Skip To Content
    Mar 29, 2020

    29 Korean Dramas That'll Keep You Entertained While You're Social Distancing

    So much to watch, so *much* time — amirite?

    by ,

    There are countless K-dramas across so many genres for your binge-watching needs on Netflix, Hulu, and Viki — so we rounded up 29 of our faves:

    1. Itaewon Class (2020)

    JTBC

    Starring: Kim Da-mi, Park Seo-joon, Kwon Nara, and Yoo Jae-myung

    Genre: Coming-of-age, webtoon-based

    What it's about: Park Saeroyi (Park Seo-joon) is expelled from school and wrongfully thrown in prison for three years following his father's accidental death and his subsequent confrontation of the perpetrator. But he has big plans to open his own bar-restaurant in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul, make DanBam the best in the business, and subsequently get his revenge on Jangga, the food conglomerate he's become enemies with. His best friend and crush Soo-ah (Kwon Nara) goes on to work for Jangga, while Saeroyi finds his own crew of ~colorful~ friends (I love them so much!) to help him on his quest, including an intelligent and popular social media blogger with very strong opinions, Jo Yi-seo (Kim Da-mi).

    Where to watch: Netflix

    2. Crash Landing On You (2019–2020)

    tvN / Netflix

    Starring: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun, and Seo Ji-hye

    Genre: Romantic comedy

    What it's about: Successful Seoul businesswoman Yoon Se-ri accidentally ends up in North Korea after a paragliding accident gone wrong and quite literally falls into the arms of North Korean army officer, Ri Jeong-hyuk. Instead of turning her into the authorities, he shelters her and helps her secretly plan her return to South Korea. Add in serendipitous encounters, a hilarious group of soldier cohorts, funny-yet-kind village women, an unexpected secondary romance, a powerful villain willing to go all the freakin' way, and Se-ri's meddling family — and whew, you're emotionally hooked for 16 episodes.

    Where to watch: Netflix

    3. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)

    JTBC

    Starring: Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, and Jisoo

    Genre: Romantic comedy, crime procedural, action

    What it's about: Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young) is born with superhuman strength, which she uses for the greater good. Her dream job, however, is to create video games, so she becomes a bodyguard for hotshot gaming company CEO Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik) to achieve her dream. Intermixed in between is a lot of love, laughs, and a serial kidnapper too (yes, you read that right!).

    Where to watch: Viki, Netflix (not currently available, but listed)

    4. W: Two Worlds (2016)

    MBC

    Starring: Lee Jong-suk, Han Hyo-joo

    Genre: Fantasy, romance, mystery, action

    What it's about: Where to even begin? Kang Chul (Lee Jong-suk) is the main character in a super popular webtoon called W. In his fictional world, he's accused of murdering his family, who actually die at the hands of an unknown murderer. After lots of emotional turmoil, he makes it his goal to become successful/rich and start a television broadcasting company to help him find the real culprit. In the real world, Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo)'s dad is the one who creates/authors W, so somehow by association Oh Yeon-joo is able to cross over the real and fictional worlds, and meets Kang Chul — therefore writing herself into the story. Reality is constantly blurred and there's a whole ton of chemistry and twists, so you won't be able to look away!

    Where to watch: Viki

    5. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (2016–2017)

    MBC

    Starring: Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kyung Soo-jin, Lee Jae-yoon

    Genre: Coming-of-age, romance, comedy

    What it's about: Bok-joo (Lee Sung-kyung) is a professional weightlifter; Jung Joon-hyung (Nam Joo-hyuk) is a childhood friend and professional swimmer who suffers from panic attacks before each competition. The two meet again in college in an incredible coming-of-age story about navigating young adulthood, falling in love, defying preconceptions, and achieving your dreams. If you're looking for something lighthearted and swoon-worthy, this is it!

    Where to watch: Viki

    6. One Spring Night (2019)

    MBC

    Starring: Han Ji-min, Jung Hae-in

    Genre: Slice of life, romance, drama

    What it's about: Han Ji-min and Jung Hae-in being the goshdarn cutest, that's what!!! Yoo Ji-ho (Jung Hae-in) is a charming pharmacist who meets Lee Jung-in (Han Ji-min), a librarian, one rushed morning after she pops into his store to buy a hangover remedy — only to discover she forgot her wallet at her friend's house. They exchange numbers so she can pay him back...and the rest is history. Oh, except Ji-ho is also a single dad (to an adorable boy!) and Jung-in's in a four-year relationship. Will this unlikely relationship prevail?

