So by now, you’ve probably figured out that I have a problem. I am an addict. Completely and irrevocably addicted to Asian dramas. I started out with just K-Drama but now I’m out here drooling because of the long-haired heros in Chinese martial-arts dramas. Meanwhile, my sister’s just giving me the side-eye and wondering whether she should tell someone.
Well, now that I’m an addict, I think it is my God-given duty to ruin the rest of you. If you’ve never tried a K-Drama, listen! Try out any of the ones below. I suspect you’ll be on this train with the rest of us soon 😁😁😁
***The dramas aren’t arranged in any particular order. I love all my babies equally.
1. COME & HUG ME
What would you do if your father was a serial killer? And what if he killed the parents of the first girl you ever loved?
The lead, Do-jin, is the child of a serial killer. He is also the one who reported his father and thus stopped the serial killings, but all everyone remembers is that he is the son of a serial-killer and they treat him like a disease. To make up for his father’s sins, he decides to be a cop. Meanwhile, he’s still pining over his first love, Jae-yi, whose parents were killed by his father. It’s kind of hard to get over her because as an actress she’s on TV almost every day. Their paths cross when a copy-cat serial killer appears and immediately targets Jae-yi. The copy-cat is copying Do-jin’s dad’s murders. Now, Do-jin has to stop him too all while being suspected of maybe being the copycat.
Yup! There’s a lot of complicated emotions and trauma involved in this one. It’s a true gem. If you’re looking for something with romance, melodrama, mystery and thriller all wrapped into one then you should watch this one.
2. MY I.D IS GANGNAM BEAUTY
South Korea has one of the highest rates of plastic surgery. You’d think that that would make them one of the most tolerant countries when it comes to people who’ve gone through plastic surgery. You’d be wrong.
Kang Mi-rae has always known that she was ugly, and even if she didn’t know everyone around her keeps telling her that she is. In high-school, she was the outcast, the girl boys thought was so ugly that her having a crush on you was an insult.
When she is about to go to college, she decides that she’s done with all that. She wants to feel what all the pretty people do. So she gets plastic surgery and changes her looks completely. Suddenly, everyone loves her. They’re calling her pretty now. But their ‘pretty’ also includes some snide words. They also call her a plastic-surgery monster. Basically, she was insulted when she was ugly, but they can’t accept her now that she’s pretty.
The whole drama is about Mi-rae learning to accept herself regardless of her looks, gaining some self-confidence and finding love along the way.
Trust me, you’ll like it.
3. FIGHT MY WAY
Best-friends to lovers….. hehe, my favorite trope.
Reality has a way of messing up dreams. Ae-ra and Dong-man are childhood friends who started out with big dreams but have now ended up as two people just trying to get food and the tables. Ae-ra wanted to be an announcer but now works in a mall. Dong-man was going to be the best-fighter of their age, but now kills pests for a living.
Certain events lead to both of them discovering that it’s not too late to go after what they want. But even as they pursue their dreams, feelings start to develop between them. Suddenly, someone who seemed like just a friend is….. well, appetizing.
4. STRONG-WOMAN DO BONG SOON
Forget super-woman, we have a new super-heroine in the building. Her name is Do Bong Soon and you’re going to love her. Her powers weren’t caused my some medical accident. No, it’s just a thing that gets passed down the female line of her family. And it comes with rules.
The problem starts when she meets wealthy entrepreneur, Min-hyuk. At first she’s not about his corny pick-up lines because she’s still into her best-friend. But slowly, Min-hyuk starts to get under her skin. And soon, she’s breaking all the rules for him.
5. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES
I am shocked this one had such low ratings in South Korea. Seriously, did they not see how amazing this drama was? I haven’t cried like this since Scarlet Heart Ryeo. It hurt me to see characters who loved each other so much but were so, so, so, so wrong for each other. All the characters were great in their roles. They will make you feel things. One minute you hate them, the next you’re rooting for them.
The hero (or should I say anti-hero) is Moo-young. No parent with their sanity intact would let their daughter near him. He is manipulative, seemingly a sociopath and will cheat on them right in front of their eyes with a smile and no apology. Jin-kang knows better than to fall for him. And yet, she does….
