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Hellokpop K-Drama Picks: Stories That Celebrate “One Great Love”

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For our Valentine’s and White Day special, we are sharing our favorite Korean romance dramas following the theme of “one great love”.

Now, this is quite a bit tricky since there are dramas with a not-so-happy ending, which also tells an amazing love story.

Hence, we will go to those Korean romance dramas, which were made extraordinarily beautiful while threading on the pains and bliss of love.

abbyinhallyuland picks

Because This is my First Life

Because This Is My First Life

Emotionally written, the lyrical screenplay hooked me with its witty picture of how two individualists decide to share a house and eventually fall in love.

READ: K-Drama Review: “Because This Is My First Life” Pitches The Choices And Bargains We Make For Love

Discovery of Love

Discovery of Love

photo credit: KBS

By now, you might have noticed that it is a recurring favorite of mine. From first love to second chance on love, this Eric Moon and Jung Yu Mi love pairing will surely make you smile and reminisce your one great love.

City Hall

City Hall Korean Drama

 

Although I love almost all Kim Eun Sook’s dramas, City Hall left a deep impression on me because of its realistic treatment. I love how it’s not your conventional drama with cushioned and frosted romance.

It is a love story where the prince does not rescue his damsel in distress, but pushes her to be brave and to resolve things on her own.  With an uncomplicated premise, the writing was exceptionally thought provoking for women experiencing challenges in finding their worth; not in the standard of what the society dictates but on the dreams they have as a woman.

It’s Okay, That’s Love

It's okay That's love

It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama I have ever seen, but it has such an affecting and peculiar story given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal. Perhaps, it comes with me being at my 30’s too that I don’t like being given tailored romantic dramas with the usual illness premise; that is really emotional draining to watch.

Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds, and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

My Love From the Star

My Love from the Star

Once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying third parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale. Sometimes, you only need two hearts which love bravely and love back deeply.

Less the tears, sob stories and dramatic dialogues, My Love From The Star is as crisp, engaging, and gripping even without using the heavy and dark emotion inducing drama scenarios. Thriving on the character ups and downs, it etches facets of realities. It teaches how people struggle to concede with their insecurities and are always won over by finding faults at something or someone they won’t even have to bother.

The Master’s Sun

The Master's Sun

In the sea of Korean romance dramas where stories are usually woven from the rich-boy-poor-girl love affair or the male-pretending-lead-girl, a you-and-me-against-the-ghosts love story hit all my romantic nerves with its comic spooky vibes.

It was a nicely blended romance. Their story showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both needed each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they would ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

Emylyn’s picks

Autumn In My Heart

Autumn in My Heart

KBS2

The first part of the Endless Love series has one of the most touching love stories, and yes it has a tragic ending. Yoon Seo (Song Hye Kyo) and Joon Seo (Song Seung Hoon) grew up as siblings only to find out later they are actually not related. Joon Seo’s family migrated to the United States and leaves Yoon Seo behind. Years passed, and he returns to Korea as an adult looking for her long-lost “sister”.

The two eventually meet and the attraction is palpable. They try to fight it, but it wins. When they decide to give their feelings a go, another incident pulls them apart. Yoon Seo decides to let go of Joon Seo when she knew she has leukemia.

Without knowing her condition, Joon Seo is ready to go out of the country once more to forget Yoon Seo. They get back together and spend blissful days as a married couple. But Yoon Seo’s condition becomes worse and dies. The last scene suggests that Joon Seo dies as well, which gives their story a tragically beautiful ending.

The Princess’ Man

The_Princess_Man

A tale of a star-crossed lovers. Park Si Hoo plays Kim Seung Yoo, the youngest son of the King’s most trusted man. When the King’s brother, Prince Su Yang plots to take the throne, the King and Si Hoo’s father band together. The son of the King’s most trusted man and Prince Su Yang’s eldest daughter, Lee Se Ryung (Moon Chae Won) fall in love which complicates things.

This is a sageuk and as such, the leads have gone through a lot. Their love story revolves around power struggles, betrayal and palace politics but their journey does stir up emotions. Even though this drama started slow, it was able to pick up momentum towards the latter part.

Good Doctor 

Good_Doctor-p1

This is one of the Korean romance dramas that has inched its way to my attention. At first, I was not too keen on the female lead as I found her standoffish. However, the drama and the character got interesting as the story progressed. She proved her sincerity when she decided to have a romantic relationship with Park Shi-On.

Cha Yoon Seo (Moon Chae Won) and Park Shi On (Joo Won) are doctors in the pediatric ward. Shi On is an autistic savant and people often talk behind his back.. He is not normal by any standards and his social skills are also lacking.

Amongst the gossip and ridicule Shi On receives from people, Yoon Seo is quick to protect him. She is not afraid to tell people to get rid of their prejudices. The way she treats Shi On like a normal person is what makes me like her character eventually. Their love story defies society’s biases and norms, so this counts as an epic love story for me.

Nicole’s picks

Boys Over Flowers

Boys Over Flowers

photo credit: KBS

Why do I like Boys Over Flowers? It is one of those typical Korean romance dramas with a rich-boy-ordinary-girl love story. But they overcame all their obstacles because they loved each other, which wasn’t even clear in the first place.

Lee Min Ho was charming and it was easy to fall in love with him in the drama. He did well in charming not just Jan Di, but the hearts of the viewers also.

READ: 35 Benchmark Korean Romance Dramas You Should Have Watched By Now

My Strange Hero

My Strange Hero *Image via SBS*

The recently concluded My Strange Hero quickly rose to the list of my all-time favorite romantic dramas. Why? Bok Soo’s first love Soo Jeong, betrayed him. Nine years later, he is still hurting from her betrayal.

However, he quickly learns to forgive her. And after all those nine years, the love is still there. Even though Soo Jeong might not have deserved someone who loves her like Bok Soo, they still managed to forgive each other from mistakes of the past and looked forward to a great future together.

Marry Me, Mary (KBS)

Marry Me, Mary *Image via KBS*

Marry Me, Mary *Image via KBS*

It’s not your conventional love story. To avoid marriage, Kang Mu Gyul (Jang Keun Suk) went along with Mary’s (Moon Geun Young) scheme. It wasn’t an easy road for either of them because of Mary’s father, who was adamant in getting Mary to marry chaebol Jung In.

The dedication of Mu Gyul and Mary to protect each other kept me engrossed in the drama. Mu Gyul projected a hard core rocker image. Fluff and fanfare don’t usually bother him. But having Mary around changed him and made him realize he could actually be happy with a family.