35 Korean Dramas You Subconsciously Watch When You Are Feeling Down
Heart-fluttering Korean Romance dramas are as good as sweets and ice cream!
Survey says that a true K-drama fan has a saved list of comfort dramas, kept on all devices. When the going gets tough, those drama pills are summoned from its virtual location to cure its owner.
There are dramas that you watch as a yearly tradition or when you need to clear excess thoughts or emotions. Whether you are a nube or you have been watching on a regular basis, you have a special go-to drama list that you rely on. Especially at times when the currently airing dramas do not fit your palate.
Although a plethora of interesting genres have graced kdramaland through the years, romance stories remain to be the perennial favorites to satisfy your cravings.
The sighs, swoons, squeals, and the wish-we-can-be-those-lead-girl-moments are unexplained therapeutic stress pills that have sustained K-drama following. Fan service series maintains its popularity owing to its iconic sweet scenes and memorable love stories.
Sometimes, the heart-fluttering moments even spur a free pass for audience to forego bad plot as long as regular doses of bickering and saccharine frames are generously distributed each episode.
There are a lot of reasons why we love these kind of dramas. But it all boils down to its addictive drive that puts us on trance to watch it over and over again, without getting tired of it.
Here are some of the best comfort K-Dramas to brighten up your somber mood.
1. My Lovely Sam Soon (Hyun Bin and Kim Sun Ah)
Sam Soon’s love adventure gives hope to girls with weight insecurities that they can still snatch the man of their dreams because not all men are blinded by pretty faces and hot bodies. *chuckles
The contract relationship plot gives a love lesson that no matter how extremely different a man and a woman could be, spending time together and getting to know each other in the process would warrant a leap of romantic emotion that can result to a sweet love declaration.
2. Full House (Rain and Song Hye Kyo)
The story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to live in one house is a classic cohabitation plus contract marriage plot. It remains unmatched with its bickering scenes and eventual falling in love moments.
The feel good premise still goes to a classic favorite pick for drama fans.
3. Princess Hours (Ju Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye)
Any princess story appeals to most girls right away. With a distant and yet secretly warm prince, viewers can’t help but be on cloud nine while watching Lee Shin and Chae Kyung’s royal love story.
Although threading on some melodramatic tones, the heroine’s vibrant presence and optimism to survive in the arranged marriage she was forced to take for the sake of her family; and the eventual love development males this series a sweet treat.
4. My Girl (Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae)
We know right? Circa early 2000 K-dramas are all about contracts. For My Girl, we have a business conglomerate heir hiring a con-woman to pretend as his long-lost cousin to make his ill grandfather happy, but they end up getting trapped in the lie they created when they start falling in love with each other.
The strong second leads supported well the romantic development by playing the annoying ex-girlfriend and the how-could-you-not-love-him second lead man.
5. Coffee Prince (Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye)
The cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined. It was so cute when Gong Yoo’s character disregarded everything and was okay to admit that he could possibly be a homosexual due to his growing feelings on his pretending-to-be-a-man lead girl.
Coffee Prince‘s ending is also sweet as it wrapped up with how the lead man let go of his girl to pursue her own dreams. A must-watch classic that will not lose its appeal even when you watch it yearly.
6. Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Ku Hye Sun)
Almost Paradise… Yay! Lee Min Ho’s breakthrough performance that swept hallyuland like a storm during its run is adapted from a famous Japanese manga.
The Korean version gives a pretty depiction of the rich-boy-poor-girl love story by projecting an elaborated presentation of the wealth disparity of the main love couple. Sprinkling it with bromance and their side love stories cemented a victorious run for this youth drama.
Boys over Flowers is a great initiating drama to welcome you in K-dramaland. It is feel-good, buoyant and everything perfect for a bingewatch.
7. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi)
Fusing Korean folklore to a modern love story is notched perfectly by chilsung cider addict Mi Ho and her action star wanna-be lead guy. When a nine-tailed fox is released from a painting she was imprisoned to, she seals a deal with a free spirited guy who does not have any dream, but to become an action star.
Hong sisters blended the supernatural and folklore premise in an innovative approach to complement the modern setting of this drama. The reversal of roles for the lead couple merits the drawing point of the story as the always curious heroine takes charge in taking care of her lead man in the most part of the story.
8. You’re Beautiful (Jang Geun Seuk and Park Shin Hye)
When her twin brother meets an accident, Go Mi Nyu, a nun-to-be is forced to assume her brother’s identity who is posed to join a famous boy band. Having spent most of her time in the convent the lead girl works hard to adapt in a new world of cohabiting with her fellow band members.
You’re Beautiful brims with witty humor and sweet scenes which propelled its run to a strong fanbase.
9. Heartstrings (Park SHin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa)
This youth drama set in a music school is the fulfillment of the second love pairing that we did not get from You’re Beautiful. The refreshing tone and the campus romance draw smiles and as Lee Shin suits up to his campus heartthrob role effortlessly.