    Where to watch: Netflix

    7. The Reply series: Reply 1988, Reply 1994, and Reply 1997

    TvN

    Starring: 1997: Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Hoya, Eun Ji-won, Shin So-yul, Lee Si-eon

    1994: Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Sung-kyun, Son Ho-jun, Baro
    1988:
    Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Dong-hwi

    Genre: Comedy, romance, coming-of-age

    What it's about: The Reply series follows a similar storyline in each of its three iterations, and if you love one you’ll adore all of them. The storylines center on a group of friends and moves back and forth between its eponymous year (i.e. 1988, 1994 or 1997) and the future to see how the characters have grown and changed since then. Each version delves deeply into the reality of being a teenager in that year, and also follows important cultural events that affected their lives, like obsessing over first generation K-pop idol groups Sechs Kies and H.O.T. in Reply 1997. There’s romance, heartbreak, friendship, and even more — at the end, you’ll feel like you grew up with the characters as well.

    Where to watch: All three series are available on Netflix!

    8. My Love From The Star (2013–2014)

    SBS

    Starring: Jun Ji-hyun, Kim Soo-hyun

    Genre: Sci-fi, romance, drama

    What it's about: Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien who lands on Earth in 1609. Since then, he's been patiently waiting to return home, and is only three months away from leaving when he meets Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun), a self-centered actress who lives next door and keeps adding extra drama to his unproblematic life. As feelings grow, he's suddenly at a crossroads — stay with the girl he loves and die from illness, or leave her behind and head back to the home he's been dreaming of. My Love From The Star is a nonstop thrill ride of feels, so be sure to buckle up!

    Where to watch: Viki

    9. Healer (2014)

    KBS2

    Starring: Ji Chang-wook, Park Min-young, Yoo Ji-tae

    Genre: Action, thriller, romance

    What it's about: Seo Jung-hoo (Ji Chang-wook) is a mysterious "night courier" who operates under the code name "Healer" and, with his excellent fighting skills and hacker sidekick, ensures that all of his clients' requests are completed, no matter what (so yeah, his dealings aren't usually legal). His goal is to make enough money to buy an uninhabited island to live the rest of his life on — alone. That changes when he's given the task of protecting Chae Young-shin (Park Min-young), a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website who has a dark past. This drama truly combines the best of thriller and romance!

    Where to watch: Viki

    10. While You Were Sleeping (2017)

    SBS

    Starring: Bae Suzy, Lee Jong-suk, Jung Hae-in

    Genre: Fantasy, romance, law procedural, mystery

    What it's about: Nam Hong-Joo (Bae Suzy) is a reporter who has repeated dreams about a man she's never met. Next door, budding prosecutor Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk) dreams of a woman he's never met getting into a car accident and killing a police officer. Working together, Jae-chan, Hong-Joo, and police officer Woo-tak (Jung Hae-in) must navigate their shared prophetic dreams to prevent each other's deaths and use their foresight to prevent crime and convict guilty criminals. The story is perfectly written and has twists and turns you could never anticipate in between hilarious scenes, amazing music, and the most brutal case of "second male lead" syndrome ever.

    Where to watch: Hulu or Viki

    11. Descendants of the Sun (2016)

    KBS 2

    Starring: Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji-won

    Genre: Medical drama, military drama, romance

    What it's about: Captain of a South Korean Special Forces Unit Yoo Si-jin (Song Joong-ki) meets doctor Kang Mo-yeon (Song Hye-kyo) after he and his best friend, Sergeant Major Seo Dae-young (Jin Goo), apprehend a thief and take him to the hospital for treatment. From there, the duo's lives are intertwined on an incredible journey that overcomes natural disasters, war, and just about everything in between. Also, for K-pop fans, Shinee's Onew is part of the cast!

    Where to watch: Hulu or Viki

    12. Romance Is A Bonus Book (2019)

    tvN

    Starring: Lee Na-young, Lee Jong-suk

    Genre: Romantic comedy

    What it's about: Cha Eun-ho (Lee Jong-suk) is a successful author and editor-in-chief at a book publishing company, and Kang Dan-i (Lee Na-young) has been a close friend of his since childhood. After Kang Dan-i gets divorced and falls into financial troubles, she tries to reenter the working force after a decade of not working (though she used to be a great copywriter) — which is very much looked down upon as she goes through interviews. She eventually ends up as a temporary worker at Cha Eun-ho's company and proves herself well beyond her job title, which she downplayed her qualifications to get. The two become even closer, and well, the title hints at what happens after that.

