for me tho.
I have two questions-
is this trope a normality in k dramas?
what’s your thought on iteawon class?? any special reason for it not making the list??
that’s all,thank you for the list
Ooh good questions! I actually want to update this post with “Dramas I Didn’t Finish” because I’ve dropped a LOT.
Vincenzo — I actually am in the middle of watching but tbh it’s been two months since I started so I have a feeling it’s getting dropped. Just finding it a bit of a slog (the telltale sign is when they linger FOREVER on stares)
Itaewon Class – I loved, loved, loved it at first! But I lost interest when they got to I think 2015 timeframe? Just started feeling sloggy. When I realized the main female lead wouldn’t be the girl he knew from before but the short-haired girl who’s still a high schooler in 2015 and DEEPLY annoying, I lost all motivation to push through.
haha it was quite the opposite for me. i was very annoyed by the girl he knew from before cuz of her selfishness , self centered, narcassistic behaviour but the series itself acknowledged it time and time again and gave her some character growth and at the end i liked her whole arc. the high school girl on the other hand was annoying at first but that changed quite quickly as i get to know more about the character and how toward the end she admitted to want to change her ways and behaviour as she learned to do things the right way from her boss so i really liked her but that’s just my opinion.
thank you for your thoughts on the series.
I 100% agree with your “don’t bother watching” list! Also, I second Mehek’s list of dramas – all amazing. I’ll add “Hot Stove League” to that list of must see’s!
Two of my favorites that I don’t see mentioned are “Secret” with Ji Sung and “Personal Taste” with Son Ye-Jin and Lee Min Ho. “Go Back Couple” and “Emergency Couple” are great light, pick-me-up rom coms. A period drama that I highly recommend is “The Moon Embraces the Sun”. The acting by the entire cast, especially the younger actors, costumes, sets and OST were amazing. You’ll recognize many of the young actors in this drama as they shot to stardom after this drama was aired.
Oh I’ve watched “Personal Taste.” I remember getting bored but maybe I need to give it a go again because I love both the actors!
Really one of the best and classic korean drama.One of the best realistic korean romance.I so love personal taste!
Stumbled across this site I would add to the list
Crash Landing on you
World of married
Legend of the blue Sea
I’ll go to you when the weather is nice – slow but real
Marriage contract – Not the best kdrama but was my entry point into K-dramas so have a soft spot for it. And loved the little girl! She was amazing!
Love ft marriage and divorce
Haha I feel like this about “Playful Kiss.” It’s definitely a product of 2010 but was my entryway to K-drama after a few years of watching Taiwanese dramas. Plus “Kiss Me” by G.NA is still a bop!
Can you recommend drama like”crash landing on you”it was very very good
Omg, I wish I could. Reflecting on my Kdrama watches, it really was in a class of its own! I will say I watched “Hotel del Luna” almost right after and loved it too. It’s not has romantic but you get the camaraderie with the hotel staff and it delves into dying and what that looks like and means!
What about Pinocchio, Healer, Doctors, I can hear your voice.
That have good story and romantic arc too…..
I loved them.
i can see you’re a fan of Park Shin Hye :’)
Crash Landing On You is truly a worthy choice, But then Descendents Of The Sun, my first Korean Drama is right up there as well ! Also one not mentioned from 2010, which I knew as The Baker King , but now is called Bread Love and Dreams …is a true classic as well. Most recent , The Rookie Historian too. …Familiar Wife …. My Only Love Song, and I liked Boys Over Flowers too… there’s another one about a guy who is miserable with a mean wife and Two kids but wakes up and he is in a different time and his wife who doesn’t recognize him is totally different as well…. What’s that title? Anyhow I’m an American older guy who loves the beauty of writing and characters worth remembering, I’ll take Korean shows any day over American shows.
Nobody mentioned Love in the Moonlight and Princess Hours… I love these two. Hope you’ll give it a try.
I feel so sad to not see Goblin anywhere 😫
Haha you’ve gotta see the comments – lots of mentions of Goblin :)
Ive just finished crash landing on you and I CRIED MY EYES OUT… ITS SO SAD AND SO GOOD. Among the ones ive watched, i also liked Startup and Vincenzo.. but especially GOBLIN (guardian lonely and great god) its literally my favorite show of all times.. and I still tear up whenever i think of it or listen to the ost..