The music, the youthful vibe, and the campus candied dates endear this drama to the watchers. It flows freely by choosing not to exert effort on placing a heavy conflict. It is light and comforting perfect for when you want to be alone.
10. Discovery of Love (Eric Mun and Jung Yu Mi)
Now this was not as popular as the rest of the dramas in this list, but it belongs to my all-time favorite love dramas because of its superb screenplay and storytelling.
Yeorum is a furniture maker who is caught between her present boyfriend and her first love. Discovery of Love takes an ingenious path to uncover the woes and inhibitions of a woman in confronting love confusions that involves weighing down the amount of pain and love you are prepared to invest in a relationship.
You will thank me later after watching it.
11. Another Miss Oh (Eric Mun and Seo Hyun Jin)
The hot kisses, the brave heroine and the weird journey on how fate intertwined the love couple are some of the things you would love in this drama. Another Miss Oh banks on its realistic approach on the frustrations and bliss of trusting the love willingly given to someone only to be disappointed for not reciprocating it well.
12. Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun)
The mermaid-conman romance gives us laugh fits and heart-fluttering moments consistently each episode powered by the love-fueled-mind-reading ability of the hero.
The writing is almost perfect save from that last episode auto pilot ending. Nevertheless, Legend of the Blue Sea warms your heart with the overflowing love scenarios sketched in past and present timelines with reincarnation plot on the side.
13. The Greatest Love (Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin)
When a top actor gets entangled to a third-rate actress, a hilarious romance ensues as he battles out his emotions only to succumb to it – when an equally adorable traditional doctor wields his intention to be with the girl haunting his thoughts.
This is the third Hong sisters entry on my list and the trademark smart humor on the writing is evident. Cha Seung Won brings out his over-confident character to a whole new adorable level while Gong Hyo Jin as always delivers the expected color of the character given to her. Her submissive and kind attitude neutralizes Dokko Jin’s insufferable hubris forcing him to become a better person worthy to accept and give love.
14. Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min)
A clueless Joseon prince who gets transported to modern times makes you a happy camper while watching this time-slip drama. The prince and his warriors hilarious adjustments to technology-powered way of living and the romance fulfillment are nicely blended to make you mark this drama as one of your favorites.
15. Cool Guys Hot Ramen (Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah)
Cool Guys Hot Ramen combines the rom-com essentials of cohabitation, mean love triangle, and rich-boy-poor-girl plot to create a memorable love chronicle. The adorable chasing of the lead man to make his noona romance come true is crazily sweet and the heart-stopping kisses are just love bombs.
16. Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, Kim Go Eun and Yoo In Na)
You have two wonderful love pairings to indulge on and an extra equally sweet bromance for dessert. What more can you ask for?
Drawn in folklore and chimeric premise, consider Goblin as a good karmic prize for k-drama addicts’ loyal following. The polished storytelling and amazing cast portrayal nails a quintessential love story that you can share with your grandchildren in the future.
17. Reply 1997 (Seo In Gook and Jung Eun Ji)
A wistful memoir of that point in time when we first fell in love and formed our first friendship bond. Notably, when you finish the story, it gives you the longing of trying to go back at those times.
Nostalgic in its projection, Reply 1997 takes anyone a trip back to those wistful memories of young, and unrequited love.
18. The Master’s Sun (So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin)
The final Hong sisters drama on this list goes to a spooky milieu and is successful in doing so. A ghost-seeing woman has been burdened by her supernatural ability all her life.
When she finally bumps with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost request she keeps getting and without her warrant, she sticks by the prickly rich department store owner and soon after develops a relationship with him.
The Master’s Sun exhibits the usual comedic and romantic writing brilliance of the Hong sisters. I meant to watch this before because of So Ji Sub and I got more than I asked for.
19. Queen In Hyun’s Man (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo Inna)
Queen In Hyun’s Man stirred an excitement due to its avant-garde story of a time-traveling Joseon scholar who utilizes a talisman that powers his time-space wrinkling ability to hide in the present time while brewing his next moves on fulfilling his duty to the deposed Joseon Queen.
An actress helped him to adapt to contemporary living and they eventually fall in love with each other. The drama is hip and fun and affirms that my decision to eat k-dramas for breakfast is valid. *chuckles
20. Healer (Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young)
Healer puts you on an unexplained K-drama oppa crush. So severe that you might watch all Ji Chang Wook dramas, even the ones that are not worth watching.
The love progression is steady and engaging in this richly imagined love tale. See for yourself what kind of love healing you would get from one of the most memorable heroes who happened in K-dramaworld.
21. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)
Credit the cast for their commitment to this coming of age drama. It created an international cult following especially acknowledged by the teens and the early-twenties. Addictive with its sprightly cast, this campus drama treat easily slips to K-Dramas you will keep dearly in your heart.
22. Oh My Venus (So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)
There are a lot of sighs, swoons, and melting moments while watching coach-nim and Daegu beauty realize their love potential through a weight loss program.
