The sheer amount of talent in South Korea shouldn’t go unnoticed. And with the rising popularity of K-pop around the world, more and more people are interested in the Korean entertainment industry. Film directors like Park Chan-wook and Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho are more popular now than ever, with hit films such as The Handmaiden, Oldboy, Parasite and Memories of Murder. These films are stylized, intense, funny, and always completely exhilarating.
Also very popular are the K-dramas, which are Korean television series championed around the world. These shows are sort of the evolution of the soap opera; in that they’re highly emotional shows focused on human relationships. But unlike soaps, these aren’t cheesy, and instead take compelling topics very seriously. These shows are never as violent or sexual as American television or Korean cinema, but that’s just not their goal. Instead, they’ve found a global audience through their simple, but instantly relatable, stories.
K-dramas never go on and on like American shows do. Instead they’re typically miniseries of 16-24 episodes. Which is perfect, considering the rising popularity of miniseries on Netflix and HBO. You could realistically watch every show we mention within the year. It’s convenient, as it always leaves room for something new. It’s also worth noting that K-drama writers are 90% women. Considering how hard it is for women creatives in Hollywood, it’s fair to call Korea ahead of the curve.
Those immersed in the K-pop world shouldn’t overlook the amazing selection of K-dramas to watch. Here are five K-dramas you can binge-watch and find a new obsession right this moment.
My Holo Love is a Netflix original series following a Han So-Yeon. She is an office worker that wants to have a meaningful relationship with people around her but she is suffering from a disease that doesn’t allow her that. Suddenly a special “holo glass” glasses entered her life and with them, an AI called Holo. Because of the new companion, her life slowly starts to change. Behind the AI called Holo, there is a mysterious man who steps into Han So-Yeon’s life.
This series has a very interesting and futuristic plot. With the elements of rom-com and drama, this series is enjoyable to watch. Each episode brings a plot twist that makes the story line intriguing. It’s 12 episodes are now fully released on Netflix.
“Han So-yeon stopped believing in love and decided to close herself off from the world. But she starts to open her heart to the unexpected — a hologram AI named Holo. When she falls for both Holo and his lookalike creator Ko Nan-do, she’s faced with the question: What’s real and what’s not?”-Netflix description
One of the newer K-dramas, Itaewon Class is another Netflix original series. This series is based on a same-named Webtoon. Park Sae Ro Yi punches his classmate Jang Geun Won because he bullied another classmate. Jang Geun Won’s father is the owner of the restaurant business. Suddenly Park Seo-Yoon’s father ends up dying in an accident. Park Sae Ro Yi beats Jang Geun Won and receives prison time for violent assault. After his time in jail, he decides to destroy the Jagga company and take revenge upon CEO Jang Dae Hee and his son Jang Geun Won. To do that he opened a restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul.
If you like to watch a series where characters have a lot of depth and the plot is dramatic, then this is the right Korean drama for you. It consists of 16 episodes, so you can jump right in and enjoy it all at once.
This is a romantic drama about Yoon Se-Ri who is an heiress to a conglomerate in South Korea. Because of the strong wind while paragliding she accidentally landed in North Korea. In North Korea, she meets Ri Jeong-Hyeok, who is a North Korean army officer. While he tries to protect her and help her to hide, they, of course, fall in love. He tries to protect her and hide her.
This series has it all, family drama, interesting plot and a perfect dose of humor. All 16 episodes are aired so you can start your binge-watch right now.
“The absolute top secret love story of a chaebol heiress who made an emergency landing in North Korea because of a paragliding accident and a North Korean special officer who falls in love with her and who is hiding and protecting her.”-IMDB description
Love, drama, and medicine is well love combination when it comes to TV series. Romantic Doctor 2 is one of those kinds of series. This drama is following Boo Yong-Joo who calls himself Dr. Romantic. Boo Yong-Joo runs the not so fancy clinic Doldam. Cha Eun-Jae and Seo Woo-Jin are surgeons. Cha Eun-Jae and Seo Woo-Jin meet the quite weird doctor Teacher Kim. Under his wing, they learn about life and love.
Romantic Doctor 2 has a perfect amount of medical drama and romance. Fast-paced plot and deep character development make this K-drama interesting to watch.
Love Alarm is Netflix Original Korean drama based on a web-comic. The drama portrays a world where a dating-like app called a Love Alarm “rings” every time someone within a 10-meter radius “loves” you. You can see how many people like you but it is not revealed who is that person. There are three main characters, Kim Jo-Jo Hwang Sun-Oh and Lee Hye-Young.
Although this drama is set in a high school environment it has depth because it is dealing with social media pressure and negativity. It shows how the world would look if such an app did exist.
These are the five K-dramas worth watching. With countless fans of them around the globe, there’s no way they’re all wrong. So jump into this exciting new trend today, as it’s sure to stick around for eons. And for more new K-dramas, be sure to check in on The Swoon, Netflix’s hub for this entire medium.
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