    Where to watch: Netflix

    13. It's Okay, That's Love (2014)

    SBS

    Starring: Jo In-sung, Gong Hyo-jin, Sung Dong-il, Lee Kwang-soo, Do Kyung-soo

    Genre: Medical drama, romance

    What it's about: Jang Jae-yeol (Jo In-sung) is the author of best-selling mystery novels, a popular radio DJ, and suffers from OCD (i.e. he can only sleep in his bathtub), and Ji Hae-soo (Gong Hyo-jin) is a first-year psychiatrist fellow with self-diagnosed anxiety/insecurity issues. When they meet, their relationship is anything but ordinary. There's definitely more bubbling beneath the surface, but this drama really dives into the intricacies of mental health, as you can tell — which is suuuuper refreshing for a K-drama!

    Where to watch: Viki

    14. My First First Love (2019)

    Netflix

    Starring: Jisoo, Jung Chae-yeon, Jung Jin-young, Choi Ri

    Genre: Romance, coming-of-age, slice of life

    What it's about: Yoon Tae-oh (Jisoo) and Han Song-i (Jung Chae-yeon, who's in K-pop group DIA!) have been best friends since elementary school (and Tae-oh has had an unrequited crush on her that he keeps secret). Han Song-i becomes homeless after her dad dies and her mom abandons her, so she moves into Tae-oh's house, as do two other of Tae-oh's friends (much to his disbelief and annoyance) — which means things get interesting and fun very quickly. Tae-oh's close friend, Seo Do-hyeon (B1A4's Jinyoung!), is a hardworking student who comes from a poor family and is laser-set on becoming a public worker, but also ends up falling for Song-yi. Commence the love triangle!

    Where to watch: Netflix

    15. Cheese in the Trap

    tvN

    Starring: Park Hae-jin, Kim Go-eun, Seo Kang-joon, Lee Sung-kyung

    Genre: Romance, drama, comedy, webtoon-based

    What it's about: Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun) is a smart and hardworking university student whose family is too poor to pay for her tuition, so she always needs to get scholarships in order to stay in school. Despite this, she always helps out those around her — sometimes to an unfortunate degree, as she's easily taken advantage of. Yoo Jung (Park Hae-jin) is the rich and popular heir to Taerang Group who is extremely cold and manipulative on the inside. He begins to make Hong Seol's life very difficult, but their relationship is ever-evolving through the whole drama. There are a lot of twists and turns, and that's all I can say!

    Where to watch: Netflix or Viki

    16. Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2016–2017)

    KBS

    Starring: Park Seo-joon, Go Ara, Park Hyung-sik, Choi Min-ho, Kim Tae-hyung

    Genre: Historical, coming-of-age, romance

    What it's about: The wary, illusive crown prince Sammaekjong (Park Hyung-sik) is preparing to ascend the throne as leader of the Kingdom of Silla. Fearful of assassination attempts and noble rulers planning to overthrow her son’s future rule, Queen Mother Ji-su creates Hwarang, an elite group of male warriors from all factions and social statuses across the kingdom who are sworn to protect the future king. What the other warriors don’t know, however, is that fellow Hwarang and general’s nephew “Kim Ji-dwi” is actually Sammaekjong himself and that commoner Kim Sun-woo (Park Seo-joon) has an equally mysterious double-life. Hwarang is a story of brotherhood, growing up, and love — especially when a beautifully painful love triangle forms between Sammaekjong, Sun-woo, and the Hwarang’s physician Kim Ah-ro (Go Ara)! Plus, Shinee’s Minho and BTS’s V are in it! What’s not to love?

    Where to watch: Viki

    17. Hotel Del Luna (2019)

    tvN

    Starring: Lee Ji-eun, Yeo Jin-goo

    Genre: Supernatural, fantasy, romance

    What it's about: Welcome to Hotel del Luna, an invisible hotel in Seoul that caters strictly to ghosts and helps them prepare for the afterlife. For the last 1,300 years, it’s been run by the cold-hearted Jang Man-wol (Lee Ji-eun), who must operate the hotel to absolve the sins she committed during her lifetime. After an unexpected turn of events, hotelier Koo Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo) begins working as the general manager of the hotel and begins to unlock the beautiful, painful, and tear-jerking stories behind the ghosts that inhabit it.

    Where to watch: Viki

    18. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016–2017)

    tvN

    Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook

    Genre: Fantasy, supernatural, romance

    What it's about: Gong Yoo portrays Kim Shin, a fierce Goryeo dynasty general who has led his men through many successful battles. When he's killed, he's cursed to live forever as a goblin who can only die once the love of his life removes the invisible sword lodged in his chest. Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun) is a clairvoyant high school student who is immune to the goblin’s powers and may just be the girl he’s been dreaming of for the last 939 years. Add in a grim reaper (Lee Dong-wook) for a roommate, a bubbly chicken shop owner (Yoo In-na), and a ~mythical~ soundtrack, and it’s easy to see why Guardian was one of the most popular dramas of 2016!