If you havent watched it, you definitely should 😭
My favorite k dramas are My Mister, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Something In The Rain. Emotionally they have all stayed with me and not left. The acting was superb. I am a relative newbie to this area of entertainment but, I am so enthralled. Thank you for sharing your art. PS my first drama was Mr Sunshine…….I was a goner from that moment on.
I can’t agree with you more! I cry when I just think of all four. Thank you.
Vincenzo on Netflix. Funny, sad, mad, action and romance. Love love love the male lead and female lead actors. I have never had a celebrity crush, but I am definitely in the throes of a character crush. A bespoke suit has not been so sexy since James Bond. A kooky, crazy, smart female lead has not been adorable and sexy at the same time as the female lead. So ready for a season 2, 3, 4, and 5!
Not since ” What’s Up Doc” anyway. Lol
Hello!! I just watched “Reply 1997” and I LOVED everything about it. (Especially the Busan dialect…) My whole life, being a white washed Korean in America, I’ve never even knew of these “dialects” and MAN I fell hard for the dialect. So please please please are there any other good dramas with Daegu or Busan dialects? Please let me know ;-;
Haha yes, I love satoori!
Hmm I think my only rec is to watch Reply 1994 next as they have accents from all over Korea (the theme is kids coming to Seoul for university). Will keep an eye out for satoori dialect dramas though!
watch Remember: War of the Son
not all the characters speak with a busan dialect but there is enough of it. IT’S PERFECT– but like prepare your tissue boxes, you’ll cry a lot, like a lot… no, more, mooreee!!
when the camilla blooms. superb drama and yongshik is the most supportive, adorable and healthiest male lead in kdrama history, with his adorable accent! zero wrist pulling i was SHOOK and IN AWE!
Marriage not dating
arang and the magistrate
scarlet heart ryo
hyde and jekyl
queen of 7 days
Try moment at eighteen
Where is Chocolate a heartwarming k drama about the lives of people whom we don’t normally know about their lives and struggles. The acting of the lead actors were great. Love the chemistry of Yoon Kye Sang and Ha Ji Won. I love it as it’s closest to reality than cloy.
Oh I love Ha Ji Won! Will have to check it out!
Hi, You have great taste in Kdramas! Hello My Twenties is my favorite kdrama ever. I could absolutely relate to the movie every single second and t’s so cute from beginning to end. Plus I’m in love with Park Eun Bin lol and the soundtracks are really good always has me in tears.
If you liked Hello My Twenties, I think you might like these my favorite kdramas ; I Can Hear Your Voice, Euchala Waikiki, Bubblegum, Flower Boy Next Door, Kang’s Family
Ooh will check these out! I think I started Flower Boy Next Door but I might be mixing it up with another drama! And YES I’m still sad Hello My Twenties doesn’t have a 3rd season!!
I first got hooked on kdramas at 17 while I was studying for university entrance exam. And my first one was BOF. But after I got into uni I stopped watching them completely as I always had some “better” stuff to watch and found kdramas too cheesy even as comfort shows. And now some 8 years later, I got hooked on them again while I’m trying to write my M.A. thesis in quarantine. Although I still find them a bit cheesy and lots of times sexist (this part annoys me the most) and the conservativeness does annoy me a bit, they actually do help with my anxiety. As I’m under so much pressure rn bc of my thesis I cannot watch anything else but them, not even my usual comfort shows and sitcoms. I believe kdramas actually have a secret (not very secret) Xanax-like ingredient in them. Anyways thanks for the recommendations I’ll definitely check out the ones I haven’t watched cuz after reading this article I think I like your taste. And if you still haven’t watched these shows I strongly recommend 1-Mr. Queen (its comedy was really on another level definitely unprecedented also the plot, drama and leads’ chemistry were definitely on point)
2-Run on (it’s a really lovely, simple, not too much and heartwarming kind of show with LOVELY leads. It was the first time I saw Siwan and I actually fel in love with him.)
Ooh! I’m adding these! Yes, the cheesy/conservative and sexist aspect that creeps into a LOT of poorly written K-dramas drives me mad. Like people who are hooked on them today don’t understand some of the cringe we had to endure for a decent story LOL.
And I agree. I have a few theories!
1) Because most of us need subtitles to watch them, we kind have to focus 100% unlike sitcoms, which I half watch while doing ten other things. It kind puts you in a trance!
2) K-dramas’ quality has always been leaps and bounds above other Asian dramas (I started off with Japan — makes Korea look steamy with how conservative it is and then Taiwan — fun but the quality isn’t great and the 00s style was truly horrendous), so it makes watching it just as engaging as a western drama.
