Skip To Content

    26 Unmissable Korean Dramas You Should Stream Right Now

    Grab your favourite snacks and get ready to binge!

    At the 2020 Golden Globes, South Korean director Bong Joon Ho's said "once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films," and his words could not be true.

    NBC

    Whether you're an avid K-drama watcher, or you're looking for something new to watch, there's a K-drama for everyone. Here are 26 of my favourites!

    1. Crash Landing on You

    TvN / Netflix

    South Korean entrepreneur, Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-Jin) gets caught in a tornado while paragliding. There she crashes and lands into the arms of Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), a North Korean soldier who is guarding the borders. Instead of turning her into the North Korean authorities, he tries to secretly get her back to South Korea, falling in love with her in the process. The drama portrays life in South and North Korea in a light-hearted and funny way, and is bound to leave you falling for the characters. From the loyal soldier comrades, to the cute and kind village women, to the truly unexpected second lead romance, this drama is swoon-worthy.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    2. Descendants of the Sun

    KBS

    Anything actor Song Joong-Ki touches is amazing. Look at him, I mean, really look at him. Captain Yoo Si-jin, AKA Big Boss, leader of a special forces unit and his second-in-command chase down a thief, and bring him to the hospital where the leading couple have their first meet-cute. Yoo Si-jin meets trauma surgeon Kang Mo Yeon and their complicated but captivating love story begins. The drama explores humility, militarily hardships, and complicated love in the fictional war-torn Uruk, steering away from other popular K-drama narratives. And for all the K-Pop fans, Onew from SHINee plays one of the doctors.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    3. Vincenzo

    tvN / Netflix

    A crime thriller with some dark comedy, Vincenzo puts a unique twist on the “bad-guy-turned-good” format. Baby-faced yet ruthless Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-Ki), a consigliere for the Italian mafia, heads to Korea in search of gold hidden in the basement of Geumga Plaza. There he meets lawyer Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-bin,) who works with him to balance the scale between the Davids and Goliaths of society. A real modern-day Robin Hood tale.

    Watch it on:  Netflix

    4. Hello, My Twenties!

    JTBC

    Featuring a female-led cast, this coming of age drama has great storylines and touches on serious topics such as mental health and domestic violence. The girls, who live together in a shared house in Seoul, all have very different personalities and you'll find yourself relating to each one. Eun-Jae is the shy one, Ye-eun is the bright vibrant one, Ji-won's the bubbly yet erratic one, Yi-na is the extravagant one, and Ye-ri's the responsible one. The drama explores how all the characters support each other as they navigate their way through relationships and adulting. 

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    5. Start-Up

    Netflix

    If you're a tech lover, this drama is for you! I learnt so much about the mechanics of starting up a new business, and how technology can shape the world from this. Start-Up aggressively pulls on your heartstrings so be warned – I had major second-hand lead syndrome!  The drama centres around Seo Dal-mi, who was separated from her sister Won In-jae when they were young. In-jae left to live with her mum and new rich husband in America and Dal-mi went to her grandma. To cheer her up, Dal-mi's grandma asked Han Ji-pyeong to write to her, pretending to be a boy named Nam Do San. Fast forward years later, and Dal-mi meets her sister and then decides to search for her childhood pen pal.  In a scramble to find the real Do San, Dal-mi’s grandma reaches out to Ji-pyeong for help, and all their lives become entwined and you guessed it, a love triangle emerges!

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    6. Boys Over Flowers

    KBS

    Liked Gossip Girl? …Well then you'll love this. Boys Over Flowers is the OG of K-dramas, and if you are looking for something classic, this is the one. Geum Jan-Di is a poor girl who is given a scholarship to Shinhwa High, one of the most elite schools in South Korea. There she meets the notorious F4, a group of the richest and most powerful boys in the school, and finds herself standing up to the group's leader Goo Joon-Pyo. Joon-Pyo has never been challenged before (go figure), and when he starts developing feelings for Jan-Di (typical, but I love it) he realises that not everything can be bought with money. This drama is a Korean adaptation of the Japanese show Hana Yori Dango and it is so worth watching!