    Where to watch: Viki

    19. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? (2018)

    tvN

    Starring: Park Seo-joon, Park Min-young

    Genre: Romantic comedy

    What it's about: What’s wrong with secretary Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young), you ask? She’s tired of being overworked and not treated with respect by her narcissistic boss, Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon), whom she’s worked with for the last nine years! When she turns in her resignation, Young-joon is honestly flabbergasted before he comes to a realization — she must be quitting because she’s in love with him! (Narrator: she, in fact, is not.) In an effort to get her to stay, he tries to ~romance her~ and discovers some real feelings along the way. Fun, lighthearted, and enjoyable, it's the chemistry between the two leads that makes this drama a must-see.

    Where to watch: Hulu or Viki

    20. Love in the Moonlight (2016)

    KBS

    Starring: Park Bo-gum, Kim Yoo-jung, Jung Jin-young, Chae Soo-bin, Kwak Dong-yeon

    Genre: Historical, coming-of-age, romantic comedy

    What it's about: Lee Yeong (Park Bo-gum) is the crown prince and heir to the throne in 19th century Joseon Dynasty. He's kind, bright, smart, mischievous, and also destined to marry the chosen crown princess. Hong Ra-on (Kim Yoo-jung) is a street-smart, well-liked girl who was actually raised as a boy by her mother and makes a living as a male relationship counselor and romance novel author under a pseudonym. She later becomes a eunuch in the royal palace and becomes very close to the crown prince, and more shenanigans take place. Trust me, it's so cute! For the K-pop fans, B1A4's Jinyoung is also in this drama as a charismatic scholar.

    Where to watch: Viki

    21. 100 Days My Prince (2018)

    tvN

    Starring: Do Kyung-soo, Nam Ji-hyun

    Genre: Historical, rom-com, action

    What it's about: As children, Yul (Exo's D.O) falls in love with Yi-seo (Nam Ji-hyun). They're both born nobles, but after a coup lead by Yul's father Yi-seo is forced to flee and become a commoner. Angered by his father's actions, which he believes lead to Yi-seo's death, Yul grows up to be a bitter, cold prince who decrees that all single men and women must marry so the current drought will end. En route to a rain ritual, Yul is ambushed and and slams his head on a rock, losing his memory and status simultaneously. He is discovered and healed by Yi-seo (now going by the name Hong-shim) and her family, who claim that he's Yi-seo's fictional husband so she's not punished for being unmarried. All the while, the two don't even know each other's real identities!

    Where to watch: Viki

    22. Sky Castle (2018–2019)

    JTBC

    Starring: Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, Kim Seo-hyung

    Genre: Drama, satire, dark comedy

    What it's about: Ask anyone what K-drama they were watching at the end of 2018 and they all would’ve told you the same answer: Sky Castle. The satirical drama is the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history, with over 22% of South Korea tuning in to find out what would happen next.  If that doesn't tell you how addicting this show is, nothing will! The drama focuses on the über-wealthy families living in Sky Castle — a luxurious, exclusive suburb in Seoul — and the devious lengths they’re willing to go to ensure their children get into top universities and upkeep the family’s status and good fortune. It also highlights the immense pressure on students to pass Korea’s notoriously challenging college entrance exams and attend illustrious universities that is impressed upon them by both their families and society. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

    Where to watch: Viki

    23. Mr. Sunshine (2018)

    tvN

    Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung, Byun Yo-han

    Genre: Historical, romance, action

    What it's about: Written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Lee Eung-bok — who worked together previously on epic dramas like Guardian and Descendants of the SunMr. Sunshine tells the story of Choi Yoo-jin (Lee Byung-hun), a United States Marine Corps officer. After fleeing from Hanseong (present day Seoul) to the States as a child, Yoo-jin (also known as Eugene) returns to Joseon as an adult during the US 1871 expedition to Korea. Sparks fly when he meets Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri), an aristocrat’s daughter, and Yoo-jin finds himself picking sides when he uncovers a secret plan to colonize Korea.

