Must-Watch Korean Supernatural Dramas for Beginners
I have been a fan of many American/British fantasy TV shows since my childhood. I was enthralled by all the supernatural beings like vampires, witches and werewolves. When my taste in TV shows expanded to Korean language dramas, the first genre that intrigued me was the supernatural/fantasy category. This list will include several of my favourite dramas (they are not in any particular order).
1) The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016)
This is a romantic comedy starring Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun. Heo Joon-jae is a con man who runs a successful scamming business with his friends. One day he meets a strange woman who has special abilities. Even though he finds her annoying and ill mannered, he eventually becomes fascinated by her unusual ways. He is oblivious to the fact that this woman is actually a mermaid who came to land in search of her long lost true love. She succeeds at concealing her identity, but things get complicated when a dangerous rival begins to hunt her down.
The drama will start off with plenty of comedy and later on focus more on the seriousness of the protagonist's hassles. Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun have great chemistry in this drama and due to this it achieved high ratings in Korea and also overseas.
2) Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016)
This is a romantic drama starring Gong Yoo as an immortal goblin who protects souls. Kim Go-eun portrays an orphaned high school student who seeks better things in life. The two will meet accidentally and discover that their fates have been predetermined long time ago. The couple will have to face the actuality of life and death as they continue on their destined paths. Lee Dong-wook is a grim reaper who collects deceased souls. The goblin and the grim reaper will build an unlikely alliance. Unknown to them is that their destinies are also linked by tragedy, loss and loyalty.
This drama caused an international sensation with very high ratings. It is the second highest rated drama in Korean cable television history.
3) A Korean Odyssey (2018)
25 years ago, Son Oh-Gong (Lee Seung-gi), an immortal demon who was imprisoned due to his ill-deeds, persuaded a small girl with supernatural powers to set him free by falsely claiming to help her whenever she needed. After deceiving the small girl, he returns to his own realm and leaves her behind to deal with the punishment of setting him free.
In the present day, these two will meet again. Now the small girl has become a beautiful young woman who helps people to resolve supernatural problems using her powers.
Ma-Wang, a bull demon king who has a bad history with Son Oh-Gong is forced to work along side him in order to collect 'points' which will allow him to become a deity.
This drama has a lot of supernatural beings from gods to demons to walking corpses! The rivalry between Son Oh-gong and Ma-Wang provides many hilarious moments for the viewers. Some episodes may be a little bit scary for those who don't enjoy the horror genre, but overall it's a well balanced drama with many elements.
4) Chicago Typewriter (2017)
This drama takes place in two time periods; the 1930s Japanese colonial era and present day Korea. The protagonist is an arrogant yet successful author who develops writers' block due to stress. During this time he receives an old typewriter from the 1930s as a gift from an acquaintance. Strange events occur after he decides to use this typewriter. Meanwhile he encounters his biggest fan, a persistant young woman who desires to help our protagonist overcome his writers' block. However these two individuals begin to see remnants of a past they do not remember. They are also helped by an unknown man who gives a whole new meaning to the term 'ghost writer'.
This drama is not very popular but it has great plot twists which will undoubtly tug at your heart strings and keep you on edge every episode.
5) My Love From The Star (2013)
This drama is about an alien (Kim Soo-hyun) who visits Earth during the Joseon era. Due to unavoidable circumstances he had to remain on this planet for 400 more years. At present, he meets a very famous Korean actress (Jun Ji-hyun) and begins to fall in love with her. As time passes it becomes more and more difficult for him to stay on Earth due to the deterioration of his health.
My love from the star was a phenomenal hit all across Asia and it garnered a massive following all over the world. Stunning visuals, impeccable set designs and amazing music all come together to make this drama a masterpiece.
Jun Ji-hyun won the Daesung, the highest award for television, at the Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance in this drama.
6) Master's Sun (2013)
If you are a fan of horror/fantasy dramas, this is for you! Tae Gong-shil is a woman who lives under very difficult circumstances due to her special ability to see ghosts. These spirits constantly follow her around asking for help to settle unfinished business. Owing to this, she has become reclusive.
Joo Joong-wong is a cold hearted CEO of a conglomerate who doesn't believe in the supernatural. When their paths cross, Tae Gong-shil discovers that she no longer sees ghosts when Joong-wong is near her. The pair will discover hidden mysteries about their pasts and help each other overcome their fears.
7) The Scholar Who Walks The Night (2015)
This is set in the Joseon dynasty where vampires and other supernatural beings roam freely. Lee Jun-ki plays a guardian vampire (Kim Sung-yeol) who eliminates others of his kind if they refuse to follow proper rules. He is haunted by the deaths of his true love and his family 120 years ago at the hands of Gwi, an evil vampire who seeks to destroy humans. Sung-yeol meets a young woman who dresses up as a man in order to make ends meet. She is assigned to locate a mysterious book which contains the secret to defeat Gwi.
This drama is based on a South Korean manhwa of the same name written by Jo Joo-hee.
8) My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox (2010)
Cha Dae-woong (Lee Seung-gi) is a college student who aspires to become an action movie star. One day he accidentally releases a "Gumiho" (nine tailed fox) who was trapped inside a painting. Initially he feared this Gumiho because according to legend they consume the liver of men. The Gumiho desires to become a human and asks Dae-woong for help. The two begin to enjoy each other's company and eventually fall in love.
I hope you will enjoy watching these dramas as much as i did. If there are other dramas that you think should be included on the list feel free to let me know.