    Watch it on:  Netflix, Viki

    7. The Heirs, AKA The Inheritors

    SBS TV

    This is basically the modern version of Boys Over Flowers. A tale of young love, friendship, and sacrifice. The show is truthful and heartwarming, and even though it's a typical rich boy-poor girl storyline, the love-affirming romantic scenes will tug on your emotions. Actor Lee Min-Ho plays Kim Tan, who falls in love with Cha Eun-Sang – played by none other than South Korea's sweetheart Park Shin-hye. The pair find it hard to exist in each other's worlds, but push through to find some middle ground amongst all the madness around them. This drama is ridiculously dramatic and intense and has a star-studded cast. You'll find loads of big names such as Kim Woo-bin, Fx’s Krystal Jung, and CNBLUE’s Kang Min-Hyuk.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    8. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

    KBS

    Do you sometimes just want to wrap yourself in a blanket and watch something that'll make you cry, but will also fill your heart at the same time? This drama will do just that. Moon Lovers is a period melodrama based in the Goryeo era – Hae-Soo (singer-songwriter IU) drowns and travels back in time and wakes up as Lady Hae. Trying to survive the era, she rewrites history by getting closer to the 4th Prince Wang, who is supposedly destined to bring doom to the kingdom. She also has the Goryeo princes at her beck and call – handsome Goreyeo princes, might I add! Listen out for the perfectly produced soundtrack – my favourite song is "For You" by Chen, Baekyun, and Xiumin.

    Watch it on: Viki

    9. Signal

    tvN

    An intense crime thriller with a supernatural twist. It's the year 2015, and profiler Park Hae-young stumbles across a mysterious walkie-talkie and communicates with Lee Jae-Han, a detective living in1986. Hae-young and his team leader Cha Soo-hyun work with Jae-Han to solve cold cases in the future. With its many plot twists and jaw-dropping cliffhangers, this is the perfect drama for inducing adrenaline, and is a skillfully unique take on the theme of time travel. If you're into true crime, this one is for you – the writers of the show drew inspiration from real-life crime cases to create captivating storylines, and it shows.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    10. It’s Okay, That's Love

    SBS TV

    Bestselling mystery author and popular radio show host, Jang Jae-yeol, meets psychiatrist Ji Hae-soo, and they don't initially hit it off. After a series of events, they end up living in the same house, along with Hae-soo's colleague Jo Dong-Min, and Park Soo-kwang (Lee Kwang-soo from Running man!) who has Tourette’s syndrome. Off to a rough start, Hae Soo and Jae Yeol tackle their differences and help each other heal from their deep-rooted traumas. Hae-soo has a sex phobia and Jae-yeol is living with OCD. This drama is really heartwarming and you'll love the sarcastic flirtatious interactions between Hae-Soo and Jae-yeol.  

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    11. Cheese in the Trap

    MCB TV

    Cheese in the Trap is one hell of a controversial drama – you'll either love it or hate it, but I think it is definitely worth a watch. It's provocative, it gets the people going! It's a romantic comedy with subtle undertones of a psychological thriller, and is an adaptation of a popular webtoon. Hong Seol is a smart, diligent, and hardworking university student who returns to university after a year-long hiatus. Yoo Jung is the seemingly perfect student with sociopathic tendencies only that Hong Seol seems to see. When Seol returns, Jung is suspiciously nice to her and she is confused. Does he hate her? Does he like her? Did she misunderstand him? Watch and find out.

