If you’re anything like me, after almost a full year of being locked in your room from Covid restrictions, you’ve already rewatched all of your favorite TV shows and are on a never-ending quest for more stuff to watch. After I had watched New Girl and Friends twice over in a scarily short time period I knew I had to dive into something new or else I’d lose my mind. So I decided to turn to Korean dramas for the first time since early high school. What makes K-dramas the perfect quarantine accompaniment is that they are tremendously long. Each episode lasts a whole hour and there are 16 episodes in a season. While it’s great that just one series gives you 16 hours of television, it’s even better once you remember that there’s almost an endless selection of dramas to choose from. With countless genres like historical, mystery, time travel, medical, and more I promise the gigantic industry that is Korean dramas will keep you entertained during these humdrum times. Since there are so many to choose from, here’s a couple of my all-time favorites that are destined to get you hooked.
- Cheese in a Trap
Cheese in a Trap centers around our protagonist Hong Seol, a committed student who has just resumed her studies at university after taking time off to make some money towards her tuition. Despite her best efforts to keep quiet and not bud heads with anyone she keeps bumping into Yoo Jung, the handsome and privileged heir to his father’s prosperous company. While everyone thinks of him as a nice guy, Seol suspects he has a hidden dark side. This drama is a great slice of life show that’s splashed with a hint of mystery as we try to dissect what’s going on with Yoo Jung and why he keeps inserting himself in Seol’s life.
- Oh My Ghost
If you’re down for a little bit of supernatural, this show will be great for you. Oh My Ghost stars Park Bo-young as the lonely and diffident Na Bong-sun who works as an assistant chef at the prestigious Sun Restaurant. Since she was young, Bong-sun has had the ability to see ghosts since her grandmother is a shaman. One day Bong-sun gets possessed by a virgin ghost named Shin Soon-ae who takes over her body in hopes of seducing a man who will send her on her way to the afterlife. After having a seemingly abrupt personality switch, Bong-sun’s famous boss Kang Sun-woo suddenly starts to give her some more attention, setting up the plot of the story. This drama is so juicy and entertaining; please check it out!
- Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
This drama again stars the delightful Park Bo-young (a favorite actress of mine) as the indestructible Do Bong-soon who was born with godlike strength, a trait of all the women in her family. While Bong-soon dreams of developing her own video game centering around herself as the hero, she lacks the proper credentials to get such a job so she ends up working as the security guard to the rich and handsome Ahn Min-hyuk, the CEO of a famous video game company who is being stalked by a dangerous figure. Suspiciously, a string of kidnappings simultaneously begin popping up throughout their town and Bong-soon is determined to use her powers to stop them. This drama is an interesting mix of romance, comedy, drama, mystery, and supernatural – a wonderful combination you could only find in a Kdrama. I definitely recommend giving this a watch, if only for the empowering feeling of seeing a petite girl beat up countless men!
- Start Up
Start Up is a super popular drama that seems to be everywhere nowadays. Honestly, the plot is slightly convoluted, but I’m going to do my best to put this succinctly. Start Up is about the go-getting Seo Dal-mi who yearns to follow in her late father’s footsteps and begin her own entrepreneurial career that she has always dreamed of. Since her father was not very well off, Dal-mi grew up without means and wasn’t able to attend college, spending much of her adulthood working in her grandma’s food truck. On the other side of the coin, Dal-mi’s sister In-jae was raised separately by their mother and her affluent step-father, giving her a major leg up in her career and allowing her to start her own successful company. After meeting again for the first time in years, Dal-mi wants to look impressive and lies that she is starting her own company with her childhood pen pal and current boyfriend Nam do-san. To this, In-jae invites her sister to a fancy networking party at her company. Now Dal-mi has to track down this mysterious figure from her past whom she has never met in person and convince him to pose as her business partner-slash-boyfriend. This drama has amazing romance and is totally worth all of the buzz it is getting!
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
This is my all-time favorite K-drama! Kim Bok Joo is an upbeat, yet unpopular girl who happens to be the weightlifting ace of her collegiate team. Bok Joo’s counterpart is the sweet and charming Jung Joon-Hyung, a talented collegiate swimmer struggling from an unfortunate series of disqualifications due to false-starting. On a particularly rainy day, Bok Joo bumps into Joon-Hyung’s older brother and quickly develops a crush on him after he treats her chivalrously. This show is a heart-warming coming of age tale about body-image, mental health, and just some good ole’ romance. It’s a fun and carefree watch!
I know some people can get a little intimidated watching international shows, but you’re really missing out by not watching any. Korean dramas have some of the most unique and intriguing plotlines I’ve ever seen and they always manage to keep me enticed. I highly encourage you to watch at least one if you find yourself with some extra time on your hands.