Done watching Goblin, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo, and Descendants of the Sun? Then it’s about time to move on and check out other K-dramas!
Most of my friends who are new with Kdrama ask me what should they watch next. Believe me, I have a long list of a must-watch from different genres. But for those who are just starting out, I recommend romantic comedies (rom-com) because thriller, action, or sageuk (historical) dramas may not be your thing, worst bore you.
BUT before we head on to the list, here are few notes.
This is a list of dramas aired from 2011 to 2016. So if you’re looking for the recent ones, I’ll have a separate post for that (in the future)
I only recommend those I’ve seen fully (from episode 1 to final episode). There are dramas who have raving reviews, but I didn’t finish because one, it’s not for me, and two, it’s boring.
I’ll be sharing you my personal ratings and opinion so that you’ll know what to expect. Promise, NO SPOILERS.
The list is in no particular order because how dare I! 🙂
So the must-watch RomCom K-dramas listing begins here:
Reply Series (Reply 1997 & 1988)
As of the moment, there are 3 Reply series out there, 1997, 1994, and 1988, which premiered in 2012 on cable network tvN. The stories revolve around a group of friends, as the timeline moves back and forth between their past and present selves. It is interesting how the series differs with each other yet has a common plot, finding the husband. Unfortunately, I’ve only finished 1997 and 1988 that’s why I can’t fully comment on 1994.
Reply 1997 – 8/10
Network: tvN | Episodes: 16 | Release Date: July 24 – September 18, 2012
To be honest, at first I didn’t like how the story was presented and I really got confused why they keep on getting back and forth with the past and present lives of the main actors. It was only until episode 4 I get to appreciate the logic of this kind of series (poor me).
I love how I knew from the start who’ll end up with who, but at some point doubted who will our main character Shi Won, fall in love with. Would it be her childhood friend Yoon Yoon-Je (Seo In-Guk) or Yoon Tae-Woong (Song Jong-Ho). It was a refreshing take (that year perhaps) of telling a story and highlighting what it feels like to have a first love.
Reply 1988 – 10/10
Network: tvN | Episodes: 20 | Release Date: November 6, 2015 – January 16, 2016
“In 1988, Duk-Sun (Hyeri), Jung-Hwan (Ryoo Joon-Yeol), Sun-Woo (Ko Gyung-Pyo) and Dong-Ryong (Lee Dong-Hwi) are high school students and Taek (Park Bo-Gum) is a go player. These five people have been friends since they were little kids. They all grew up together and are neighbors to this day. Their families are also very close to each other. They always hang around Taek’s room and spend time together.” – Asianwiki, Reply 1988
I have so much #feels in this series! From the castings, OSTs, story lines, quotable quotes, slapstick comedies, EVERYTHING! It took the Reply series in another whole level! If both 1997 and 1994 showed a predictable “who ended up with who” plot, this took the show in a different course. Never in my almost 2 decades k-drama binging life that I commented on what I truly feel about a show except for this one. Every episode is a new experience! The first minute will make you laugh hard on their comedies, then you find yourself swooning over the characters, and at the end, *boom, you find yourself crying a river!
So please, if you have a daring personality and willing to overlook the almost 2 hrs to spend in each episode, please do watch this. I guarantee you it is worth your time. Then tell me which OTPs are you in, #TeamTaek of #TeamJungHwan, coz I’m both!
Network: SBS | Episodes: 20 | Release Date: November 12, 2014 – January 15, 2015
“As a child, Ha-Myeong (Lee Jong-Suk) grew up in a family with his firefighter father, mother and older brother. Ha-Myeong and his older brother (Yoon Gyun-Sang) both possess higher than normal intellect and are proud of their father. Unfortunate things happened where both brothers got separated from each other. Ha-Myeong ended up living as Dal-Po and came to In-Ha’s (Park Shin-Hye) family. In-Ha and Dal-Po get along well until he learns that In-Ha’s mother (Jin Kyung) is the reporter that covered the waste facility fire that destroyed his family. Dal-Po tries to distance himself from In-Ha, but he also develops feelings for her.” – Asianwiki, Pinocchio
This mix of romance, drama, comedy, and family series is something you shouldn’t miss. Personally, I’m not a big fan of both actors, but I love how they portrayed their roles in this show. As a media personality, I nodded and agreed how they featured media as an influential entity that can influence people, both good and bad ways.
Kill Me, Heal Me 9.5/10
Network: MBC | Episodes: 20 | Release Date: January 7 – March 12, 2015
“A love story between the son of a wealthy family, Cha Do-Hyun (Ji Sung) who has 7 personalities and a 1st-year female resident, Oh Ri-Jin (Hwang Jung-Eum) who becomes a secret doctor for him.” – Asianwiki, Kill Me, Heal Me
Hands down to Ji Sung who superbly portrayed 7 personalities in one show! Deym, this guy is good! At first, I had a hard time loving this drama, thus 0.5 deductions on the ratings. But get past the first few episodes, then you’re good to go. This drama has a lot of OTPs or ships, yet my favorite was Ahn Yo-na and Oh Ri-On (Park Seo-Joon). Yo-Na is an extrovert and mischievous 17-year-old girl who loves idols. She has a crush on Ri-on, Ri-jin’s twin older brother.
Both actors, Ji Sung and Seo Joon took home the Best Couple Award at 2015 MBC Drama Awards. Check out the video above, and don’t forget to activate the subtitle. You’ll learn why I’m shipping these two 🙂
Rooftop Prince 8/10
Network: SBS| Episodes: 20 | Release Date: March 21 – May 24, 2012
“After the death of the Crown Prince Lee Kak’s wife, the Crown Prince (Park Yoo-Chun) transports 300 years into the future and arrives in 21st century Seoul, South Korea with his retainers. In the present day Seoul, the Crown Prince meets Park Ha (Han Ji-Min) and Joo Se-Na (Jung Yoo-Mi), who has an uncanny resemblance to his deceased Princess.” – Asianwiki, Rooftop Prince
This one is a CLASSIC! And it’s bit unforgivable if you haven’t seen this. Well just kidding, but seriously, though the cinematography isn’t as good as the newer series, it has a lot of potentials. The story line is good and I remember how I laughed and cried watching this.
So there you have it guys, the first part of my rom-com K-drama listing. There are more to write in here, but I realized this article was a long read already. Stay tuned, because in the following weekends I’ll share you more of my K-drama list from different genres. For now… Annyeong!