List

Best Addictive Korean Dramas Worthy Of Yearly Reruns

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Do you still remember the first Korean drama that put you on sleepless nights trying to battle out that “just one more episode” bargain?

Any K-Drama follower has a starting point that drew him or her to that strange fascination on Korean dramas. You may have stumbled on your own or someone introduced it to you, but that particular one story which locked you up with a new-found addiction will always remain special.

Rite of Passage Korean Dramas represents the Korean dramas we first loved. These are the best addictive Korean dramas that will almost guarantee a new convert to sail on the Hallyu wave. For the newbies, these are good reference points to learn the clichés, and the evolution of K-Drama plots.  Let’s see if your K-Drama first love has made it to the list.

 

Full House

full house

Full House narrates the love journey of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor, who are forced to live together after the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father.  There is a contract marriage plot that pushes the romance of two people, who seem unlikely to fall in love with each other.  The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love are the strongest points of Full House.

My Girl

my girl

Geol Chan, a son from a rich family, takes in a con-woman to pretend as his long lost cousin to appease his sick grandfather.  He is prepared to deal with the repercussions of the lie, but is caught off guard when he starts falling in love with her.  My Girl is a patient drama when it comes to fulfilling the love promise of the story. That’s why it is even more special.

Goong

You will love how the marriage for convenience and fulfilling of the ancestor’s promise to marry future descendants, paved the way to one of Korea’s most endeared youth drama.  The love couple matures as the romance grows. The love transitions from nothing at all to “I want you to be always beside me” kind of adoration. This is one youth drama that you should not miss, and is the K-drama staple drama classic.

Jumong:  The Book of Three Han

jumong

While journeying with Jumong to the endless political wars and rooting for his inevitable ascension to the empire he built, one can learn about Korean history, war strategies, economic principles and winning over people’s greed.  You know that Machiavelli book about politics and governance, skip that. Instead, watch Jumong for a more interactive education.  Though patience might be required by some to finish this long period drama, but given the wide array of genre it covers, it is worth watching.

Boys Over Flowers

No matter how trite and shallow the plot execution of this flower boys centered drama, Boys Over Flowers should be rightfully credited for pushing Hallyu popularity to the world. What made it different from the rest of the remakes is it stays on the original context of young and sweet high school romance. To some, it may not be perfect because of the moments that the drama had to ride its viral trend with unnecessary fragments added.  Still, it is one charming romance that will remind us of our first love, school crush, being young and chasing dreams.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

my girlfriend is a gumiho

This supernatural spectacle fused with local folklore brings a heroine like no other, and a lead man who braves the odds just to be with the woman he loves.  The reversal of the roles for the lead couples is impressively executed as the curious heroine takes charge in taking care of the hero.  The quirky interaction of the lead couple until reaching the eventual love zone is something you would root for while you are watching the narrative.

You’re Beautiful

youre beautiful

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 idol boy band.  Having spent most of her time in the convent, Mi Nam works hard to adapt in a new world of cohabitation with her band members.  This drama brims with witty humor and sweet scenes, which propelled a strong fan base even now.  You’re Beautiful would make you realize how beautiful it is to fall in love without any reason, but just following the pure unadulterated adoration you felt for that someone.

Secret Garden

Addictive Korean dramas

This body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeds everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story. It is a breather from generic rom-coms with its perfect blending of fantasy and romance, and with the main love couple’s role reversal. Secret Garden is your drama to binge-watch when you want a K-drama marathon vacation. It plays well in keeping its excitement stable, and hits a love development where the viewers are left all cheering for it to happen. The fantasy body-switching plot is a brilliant addition to keep the story bubbly, but the strength of how the love couple communicates along the way eventually helps them realize how they are both rendered by the love bind they throw at each other unconsciously.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Sungkyunkwan Scandal is a Hana Kimi-Boys-Over-Flower fusion set in the Joseon era.  It depicts a kind of school life that every girl wishes for — which is having three gorgeous men as her friends, and even two fighting for her heart.  Despite the political conflict, what fans would love most about Sungkyunkwan Scandal is the drive for optimism, and the exchange of wisdom between the older cast and younger main leads.  The bravery of the characters stands out, making each of their portrayals worth remembering.  The romantic scenes are framed in candied moments that when you tell your friends about it, you get transported back to the moment when you were watching it.

The First Shop of Coffee Prince

Addictive Korean dramas

This cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings when it was airing with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined. A coffee place owner falls in love with his crew whom he thought to be a man, only to find out that she disguised herself so that she can secure a job in the all-male operated coffee shop. Coffee Prince’s ending is cheesy as it can be, but it wraps up with how the lead man lets go of his girl for her to pursue her own dreams.  This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will surely not lose its appeal even after a few decades from now.

The Master’s Sun

The Hong Sisters’ drama, The Master’s Sun, goes to a spooky milieu and is successful in doing so.  A ghost-seeing woman is burdened by her supernatural ability for all her life. When she bumps with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost requests, she keeps getting with and without her permission, she sticks by the prickly rich department store owner and soon develops a relationship with him.  In a way, the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace will make you join the love couple in discovering the reasons why they fall in love with each other, alongside why they are in denial and scared to admit it.  It has a solid chemistry from the main leads, which makes the captivating writing and story appear like a classic fairy tale.

Healer

When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way for the story to go wrong. Healer is one of the best Korean dramas you should include in your list if you have not seen it yet. It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero, who chooses to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grows attachment to a woman who draws him out of his hibernation. The drama exquisitely links the furtive relationship of the characters while boosting up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection. Healer justifies the superb screenplay with how the characters are passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling. While a lot progress in the story, it never misses its steps in binding the back story, romance and conflicts together.

You Who Came from Another Star

Addictive Korean dramas

I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together, gives a gratifying approach for You Who Came From Another Star. It bugs me in a perplexing contemplation on how a drama with a typical rom-com premise surges to a romantic bliss, never looking back at each episode with seemingly faultless execution of how-to-make-a-perfect-rom-com guidelines. Fate, chance encounters, and brave “I-love-you-right-now” claims have never been so stunningly achieved – until this love story graced the K-drama screen.

Reply 1988

Reply 1988 pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love stories. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat, and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm embraces. Focusing on a nostalgic premise, Reply 1988 brilliantly uses melancholia by sending the viewers back to their very own youth. It sweetly treads on a narrative that reminds us to still go for the purest romance you can have and never give up on it. Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos that any person with a euphoric youth can relate to.  I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare.

Descendants of the Sun

Suave and prettily written, Captain Yoo Si Jin wins the viewers’ hearts in his cool depiction of a military elite officer, who gets the girl he dreams of even when their careers hinder them to work on the evident spark they feel for 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 fans of Korean dramas.

Legend of the Blue Sea

The blending of reincarnation plot and the mermaid-human romance appear trite on its onset, but as the plot thickens, it feels like the mythical element is as strong as the driving point of the real-life scenario projected in the story. Legend of the Blue Sea made me smile a lot as I cheer on the impossible fulfillment of  the love couple’s reincarnated romance. It effortlessly keeps me intrigued on how the plot will unfold because it comes well-prepared on its weekly spectacle. It knows when to trigger the adorable points, and how to timely cast the entrancing spell for me to stay invested on its future.

Now, it’s time for you to plan your next K-Drama binge with the Best Addictive Korean Dramas to watch.


ABOUT THE WRITER

abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

E: [email protected]

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1 Comment

  1. shadowoftheoperaghost

    May 2, 2017 at 5:09 am

    So many great dramas on this list!

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