15 Best Korean Dramas You Should Watch
Are you addicted to Korean dramas? This list will help you to increase your addiction! This top 15 list includes some of the best Korean dramas according to viewership ratings and their popularity overall. You can also watch trailers for some of the series here and vote in the poll for your favorite!
15. Emergency Couple
If you are looking for an immediately gripping and fast paced medical drama, this one should be your choice. Emergency Couple tells us the story of med school students Oh Chang-Min and Oh Jin-Hee. They fall in love with each other while studying in school. But unfortunately, the couple ends up divorcing because of family and financial pressure. They both don't know yet that there's no escape from love. They will meet once more, only six years later, interning in the same hospital.
I loved the whole cast in this series, especially Song Ji Hyo from Running Man. There's everything I wanted: wonderful story, cute and funny as well as fighting scenes, great cast, and many moral lessons. Also, this is one of those few dramas where I was happy with the ending. I was satisfied with all the bloopers and flashbacks playing at the end!
14. Doctor Stranger
Do you love some action, romance, and medical thrown into a drama? Then you will probably be obsessed with Doctor Stranger throughout all twenty episodes! This series isn't as typical as some Korean dramas are: you will understand that once you know the plot.
I think Doctor Stranger has a unique story line to it. Its plot is understandable, intriguing and sufficient. I recommend this series to anyone who is interested in medical dramas. But I certainly don't recommend it to people who don't like blood. Don´t expect from Doctor Stranger many heart-fluttering scenes! But still, it made me cry and kept me wanting to binge watch the whole series.
Park Hoon, a young lad from South Korea, gets kidnapped by North Korea. Not alone though but together with his world-famous surgeon father Park Cheol, who was brought to North Korea to operate on the "Dear Leader" dictator. Even though the patient is doing better, father and son can´t return to the South easily. Park Hoon grows up in the North, training to become a doctor by his father. Soon he falls deeply in love with a beautiful girl, but North Korea puts a target on his back. You need to watch this drama and discover how Park Hoon will escape the country he doesn´t belong to, and whether he will succeed in the search for his first love!
13. Liar Game
If you like tricky math games and dark manga, this drama is worth checking out. Liar Game will more likely make you curious enough about all the questions and non-answers in the show, so you will stick to it even just to know the end.
I haven't read the manga, neither have I watched the Japanese version, so I can't make any comparisons. The story was interesting: the drama thrilled me, kept me guessing throughout all its tightly plotted 12 episodes!
Liar Game is based on the Japanese manga of the same name. The drama revolves around contestants that take part in a reality game show called "Liar Game", where regular people get the opportunity to earn millions of dollars. The winner becomes the one who manages to cheat others. One of the contestants is a naive girl, who wants to pay off her father's debt. She gets help from a genius swindler and former psychology professor to win the show. The show itself perfectly illustrates how it ruins morals of a person, how far people can go to get money.
12. City Hunter
If you are looking for a drama with action, martial arts fights, well-thought revenge plot and romance, give this one a shot. "City Hunter" is the secret identity of Lee Yoon Sung, a man whose only purpose in life is to get revenge on those who killed his father many years before. Yoon-Sung has been training for vengeance since the very childhood. The young man distances himself from anyone who distracts him from his task. Despite his best efforts, it is harder to do so, as he develops feelings for a woman he works with.
I loved how the director balanced both romance and the intrigue of revenge. I think you should give it a shot if you are action or romantic comedy lover! There were moments when the tension was just killing me, so I wouldn't watch this too often, since you might have a heart attack.
Here's one more action drama for you to choose from. Actually, it has a little bit of everything: drama, action, romance, and mystery. Healer is the drama you should include into your to-watch list even simply because of its decent performances and storyline. The series tells about a star reporter who seeks the help of a spy named Healer to help him to unveil dark truth behind people who have been ruling for too long.
I loved the acting by the entire cast of Healer! This gripping-the-edge-of-your-seat intense drama will make you experience the widest range of emotions! I loved that both male and female characters were strong. It's a solid love story without any expected funny love triangles. This good action, romance, political drama is definitely for you if you enjoy such genre!
10. Kill Me, Heal Me
Heart-wrenching. Heartwarming. Unforgettable. These words probably will spin in your head after you finish watching the show. Kill Me, Heal Me is a comedy drama about a man who suffers from memory lapses and multiple personality disorder. The problems were caused by a traumatic experience in his childhood. A third-generation billionaire's personality scatters into seven different identities. Secretly, he asks for a help of a first-year psychiatry student in treating his disorder. And eventually, the girl falls in love with one of his personalities.
What sets this series apart is its constant twists and turns. It was difficult for me to get bored while watching this drama since something happened in every episode! I advise you to watch Kill Me, Heal Me if you are tired of the usual dramas with predictable plots.
9. Moonlight Drawn by Clouds / Love in the Moonlight
Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, or Love in the Moonlight, as it's also often called, is a historical romance with a light melodrama. Charismatic, lovely cast; set, costumes, writing, everything is great. Also, with a touch of modern humor in it, the drama is fun and playful.
This series is a wonderful youth historical. It tells us the story of a prince that falls deeply in love with a girl disguised as a eunuch. The story tells us about many challenges they face in order to protect their secret relationships and overcome threats to the throne. The first half focuses on the romance mainly; there´s a lot of fun with great dynamic between the couple. The second half centers on the politics primarily.
This Korean drama completely took me in for a ride! I think it is not an exaggeration to say that Love in the Moonlight is an exceptional coming of age drama.
8. Prison Playbook
Each story this show tells you will touch you somehow and you will love each of the main characters. This drama has many things to offer. For example, the most wonderful portrayal of heartwarming friendships, and not just between prison mates.
