Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

K-Dramas and Korean Media in general have been on the rise in the past couple of years and as someone who really enjoys K-dramas and has been watching them for quite some time I thought I would share some of my all time favorites. Regardless of whether you have never watched a K-Drama before or if you’re just looking for more dramas to add to your watch list, I wholeheartedly think these shows are worth checking out.

Yumi’s cells (Season 1)(2021)

Genre: Romantic Comedy Length: 14 Episodes (1 Hour Each)

The main character, Yumi, along with everyone else in the world have “cells” that control their emotions and actions (Think Inside Out but slightly more complex). After a painful breakup, Yumi’s love cell falls into a coma and a few of her other cells (emotions) go into hiding. After years of not being able to fall in love with anyone, Yumi meets someone new, who, to her cells’ surprise, wakes up her love cell and brings back all of her other cells as well, both good and bad. 

Overall, this story highlights the importance of expressing yourself and your emotions properly as well as the complexity of loving someone and being in a relationship. If you’re looking for something fun and lighthearted, I suggest watching this drama because this show realistically portrays the fear and excitement of going into a new relationship, but with an entertaining twist.

Summer strike (2022)

Genre: Romance and Thriller/Suspense Length: 12 Episodes (50 Minutes Each)

Tired of her mundane and disappointing life in the city, Yeo Reum decides to quit her job and move to the countryside in order to get a break from the bustling aura of Seoul. Her new life is one filled with wonder and fulfillment, but that quickly comes to a halt when a murder is committed and a series of other unfortunate events start happening in her new town. All of which seemingly only started once she moved in. 

This show did a good job at showing that, yes, it is important to appreciate what you have but that it’s also important to do what you can to be happy even if that means going against the status quo. So, if you’re looking for something with a more refreshing vibe and a bit of excitement, this is the show for you!

The red sleeve (2021)

Genre: Romance, Drama, Historical Length: 17 Episodes (1 Hour, 10 Minutes Each)

This show tells the story of the complicated romantic relationship between the Prince of Korea, Yi San and his courtesan, Sung Deok Im. While Yi San is immediately taken with Deok Im and tries to take her as a concubine, she is hesitant to do so as she knows that by taking such a position she will ultimately lose all of her freedom. 

While this certainly may not be a very relatable scenario on the surface, there are some relevant themes that translate into modern day relationships. One of which being, It is okay to love somebody but it is important that you don’t lose yourself in the process of loving them. 

Fun Fact – This show is a dramatized/fictional version of the real relationship between Jeongjo of Joseon, the 22nd monarch of the Joseon dynasty and his concubine, Seong Uibin. The show is loosely based on the “Epitaph of Uibin Seong” which was written by Jeongjo himself.  

Tell me that you love me (2023)

Genre: Romance and Drama Length: 16 Episodes (1 Hour Each)

Aspiring actress, Jung Moeun and artist Cha Jinwoo who is hearing impared, form an unlikely friendship that soon turns into a romantic one. As deeply as they are in love, there are just as many problems and hurdles the couple have to jump over. One of them expresses themselves vocally, while the other expresses themselves through art, the two are seemingly very different but those differences are also what bring them together.

I really enjoyed this drama, for me it was the perfect mix of angst and romance. If you’re new to watching K-dramas, I suggest starting here as it gives you a good understanding of the overall layout and feeling of most other (romance) K-dramas.

Hi bye, mama! (2020)

Genre: Drama Length: 16 Episodes (1 Hour, 10 Minutes Each)

After her unexpected passing a few years back, Yuri comes back from the dead for a brief period of 49 days so that she can help save her daughter from the evil ghosts and spirits that surround her. Her plan is to help and save her daughter so that she can move on to the next step in the afterlife and be reborn. That however, proves to be more difficult than she thought due to the fact that her family and friends shortly become aware of her resurgence and try to get her to stay in the physical world with them. 

This show represents the complexity of losing a loved one and the difficulty of grieving and moving on. Honestly, it was a real emotional roller coaster and I highly suggest having a box of tissues nearby. Definitely worth checking out!

Sarah is a member of Her Campus, IUP chapter. Sarah is currently a sophomore and a part of the honors college at IUP where she is majors in English writing Studies, minors in anthropology and plans to get a foreign language certificate in Chinese. She loves listening to music and her favorite singers and is also a huge fan of the k-pop powerhouse group Seventeen, as well as Monsta X, and Gfriend. Sarah also loves watching movies, specifically documentaries (about ANYTHING!) and animation. In her free time she also journals and reads webtoons.