3) They’re fairly predictable in terms of plot, so it’s also comforting in that sense like most sitcoms and easy-to-watch shows.
Definitely recommend Crash Landing on You ( the soundtrack just came up on my spotify and reminded me of how much I loved it) and looooved Hotel del Luna. I think about how interesting that whole was often!
I’m responding to this thread as I completely recognise the Xanax-like catharsis these shows offer! I’m also writing a masters thesis (in law in my case). I discovered k-drama only a year ago, while I was writing a paper for one of my courses. My first k-drama was Something in the Rain. I’m not sure if I should recommend that one as it has a theme song (Stand by your man.. how.. hmph) playing on endless repeat throughout the episodes and an absolutely crazy bonkers screaming mom. However, the the female lead is played by Son Ye-hin, and I was struck by her amazing acting skills. And I liked the chemistry between her and Jung Hae-in. So obviously I had to watch another drama with Son Ye-hin in the lead.. My second drama was Crash Landing on You, LOVED IT and ever since I’m hooked!
I’ve watched a lot of dramas on Netflix (I live in Europe) and some on Viki. I like dramas with proper romantic chemistry between the leads either/or drama’s with a good story. Crash Landing on You offers both. If the chemistry is lacking, I’ll either fast forward to see if the story is going anywhere or drop it. If I may say so, I seriously don’t get why people go nuts over Goblin. I found it to be boring, dragging and quite problematic – which ruined the chemistry for me. And the ending just sucks! I watched Tale of the Nine tailed after Goblin and found it to be much much better (being in the same category – fantasy, gods falling in love with humans, reincarnation, folklore), not in the least because the female lead is well in her twenties instead of a schoolgirl (yikes, so problematic).
In the category good (or good enough) story and good chemistry:
Crash landing on you
Because this is my first life
Fight for my way
Don’t dare to dream/Jealousy incarnate
It’s okay not to be okay (I wasn’t convinced by the chemistry, sorry!)
Good chemistry (and fluffy story..)
I am not a Robot
Her private life
What’s wrong with secretary Kim
I watched a lot more drama’s but most of them are decent, but not to be recommended specifically.
Melting me softly
A witch’s love.
I’ll try the Reply drama’s and Hello my twenties, as well as Run on! Thank you for recommending those :)
Haha I’d go farther to say the story in It’s Okay Not to Be Okay falls under the Kdrama curse where it loses the plot and gets lame towards the end compared to how strong it started. I definitely thought the chemistry was stronger in the beginning too BUT all the stuff that’s come out about Seo Ye Ji being abusive… big yikes.
Definitely need to watch My Mister!
Yeah I couldn’t get through Itaewon Class once I realized the eventual main love interest is supposed to be the high school brat (even though it’s a 10 year time jump lol), so I’m iffy on starting Goblin even though I do LOVE the OST and I’ve heard people love it.
Honestly, Crash Landing on You is like a new tier of being amazing now that I look back on it! Like nothing I can think of will quite live up to it; THOUGH I loved, loved Hotel del Luna (same actress as My Mister) and I watched it right after. The chemistry between the leads is cute but not really central to the plot, and the way it handles death is really interesting!
I couldn’t keep watching Secretary Kim haha. It was just too cheesy.
Hi! I stumbled across this site while looking for good k-dramas’s to watch and I just wanna say Thank you. I’m about to go binge watch Crash Landing On You since I have not seen it mostly because I just started watching K drama. Also, I wanted to recommend you this show that is so good, at least to me. Its Okay To Not Be Okay, I think your gonna love it tells the story of a romance between a caretaker at a psychiatric ward, who does not have time for love, and a successful children’s book author, who does not know the feeling of love. You might think its boring or not interesting but trust me you will be hooked like at every corner theirs a new plot or something I didn’t know. Plus, the actresses are absolutely adorable. Its on Netflix if you want to try it out. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
So I went down to read the comments and saw you already watched it so lol, I’m sorry didn’t know.
Haha no worries! I did enjoy it but didn’t LOVE it. It started off SO GOOD and the main leads, I adore, but for me it petered out to be a bit underwhelming once everything started falling into place. Still the chemistryyyyy, omg.
Also YES! Crash Landing On You. That show still lives rent free in my brain, I love it so much!
