Here are 10 crème-de-la-crème Korean dramas to watch right now
Everyone on Twitter has been rallying to make you use your quarantine time to learn a new skill or grow as a person. But there’s a pandemic going on, so trying to learn how to sew or pick up painting seems pointless right now when you’re worrying too much. But you can learn a new language in an easy way: binging Netflix.
With the crazy amount of international content available on Netflix, it’s easy to not only learn a new language but also see it used in context. Plus, you’re getting to binge a new addicting series at the same time. Korean dramas are killing it internationally, so why not pick up on some Korean?
If you need a place to start, we’ve handpicked the top 10 best Korean dramas that you need to check out. Of course, this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of great dramas for you to watch outside of this list. But if you have never seen a K-drama before, start with these ten.
Boys over Flowers
We’ve talked about this show before, and we don’t plan on stopping. For over 10 years, Boys over Flowers has been the perfect drama to get you started on K-dramas, taking the high school drama format with some unique twists. With the show being rereleased internationally on so many platforms, it’s hard not to find it.
When a girl saves a student from a group of bullies, she ends up getting a scholarship to the elite high school for the rich. But she’s not willing to take their attitude, which has the leader falling in love with her. Watch this show.
Want to see a Korean take on a hit US show? Need more Leverage in your life before the reboot comes out? This series adapts the hit heist series for a Korean audience, and it keeps the twists and turns you loved about the original as well.
Just like the original, a former insurance investigator puts together a team to rob the wealthy as part of avenging the death of the man’s son. With 16 episodes, it’s solid binge for those needing some heisting action after binging Money Heist.
Descendants of the Sun
The lives of a soldier and a doctor are vastly different, but this drama explores when the two cross paths and attempt to weave a complicated relationship together. Starring Song Joong-ki and Song Hye Kyo as the soldier and doctor, respectively, it’s an interesting love story for sure.
It tugs on your heart strings hard though, so have those tissues ready if you take the plunge. The long distance relationship is just the beginning of the heartbreak the two will endure along the way.
Legend of the Blue Sea
How about a drama involving mermaids? Korea is known for their fantasy tales, one of the most famous being a fisherman who captures a mermaid and then releases her. Legend of the Blue Sea is based on that story.
Following a love story across incarnations of each other, a con-man and a mermaid end up finding each other. In her search for love, the mermaid continues to follow the man around the world, desperate for his love.
Something in the Rain
Legendary rom-com actress Son Ye-jin made her comeback to TV starring in this series from 2018. Rather than having some big dramatic ploy, it’s a simple love story about two people becoming more than just friends.
But underneath its cutesy exterior is a lot of social commentary about Korean dating taboos and the discrimination against women in many major industries. There’s more than meets the eye with Something in the Rain. Come for the romance, stay for the Korean social commentary.
Memories of the Alhambra
Taking their romance digitally, Memories of the Alhambra tells the story of a couple who become entangled together after spending time in a virtual reality game inspired by the Alhambra Palace.
If the title sounds familiar, you may also be thinking of the legendary guitar piece Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega. The song plays a big part as a musical cue throughout the show, so you know you got a great soundtrack with it.
Crash Landing on You
One of the newest dramas on this list, Crash Landing on You, tells the story of a girl who accidentally gets her parasailing trip cut short, falling across the border into North Korea. Landing in the arms of a hunky North Korean soldier, he gives her shelter and secretly helps her try to escape back to South Korea.
Meanwhile, the woman was supposed to be heiress to her family’s chaebol. Now that she’s out of the picture, her brothers are fighting for their spot at the top. It’s an extremely complicated drama, but it has massive payoff if you’re willing to binge the series.
Hello, My Twenties!
A light-hearted slice of life Korean drama, Hello, My Twenties!, also known as Age of Youth, focuses around five college girls living together during their university years, and their adventures trying to find their place in the world.
If you ever wanted to see what an apartment with five girls looks like, this is the perfect example. Five personalities are clashing together, as well as their lovers. The Belle Epoque are working together, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
The second highest viewed drama in Korean TV history, Sky Castle is truly a show that meets the hype. A satirical drama, the show takes on the overdramatic antics of rich families as they claw their way to the top, knocking other families down in the process.
Poking fun at the Real Housewives franchise, the show covers the housewives living in the Sky Castle neighborhood, a rich exclusive gated neighborhood. Considering their husbands are all doctors and lawyers, they want their kids to look as good as their husbands and will do whatever it takes to get there.
Oh My Ghost
How about getting possessed by a ghost who needs to get laid to be set free? Oh My Ghost sounds more comedic than dramatic, but the story of Shin Soon-ae (Kim Seul-gi) and Na Bong-sun (Park Bo-young) helping each other as Soon-ae possesses Bong-sun is touching, if not a bit creepy.
But watching Bong-sun become so much more confident and flirty thanks to Soon-ae, as well as Bong-sun be sympathetic to Soon-ae and her situation is really powerful and moving. Plus the relationships are beautiful, even if they feel a bit polyamorous.