A generous dose of romance, drama, humor, action and fantasy is what combines to make Korean dramas. Here’s a comprehensive list so you know where to begin:
Crash Landing On You
Last year’s blockbuster cross-border romance-melodrama stars Hyun Bin as a dutiful North Korean officer and Son Ye Jinplay as a South Korean business heiress. When a paragliding incident goes awry, Hyun lands in the neighbouring country and meets the rugged Son. The premise of this show might remind Bollywood fans of Veer Zara, but written by one of Korea’s most talented female writers, Park Ji Eun, this show is a must watch.
Descendants of the Sun
The 2016 Korean drama, written by Kim Eun Sook, is a love story between a Special Forces captain (Song Joon-gi) and a doctor (Song Hye Kyo), set against the backdrop of war, disaster and civil unrest. The show beautifully deals with themes of patriotism, friendship and acceptance. The once real life ‘Song-Song’ couple bring their crackling chemistry to the lead roles.
Reply 1988 is an emotional and nostalgic trip down the memory lane. A gentle ode to the late 80s, it revolves around five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood in Seoul. There’s heartwarming friendship, poignant romance, and a sense of togetherness in this tight-knit community.
Because This Is My First Life
What happens when an eccentric computer designer leases out one of his apartment’s rooms to a struggling writer? While countless films and TV dramas have revolved around the concept of co-habitation and companionship, there’s something special about this slice-of-life drama. It deals with professional struggles, ambition, rejection and how to overcome challenges with grace and dignity.
South Korea does crime fiction and thrillers so well (the Oscar-winning Parasite is proof). Signal is inspired by real-life crimes that occurred in Korea and is peppered with clever writing and some elements of fantasy. It’s highly recommended.
Welcome To Waikiki
If you’re looking for a wacky and hilarious sitcom to help you unwind this weekend, Welcome to Waikiki is the one. The show turns the popular ‘three men and a baby’ concept into an absolute laugh-riot, while still keeping it relatable.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.