New fan of K-drama, I’m already hooked:)
After watching “Crash Landing on You” (love it!) and “Memories of the Alhambra” (like, but hate that it ends with a cliffhanger, will there be a season 2?) I just had to check out series with Hyun Bin (gorgeous, of course!) – Such a great actor! It’s hard to believe it’s the same person. Watch “Hyde, Jekyll, me”, Hyun Bins acting is so good. So. Good.
Ahhh I’m not sure! Season 2s for K-dramas are SUPER rare. And yes Hyun Bin is so timeless. He first got big with “My Lovely Sam Soon” in 2004, and I feel like he’s just gotten more attractive and more charming lol. If you haven’t watched it yet, try “Secret Garden.” I still crack up when I think of him and his sparkly tracksuit! I’ll definitely have to check out Hyde, Jekyll, Me!
Thanks, I’ll definitely have to check out those!
Came across this site randomly while trying to find the name of a Korean drama. If someone wants to answer my question that would be great.
I am trying to find out the name of a drama series about a Korean Empress. My friend said it was excellent, and she cannot remember the name. She told me about it a couple years ago or so, and I would recognize the name if I heard it.
It was not the ‘The Last Empress’. According to her, the name of the drama was the name of the Empress. It was just one word/name from what I remember.
Oh, found it. It is “Queen Seondeok”…Thanks…
Haha glad you found it! Definitely on my list as Queen Seondeok is such a cool historical figure!
OMG, Oh my Venus, is my favorite after Crash Landing. I watched it over and over and still I cried and laughed.
ooh ok, I HAVE to watch this now! I think my friend loved it too, and she’s quite picky with her choices!
Hi…. landed on your website randomly and liked your suggestions. And I think there are few kdramas that I would like to recommend such as “Black”, “Korean Odyssey”, “Doctor Stranger”, “Goblin” , “Flower of Evil” , “Vagabond”
Will have to check these out!
Flower of Evil and Vagabond are highly underrated. Best dramas of 2021 till date.
I am currently watching The King:Eternal Monarch. I thought it was going to be some cute little cheesy romance. However, I have 3 episodes left, and it keeps getting better and better. Yes, there is a love story, but there’s so much more to it than first glance. It has me pondering throughout my day about things like parallel universes, doppelgängers, fate, and history and how it affects us today. I keep thinking I have it finally figured out, and then they add another layer to the mystery that has me think: oh s—t, I did NOT see that coming-woah! I hope the ending doesn’t disappoint, but I LOVE it so far. And it doesn’t hurt that it has some gorgeous men in it! 😜 Oh, and the lead female is kick ass. She holds her own and is not some pretty little weak thing. Yes, she has feelings and vulnerability, but she is strong minded and well developed too. She has just as much depth as the lead male.
Ooh! Ok I’ll have to give The King a shot. I was a bit skeptical it would wind up being all glitz and no substance. And yes!! I love a good female lead!
The feels was like watching twilight.Very deep and romantic korean drama.Well thought of.Such a masterpiece.The king eternal monarch will tell you what matured and great love is.
Best dramas – Dr. John, Kill me, heal me, Defendant, basically any dramas starring Ji Sung is a treat. Not only because he is so gorgeous but he is such a great versatile actor.
Nice Suggestion. I finished all the drama in this lockdown. Thanks.
Haha lockdown had us all becoming K-drama addicts!
I recently started watching K-Dramas and what sucked me into it was Crash Landing on You :) I have read so many reviews and recommendations but the way you’ve written this is absolutely lovely. It makes me want to watch all the shows you’ve recommended because I believe you! Quite detailed, loved the reasons for recommendations as well. Imma just bookmark it. Thanks!
CLOY really was something special! I still listen to the soundtrack! Thank you for your kind words; I’m glad it’s helpful! Dissecting pop culture is my favorite past time hahaha
Great post – thanks for sharing! I watch a STUPID amount of streaming on Viki, so I have watched and rewatched a bunch of shows based on your post and the comments. A quick second to some endorsements: “Healer” is awesome – Ji Chang Wook is handsome and funny and an action hero. There’s mystery and suspense and action and a yummy romance – just a great time. For fans of Park Seo Joon (and I mean, who isn’t?) “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” shows him at his funniest and most adorable. It has some tropes that are a little cringe, but it’s worth it just for the fun ride. Park Min Young is the heroine in both, and she SLAYS. TONS more to love, but these are two of my all-timers.
