2001 korean drama

2001 korean drama DEFAULT

Very often I am desperate for recommendations on the next Korean drama to watch. Thought I would share a list, from my top 10 kdramas to the ones you watch to pass time. Added a ratings widget so you can now rate your favorite dramas.

A Ratings Powerhouse is what I call kdramas that are daebak (with high ratings over 20%) when it was aired in Korea. 

Help spread the k-drama love by turning this into a group effort. If you would like to contribute your thoughts on a certain drama, contact us with a short writeup and we can include it directly in the post below. 


Heartless City

Heartless City


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?


My Rating: Must Watch

Title:Heartless City / Cruel City / Moojungdoshi / 무정도시

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: May 2013 – Aug 2013 (Mon Tues JTBC), Crime Action Thriller
Starring:

Synopsis: The story revolves around the lives of those struggling to survive in a cruel city overrun by drug lords and corrupted by power. 

Comments: This drama is a largely underrated production that might not have generated a lot of buzz but it is easily one of the best Korean dramas that I have seen. Watching it was a heart-wrenching roller coaster that took me on a ride I never expected, twisting and turning along a dangerous world brought to life so vividly that it could very well be real. 


Birth of a Beauty


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Currently Watching

Title:Birth of a Beauty

Episodes: TBA

Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs MBC), Romantic Comedy

Starring:

Joo Sang Wook as Han Tae Hee

Han Ye Seul as Sa Ra / Sa Geum Ran


Synopsis: Sa Geum Ran is a housewife who gave her all to her in-laws yet all she got in return was betrayal from a family of ingrates. Seeking revenge, she goes through extensive cosmetic surgery. Hilarious hijinks ensue between the ajumma in the body of a beautiful woman and the man who helps her for personal reasons.

Mr. Back

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama or downright boring?

My Rating:Currently Watching

Title:Mr. Back

Episodes: TBA

Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs MBC), Romantic Comedy, Fantasy

Starring:

Shin Ha Kyun as Choi Go Bong / Choi Shin Hyung

Jang Na Ra as Eun Ha Soo

Synopsis: A 70 year old suddenly turns back to a young man in his 30s. 


Pinocchio, top korean drama 2014, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Jong Shik


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Currently Watching

Title:Pinocchio

Episodes: TBA

Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs SBS), Romance Drama

Starring:

Lee Jong Suk as Choi Dal Po

Park Shin Hye as Choi In Ha

Synopsis: Choi Dal Po is a genius who hides his talents and real identity to escape a tragic past. Choi In Ha is a girl who cannot tell lies. 

Comments: 5 minutes into the drama I gave up. What with Lee Jong Suk’s crazy hair and cheesy quiz competition and his declaration of love to Park Shin Hye who once again has donned a high school attire.

But there’s a lot of hype around this drama that I’m so glad I gave it another shot. 10 minutes into the show I was hooked. Can’t wait for the next episodes.
Pinocchio, top korean drama 2014, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Jong Shik

Liar Game


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch

Title:Liar Game

Episodes: 12

Air Date and Genre: Nov 2014 TVN, Mystery

Starring:

Lee Sang Yun as Ha Woo Jin

Kim So Eun as Nam Da Jung

Synopsis: Nam Da Jung is a naive girl with a kind-heart while Ha Woo Jin is a genius at reading people’s emotions. They both end up joining a reality TV show called Liar Game where they must use deception as a means to win.

Tomorrow Cantabile

top korean dramas 2014, best kdrama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Joo Won Cantabile Tomorrow

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama

Title:Tomorrow Cantabile / Nae Il’s Cantabile

Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: Oct 2014 (Mon Tues KBS), Romantic Comedy

Starring:

Joo Won as Cha Yoo Jin

Shin Eun Kyung as Sul Nae Il

Synopsis: This is a story about two polar opposites who are brought together by classical music.

Pride and Prejudice


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Currently Watching

Title:Pride and Prejudice

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: Oct 2014 (Mon Tues MBC), Romantic Drama  

Starring:

Baek Jin Hee as Han Yul Moo

Choi Jin Hyuk as Goo Dong Chul

Synopsis: A legal drama about upstanding prosecutors who seek to uphold justice.

She’s So Lovable
She


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Downright Boring

Title:She’s So Lovable / My Lovely Girl

Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: Sep – Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs SBS), Musical Rom-Com

Starring:

Rain as Lee Hyun Wook

Krystal Jung as Yoo Se Na

Synopsis: Lee Hyun Wook, the CEO of a talent agency, is still troubled by the death of his ex-girlfriend. Yoo Se Na, his ex-girlfriend’s sister is back in Korea to pursue her dreams of making it in the music industry. 

Comments: I’m a fan of F(x) but I ended up dropping this drama. It had the potential to be a bigger and better Dream High but it became a Korean drama billed by top names yet with a disappointing story line.