    Watch it on: Netflix 

    12. One Spring Night

    MBC TV

    When hungover librarian Lee Jeong-in turns up at the pharmacy where Yoo Ji-ho works, there's an instant attraction between the two – they find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. The timing couldn’t be worse as Jeong-in's family expect her to marry her long term boyfriend Kwon Gi-seok, even though their relationship is on the rocks. To make things even more complicated, Ji-ho is a single father to an adorable, scene-stealing son. This romantic and heartwarming drama will surely make you shed a tear or two.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    13. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo

    MBC

    This sporty, innocent coming of age drama is perfect for when you wanna watch something cute, light-hearted, and cheerful. Set in Haneul Sports University, old childhood friends Kim Bok-joo and Jung Joon-hyung reunite on campus. Joon-hyung is the star swimmer on his team and has panic attacks whenever he competes. Bok-joo is a star weightlifter who is confronted with the pressures of being a modern femme girl when she begins to fall for Joon-Hyung's brother, Jung Jae‑yi. Joon-hyung likes her just the way she is, but who will she choose? 

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    14. Hospital Playlist

    tvN / Netflix

    A wholesome drama about five doctors who have been friends since attending medical school together 20 years ago, and all share a love of music. This long-standing friendship is what makes it so joyful to watch. Despite the hardship of their day to day careers as doctors the gang remain compassionate through their passion for music. It's so good that producers have renewed the drama for another season, which is set to be released soon!

    Watch it on: Netflix

    15. Reply 1988

    tvN

    This drama has you playing an excruciating guessing game from the first episode. It begins with a snippet of the main character Sung Duk-seon, who is being interviewed alongside her husband, whose identity is hidden. The drama aims to make the viewer guess who her husband is, and the directors do a fantastic job of making us put together the pieces of the puzzle. Set in 1988, it shows us how life was before the age of mobile phones and social media, back where you actually had to leave the house to see your friends! It also brings back the nostalgia of being young and wanting to rush into adulthood, something everyone can relate to. Reply 1988 is one-third of the Reply series, and they're all totally binge-worthy.  

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    16. Strong Girl Bong-soon

    JTBC

     Do Bong-soon was born with incredible superstrength – a trait passed down to all the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video with herself as the main character, but she ends up landing a job as a security guard for Ahn Min-hyuk, the CEO of a gaming company, Ainsoft. In Bong-soon’s neighbourhood, Dobong-dong (yes she's named after her neighbourhood), a series of interlinking kidnapping cases start emerging and she gets involved to help catch the culprit. This drama is honestly so cute and perfect if you're in the mood for something perky, fun, and light-hearted.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    17. Oh My Venus

    KBS

    If you're looking for motivation to hit the gym, this drama is for you! Kang Joo-eun (Shin Min-a) was known as one of the prettiest girls in her hometown. She dated Im Woo-shik, a national swimming champion, and thought her happy ending was set. Fast forward 15 years, and she's struggling with life – her dad passed away and she's left having to take care of her family. She meets Kim Young-ho (So JI-Sub), a well established personal trainer and secret chaebol (rich heir) who helps her get her life where she wants it. It's the ultimate clapback drama.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    18. Master's Sun

    SBS

    The most romantic K-drama of all time, with a bit of horror thrown in! Joo Joong-won (So Ji-sub) is a feared, self-centred, and extremely merciless CEO – in short, an arrogant know-it-all. He meets Tae Gong-shil (Gong Hyo-jin), who is tormented by her ability to see ghosts who continuously ask her for favours and take over her body when she drinks alcohol. She realises that when she touches Joong-won the ghosts disappear, giving her the peace she so desperately wants. As she finds a way to shelter herself from the spirit attacks she bonds with Joong-won, breaking down his hard exterior.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    19. My Love from the Star

    SBS

    A romantic comedy set between the present day and 400 years ago, complete with an alien twist. Cheong Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun) is a typical celebrity actor at the peak of her career who meets Do Min-Jo (Kim Soo-hyun), her new neighbour and lecturer at her university. The two have bad first impressions of each other at first but are later manoeuvred into situations where they spend time getting to know each other. A heartstring-pulling drama with talented actors, hilarious moments, and a murder attempt, My Love From the Star is a definite must-watch.

