These K-Dramas will set your soul on fire.
It’s no secret that Korean entertainment is taking over the world. Boy bands like Big Bang and BTS are tearing up the US Billboard charts. BTS will be performing at the American Music Awards this year. When it comes to television K-Dramas are some of the most interesting and heartfelt content out there. It’s super easy to watch in the US. I subscribe to both DramaFever and Viki, both are under $5 a month. One rule for watching dramas, always have a box of tissues at hand, even for a comedy title.
Add me as a friend on MyDramaList.com so we can share recommendations and we can find new dramas to watch together.
Goblin: the Lonely and Great God
This was my first experience watching a K-Drama and I’m glad it was this one. It was also my introduction to Gong Yoo who is swiftly becoming a favorite actor. Sorry, Hiddleston. Goblin follows the life of a man cursed to live an eternal life until his true bride comes to relieve him and let him die. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times but also very sad and painful. It is the best introduction to Korean television. THE BEST. If you fall in love with Gong Yoo as I did you can catch his heartwarming zombie movie Train to Busan on Netflix.
Fight My Way
A true millennial Korean experience in 16 episodes, Fight My Way follows four long-time friends as they reach for the stars and find love. These ‘low class’ citizens will steal your hearts and have you rooting for their dreams. The sheer ridiculous scenes and cringe-laughing moments are what makes this drama special and a perfect gateway drug to all things drama. I also love all the different romances and stages of romance in this drama. It’s a great place to start.
Scarlet Heart: Ryeo
Outlander fans will love Ryeo. A girl who has just had her life turned upside down by her boyfriend cheating with her best friend is transported to Goryeo at the beginning of the dynasty. She has a hard time fitting in but soon falls in love with one of the 12 (yes 12 hot princes) princes. The 8th prince is married to her cousin but he owns her heart. When the 4th prince comes back she remembers that Goreyo had a bloody king who set the standard in cruelty and believes it may be him. Honestly, this drama broke my heart in a million different ways. I watched it months ago and I still think about it almost daily.
A soon-to-be-nun who can’t get anything right takes a break from the sisterhood to pretend to be her twin brother so that he can make his debut in a K-Pop band. This drama is hilarious at times and I do love the trope of girl pretends to be a boy. The drama part is harsh and unyielding when she falls in love with the lead singer of her debut group. She just has to make it until her brother comes back from a hospital in the United States and then she never has to see him again. She can go back to her faith and normal life.
Queen of Mystery
If you like your Sherlock female, clumsy, and hiding her crime-solving life from her family then this drama is for you. She’s quirky and ridiculous but she solves more crimes than that dude on Baker Street ever has. She picks up on the smallest clues in a crime scene but can’t seem to get her own life together. I love watching her fumble day to day while winning every case she’s called in on.
Set in Silla before the Goryeo dynasty a queen sits on her son’s throne. She says it’s to protect him but she seems to want power for herself. The secret king wants his throne and his mother knows a losing battle when she sees one. She institutes a program named Hwarang to protect the sacred bone (royals). True bone (nobility) boys of beauty and substance will be trained by a master to become an elite force to protect the young king. When a peasant gains entry to Hwarang everything changes. The Hwarang choose who sits on the throne. Will they choose the true king?
Another Gong Yoo drama and one of the most talked about dramas to date. A girl’s father passed away leaving her to be the breadwinner. When she finds a job that pays enough to pay the bills who cares if she has to pretend to be a boy? A rich playboy and the prince of Korea’s coffee industry is sent by his grandmother to run a coffee shop and make it successful. It’s time he grew up. She wants a marriage and grandchildren. When he finds himself falling for the boy he employees he grapples with his sexuality.
A group of kids with a lot to gain and nothing to lose find themselves outcast in a K-Pop academy. If they want to save their own lives and their futures they will need to come together and work hard to debut as a group and make money. If you like K-Pop but haven’t tried a drama yet, this one is for you.
A girl with a mute mother who is maid to the family of the largest corporation in Korea is sent to an elite school where bullying is rampant. The second heir to the group is called home from California by his aging father and sent back to study in the academy. The is one of the most bittersweet love stories I’ve watched. I think this drama gives you a good example of the ultra-rich of Korea and the super underprivileged. Buy stock in Kleenex if this is the one you choose to watch first. This is definitely one of my favorite K-Dramas.
The lead singer of CN Blue (K-Pop) makes his drama debut with the most adorable hate-to-love trope yet. Set in a college these two will find every way to be near each other while hating every moment they’re together. She’s a traditional music major while he’s a modern rock n’ roll guy with a cult following. When the school puts on an important show they come together to make it wonderful and their lives change forever.
Have I forgotten any great K-Dramas? I’m in desperate need of recommendations of what to watch next! Leave me a comment about your favorite.