I have watched all what you have mentioned. And few more which i found to be good are:
Descendants of the sun
Father is strange
Cinderella and the Four Knights
Marriage not dating
Kill me heal me
My Lovely Sam Soon
To the Beautiful You
Fight My way
I Hear your voice
Romance is a bonus book
Who are you School 2015
Hi, I’m a western person, (Scotland), and the listing you have supplied, I have watched over 85% and I enjoyed most of them. The only two things that sticks in my craw is A. Why are a lot of the dramas predictable??… it’s like the writers and the teams all graduated from the same university in this respect, and B. Why is the tendency to have a lot of the males projected as arrogant arseholes initially mistreating their partners or colleagues??? One drama that stuck with me was “Love in Trouble”. Where the senior prosecutor slaps his junior because he wouldn’t falsely accuse the girl with murder of his son?!!…. Try doing that in the UK,.. he would have been suspended and charged with criminal assault!!!… This is why I always say, “yes it’s a fictional drama, but also keep a sense of reality within as well…,” makes it more believable??!!
Hi! I happened to land on your website (… no pun intended ; p…) and the dramas in your list are really awesome! I have watched quite a few of the k-dramas that you’ve mentioned and ‘Crash landing on you’ and ‘Hotel Del Luna’ were my absolute favourite. And yes, 12 years promise definitely stretches minutes into hours. Haha!
In case you haven’t watched ‘Descendants of the Sun’, ‘Healer’, ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ and ‘K2’, do check them out. They’re really good!
Heheh I like the pun! I think I’ll have to check those out! I watched like half of Secretary Kim. Over all I liked it but was a liiiiittle too cheesy for me!
Definitely check out Flower of Evil, Vagabond , and Doctor Stranger. They’ve been officially added to my favorite watched dramas 🥰
Yess, will do!
i hv watched almost all the dramas.. bdw can u plz suggest some teenage dramas??
Hi! I’m not really familiar with teen dramas, sorry! An oldie that was popular was Dream High but I’m not sure how it’ll hold up nowadays! Had so many big names though: IU, Kim Soohyun, Suzy, a bunch of 2PM members… Also have watched most of “Extracurricular” but it’s quite intense for a drama (it reminds me more of an extended Korean movie).
You might like Go Go Squid. But then I am an endless romantic. And this is a T- rom com.
I thought Descendants of the Sun tops any list of Korean dramas. I watched Where Stars Land recently but was not satisfied with tge ending..
Can you suggest some Kdramas like Descendants of the Sun? Like something cute,cheesy and romantic?
Haha I never watched but I remember my coteachers and kids loving it! I remember someone saying it kind of started dragging which is why I never bothered but maybe I ought to give it a shot! As for similar, hmmm… Kim Eun Sook, wrote some other really popular dramas: The Heirs (couldn’t get through the first two eps though), Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (also known as Goblin, everyone I know who’s watched LOVES this!), Mr. Sunshine (breathtakingly beautiful), and The King: Eternal Monarch. I’d say in terms of a bit of military + romance, you might love Crash Landing on You if you haven’t watched it!
Hi.Another new kdrama addict here.
I started with “my princess “ as a curious first time kviewer when I saw my teen watching “boys over flower “.i found “my princess “so cute.then that’s the start ..I watched “crash landing on you”.i fell in love .Then “misty”.i began to appreciate Not just the actors but also the scriptwriters and directors,the whole production .As to how they neatly execute and attack the story without losing the main plot.Then “saimdang “ “my love from the stars “ “it’s ok to not be ok” “Misaeng “ “pinnochio” “I hear your voice “ “dr stranger” “King eternal monarch “ “signal “ “ lady in dignity “ “secret garden “.My top 2 bests are CLOY & it’s ok not to be ok.❤️❤️❤️
DOS yes!!! It broke reccords when it aired & continues to be on the best of the best list; people have mentioned some others on this exclusive list such as Coffee Prince ,You Are Beautiful & maybe Healer, Secret Garden, & My Lovely Sam Soon. But one of the very top NOT mentioned is Something in the Rain, another with Son Ye Jin …& the adorable Jae Hae Young. If you like ‘hot’ dramas, then try, A Witch’s Romance with Park Seo Joon–way better than Itawon Classic.. But the sexiest guy of all time is Kim Jae Young, find him in Her Private Life. If you watch the youtube of the two leads in real life on set behind the scenes, you will be even more entranced. Then there is My Secret Romance. with Sung Joon.
I love this!! I’ve just finished watching Crash Landing On You and I cried so much lol thanks for the recommendations!! I also watched one called ‘Something In The Rain’ recently, and it’s a good one, they probably have the best ‘romantic’ scenes I’ve seen in all the k-dramas I’ve watched!