    Where to watch: Netflix

    24. Boys Over Flowers (2009)

    KBS 2

    Starring: Ku Hye-sun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon

    Genre: Romance, comedy, drama

    What it's about: This drama is 👏ICONIC! 👏Hardworking high school student Geum Jan-di’s (Ku Hye-sun) life is turned upside-down when she earns a scholarship to the elite Shinhwa High School after saving a student’s life. On her first day, she meets F4, a quartet composed of the richest and most popular boys in school. Their leader, Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho), is offended by her lack of interest in them and tries to ruin her life, but falls in love somehow along the way. The story is truly wild in the best sense of the word and a must-watch if you’ve never seen it before.

    Where to watch: Netflix, Hulu, and Viki

    25. Memories of the Alhambra (2018)

    Netflix

    Starring: Hyun Bin, Park Shin-hye, Park Chan-yeol

    Genre: Fantasy, suspense, melodrama

    What it's about: Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) is an investment company CEO who receives an anonymous phone call from someone claiming to want to sell the augmented reality video game they’ve created. When they propose to meet at the Hotel Bonita in Alhambra, Spain, Jin-woo visits the hostel to find the owner, Jung Hee-joo (Park Shin-hye), is the older sister of the game’s creator Jung Se-joo (EXO’s Chanyeol). Jin-woo tries the game utilizing his company’s contact lenses and is immediately sold when he’s immersed into a world of magic and fantasy, but there’s a catch: a glitch in the game gives it real-life consequences. With his life on the line, Jin-woo must brave the game to find the missing Se-joo so he can fix the glitch. Memories of the Alhambra was written by Song Jae-jung who also wrote W: Two Worlds, so if you enjoyed that thrill ride, then you’ll love this one too!

    Where to watch: Netflix

    26. When the Camellia Blooms (2019)

    SBS

    Starring: Gong Hyo-jin, Kang Ha-neul, Kim Ji-seok, Son Dam-bi

    Genre: Romantic comedy, thriller

    What it's about: Oh Dong-baek (Gong Hyo-jin) is a single mother (to a very smart boy) who's used to having people side eye and gossip about her, and therefore doing things on her own. She opens a bar named Camellia in the fictional town of Ongsan. Years later, a local police officer Hwang Yong-sik (Kang Ha-neul) falls deeply for her and pursues her, despite Dong-baek's lack of reciprocation. Turns out that's not a bad thing because a notorious killer (who was never captured) is on the hunt for Dong-baek, who just so happened to witness his last kill, which happened many years ago.

    Where to watch: Netflix

    27. Legend of the Blue Sea (2016–2017)

    SBS

    Starring: Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Min-ho

    Genre: Fantasy, romantic comedy

    What it's about: During the Joseon Dynasty, Kim Dam-ryeong’s life (Lee Min-ho) is forever changed when Se-hwa (Jun Ji-hyun), a mermaid (🧜‍♀️), saves his life. From then on, their tragic unrequited love story is destined to repeat itself unless one of their reincarnations can break the cycle. In present day, Heo Joon-jae (Lee Min-ho), a pompous scammer, meets still-a-mermaid (🧜‍♀️) Shim Cheong (Jun Ji-hyun), and the two must piece together their past lives to prevent the same fate once again.

    Where to watch: Hulu and Viki

    28. Kingdom (2019)

    Netflix

    Starring: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na, Kim Sung-kyu

    Genre: Historical, political drama, horror, thriller

    What it's about: Set during the Joseon Dynasty, Kingdom kicks off with the announcement that the King has died (although, in actuality, he's been infected by a mysterious plague). In his place, prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) is set to take the throne, but is wildly unprepared for the advancement of a mysterious plague that is taking over the kingdom. Aided by a ragtag group of friends, Lee Chang must protect his people from hordes of the undead, search for a cure, fight evil coups from political adversaries trying to dethrone him, and survive. And that’s just season one! Kingdom is brutal, bloody, and thrilling from start to finish.

    Where to watch: Netflix

    29. Hello, My Twenties (2016–2017)

    Netflix

    Starring: Han Ye-ri, Han Seung-yeon, Park Eun-bin, Ryu Hwa-young (first season), Park Hye-su (first season), Choi Ara (second season), Ji Woo (second season)

    Genre: Coming-of-age, slice of life, romance

    What it's about: Five girls. Five different ages, backgrounds, and personalities that equally get along and butt heads. One shared house. Lots of antics that ensue. Each girl's story comes with a unique set of hardships and outlook on life, and you'll probably see a bit of yourself in all of them. (I will say, IMO, the first season is better than the second!)

    Where to watch: Netflix

    With this many fantastic K-dramas out there, this is 100% us:

    The Swoon / Netflix / Via giphy.com

    We've personally watched all of these dramas, but we're always looking for more recs! If we missed your faves, let us know below!