Top 10 Romantic Korean Dramas to Binge-Watch Now

April 5, 2020

Stuck at home and need to escape from reality for a few hours? Here are ten of my favourite romantic Korean dramas to binge-watch while in quarantine.

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin)

The plot: Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a decorated military general from the Goryeo Dynasty. After being betrayed and killed by his king, Kim Shin is transformed into an immortal dokkaebi (goblin), cursed to watch his loved ones grow old and die. The only way to break the curse is for the goblin’s bride to pull out the sword that remains pierced through his chest.

Things get interesting when Kim Shin’s nephew rents out the goblin’s house to a grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook,) and the two are forced to become roommates.

Things get even more interesting when Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go-eun), a lively teenager with the ability to see ghosts, accidentally summons the goblin. 

What’s to love: Goblin stirred up some controversy in South Korea because of its depiction of a teenage girl in a relationship with a 939-year-old immortal ahjussi. Despite this, the show remains incredibly popular. Goblin was a smash hit for very good reason. Expect heart-wrenching romance, a good dose of humour and an adorable bromance. You need to watch this.

Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, Yook Sung-jae

Where to watch: Viki

Healer

The plot: An underground night courier with the codename “Healer” (Ji Chang-wook) accepts a job from famous reporter Kim Moon-ho (Yoo Ji-Tae) to protect a young tabloid writer named Chae Young-shin (Park Min-Young). The three characters soon become embroiled in a dangerous plot involving murder, betrayal and a traumatic shared past. 

What’s to love: Action, deadly secrets, romance and Ji Chang-Wook. What’s not to love?

Cast: Ji Chang-Wook, Park Min-Young, Yoo Ji-Tae, Kim Mi-Kyung

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

Boys Over Flowers

The plot: Geum Jan-di (Ku Hye-sun), a headstrong girl from a poor family, receives a scholarship to attend the prestigious Shinhwa High School. Here she gains the attention of F4, the wealthiest and most popular boys in school.

What’s to love: Based on the Japanese shōjo manga series Hana Yori Dango (花より男子), Boys over Flowers is a classic. There are many versions of the story, including the 2001 Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden and the 2018 Chinese reboot by the same title. If you enjoy a strong female lead, you’ll love the spunky Geum Jan-di. Prepare for a lot of angst and serious second male lead syndrome though.

Cast: Ku Hye-sun; Lee Min-ho; Kim Hyun-joong; Kim Joon; Kim Bum

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

Oh My Venus

The plot: When her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her for gaining weight, lawyer Kang Joo-Eun (Shin Min-a) enlists the help of Kim Young-Ho (So Ji-sub), a famous personal trainer, to whip her into shape. 

What’s to love: Oh My Venus is one of my personal favourites. This comfortable, feel-good drama will make you feel less depressed about the sorry state of the world.

Cast: Shin Min-a, So Ji-sub, Jung Gyu-woon, Henry Lau

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

My Love From the Stars

The plot: Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun), a famous actress, moves into the apartment next door to Do Min- Joon (Kim Soo-hyun), an alien who has been stranded on Earth for 400 years. The two fall in love, but it’s almost time for Do Min-Joon to go home…

What’s to love: Plenty of action and intrigue and a romance that will rip apart your heart and sew it back together.

Cast: Kim Soo-hyun; Jun Ji-hyun

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?

The plot: After nine years of working for Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon) as his secretary, Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young) decides to quit her job. Shocked by her sudden resignation, Young-joon realises he stands to lose more than just his trusted assistant.

What’s to love: Park Seo-joon is brilliant as the hilariously awkward narcissist Vice President Lee.

Cast: Park Seo-joon; Park Min-young

Where to watch: Viki; Hulu; Netflix

While You Were Sleeping

The plot: When a reporter, a prosecutor and a young police officer discover that they are connected through prophetic dreams, they band together to prevent their nightmares from becoming a reality and save lives.

What’s to love: While You Were Sleeping combines elements of fantasy, legal drama and classic rom-com, catering to a wide range of tastes and interests.

Cast: Lee Jong-suk; Bae Suzy; Jung Hae-in; Lee Sang-yeob; Ko Sung-hee

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

You’re Beautiful

The plot: When a botched plastic surgery derails her twin brother’s plan to join the popular boy band A.N.JELL, Ko Mi-Nyeo (Park Shin-Hye) must disguise herself as a boy to stand in for him. 

As a nun in training, Ko Mi-Nyeo is like a fish out of water in the chaotic and glamorous world of K-Pop. Her cross-dressing shenanigans are soon discovered by Hwang Tae-kyung (Jang Keun-suk), the group’s arrogant lead vocalist.

What’s to love: If you love a good gender-bender (and K-Pop!), this one’s for you. 

Cast: Jang Keun-Suk; Park Shin-Hye; Jung Yong-hwa; Lee Hong-Gi as the adorable Jeremy

Where to watch: Viki, Netflix

Wednesday 3:30 PM

The plot: When Sun Eun-woo (Jin Ki-joo) is dumped by her boyfriend, she tries to make him jealous by staging a fake relationship with her childhood friend, Yoon Jae Won (Lee Hongbin). Wednesday 3:30 PM is supposedly the time when women are at their least attractive, and also the time of Eun-woo’s break-up, so Jae Won takes her out on mini dates every Wednesday. The couple then posts snaps of a radiant-looking Eun-woo to social media every Wednesday at 3:30 PM.

What’s to love: This light-hearted web drama is so sweet it’ll give you diabetes. It’s the perfect escapism in a time when the world seems pretty messed up. The episodes are very short, so you can zoom through this one in an afternoon.

Cast: Jin Ki-joo; Lee Hongbin; Ahn Bo Hyun

Where to watch: Viki

My Holo Love

The plot: Han So-yeon is an ordinary office worker with a secret that prevents her from getting close to people: she suffers from prosopagnosia (face blindness). Her world is turned upside down when she accidentally comes into possession of a pair of prototype holographic glasses. With the help of Holo, the world’s first AI holographic assistant, and his grumpy creator, Go Nan-do, Han So-yeon slowly begins to open up to others. But can a human and an AI fall in love?

What’s to love: My Holo Love offers a lot of traditional drama tropes, but also raises interesting questions around the nature of love and what it means to be human.

Cast: Yoon Hyun-min as Go Nan-do/Holo; Ko Sung-hee as Han So-yeon

Where to watch: Netflix

Are you learning Korean? Which K-drama would you add to the list?

Pin It Button
Top 10 Korean Dramas to Binge-watch

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Post

Number magnets

Introduction to Chinese Number Slang

March 30, 2020

Next Post

Learn 80+ Essential Afrikaans Phrases - With Audio

April 16, 2020