Omg SAME. The whole finale just tears. I’ll have to check that out! It got mixed reviews so I wasn’t sure!
i loooooved Crash landing on you, and have been failing to find a drama like it. my absolute favorite
RIGHT! I was just listening to the soundtrack today. If it helps, I watched “Hotel del Luna” right after and loved it! Different but IU kills it and the theme of death was done so, so well.
I have a very weird taste in kdramas. As much as I am pulled towards the romantic ones ,I equally adore the unusual and quirky ones.
I was blown away by dramas like:
World of married
Check these out..you won’t regret it.
Ooh will definitely have to! Sky Castle has been on my list, and I added World of Married when I saw it was like the most-watched cable drama!
Damn u know films
You should definitely watch “My Mister” and “Be Melodramatic” you will only keep loving them. They so heart warming and true to the audience.
Ooh! Ok, I keep seeing how IU really broke out of being an idol actor with “My Mister,” so I’ll add it!
I would say your recommendations are really good . I have seen most of of them and I agree with you but I completely disagree on your opinion on Cheese in the trap. I know that the main lead pretended to be the perfect , kind and polite person but was actually a badass on the inside. But he has his own backstory . He realizes the flaws in his personality in the end decides overcome them. Since you didn’t see the drama till the end , I would like to tell that it has an open ending and they do have a reunion scene in the end. I totally like the drama despite it being a little different from other dramas. So I guess people should definitely give it a try.
Thanks! I’m actually well aware of the story as I love the webtoon and read it all the way through :). Highly recommend it. The drama started off so well with the nuances but it really failed in the latter half to maintain the quality of the first half, ESPECIALLY as it was clear the director and main actor were having issues off screen. The fact that he finished filming well before the drama finished filming is a huge red flag and the only reason I looked up what was going on behind the scenes is because I was annoyed at how he seemed to have less and less screen time. I don’t think they managed to fully flesh out his character and motivations nor do justice to the main actress’s storyline.
Great list, there’s a couple here I’ll have to add to my to-watch list! I am just about to start Kingdom too as so many people have told me how great it is. I loved Crash Landing and Hotel Del Luna. I’m a bit of a sucker for all the period dramas as well. I absolutely agree with you about dramas dragging out in the second half. I enjoyed Itaewon Class, but even in that show, I felt it dragged a bit at the end.
Yeahhh I honestly stopped Itaewon Class half way through. I might pick it up again but I just wasn’t into it after they kinda switched their main female leads in the 2015 section.
Thanks for this! I’m pretty new to the drama world, but I loved Strong Girl Bong Soon! Such a great mix of silly, cute, and exciting.
Yess! So many people keep recommending Strong Girl Bong Soon, so I think I’m going to have to give it a go!
Loved your K-drama list! Totally agree with She Was Pretty, such a charming and fun vibe, one of the firsts series that I’ve watched since I started K-dramas. Glad you also liked Fated To Love You, loved the story plot and OSTs. Such a tearjerker series. Just recently finished Mr. Sunshine. Hats off! Great story line and cinematography. You should watch it, took me almost a month to finish though, 24 episodes.
It’s still one of my favorites! Made me a total fan of all the actors; my friend, Autumn, is still so salty about her not choosing Siwon’s character though haha. Yes! I’m half way through; it’s definitely one that requires like 110% attention.
Oh these are great! And I loved Crash Landing on You. I recently enjoyed W: Two Worlds and Beautiful World. Though there are quite a few that I’ve been watching lately lol. But I do agree with how many of them go through slow moods. That’s when I start skim watching, which may be not the best choice when you don’t know Korean haha. But I do love the amount of work and the writing put into the shows.
Yes! I’ll check those out. They definitely do. With 12 Years a Promise, you could just SEE them trying to stretch out a 2 minute scene into 5 and it was painful.
I have watched everything uh just mentioned in ur website and I went through the comments too and I have watched every drama which is mentioned in comments too can anyone suggest me a more better drama?
Hmmm might be helpful if you have any specific genre or style you like? Thriller / history / romance / slice of life?
Best drama I saw in 2020 was “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” – definetely recommend it. The last I saw isn’t very popular but I found it brilliant: “Feel Good to Die”.
Ahh I watched “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” live. So many tears though I did think it lagged juuuust a bit plotwise at the end. The actors, though, A++++