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10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch If You're New to the Genre

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> 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch If You're New to the Genre

The KDrama fandom is expanding daily. Everyone seems to want a piece of the plot, action, and romance in Korean movies. There are currently hundreds of KDramas available on streaming services, and if you are new to the KDrama world, you might find it difficult to pick out the ones that are definitely worth your time. Luckily, we have done the job for you. Here are ten KDramas you should add to your watchlist.

10. The Penthouse: War in Life

Release Year: 2020/2021

Type: Series

Genre: Mystery/Crime

Ratings: 7.9 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Lee Ji Ah, Kim So-yeon, Um Ki-Joon

Where to Watch: Netflix

Summary: Penthouse is a show that heavily explores the theme of revenge. It details the life of the elite class living in a penthouse. A significant proportion of this elite class fight to maintain their wealth and protect their children. The main villain in the series is Joo Dan Tae, a power-hungry businessman who would do anything to amass wealth. Overall, the series details how residents of the Penthouse battle through multiple murders to cement their position as number one in the Penthouse. At the end of the series' first season, it emerged as the ninth most-watched Korean series.

9. Remarriage and Desires

9. Remarriage and Desires

Release Year: 2022

Type: Series

Genre: Romance

Ratings: 7.4 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Lee Hyun-Wook, Jeong Eu-Gene, Kim Hee-sun

Where to Watch: Netflix 

Summary: Remarriage and Desires is pretty similar to the Cinderella story. The rejected and unexpected woman gets the hot guy, pretty much. But the interesting thing about this series is that it is much more than the cliché Cinderella plot. It has heavy elements of suspense and crime that will keep you on edge throughout. Definitely a great watch!

8. The King: Eternal Monarch

8. The King: Eternal Monarch

Type: Series

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Ratings: 8.1 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Lee Min Ho, Kim Go-Eun, Lee Jung-jin

Where to Watch: Netflix

Summary: The King: Eternal Monarch is one of the best KDrama fantasy series. In the series, two worlds are a replica of each other. In essence, all the people in one world also exist in the other. However, those people are often opposites. So if you are good in one world, you would most likely be evil in the other. Lee Gon, a King in the alternative world, is then teleported to the other world, where he falls in love with a police officer, Jeong Tae-eul. The series details how they fight to maintain their love across both worlds. It also includes elements of action, comedy, and revenge.

7. Crash Landing on You

Release Year: 2019

Type: Series

Genre: Romcom

Ratings: 98% on Rotten Tomatoes

Notable Cast: Hyun Bin, Soon Ye-Jin, Kim Soo-Hyun

Where to Watch: Netflix

Summary: Crash Landing on You is definitely the KDrama to see if you are looking for a great balance of romance and comedy. It follows the life of Yoon Se-ri (Soon Ye-Jin), a South Korean heiress who accidentally lands in North Korea. There, she meets Lee Jung-Hyeok (Hyun Bin), a North Korean military officer. Jung-hyeok then tries to help Se-ri escape. As the escape attempts continue, Jung-hyeok and Se-ri start to fall in love with each other. However, the big question is whether their love would be able to withstand the difficulties surrounding their situation. A little tip (not so much of a spoiler), Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin got married earlier this year. The benefit of this development is that you can watch the movie and genuinely feel like the chemistry was there from the start!

6. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin)

6. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin)

Release Year: 2016

Type: Series

Genre: Fantasy/Comedy/Romance

Ratings: 8.6 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-Eun, Lee Dong-Wook

Summary: This series is set in both the ancient Korean Goryeo Dynasty and present-day Korea. One interesting thing about this series is that it is pretty similar to the werewolf-mate stories you probably  read on Wattpad at some point. The only difference is that Goblin has a better story development combined with humor and suspense. Back to the series, Goblin follows the life of Kim Shin, a 940-year-old immortal Goblin under a curse. As it stands, Kim Shin cannot be freed from his immortality curse unless he finds his bride. He then finds his bride, Ji Eun-Tak, a feisty high school student. But Eun-Tak is not willing to give up her heart so easily. The series takes us on a journey into their relationship.

