5 Korean Dramas Worth Binge-Watching

As the Korean wave (also known as hallyu) continues to take the world by storm, the past couple of years have not only seen a drastic increase in the popularity of Korean music but in TV dramas as well. With Netflix signing contracts with numerous major Korean production companies, these TV dramas have become widely accessible to a larger, global audience. Known for their intense storylines, Korean dramas can often showcase everything from heart-wrenching tragedy to true love and even reincarnation. Not to mention … This is all done in (typically) just  16 episodes. It is no wonder that this genre of television has developed quite a loyal fanbase. 

If you haven’t already seen them all, here’s a list of my personal (old and new) favourites that are sure to keep you up all night long… 

  1. 1. Tale of the Nine-Tailed

    Genre: Fantasy, Suspense, Romance, Thriller 

    Lee Dong-Wook is back as the mythical nine-tailed fox (also known as gumiho). As he lives in the modern world, he has been set with the task of fighting off any threatening supernatural beings. However, his true aim is to find the reincarnation of his long lost first love. Nam Ji Ah (played by Jo Bo Ah) is a television producer who specializes in urban myths. As her past tragedies involving a car accident and the mysterious disappearance of her parents begin to resurface, the two characters’ lives begin to connect. This drama also features some of my all-time favourite supporting characters. As each individual has their own distinct personality, every separate storyline within the show is equally as addicting to watch. 

     

  2. 2. Love Alarm

    Genre: Rom-Com

    Based on the popular Webtoon (Korean digital comic), Love Alarm was one of Netflix’s first-ever original Korean drama series. This drama featured a unique plot line that revolved around users finding love through a mobile phone application. Users would be notified if someone within a 110-meter radius had romantic feelings for them, acting as the perfect catalyst for love triangles and heartbreak. The show received an extremely positive reception and has been renewed for a second season which is expected to be released later this year. 

  3. 3. Goblin

    Genre: Fantasy, Rom-Com

    Known as one of the highest-rated Korean dramas of all time, this show surpassed my expectations and took me on a whole rollercoaster of emotions. This fantasy romance explores the ideas of immortality and the afterlife, as the modern-day Goblin (Gong Yoo) is in desperate need to find a human bride in order to end his cursed immortal life. The drama presents many lovable characters, including the grim reaper (Lee Dong-Wook) whose life becomes increasingly intertwined with the Goblin.

  4. 4.  Sweet Home

    Genre: Horror, Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic, Thriller

     

    A more recent drama, Sweet Home came out on Netflix at the end of 2020, marking the end of the year with a thrilling bang! After the tragic death of his family, Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang) moves into a new apartment building where strange incidents begin to occur with even stranger neighbours. Soon after, South Korea becomes plagued by a mysterious virus that begins turning people into their strongest hidden desires. As Hyun-soo and the other residents struggle to survive, this drama is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Even if horror may not be your top pick, I encourage all K-drama lovers to give this one a go, as it surprisingly became one of my top favourites of the year! 

  5. 5. The King: Eternal Monarch

    Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Mystery 

    This fantasy-romance drama tells the story of two parallel worlds. Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho) is the modern-day emperor in the Kingdom of Corea, while Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go-eun) is a detective in the Republic of Korea. As Lee Gon uses his ability to cross between the two worlds, mysteries behind his tragic past begin to reveal themselves as he learns that he may not be the only one who possesses the capacity to escape into the other world. This drama is filled with breathtaking chemistry between the main leads, as well as a very lovable supporting cast. 

     

If you want to get lost in another world, then Korean dramas are the perfect escape. Although I may be slightly biased towards fantasy dramas … whether you like romance or horror, there  is definitely a drama out there for you!