Top Korean Dramas to binge-watch

(I updated my list here: https://link.medium.com/jRfqj3Ftyfb as of 2021!)

Our everyday episode means finding your thing to cope up or crawl with your clock. We see the value of entertainment — at least in the case of some — scoring its all-time high as people are now obliged to stay at home for everyone’s safety.

In my case, I linger on Korean Drama (Kdrama) long before a national situation calls for it. KDRAMA has always been my vitamins in every dry season. I was introduced to the K-craze when I started watching Full House pre-digital era. (Yup, I was one of those teens who tuned in to Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho when Rain and Song Hye Kyo guested on the show).

I often receive a watch-list request from my mutuals (I did the same with my OG Kdrama gurus). So for the newly-recruits — my mom included, here’s a treat for you. In today’s pass-your-notes challenge, I am sharing my Kdrama cheat sheet (a.k.a. all-time favorites) for your next KDRAMA screen-fest. Game.

  1. Full House (2004)

Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy.

Feels: Feel-Good.

2. The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)

Episodes: 16 (60–90 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Supernatural. Romance.

Feels: Off-beat. Intense. Tricky. Bittersweet Romance.

See separate article here:

3. Crash Landing On You (2019–2020)

Episodes: 16 (60–90 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy. Political / Action.

Feels: Feel-Good. Heartwarming. Intense. Interesting Conflict.

4. It’s Okay Not To Be Okay (2020)

Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Hero Genre/s: Psychological. Mystery. Thriller. Romance.

Feels: Intense. Heartwarming.

See my special feature here:

5. Descendants of The Sun (2016)

Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Action. Romantic Comedy.

Feels: Heartwarming. Intense.

6. Goblin (2015–2016)

Episodes: 16 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to watch: Netflix, Viu, iFlix

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Romantic Comedy. Drama.

Feels: Bittersweet.

7. The Good Doctor (2013)

Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Medical Drama

Feels: Heartwarming. Inspirational.

8. Reply 1988 (2015)

Episodes: 20 (80 minutes — 120 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre: Family, Comedy, Romance

Feels: Feel-Good. Heartwarming. Nostalgic.

Read this article.

9. Chicago Typewriter (2017)

Episodes: 16 (60–90 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy, Romance, Reincarnation

Feels: Bittersweet, Off-beat

10. Itaewon Class (2020)

Episodes: 16 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to watch: Netflix

Hero Genre/s: Drama

Feels: Revenge. Inspirational. Intense.

11. My Love from Another Star (2013)

Episodes: 22 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Romantic Comedy. Drama

Feels: Bittersweet

12. Legends of the Blue Sea (2016)

Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy. Drama. Fantasy

Feels: Feel-good.

13. Pinocchio (2014)

Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy. Drama.

Feels: Feel-good. Relevant. Realistic. Heartwarming.

14. Sky Castle (2019)

Episodes: 20 (60–90 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Drama

Feels: Intense. Depressing. Eye-opening.

15. While You Were Sleeping (2017)

Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Romantic Comedy. Legal Drama.

Feels: Feel-good. Heartwarming.

16. Search: WWW (2019)

Episodes: 16 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Melodrama.

Feels: Girl Power. Social Relevance. Insightful.

17. Signal (2016)

Episodes: 16 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Action Drama. Mystery

Feels: Intense.

18. Secret Garden (2010)

Episodes: 20 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Romantic Comedy

Feels: Heartwarming. Feel-Good.

19. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)

Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Where To Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy.

Feels: Feel-Good, Coming of Age, Chill

20. Go Back Couple (2017)

Episodes: 12 (60–80 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Viu

Hero Genre/s: Fantasy. Romantic Comedy. Drama

Feels: Heartwarming. Eye-opening.

21. She Was Pretty (2015)

Episodes: 16 (60 minutes per episode)

Where To Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Romantic Comedy

Feels: Feel-Good. Inspirational. Realistic.

22. Kill Me Heal Me (2015)

Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

Where to Watch: Netflix, Viu

Hero Genre/s: Medical Drama, Suspense, Romantic Comedy

Feels: Heartwarming. Intense.

Honorable mentions: Was It Love, Love In The Moonlight, Black, 49 days, World Of The Married, Fight for my way, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, My Suspicious Partner, Two Worlds, I Am Not A Robot, Suits Korean Adaptation, My Secret Romance, Kingdom, Korean Odessy

Now watching: Misaeng

Go on and pitch your favorites, too. I’ll update this space from time to time if there’s a new entry. I am not really a fan of historical or ancient Kdramas. Help me love that genre. Care to share your list?

Theinkyou!

Updated as of August 29, 2020.

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Hallyu Headspace, mostly BTS 💜