Have you ever watched Korean TV series or movies before? Or Have you ever heard about the movie that is Oscar-winning film at the Academy Awards ? Recently, interest in Korean dramas and movies is increasing beyond K-Beauty. In particular, through the movie “Parasite,” which was a sensation at the Oscars recently, I was able to promote Korean cultural contents to the world and enjoy Korean cultural contents easily through various platforms such as Netflix and YouTube. I’m sure you’ll be fascinated if you watch Korean series or movies at least once. I think that watching Korean dramas and movies will be a good opportunity to understand the country of Korea and experience culture indirectly, not just consuming content. Now I would like to introduce the best 10 Korean dramas that received a lot of love in Korea. The 10 dramas selected here are the subjectively selected list. However, these dramas have received a lot of love in Korea and I think they are good contents that represent Korean society and culture. Now let me introduce the best 10 Korean Netflix dramas that Koreans watch and recommend.
Genre: Historical period, Horror, Thriller
Season 1: January 25, 2019
Season 2: March 13, 2020
Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na, Kim Sang-ho
Director: Kim Seong-hun
Why it’s worth watching: It is a drama that brought about the Korean zombie craze, and the story unfolds as zombies appear in the Joseon Dynasty. It is a drama in which the king of Joseon, who became a zombie due to certain grasses, and the power to use them politically, are engaged in a tense battle with the crown prince. As the episodes continue, the tension increases, and detailed makeup and solid story add to the immersion. If you want to enjoy Korean zombies, traditional costumes and weapons from the Joseon Dynasty, please watch Kingdom right now. However, I recommend that only those who have the courage to face the appearance of Joseon zombies when they close their eyes.
The Reply series
Genre:Coming-of-age, Comedy, Romance, Family
Season 1: Reply 1997, July 24, 2012
Season 2: Reply 1994, October 18, 2013
Season 3: Reply 1988, November 6, 2015
Cast: Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Go Ara, Jung Woo, Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum
Director: Shin Won-ho
Why it’s worth watching: It is a series of dramas that received a lot of love and gave a fresh shock in Korea, and each series deals with the ordinary families in detail. It is a drama series that brought the sympathy and memories of the people who lived in each era, and it was so popular that the production team was flooded with requests to deal with the year. The props in the drama were also reenacted in detail, making it the best drama that dealt with the image of Korea at that time. The title “Reply” comes as a reminder to everyone who lived in the contemporary era, and it is a must-see drama if you want to feel the younger generation of Korea in each era.
Genre: Historical, Romance, Melodrama
Release date: July 7, 2018
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri
Director: Lee Eung-bok
Why it’s worth watching: It’s definitely the best drama I’ve watched recently. Japanese colonial era It is a drama about Joseon Dynasty, and it is impressive to see a small and gentle aristocrat abandoning her struggle for independence against Japan. It is also fun to watch romance with a Korean-American officer who was adopted to the U.S. Personally, it was nice to be able to enjoy the proud Joseon Dynasty against the Japanese colonial rule and the rough but heartbreaking love story. If you want to see the heartbreaking moments of Korea and Seoul at that time, you must watch this drama.
Genre: Black Comedy
November 22, 2017
Cast: Park Hae-soo, Jung Kyung-ho
Director: Shin Won-ho
Why it’s worth watching: It’s a drama about the prison life that takes place when the main character, who was a baseball player in the spotlight, goes to prison. Before this drama came out, there was no drama about prison life in Korea. It is a drama that has hardships and humanism with people who meet in prison for the first time. It may be thought that it dealt with Korean sensibilities as a drama mainly composed of human and warm stories, not a prison where criminals are active. The individuality of each character and the chemistry between each character provide different fun. It’s a prison life drama that feels different from Prison Break and Orange Is the Black. If you’re curious about Korean sensibilities and Korean prisons, please watch it.
