your (un)helpful guide to korean dramas (+ recommendation!)

for the past two years, watching korean dramas has been one of the main aspects of my life. it helps me forget studying and all the stress that comes with it for a while, and it’s actually really fun. and now i have come to lure you into the world of korean dramas.

(*dramatic music*)

i decided to do a sort of “guide” for every information you might need to know about what korean dramas are, what’s so special about them and why YOU should become a korean dramas watcher too!

so. here’s your (UN)HELPFUL GUIDE TO KOREAN DRAMAS!

what even is a korean drama?

a korean drama is a tv show made, directed, acted, filmed, produced by south koreans, that can be of any genre, but usually has a romance included in the main storyline (at least that’s the case for all the korean dramas i’ve watched / heard of). most of the time, it’s 16 to 20 hours worth of watching per drama. so it’s usually:

  • 16-20 episodes of one hour
  • OR 32-40 episodes of 30 minutes

so yeah, it’s pretty long. BUT. it’s worth it. because they’re amazing (more on that later).

what’s the difference between a korean drama and a regular (american) tv show?

well, apart from the fact that the whole cast and production being south korean (obviously), korean dramas have more of a dramatic effect: the important scenes are sometimes slowed down, there’s a lot of music (each drama has its own Original Sound Track), a lot of emphasis on the romantic scenes. the acting is also very different from what most people are used to watch. the comedy too. but you can expect that since it’s a whole different culture.

what’s so special about it? why are people addicted to korean dramas?

it’s very addictive, simple as that. the plots are usually amazingly crafted. the romance is (very) angsty, swoon-worthy and every time you finish a drama you want more. korean dramas are a whole different world and i love it because it’s beautiful.

what should i expect from korean dramas?

addiction. feels. romance. a lot of romance. angst. sadness. happiness. EVERYTHING.

now that i know a little about korean dramas (and i want to start watching them), where should i start?

OKAY. IT’S RECOMMENDATION TIME (aka the best part of all of this).

i’ve compiled here a few of my favorite dramas that you can give a try and hopefully (!!) it will be the start of a new era for you.

♡ weightlifting fairy kim bok joo ♡

fairy12-00238a

WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK JOO is a sports romantic drama that follows a group of college athletes as they go through hardships, slumps, friendships and romance. and it’s! so! beautiful! the romance is the cutest thing ever and the friendships are beautifully portrayed. it also deals with the pressure athletes have to endure and how there isn’t a one way road to success. AND it’s funny. i love this drama with all of my heart.

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • sweet, cute contemporaries
  • sports romance
  • coming-of-age stories
  • hate-to-love trope

♡ strong woman do bong soon ♡

1f12f91a457546bdb893d793467184df

STRONG WOMAN DO BONG SOON is about this woman born with superhuman strength who gets hired by the CEO of a gaming company to be his bodyguard, and ends up entangled in romance and fighting for justice and other amazing superhero things. and it’s just. SO. FUN. i couldn’t even stop watching it. so great and so amazing. and the romance! the! romance! *swoons*

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • female empowering stories
  • superhero stories
  • hate-to-love

TRIGGER WARNING: very strong stereotyping of gay people.

♡ fight my way / fight for my way / third-rate my way ♡

fight-for-my-way

(this has so many titles i’M SORRY.)

in this drama, a group of friends (who are also neighbors) struggle to settle down and find happiness. and i love this drama so much! it has the childhood friends + best-friends-to-lovers trope and it’s so!! light-hearted and hopeful and funny and just overall wonderful.

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • coming-of-age stories
  • childhood friends + best-friends-to-lovers trope
  • light-hearted stories

♡ while you were sleeping ♡

suzy-lee-jong-suk

more dramatic than the three previous recommendations, this story follows this girl who has visions of terrible things that will happen in the future. she meets a prosecutor who helps her prevent those things from happening in real life, by solving cases and mysteries. and i heard this drama wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but i just found it so…soft. i loved it to pieces. it was so beautiful and the romance was just so sweet. *sigh*

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • a little fantasy touch
  • mysteries and solving cases
  • soft romance

♡ suspicious partner ♡

suspicious-partner

SUSPICIOUS PARTNER is about this woman who’s framed for murder soon after joining a prosecutor’s office as an intern. he helps her, but loses his place as prosecutor. a few years later they meet again and try to catch the real murderer while solving other cases.

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • stories that involve law and crime
  • mysteries

♡ moon lovers: scarlet heart ryeo ♡

moon-lovers-scarlet-heart-ryeo

i talked about this in my july wrap up, but i can never talk about it enough. this drama was the most heart-breaking, wrenching, beautiful drama i have ever watched. it follows this woman who gets transported back in time to the goryeo dynasty. she finds herself caught between the rivalry and politics among the princes over the fight for the throne.

and i can never recommend this drama enough. it has quickly become one of my favorite dramas ever. prepare your tissues if you plan on watching it.

would recommend if you enjoy:

  • historical fiction
  • tragedies
  • breaking your own heart
  • suffering

TRIGGER WARNING: this drama contains death, blood and killing.

i hope i have convinced you to try one of these dramas (or korean dramas in general)! they are all amazing, seriously. try them. (please.)

do you watch korean dramas? if yes, what are some of your favorites? if not, have i convinced you? (if i have i’m gonna be a happy bean!!) also, have you watched any of the dramas mentioned?

 

13 Replies to “your (un)helpful guide to korean dramas (+ recommendation!)”

  1. YOU HAVE LISTED MY KDRAMA HUSBANDS AHHH!!! Strong Girl Bong Soon was what got my into kdramas and I haven’t looked back since! I absolutely adored (and highly recommend) Romance is a Bonus Book, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Hwarang, and My First First Love!!💜💜(pls yell at me when you do watch them hehe)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES!!! i’ve actually given one or two recs for each genre that i’ve found so:
      – WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK JOO or STRONG WOMAN DO BONG SOON if you’re into happy contemporaries and fluffy stuff
      – SUSPICIOUS PARTNER if you’re in the mood for something related to law and court and solving cases
      – MOON LOVERS: SCARLET HEART RYEO if you’re into historical fiction with a fantasy twist
      – WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING if you’re more into soft, light things with a little bit of fantasy
      if you’re into fantasy i haven’t watched much but i liked W: TWO WORLDS. it’s about this girl who gets trapped in a comic!
      i’d say start with WEIGHTLIFTING FAIRY KIM BOK JOO, because it’s so so good and it got a lot of people into korean dramas.
      LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANY OTHER HELP!!

      Like

  2. OK YES OMG! I am such trash that I’ve watched all of these and loved them! Strong Woman has a special place in my heart though because it was my first k-drama and such a good and cute one!

    Liked by 1 person

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