    Watch it on: Netflix, Viki

    20. Sky Castle

    JTBC

    This one follows four women who devote their lives to ensuring the success of their children – they'll stop at nothing to ensure they're given the best start possible, even if that means going to dangerous lengths to get results. Their families live in an elite neighbourhood called Sky Castle, which seems perfect on the surface. It doesn't take long for the facade to fade as we uncover the shocking truths about the elite families and their “perfect and glamorous'' lives.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    21. Love Alarm

    Netflix

    If there was an app that told you that someone within a 10-mile radius liked you, would you use it? The Love Alarm App does just that, and it's taken hold of society. Almost every high school student has the Love Alarm downloaded. Well, everyone except one Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun), a hard-working orphan struggling with her parents' debt whose phone isn't able to support the app. Plus, she has a loving boyfriend, so why would she need it? The drama is very open and forward about sexual attraction which is refreshing, and doesn't it doesn't adhere to the one season format that lots of K-dramas do. It's produced by Netflix and is in its second season, and there are even talks of it being renewed for a third. 

    Watch it on: Netflix

    22. The Penthouse: War in Life

    SBS TV

    Money, fame and power – the perfect antidote for disaster and a murder mystery fuelled by revenge. This one is not for the fainthearted. It dives deep into the lies and secrets of members of high society who live in Hera Palace, a penthouse for the elite. All is revealed when a mysterious woman is thrown from the top of the building during a party. The residents try to cover up her death, suspecting each other in the process. There is so much to unpack in each episode as the battle for power, and prestige drives the main characters to evil lengths.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    23. Hotel Del Luna

    tvN

    A true example of how innovative K-drama storylines are, Hotel del Luna is a hotel for ghosts to relax before they go onto the afterlife. A weekend spa getaway if you like. Running this hotel is cursed Jang Man-wol (IU) doomed to spend the rest of eternity catering to the needs of lost souls. Things start to heat up when new management arrives – Gu Chan sung (Jung Dong-hwan), who's been forced to work there because of a deal his father made with Man-wol. 

    Watch it on:  Apple TV, Netflix, Viki

    24. Don’t Dare to Dream, AKA Jealousy Incarnate

    SBS TV

    This hidden gem of a drama gives you bromance, friendship, and love. It revolves around weather girl Pyo Na-ri (Gong Hyo-jin), and her colleague Lee Hwa-shin (Jo Jung-suk), an ambitious reporter. Na-ri has had a major crush on Hwa-shin for years, until she meets his best friend Go Jung-won(Go Kyung-pyo). Meanwhile, Hwa-shin develops breast cancer and grows closer to Na-ri, who has been through the same experience. But with Na-ri falling for his romantic best friend, Hwa-shin inevitably becomes jealous.

    Watch it on: Viki

    25. Law School

    JTBC

    If you enjoyed How To Get Away With Murder, you will love this. Yang Jong-Hoon is a former prosecutor-turned professor at the prestigious law school Hankuk University. When he's accused of the murder of Seo Byung-Ju, the university's students, including main characters Kang So Al and Han Joon-hwi, unexpectedly find themselves working together to reveal the truth behind Professor Seo’s death. If you're looking for something relatively current and enjoy legal dramas this is a great one to start with – you'll be hooked from the jump.

    Watch it on: Netflix

    26. Secret Garden

    SBS

    The Freaky Friday of South Korea, Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won) is a strong-willed, but poor stuntwoman and Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin)  is an obnoxious CEO. The two drink some magical alcohol and it makes them switch bodies. Yes, the plot is predictable, but you’ll honestly fall in love with Joo-won's charisma – behind all that arrogance there’s a tenderness that’s capturing the hearts of viewers.

    Watch it on: Viki

    Don't forget to share your recommendations in the comments below!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form