The Korean Drama Shows Bug Bit Me

Rollercoaster ride

Samir Makwana on Sep 07, 2020 in Entertainment

Ever since the lockdown, I had stopped watching TV shows because I was too tired to invest in the same formulaic series. In late July, my office colleague recommended me to watch a Korean Drama TV series on Netflix - Crash Landing On You. And that's how it all began. I managed to finish the series in 5 days with an average of 3 episodes per day. A single episode runs for over an hour, and I didn't realise that I could watch a drama for such a long time. It is a fun series. After that, I started exploring a bunch of shows and compiled a list of the ones I enjoyed.

Food in Korean Dramas

If I had to express Korean Dramas in few words: Respect. Manners. Love. Gratitude. Friendship. Family. Food. Ramyeon. Kimchi. Soju. Tteokbokki. Jjajangmeyon. Fun. Bottled Emotions.

Of course, I would mostly get excited about food and hence the lead image.

Must Watch:

  • Crash Landing On You: Interesting take on N. Korea and S. Korea cultural, political, and military divide in a RomCom.
  • Vincenzo: When a Mafia consigliere returns to his home country Korea to retrieve gold but gets stuck in different problems.
  • Start-up: About the personal and professional struggles of young boys with a startup in Korea on personal and a storyline of female protagonist's struggle to stay on top of the game.
  • Itaewon Class: Drama about revenge in a true sense. Clash between simple but determined guy and a corrupt food mogul.
  • Descendants of the Sun: RomCom about the intertwined lives of soldiers and doctors.
  • One Spring Night: A melodrama RomCom about unconventional love between a father of one and a lady who's engaged.
  • Something in the Rain: Another melodrama RomCom about unconventional love between a boy and a lady who's elder to him.
  • Hospital Playlist: Modern take on friendship among doctors. Really engaging drama, unlike the highly fictional 'Anatomical' take. Also, it's a fun surprise to have songs performed by doctors in episodes.
  • Stranger: Slow-burn crime-legal procedure drama about crime and the turf war between the Police and the Prosecution.
  • Signal: A Sci-fi-like crime-drama where a detective of the present communicates with a detective from the past. An interesting take on the real-world serial crime cases including the Gyeonggi-do murders (Memories of Murder) and other cases.
  • Reply 1988: Superb, strong story-driven nostalgic drama about 5 neighbouring families.
  • Welcome to Waikiki: FRIENDS-like ensemble of characters when one of them is a total goofball and the series is full of comic and anecdote events.
  • Flower of Evil: Man hides his cruel past for several reasons is suddenly on the verge of getting exposed by cops team which includes his detective wife. Gripping, suspenseful melodrama.
  • The K2: The fugitive special forces guy falls in love with a corrupt security group's heiress and the drama revolves around corruption involving national security, police, and private security group.
  • Healer: A mysterious night messager gets entangled in a murder he didn't commit and he gets on the mission to clear his father's name who was falsely accused.
  • My Mister: When a mundane life living architectural integrity testing engineer's integrity gets compromised because of an error, a young office girl living by the bare minimum crosses paths with him. Full on lessons and learnings on adulting.
  • What's Wrong with Secretary Kim: When a narcisstic boss finds out that his secretary is quitting without giving him a proper reason, he wants to find out the real reason and falls for her instead.

You Can Watch (Light shows) When Bored:

  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin): Fantasy story about the Goblin, the god of death, and the quest for salvation and love.
  • Romance is a Bonus Book: A RomCom around book-makers who love books.
  • Personal Taste: Low-budget visually, but fun drama if you can tolerate some nuisance and non-sensical things. You can watch it on
  • Fight for My Way: Funny, Wacky, and bit of action-filled drama.
  • Strong Girl Bong-soon: A lineage of women with superhuman strength and the drama around it involving a gaming company CEO who's also an heir.
  • My Shy Boss: A logic-defying RomCom about revenge and behavioural change. In short, time pass.
  • Hello! My Twenties on Netflix: Story about 5 female flatmates who live in Belle Epoque.
  • The King: Eternal Monarch: Another RomCom about two parallel words of the pompous royalty of time loop and love for a girl from the other world.
  • My Love from Another Star: When an alien accidentally lands on earth and lives for over 400 years without grabbing attention, and falls for a celeb. Typical RomCom.
  • Record of Youth: A RomTrag (Romantic Tragedy) close to real life about struggles, dreams and family values. From rags to riches, the power of diligence, hard work, sticking to values, and the realistic view of relationships.
  • Legend of the Blue Sea: When a mermaid shows up in the human world and runs into a con-man, things slowly go out of control.
  • Innocent Man (Nice Guy): A genius but simple guy takes the fall for the crime he didn't commit and loses his way of life. Later he meets the person for whom he made the sacrifice and then decides revenge against that person. Very slow melodrama.
  • Suspicious Partners: A prosecutor trainee finds herself as a murder suspect and another prosecutor steps in to help her out of the mess.
  • Lovestuck in the City: A Korean style take on Imtiaz Ali's Tamasha where the female protagonist hides her insecurities and past from the guy who's head over heels for her but utterly confused when he was ghosted.
  • She Was Pretty: A timid girl gets a call to connect with her childhood's chubby friend and when she discovers he is handsome, she gets insecure. Unknowingly she lands a job in his office and the drama begins then.
  • The Bride of Habaek: The Water God visits earth to recover special stones with the help of his female servant. Decent water CGI, but stretched up storyline.

You'll find most of these series on Netflix. One of the highly-rated series The World of the Married, based on BBC's Doctor Foster, is also available on Netflix.

In all fairness, I watched the Age of Youth to take a break from all those mentally grueling drama, crime, and comedies with a laugh track. And it did help. Most of the Korean shows on this list carry IMDb links since Netflix assigns different IDs to content in other regions. So you'll have to search for them in your Netflix region.