Prepare your tissues, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
6. JEALOUSY INCARNATE
Gong Hyo-jin is one of my favorite Korean actresses so I watch everything she’s in. In my opinion, this and It’s Okay, That’s Love are her best works. Here she plays Na-ri, a weather girl, who’s had a crush on Hwa-shin for the longest time. Unfortunately, Hwa-shin is grumpy, arrogant and insufferable. He treats her like a bug.
That is until his friend, Jung-won, notices her.
If you’re thinking, that is so typical of men, you’re right 😁. You will enjoy seeing Hwa-shin suffer. That’s all I’ll say.
7. CHICAGO TYPEWRITER
History really isn’t my thing. If you’re going to make me learn about events that happened a long time ago, then you need to package it in a very, very interesting it way. That’s just what Chicago Typewriter does.
Most of the drama is set in present day South Korea however is inextricably with 1930s Korea during the Japanese Occupation. Our main characters are both reincarnated resistance fighters, only they don’t know it. Meeting each other forces out memories of a past they didn’t even know they had.
I promise, this is not going to be a boring history lesson. There’s love, passion, loyalty, mystery thriller that weaves between timelines. You’ll like it.
8. CHIEF KIM
Kim Sung-Ryong is an accountant, but not your typical accountant. He helps gangstars hide their ill-gotten gains and steals from them on the side. His dream is to live in Denmark as a tycoon. He decides that the only way to make this dream come true is to go for the big score. No more small-time gangsters. He’s going to embezzle from a big company then disappear.
Once he finds a fat target, he manages to get himself hired. Things get complicated when he realizes that he’s not the biggest thief in the building. Worse, those other thieves are extremely ruthless and will do anything including kill people to keep their ill-gotten gains.
Without meaning to, Kim ends up drawn into their dangerous game. This time he’s not the thief; he’s trying to stop them.
9. MOON-LOVERS: SCARLET HEART RYEO
Do you still have the tissues from before? Take them out again. You’ll need them.
This one starts out happy and lovey-dovey. We’ve got Wang So, the black-sheep of the royal family. He’s damaged and has a scar on his face to prove it. Next to him is the lovely Hae-soo, a girl who time-traveled from the present to the past because of a solar eclipse.
At first the two can’t stand each other. Hae-soo is in love with someone else and Wang So only wants to kill her so that she’ll keep quiet about his secrets. But of course that all changes, and they fall in love. And that’s where everything goes wrong.
Falling in love with a prince isn’t as great as the novels make it out to be, especially when the history books tell you that that prince will one day be a blood-thirsty King who kills all his brothers for power.
Boys Over Flowers – Because this is the first k-drama I ever saw. If you call yourself an addict and still pretend that you have never seen this, you are a damn lie. Go to the corner, Pinocchio. We all openly sniggered at the recycled story-line and Lee Min-ho’s weird perm but secretly watched every single one of those 25 episodes.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim – Anything that Park Min-young (the main actress) stars in tends to be great, so of course this one is gold too. We’ve got a narcissistic hero with trust issues and an unhealthy dependence on his secretary. Then we’ve got the secretary who suddenly decides that she’s done with his nonsense. Drama galore!
Healer – This one has Park-Min-young too. Here she plays a tabloid reporter who unwittingly ends up tripping on one of the biggest stories of the century. However, the story makes her the target of an assassination. In comes, Jung-ho, an illegal night-courier with superb fighter skills. His initial assignment is to protect Young-shin (Park Min-Young’s character) but he slowly finds himself falling for her. Everyone I know loves this one. I bet you’ll like it too.
Mystery Queen – There is barely any romance in this one but I bet you’ll still love it. Dead bodies, an amateur detective who’s also a housewife and high-school dropout, a handsome cop, a cheating husband…. you see where this is going, right?
Her Private Life – Another Park Min-young piece. I’m not playing favorites, honest! She’s just so good that she made my list three times. In this one she plays an art curator who is also a stalker-fan of a popular musician. Her new boss discovers this and suddenly she seems so much more interesting. Can he convince her to replace her love for idols with love for him?
Search: WWW – I’m all about feminism wrapped up in a good story. The three ladies who lead this story are FIERCE. Every one of them is an expert in their field… forces to be reckoned with. The drama follows how they work together and against each other to defeat the evil forces around them. Oh….. and there’s lots of love too. But for once the men are the sub-characters.