5. Through the Darkness

Release Year: 2022

Type: Series

Genre: Psychological thriller

Ratings: 8.0 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Kim Nam-Gil. Kim So-jin, Jin Seon-kyu

Summary: If you are a fan of crime and mystery movies, Through the Darkness is definitely for you. The series is based on actual life events and tells the story of Kwon Il-Yong, South Korea's first criminal profiler. In the series, the criminal profiler navigates through numerous murders and finds clues to apprehend serial killers. One thing about Through the Darkness is that it accurately delivers the chilling effect. Because it is based on actual South Korean serial killers, you get actual chills when the murders are reenacted on the show.

4. Vincenzo

Release Year: 2021

Type: Series

Genre: Crime/Romcom

Ratings: 8.4 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, Ok Taec-yeon

Summary: There are high chances that you would have heard about Vincenzo and the hot male lead. But Vincenzo is much more than the hunky lead character. It is definitely a great movie in its own right. The movie follows the life of Vincenzo Cassano, a Korean-Italian consigliere who returns to Korea for protection after his Italian boss dies. However, his primary mission in Korea is to dig up some gold stashed away under an old building. His plan gets interrupted by Babel, a corrupt company seeking to take over the building. As the story progresses, more people know about the hidden gold, and the plan gets messy. All in all, Vincenzo meets Hong Cha-young, a Korean lawyer who helps in his quest to take down Babel and retrieve the gold.

3. Train to Busan

Release Year: 2017

Type: Movie

Genre: Horror

Ratings: 89% on Rotten Tomatoes

Notable Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Su-an, Ma Dong-Seok

Where to Watch: Peacock

Summary: Train to Busan is definitely one of the best horror movies across all movie industries. It is so good that New Line announced its intention to produce an American remake of the movie. In the movie, a zombie outbreak spreads across South Korea and triggers a state of emergency. The lead character, Seok Woo, his daughter, and other passengers become trapped in a train. The movie details how the train passengers fight to survive as the outbreak continues.

2. Alchemy of Souls

Release Year: 2022

Type: Series

Genre: Romance/Fantasy

Ratings: 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8.7 on IMDB

Notable Cast: Jung So-min, Lee Jae-Wook, Hwang Min-Hyun

Where to Watch: Netflix

Summary: Alchemy of Souls is (arguably) the most popular KDrama released in 2022. It is a perfect blend of romance, fantasy, and comedy. The series is set in a fictional ancient country called Daeho. It opens with members of the kingdom discovering a new form of sorcery that enables the exchange of souls. A child (Jang Uk) is subsequently born through the power of the sorcery, and he has to discover how to unlock his power amid resistance from numerous antagonists.

1. Boys Over Flowers

Release Year: 2009

Type: Series

Genre: Romance

Ratings: 71% on Rotten Tomatoes

Notable Cast: Lee Min-ho, Koo Hye-Sun, Kim Bum, Kim Hyun-Joong

Where to Watch: Netflix

Summary: Boys Over Flowers is unarguably the biggest movie to ever come out of the KDrama industry. For many KDrama fans, this was the series that sparked their love for Korean movies. The series follows the life of the ‘F4’, a group of teenage boys from extremely wealthy families. More specifically, Gu Jun Pyo, the movie's lead character, is a known school bully who constantly terrorizes whoever stands up to him. However, his life changes when he meets Geum Jan-di, a poor and feisty teenager who gets into his high school on a scholarship. Geum Jan-di fails to cave to Jun Pyo’s supremacy. As the story progresses, Jun Pyo falls hard for Jan-di, but their different social class is a barrier. The series follows the life of Jun Pyo and Jan-di as they fight for their love. One of the best things about Boys Over Flowers is that alongside getting to experience a romance classic, you also get hooked on the song choices in the movie. There are high chances that you would replay the songs even after you’re done with the series. Overall, a total package!

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