31 Mar 2020

Korean Dramas to Binge-watch

Korean dramas or K-dramas are my guilty pleasure. It all started years ago, when my sister showed me You Are Beautiful (미남이시네요) and I later googled out the guys who performed in it (thus discovering the world of K-pop and diving further down the rabbit hole...). Because our current entertainment is limited to the internet and TV, I thought that I could share the list of my favorite dramas with you. Especially since some of my friends are now craving to watch something for distraction from this badly directed episode that is currently our reality, so why not K-drama?



Although Koreans still tend to underestimate the real power of Hallyu Wave in the West, and some westerners themselves create parodies of K-dramas (like the one here, picking on the dramas' most cliché features), there is something that compels us to watch them. Be it the innocence of the romance, or never ending interpretations of Cinderella story merged with detective, fantasy, or thriller genres. All of these dramas are being streamed on Netflix, so if you find yourself craving for...


SLICE OF LIFE

...turn on One Spring Night (봄밤, 2018), Something in the Rain (밥 잘 사주는 예쁜 누나, 2018), or Romance is a Bonus Book (로맨스는 별책부록, 2019). Hands down, they are my favorite dramas that tell heartfelt stories about struggles of single parents, or childhood friends discovering their true feelings. If you are a fan of Jung Hae-in, I also highly recommend  (although it's a movie) Tune in For Love (유열의 음악앨범, 2019). 


BLOOMING ROMANCE

...then I suggest My First First Love (첫사랑은 처음이라서, 2019), She Was Pretty (그녀는 예뻤다, 2015), Coffee Prince (커피프린스 1호점, 2007), Because This Is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라, 2017), What's Wrong with Secretary Kim (김비서가 왜 그럴까, 2018), The Secret Life of My Secretary (초면에 사랑합니다, 2019). Be it workplace romance or youngsters/strangers falling in love, it's always lovely to see how their feelings bloom.


(KOREAN) HISTORY

...check out Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung (신입사관 구해령, 2019), Sungkyunkwan Scandal (성균관 스캔들, 2010), Love in the Moonlight (구르미 그린 달빛, 2016). These sageuk (a term for historical K-drama) are a real treat. I am currently watching Hwarang (화랑, 2016-2017) and finding it hard to resist that mix of intrigues, pure feelings, and fights (and good looking guys, obviously). 


FANTASY/TECH/CRIME
(I know, it's an interesting combination)

...then you should definitely watch Memories of Alhambra (알함브라 궁전의 추억, 2018-2019), Love Alarm (좋아하면 울리는, 2019 - present), My Holo Love (나 홀로 그대, 2020). Some of these dramas have this darker black mirrorish feeling (technologies harming/killing people, etc.), but at this same time there are some twists that could appear only in K-dramas.


MYTHOLOGY/SUPERNATURAL

...I would recommend watching Abyss (어비스, 2019), The Bride of Habaek (하백의 신부 2017), The Beauty Inside (뷰티 인사이드, 2018), Strong Girl Bong-soon (힘쎈여자 도봉순, 2017). Be it the scenario of some god meeting a girl, or a woman possessing supernatural powers, these dramas still revolve around love and the obstacles that usually those powers create. 


HEATBREAKING STORIES

...for a good sob there are Crash Landing on You (사랑의 불시착, 2019-2020) and Uncontrollably Fond (함부로 애틋하게, 2016). The first being a current hit, and the second one an underrated gem, I highly suggest pilling some paper tissues (or use that hoarded toilet paper...), cause you might need them. 


DETECTIVE/CRIME/LOVE 
(yeah, this category is also a mess...) 

...take a look at Pinocchio (피노키오, 2014), When the Camellia Blooms (동백꽃 필 무렵, 2019), Suspicious Partner (수상한 파트너, 2017), The Doctors (닥터스, 2016). They all have some darker  plots, but somehow it's still about love. I started watching Itaewon Class (이태원 클라쓰, 2020) and it looks quite promising, so we'll see how well this drama is going to trend.



So this is my list (I did leave some dramas out of it because I could not remember their titles or didn't finish watching), I hope you've found something that you haven't watched before, in that case - your welcome! And, yes, I've watched all of these K-dramas myself, so now when I am looking at this list I can see where all of my spare time went... Well, on the bright side, watching K-dramas are one of my ways to relax, as well as work on my Korean language, so win-win.


What are your recommendations/favorite dramas? 

Stay safe!



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