Korean Dramas have witnessed another rise in popularity due to the combination of the lock down and ever growing collection of Kdramas on Netflix. New comers to Korean dramas are sure to feel overwhelmed by the different dramas out there and will make decisions based on the popularity of the drama. To narrow down your choice, Anjola and I collaborated on this article by bringing to you a list of 10 “popular” dramas and our thoughts on them in no particular order.
- GUARDIAN: THE LONELY AND GREAT GOD- GOBLIN
Goblin is a fantasy drama that revolves around the life of Kim Shin from the Goryeo era to the modern world in search of his Bride before he can die. It is the fifth highest rated drama in Korean cable television history. It received critical acclaim and became a cultural phenomenon in South Korea.
Foyin: YES. Goblin will forever be THAT drama, I am yet to see any drama that does it like Goblin- from the story line between the Goblin and his bride, to the bromance between the Goblin and Grim Reaper, to the romance of Grim Reaper and Goblin’s junior sister, then injecting our funny and handsome carer of the Goblin. The soundtracks were so good too, had to download them. Definitely an all rounder drama
Bunmi: 50-50. Started watching but got tired after the third episode. I saw a lot of clips of the bromance on Instagram which was the fun part for me. I also have all the soundtracks from the drama because they are just so good.
2. DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN
Descendants of the Sun is a romantic drama that tells a story about the relationship between a Soldier and a Doctor falling in love and breaking up in South Korea then meeting up again in war torn Uruk where they were both assigned to. It was a hit in Asia and influenced tourism to South Korea.
Foyin: 50-50. I watched this as a result of peer pressure 😒. It’s not bad, just not my cup of tea. The story line of the second male and female lead was more engaging to me.
Bunmi: 50-50. I watched it because of my sisters, it’s not a drama I’d like to watch a second time. Was even sleeping at some point.
3. LOVELY HORRIBLY
If you’ve watched the movie Just my Luck, this is a Korean drama version as it follows the life of two people whose luck keeps on changing based on the other person. It wasn’t so popular in South Korea but it’s always trending on Netflix.
Foyin: I was really looking forward to this as I’m a big fan of Song Ji Hyo and had watched a drama of the male lead, but about 3 episodes into the drama I started losing interest. The chemistry between the lead characters and the story line just wasn’t working for me.
Bunmi: YES. I love Lovely Horribly, I love the characters, the story line and the chemistry. I found it really interesting and binge watched it in two days.
4.CRASH LANDING ON YOU
Crash landing on you is a romantic comedy that tells the story of a South Korean Heiress and a North Korean Soldier. It was a hit both in South Korea and internationally.
Foyin: NO. Another prime example of peer pressure watching. I’m pretty familiar with both lead characters having watched a couple of their dramas but I really just didn’t notice how the love blossomed in the drama. I did enjoy the 4 soldiers and their journey in South Korea, but not enough to warrant a 50-50. After watching this I promised my self that under no circumstances am I watching King Eternal Monarch- sorry Kim Go Eun.
Bunmi: I haven’t watched it yet because everyone, including non-kdrama watchers have been raving about it and it just doesn’t look like something I’d watch.
5. WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM?
What’s wrong with Secretary Kim revolves around the life of a Vice Chairman whose Secretary suddenly announces her resignation and he’d do anything to keep her- even marrying her. It was a hit internationally; maybe because of the handsome Park Seo-joon or the steamy kissing scenes- who knows?
Foyin: NO. I couldn’t stand the character of Park Seo-joon. His narcissistic trait was a source of comedy for people that enjoyed the drama but I couldn’t get over it. Also the plot didn’t make sense to me. His brother claiming someone else’s tragedy as occurring to him? Naa, nope- no sense in that to me.
Bunmi: YES. I am so biased about this because I really enjoy Park Min-young’s dramas, and then adding Park Seo-joon my ultimate bias makes it the best. I’ve watched it FULLY about three times now. Love it 3,000.
6. KILL ME, HEAL ME
Kill Me, Heal Me is a drama filled with suspense and revolves around a man with dissociative personality disorder.
Foyin: YES. I loved Kill Me Heal Me- I don’t think I’ve seen a drama that makes so much sense and EVERY single detail is connected. The writer needs to touch my brain and give it inspiration because I truly stan.
Bunmi: YES. Kill Me, Heal Me is one of a kind, you don’t see dramas like that often. Everything was so well executed, beautiful and on point. This made me fall in love with Ji Sung and I had to watch his other dramas. All the elements; from comedy, suspense and a clear message were in the drama.
7. HER PRIVATE LIFE
Her Private Life tells the story of a lady trying to separate her life working as a curator from her obsession as a closet fan and a fansite manager of a K-pop artist.
Foyin: YES. I was so pumped up for this because my man Kim Jae-wook finally got a lead role. It was a really light-hearted drama that didn’t need too much concentration and sparks were FLYING. Park Min-young is the queen of romance dramas- so much beauty and elegance.
Bunmi: YESx2. I really enjoyed seeing Kim Jae-wook in a romantic comedy drama. It wasn’t too heavy and he delivered his role to a tee. It was so well done and a mature drama.
8. SUSPICIOUS PARTNER
Suspicious Partner is a legal romantic drama which revolves around the life of Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyun) a prosecutor-trainee who was accused of killing her ex-boyfriend and Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook) a prosecutor turned lawyer as they try to nail down a serial killer. It enjoyed popularity during its run and beat its competitors in terms of rating.
Foyin: YES. This is my favourite drama of all time. I’ve watched it more than 5 times, I especially enjoyed the female lead character as she wasn’t the type to always lean on the male lead.
Bunmi: YES. I really enjoyed it as it was a different Ji Chang-wook. He mostly used to take on roles which involved fighting and action scenes like K2 and Healer. This showed us an intellectual and hilarious Ji Chang Wook. It was beautiful.
9. THE K2
The K2 revolves around the life of a former military operative now on the run after being framed of murder. He goes by the alias K2 after joining a security firm as a body guard to a couple plotting for the next presidential election.
Foyin: YES. I loved K2. It’s a drama I always go back to when bored. I especially liked the character of the villain and could honestly understand where she was coming from. The love story between the lead characters didn’t need to happen in my opinion.
Bunmi: YES. I love love K2. I’ve watched it about 2 times. I love action Ji Chang-wook simply because of how captivating his on-screen presence is anytime he takes on action roles (cc Healer). I loved the weird sexual tension between him and his ‘madam’, and how excitingly progressive the relationship between him and the female lead was. This was definitely a 150% for me.
10. CINDERELLA WITH THE FOUR KNIGHTS
Cinderella with the Four Knights is a romantic comedy drama that revolves around the life of Eun Ha-Won (Park So-dam) a poor student who encounters four men living in a mansion while trying to make money to go to college.
Foyin: NO. I have not watched it and have no foreseeable plans to watch it. I am not a fan of any of the lead characters. Also the thought of three to four men vying for the affection of a lady is too much for me to bear.
Bunmi: 70-30. I have watched this at least four times. I really loved all the actors/actresses except the second female lead (the 30 is because of her) as her acting and character was so frustrating and she got so much screen time. I also enjoyed the pairing of the main characters as they really had chemistry.
Thank you for reading
What are your thoughts on these K-dramas? Will you be adding any to your watch list?Let me know in the comment section.