Doesn’t matter if they’re old or new, a good series will always hit home. Here’s a list of Korean dramas that will tug at your heartstrings and make you swoon.
If you love a good star-crossed romance story, this highly-rated romantic comedy drama is right up your alley. South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) accidentally lands in North Korean territory after a paragliding mishap, and falls straight into the arms of North Korean caption Ri Jeong-hyuk (Hyun Bin).
Romance blossoms inevitably, but how will they survive this cross-border relationship?
The much raved about drama features Sung Deok Mi, portrayed by Park Min Young (Kim Mi So in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim), as an art gallery curator with a secret.
She is a dedicated fangirl of Shi An, an idol group member – an obsession that has impacted several of her past relationships.
Things take a more complex turn when Ryan Gold (Kim Jae Wook) becomes the new Art Director at the gallery, and rumours spread about Deok Mi and Shi An dating.
A competitive and workaholic bachelorette ponders her direction in life meets a gifted composer for video games at an arcade.
Characterised by successful women and the web portal business, this is an unconventional one that has surprised many with its inspirational qualities (on top of its romance).
A one-of-a-kind drama, When The Camellia Blooms combines the unlikely genres of thriller and rom-com. It follows Oh Dong Baek, a single mother in Ongsan, who runs a bar-restaurant.
Locals may gossip about Dong Baek, but a local policeman by the name of Hwang Yong Sik still falls in love with her, unreciprocated but also undeterred – all while a serial killer sets his sights Ongsan, and maybe even Dong Baek.
The familiar plot of My Absolute Boyfriend was originally from a Japanese manga series, but brought to life by Yeo Jin Goo and Girl’s Day’s Minah. Starting off from a break up between a special effects make-up artist Um Da Da, and a rising actor Ma Wang Joon, a perfectly programmed humanoid boyfriend robot Young Goo pushes the boundaries of love as an AI in a complicated love triangle.
Take swoon-worthy with a fantastical spin. A tragic accident leaves a talented ballerina blind and broken, until she is met with a trouble-maker angel on his last mission.
If he finds true love for her, he regains entry to heaven – but in a divine twist of fate, he falls in love with her instead.
Loved Son Ye Jin in Crash Landing On You? Then you have to check out her previous series, Something In The Rain, where she plays a woman in her mid-30s who’s clueless at dating, who begins developing feelings for her younger brother’s best friend.
As the title suggests, expect lots of melodramatic, sweet scenes under pouring rain.
Kim Bon used to be a legendary NIS agent. But after a failed secret operation that led to his wife’s death, he lives a quiet life on his own. All this changes when he helps his neighbour Go Ae-Rin uncover the truth about her the loss of her husband. Discovering that her husband was involved in a huge conspiracy, Kim Bon can no longer live the quiet life he’s become accustomed to.
Mix in non-stop action, plot twists like no other and tender moments between the main leads – what more could you want in a drama?
Oh, and I forgot to mention that you get to see So Ji-Sub fight like a pro and he takes care of Go Ae-Rin’s kids as well. *cries*
Don’t try to fight all the swooning you’ll do over So Ji-Sub because you’ll lose.
My Secret, Terrius is available on Netflix for streaming.
Fluffy and light-hearted, this romantic comedy begins as Kim Mi So, a dependable secretary, decides to leave her job after working for Lee Young Joon, her self-proclaimed perfect boss of nine years.
The drama balances between sweet and steamy scenes, coupled with flashbacks that will keep you invested.
Imagine having to transform into someone else every week, A-list actress Han Se-gye can. In the drama, she’s one of the biggest celebrities living the high life but she suffers from this unusual phenomenon.
Enter Seo Do-jae, an executive director of an airline company, perfect on all accounts. Except, he has prosopagnosia – a disorder that makes it hard for him to recognise faces (including his own).
Love knows no boundaries, and this drama just shows that the beauty inside is what matters most. Yes, even if you can’t remember faces or if you appear different on the outside.
If you can’t get enough of Park Seo-Joon after ‘Itaewon Class’, this show should be right at the top of your next ‘must-watch’ list if you’re a fan of his.
Everyone loves an underdog and it doesn’t get any better than this. Ko Dong-man, played by Park Seo-Joon, is a former taekwondo champ who missed his chance at fame. Choi Ae-ra, his childhood best friend dreams to be an announcer but settles for a job at a department store. These two are willing to do anything to get what they want and soon come to realise that everything they needed to be happy, may have been in each other all along.
Baek Seol-hee, the innocent and sweet one of the group of childhood friend is hopelessly in love with her boyfriend of six years, Kim Joo-man. The brain of the group, his love for Seol-hee is pit against his own ambitions and dreams.
This ragtag group of four have big dreams that seem impossible to achieve, especially with their predicaments. But you’ll get drawn into this K-drama that you’ll root for them as they navigate hardships and overcome hurdles to achieve their dreams.
Fight For My Way is available on Netflix for streaming.
Also known as Guardian: The Great And Lonely God, this fantasy-romantic-comedy was one of the most highest rated drama series in TVN’s history until Crash Landing On You broke its record.