To reclaim her goddess body, a woman seeks the help of a famous weight loss coach to carry on with her project. He is initially adamant about it, but she traps him by threatening how she will reveal his identity to the world if he does not agree.
Oh My Venus oozes with giddy-ish scenes that tickles your romantic spots accurately and spontaneously.
23. Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo)
Suave and nicely written, Captain Yoo Si Jin easily wins the viewers’ hearts in his cool depiction of a military elite officer who got the girl he dreams of even when their careers inhibit them to spend quality time with each other.
Thanks to Song-Song couple’s right on the dot chemistry, they are able to pull off a breathtaking love story that will be forever loved by many.
24. Something About 1% 2016 (Ha Suk Jin and Jeon So Min)
Cropping unnecessary scenes and light on its conflict, Something About 1% is the exact description of a fan-service drama.
Jae In and Da Hyun’s love story progresses in an addictive pace through their sweet kisses. It is a big, pink bubble wrap drama that will comfort you when you want to be alone after a break-up.
25. It’s Okay That’s Love (Jo In Sung & Gong Hyo Jin)
It’s Okay That’s Love might be the most unconventional modern romance drama we had ever seen. Given that sickness in K-Dramas usually involves amnesia or anything fatal, it has such an affecting and peculiar narrative.
It is just how relationship realities are translated. Depicting drama scenes of cherished and ardent love that could fail but keeps on lingering. It may trigger anyone’s memory of how it feels to love someone deeply without holding back.
26. Personal Taste (Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin)
The cute twist of the heroine misconceiving her lead man to be homosexual plus the cohabitation ride that builds up the romance makes this Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin drama a must-add on your watch list.
Additionally, there are a lot of love and life lessons for women to learn on from this drama as the heroine provides her insights on how focusing on personal dreams should come first before frustrations.
27. Secret Garden (Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won)
The body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeds everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story.
Who would forget that “curl up sweet kiss” and the “coffee cream foam kiss” scenes? Secret Garden shows a reversal of gender roles as we are given a heroine with unfazed attitude who falls in love with a rich man who did everything to make her love him.
28. Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yoo Chun, Park Min Young, Yoo Ah In & Song Joong Ki)
Sungkyunkwan Scandal is a great pick for both school and youth drama even when the drama is set in Joseon era. If you are curious why, then take some time off and spend time with these Joseon scholar flower boys.
The traditional setting is made beautiful by the inventive sweet storytelling of friendship and true love.
29. My Love From The Star (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun)
Being in consistent high savoring the beautiful alien and top actress love story is but normal when you stumble upon this drama. My Love from the Star is the textbook guide on how rom-com K-Dramas should be done. The impeccable chemistry of the lead couple surges to a memorable love story that would appeal to anyone.
30. Her Private Life (Kim Jae Wook & Park Min Young)
Showing the vibrant life of a fan girl, Her Private Life sprinted to an endearing tale that blended love and romance without capitalizing on rom-com cliches.
It may be trite, but at least it went on to create a full story that did not rely strongly on kissing scenes. Proving proper placement of sweet moments is the key to a remarkable romantic comedy, the tvN treat accomplished not having dull moments on its report card.
31. My ID is Gangnam Beauty (Cha Eun Woo & Im Soo Yang)
My ID is Gangnam Beauty thankfully proves how youth dramas do not warrant immature characters, while treading on excess baggage of being young, chasing dreams, and discovering love.
It easily hooks due to its refreshing mood, and successfully elevates its game through romantic notes in the waning episodes.
32. Because This Is My First Life (Lee Min Ki & Jung So Min)
Because This Is My First Life is a tale that would easily grow fond in your heart. If you want to deviate from the standard romance stories, with a relaxing drama that is intuitively penned, an overnight marathon of Se Hee and the gangs’ love journey will make you sigh and ponder about the sweet little moments of being in love.
If truth be told, if you have been hesitating on your marriage plans, this yolo drama prods you to disregard commitment anxieties.
33. Fight For My Way (Park Seo Joon & Kim Ji Won)
Fight For My Way gives us a reassuring tale how love realization between friends might fall short on timing, but when it picks up to where it belongs, it will be twice as love-binding than others.
The amusing vibe of the friendship circle affirms an engaging invitation to sit on a drama that is coated not with the most fancy things, yet the genuine take will put you on a gratifying bliss. It lets us feel the sentiments of normal people struggling to stay afloat with their lives, and the uncertainty if it is too late for them to still follow their dreams.
34. Reply 1988
The ever present humor, the love stories and the amazing neighborhood presented in the series are surely a quick relief for life stress. Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare.
35. Welcome To Waikiki
There are only happy memories to look back on Welcome to Waikiki. Nothing else matters. It spurs to a big pile of happiness pill during its run, capitalizing on the brilliant synergy of its small cast, who were keen to display their best out of the character sketches laid for them.
The balance of romance and comedy was fused to perfection, but the breakthrough comedy skits could be credited to the drama’s success.
Image Credits: KBS2 TV | MBC |SBS | tvN | jTBC | Dramax