Prison Playbook set in a prison and tells the story about a baseball player who is sentenced to jail. You will understand why he and some other characters ended up that way, as you will see flashbacks from the past. The personal stories of many characters are absolutely beautiful! But remember that it's more like a comedy than a crime/law drama.
I enjoyed the series, though the beginning was very vague. In the first few episodes I learned very little about the story and characters. Each episode tells about one particular struggle that the lead character has to go through. I saw beauty in it as the story unfolded and I learned more about characters.
If you like fantasy romances with heavy concepts and the stories that span centuries, you should give this one a try. Goblin (also known by other names including Goblin: The Lonely and Great God/Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) is an interesting ride with a fresh and unique story told beautifully throughout every episode. The drama is also visually stunning.
Goblin is a fantasy drama about a modern-day goblin, protector of souls. He needs a human bride to end his cursed immortal life. However, when the goblin finds his bride, he realizes that he doesn´t want his life to end.
Goblin made me laugh and made me cry. I was blown away by its epic love story, spectacular bromance, romance, as well as mystery and suspense! The unique premise blend together with the mystery of the characters and unexpectedness of the drama and you realize you love this show!
Are you looking for a drama with a complex story? Watch this one and you will realize how much is packed into 20 episodes! Pinocchio tells the story of a man who was terribly wronged by a cold hearted reporter. All the man can think about is revenge. But suddenly he develops feelings for the daughter of his enemy. The girl has Pinocchio Syndrome,which means that every time she lies she hiccups. So she always has to tell the truth. Watch the drama and learn more about the revenge for past injustices and family and personal love.
I found this K-drama so gripping and intelligently written that I simply didn't want it to end! First I decided to watch this show simply because of the main theme which is relevant today, in the era of "fake news" and misleading headlines. I loved the brutal development of the characters, their thought-provoking decisions and unexpected actions.
5. Woman of Dignity
If you are looking for an intense fast-paced mature drama with excellent acting, dialogs, and comedic flourishes, you should give this melodrama a go. Woman of Dignity centers on the life of a rich family. The comfortable life of an elegant woman Woo Ah-Jin, who lives a luxurious life due to her wealthy father-in-law, slowly comes to shutters with the arrival of the new caretaker for the rich man. Park Bok-Ja, the new caretaker, is a poor woman. She deliberately enters the household of the family: her motive is to become part of the family and lift herself out of the low class she has been in all her life.
I was hooked after I learnt there were two female leads in the drama! But there are also many supporting characters that each has their own interesting story. I was glad that the series focused mainly not on the male and female leads (which is popular and hence becomes boring), so it was a fun and enjoyable watch.
4. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
If you are still looking for a fun drama that mixed in a romantic comedy along with darker crime elements and which features adorable leads with unreal levels of cute, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon should be your next watch. The show has a strong heroine and an appreciative, dreamy hero.
On the outside, Do Bong Soon seems to be small and fragile but actually, she is a woman with super strength handed down to her from female members of her family. She wants to keep it secret as she has fears of being considered a weirdo. It happens so that one day Ahn Min Hyuk, the CEO of a game company, witnesses her powers. A man becomes attracted and intrigued by her. Soon he faces a threat to his life, so he decides to hire the girl as his bodyguard.
3. The Heirs
The Heirs is a satisfying drama and tells the story of star-crossed lovers. You will enjoy the romance between the lead characters. Kim Tan is the rich heir to the Empire Group, who comes to the US to attend school. While living in the states, he meets Go Eun Sang, who comes to the country with her sister in hope of a better life. Tan meets the girl at the low moment of her life. His heart breaks for her and he decides to take her in his home in Korea. But surprisingly Eun Sang's mother is a housekeeper in Tan's home. And there are even more surprises ahead…
The plot line is nothing that ground breaking, but it's a fascinating new take on something everyone has watched a million times. I like that it's modern, youthful, quirky, funny, at times romantic, and sometimes sad. It's the show for those days when you want to feel warm and comfortable.
2. My Love From The Star
If you are a fan of fantasy melodramas, you definitely should check this out. This drama took the world by storm at the time it was airing! So why its popularity in Korea and internationally was so huge?
My Love From Another Star (also called You Who Came from the Stars) tells the story of a centuries-old alien with superpowers. He is trapped on Earth and is working as a university professor. All he can think of is how to get back home, but he changes his mind when he meets a popular actress.
This K-drama has everything I could possibly want: believable and charismatic leads, an evil villain, romance, comedy, melodrama, and time travel blend together. I definitely recommend My Love from the Star to big fans of sci-fi! Teleportation, time stopping – everything is made in a breathtaking way. Add to all these advantages great chemistry between two leads and good sense of humor and you have your next best drama!
1. Descendants of the Sun
Descendants of the Sun was a mega hit when it was on TV with ratings of over 40% and winning several KBS drama awards. Since the drama was produced before its airing, storyline couldn't change depending on viewer ratings. Apparently, that's the reason why it's only 16 episodes long, even despite its huge popularity.
This love story revolves around a female who is leading the medical team saving lives and the captain of special forces unit that carries out secret missions. The actions set in Uruk, a fictitious country in the war. They both are dealing with life and death situations every day. So will they take risk of heart break or not?
Awesome cast, music, a wonderful storyline and great chemistry between the leads are not the only reason why you should give this drama a shot! I enjoyed not only the romance of this K-drama, it also made me thing of the sacrifices that our real life service men and women face protecting our countries. We also have to pay more attention to the many doctors that volunteer and appreciate their work. In my opinion, Descendants of the Sun is worthy the entire buzz and the high ratings it received.