Starring a bevy of talented stars such as Train To Busan‘s Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun, this fan favourite series sees modern-day goblin (Gong Yoo) seeking a human bride (Kim Go Eun) to end his cursed immortal life, has everything from comedy to melodrama and supernatural elements.
The drama that sparked off a real-life romance, Descendants of the Sun is a Korean military romance featuring Shi-Jin as the captain of the special forces.
He was injured and meets Dr. Mo Yeon and the two fall desperately in love in spite of their difficult circumstances.
A former mercenary soldier, Kim Je-ha, is now a fugitive in South Korea after being framed for the murder of his fiance in Iraq. He plots for revenge against presidential candidate Park Kwan-soo, who ordered the vicious killing. By chance, he gets offered a job as a bodyguard for the wife of another candidate in the running, Jang Se-Joon.
In exchange for information, he accepts the job. Je-ha gets assigned to guard Go An-Na, the hidden daughter of Jang Se-Joon, whose life is constantly in danger.
Nail-biting plot twists that’ll have you glued to the screen, the wrestle between political ambition and love creates drama like no other.
The K2 will have you wondering just how far an individual will go to gain power and how someone like Kim Je-Ha (played by Ji Chang-Wook), with his sculpted features and piercing gaze, can exist in real life.
The K2 is available on Netflix for streaming.
Think K-dramas never happen in real life? Well, the famous ‘She Was Pretty’ was based on a true story.
Kim Hye-Jin grew up as a beautiful child from a rich family. She wasn’t spoiled though, standing up for Ji Sung-Joon, a fellow classmate with low self-esteem. That’s how the two become childhood best friends and practically inseparable.
They lost contact a few years later when Hye-Jin’s family went bankrupt, although Sung-Joon never knew the reason why. The years brought about much change as the two went through a reversal of fortunes and looks.
Sung-Joon grew to become an accomplished and handsome (of course, he’s played by Park Seo-Joon) magazine editor. In true K-drama fashion, when Hye-Jin gets a job as an intern there, so does he as deputy editor. Embarrassed to face him with how she looks like now complete with frizzy hair and freckles, she gets her attractive best friend to pretend to be her.
Also, did I mention hottie Choi Si-won from Super Junior is the second male lead? Need I say more?
She Was Pretty is available on Netflix for streaming.
An emotional drama about an autistic man with amazing capabilities, this drama is definitely a must watch if you’re into stories about overcoming the odds. You’ll definitely need to bring out the tissues for this one too!
Min Joon is an alien who landed on Earth 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty period. He possesses a near perfect appearance and enhanced physical abilities involving his vision, hearing and speed.
But even he’s nearly perfect, he can’t help falling in love to a clumsy actress, Cheon Song Yi.
A romantic story which involved hardships, friendships, and rivalries of young, rich heirs led by Kim Tan and a girl named Cha Eun Sang whose attraction to each other sparks off more drama than any young person should be accustomed to!
This is a time-travel, historical, romantic-comedy drama featuring the unique story of Crown Prince Lee Gak, who is transported 300 years into the future to present day Seoul along with his three retainers.
The Moon That Embraces the Sun tells the story of a secret love between Lee Hwon, a fictional king of Joseon, and Wol, a female shaman.
With plenty of twists and turns and jealousy thrown into this period mix, you’ll never be left bored.
Like the story of Romeo and Juliet? Then you’re going to love the Korean version even more.
One of the most romantic period K-Dramas, The Princess’ Man is a tragic love story between the daughter of Prince Suyang and son of Kim Jong Seo.
Watch your high-school memories come flooding back. Romantic-comedy Dream High tells the story of six students at Kirin Art High School who work to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars in the Korean music industry.
An action-packed drama with romance and plenty of thrills, City Hunter is one of Lee Min Ho’s most popular TV dramas where he stars as a special agent who is ordered not to fall in love.
So what inevitably happens? He falls in love, of course, with a fellow agent.
This drama tells the story of an accidental meeting between Kim Joo Won (played by Crash Landing On You‘s Hyun Bin), an arrogant CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection, and Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji-won), a poor and humble stunt woman whose beauty and body are the object of envy among all top actresses.
Perhaps the cutest love story on this list is of a legendary creature called Gumiho (a nine-tailed fox).
One day after Cha Dae Woong runs away from his grandfather, he accidentally frees a gumiho who was trapped in a painting for about 500 years who takes on the form of a beautiful woman.
Based off a Japanese manga, this is a romantic-comedy covering the romance between Baek Seung Jo, an arrogant young man with a genius IQ, and Oh Ha Ni, a ditzy young woman who gets poor grades, but whose heart is as powerful as Seung Jo’s mind.
A historical drama about Queen Seon Deaok, the first female ruler of Silla Kingdom.
This is about a beautiful and excellent queen who had to face struggles in order to obtain brilliant achievements.
The delicious taste of story and aromatic blend of characters in this drama is what makes Coffee Prince popular.
Fun fact: This cross-dressing drama kick started the whole boy or girl mystery trend in the K-drama world.
Full House is one of the most popular K-Dramas from the early 2000s.
This drama attempts to answer the question of whether two people – a famous actor and an ordinary woman – can learn to love each other despite being polar opposites at first glance.