March 21, 2018
Cast: Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Ji-eun
Director: Kim Won-seok
Why it’s worth watching: It’s a Korean drama about Mr. Long Legs. The small and tender female protagonist lives a hard and difficult life every day. The female lead who joined the male lead’s company is dark and hard, but she does her job thoroughly. Watching the difficulties of the heroine, the male lead feels something compassion and appears somewhere to help her whenever she needs it. At first, the main character who felt repulsed becomes more and more assimilated, brighter, and empathized. It is a warm Korean drama where you can feel the calm emotion and love with good OST throughout the drama.
Genre: Satire, Drama, Black Comedy
November 23, 2018
Cast: Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, Kim Seo-hyoung
Director: Jo Hyun-tak
Why it’s worth watching:It is a drama that you can see clearly about Korean college entrance exam. Of course, it is a drama where you can see how high school students think about college entrance exams in the top 1% of households and how much Korean parents are trying to get into them. It’s a mysterious and shocking drama with a hidden twist. It is a drama that made a lot of parodies and became a hot topic in Korea, and it is a satirical drama that depicts the entrance exam craze of the top Korean classes.
The World of the Married
Genre: Melodrama, Romance, Family, Thriller
March 27, 2020
Cast: Kim Hee-ae, Park Hae-joon, Han So-hee, Park Sun-young
Director: Mo Wan-il, Kim Sung-jin
Why it’s worth watching: It’s a remake of Dr. Post in England. It is a drama that depicts an affair between a middle-aged couple, which gave a fresh shock. Personally, I haven’t seen the original work of the U.K., but if you’re curious about the story of an affair between a middle-aged Korean couple, please go to Netflix right now.
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama
December 2, 2016
Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook, Yoo In-na, Yook Sung-jae
Director: Lee Eung-bok, Kwon Hyuk-chan
Why it’s worth watching: It is one of my personal favorite dramas. It is one of the best dramas that consist of Korean afterlife, goblin, fantasy, and love. The gorgeous goblin, who enjoys eternal life, wants to live comfortably now, except for a knife in the chest that is invisible to ordinary people, but the only person who can pull it out is the goblin priest, who has lived for hundreds of years to find the goblin bride. It is a very interesting drama that depicts the love story between the goblin bride and the alkong dalkong and the fight with the forces that disturb it. In addition, you can check out the OST on Netflix right away on Netflix.
Dear My Friends
May 13, 2016
Cast: Go Hyung-jung, Kim Hye-ja, Na Moon-hee, Go Doo-shim, Park Won-sook, Youn Yuh-jung, Joo Hyun, Kim Young-ok, Shin Goo
Director: Hong Jong-chan
Why it’s worth watching: It is a drama about the life of old Korean women. The main characters are all friends and there are many interesting episodes that unfold in them. There are couples who think of twilight divorce, and couples who dream of loving old age. There are also images of a woman trying to overcome dementia and a mother who has cancer but is trying to overcome it strongly. This drama, full of fresh and interesting episodes, is a touching and heartwarming story of old age in Korea. If you want to feel the emotions of Korea, search for Dear My Friends on Netflix.
Hello, My Twenties!
Genre: Youth, Drama, Romance
Season 1: July 22, 2016
Season 2: August 25, 2017
Cast: Han Ye-ri, Han Seung-yeon, Park Eun-bin, Ryu Hwa-young, Park Hye-su
Director: Lee Tae-gon, Kim Sang-ho
Why it’s worth watching: It is a drama about the growth period of 20s in Korea. The main characters meet at a boarding house near a university, and each main character’s story unfolds like an omnibus. Each person’s individuality and the typical 20s who have something hidden from each other that they can’t tell each other, and you can also see the love and friendship that unfolds in them. It’s a beautiful drama that makes you happy when you watch season 2. If you want to see a beautiful youth story of Korea, I recommend you to watch it. You will be able to empathize with the concerns of the twenties of Korea that you are seeing.
We looked at 10 Korean dramas that you can watch on Netflix. The reason why you are reading this is because you are interested in Korea and in Korean content. The dramas I introduced include my subjective evaluation, but you won’t regret it once you choose. If you want to feel closer to Korea in the untact era, click the Netflix play button.