Blade Man / Iron Man

Blade Man Lee Dong Wook, Iron Man 2014 kdrama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Downright Boring Weird

Title:Blade Man / Iron Man

Episodes: 18

Air Date and Genre: Sep – Nov 2014 (Wed Thurs KBS), Fantasy

Starring:

Lee Dong Wook as Joo Hong Bin

Shin Se Kyung as Son Se Dong

Synopsis: Joo Hong Bin is the rich and talented CEO of a gaming company but he is a hot-headed prick. What’s worse is whenever he gets frighteningly mad on a rainy day, blades shoot out of his body.
Comments: I was so excited to see a Wolverine-type character in a kdrama but I’m already a couple episodes in and to sum it up, it’s been weird. Ended up reading recaps until the end, which just reaffirmed why I couldn’t continue watching.
Fated to Love you korean version, 2014 kdrama drama withdrawal syndrome Jang Hyuk Jang Na Ra


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama

Title:Fated To Love You /운명처럼 널 사랑해

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: Jul – Sep 2014, Romantic Comedy

Starring:

Jang Na Ra as Kim Mi Young

Jang Hyuk as Lee Gun

Synopsis: Kim Mi Young is your resident pushover, someone who you can count on to do the work that nobody wants due to her inability to say no. On a night of mishaps, Mi Young enters the wrong hotel room and sleeps with Lee Gun. She gets pregnant and this is how their story begins.
Comments: This is a re-make of a Taiwanese drama. I’m biased to the former as the plot changes in the Korean version left out some of the best parts. The Taiwanese version of Fated to Love You back in 2008 starred Ethan Ruan and Chen Qiao En.
Fated to Love You taiwanese version, Ethan Ruan Chen Qiao drama withdrawals
Doctor Stranger
Doctor Stranger 2014, best doctor kdrama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must-Watch

Title:Doctor Stranger /닥터 이방인

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: May – Jul 2014 SBS, Medical Romance

Starring:

Lee Jong Suk as Park Hoon

Synopsis: Park Hoon is originally from South Korea but he and his father were captured. He grew up in the North and became a genius doctor. Upon his escape, he loses contact with the love of his life. Hence, he must take every opportunity to earn money in hopes of finding her.

He ends up at a South Korean Hospital where he is treated as an outsider.
Endless Love Jung Kyung Ho, 2014 kdrama korean drama withdrawals


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?


My Rating:Just Another Drama

Title:Endless Love /끝없는 사랑

Episodes: 40

Air Date and Genre: 2014, Epic Drama

Starring:

Hwang Jung Eum as Seo In Ae

Ryu Soo Young as Han Kwang Hoon

Jung Kyung Ho as Han Kwang Chul

Synopsis: Set in the 1970s, the story revolves around Seo In Ae, a charismatic lady who stands up for her beliefs and struggles during the most tumultuous times in Korea.

Comments: Although this kdrama is based on fiction, it depicts the democratic movement of Korea where human rights were easily violated. Actress Hwang Jung Eum is praised for shedding her cutesy image and transforming into Seo In Ae, a colorful character with immense depth.

You


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama

Title:You’re All Surrounded /너희들은 포위됐다

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: May 2014 – Jul 2014, Action Comedy

Starring:

Lee Seung Ki as Eun Dae Gu

Cha Seung Won as Seo Pan Suk

Go Ah Ra as Uh Soo Sun

Synopsis: Eun Dae Gu joins the Gangnam police force in order to investigate the mysterious death of his mother and to closely observe his Team Leader Seo Pan Suk whom he suspects to be one of the culprits.


Comments: There are quite a number of scenes where it makes fun of kdrama cliches. Even though it’s nothing spectacular, I liked it.

Rank # 1 You Who Came From The Stars – a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating – 30%)
You From Another Star Kim Soo Hyun Jun Ji Hyun, Best k-drama of 2014 drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:You From Another Star / You Who Came From The Stars / 별에서 온 그대 
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: Dec 2013 – Feb 2014, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Kim Soo Hyun as Do Min Joon
Jun Ji Hyun as Chun Song Yi

Synopsis: Do Min Joon is an alien that came to earth centuries ago. In present day Korea, he moves in next door to Chun Song Yi, a popular hallyu actress and hilarity ensues.

Comments: My top 10 kdrama list usually includes classics but You From Another Star is a fairly new drama which had all the right ingredients that make kdramas so endearing. In fact, it had such a successful run that beer and fried chicken sales went up largely due to Chun Song Yi’s obsession with food delivery. I gotta say props to their product placement skills.

The Heirs Lee Min Ho, best kdrama 2013 Park Shin Hye korean drama withdrawals


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:The Heirs
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Oct – Dec 2013, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as Kim Tan
Park Shin Hye as Cha Eun Sang

Synopsis: Cha Eun Sang works for Kim Tan’s family, which is why she was able to enroll in the prestigious Jeguk high school. Can she survive alongside ultra-rich kids and their extravagant displays of wealth and power?

Comments: Boys Before Flowers Repeated. Oddly enough, the heroine Cha Eung Sang turned out to be my least favorite character.

That Winter, The Wind Blows
That Winter, the wind blows song hye kyo jo in sung kdrama 2013, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:That Winter, The Wind Blows
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Feb – Apr 2013, Romance Drama
Starring:
Jo In Sung as In Soo
Song Hye Gyo as Oh Young

Synopsis: In Soo had a harsh childhood and he grew up to become a womanizer, gambler and a con-artist. Oh Young lived a luxurious and sheltered life. Their paths cross when Oh Young searches for her older brother.

Comments: Dark and dramatic.


Queen In Hyun’s Man


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Queen In Hyun’s Man / 인현왕후의 남자 / 仁显王后的男人
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: April 2012, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy Time Travel
Starring:

Ji Hyun Woo as Kim Boong Do

Yoo In Na as Choi Hee Jin


Synopsis: Kim Boong Do ia a noble scholar who unexpectedly travels into the future and meets Choi Hee Jin, an aspiring actress who secured the role of Queen In Hyun. Will their love transcend through time?


Rank # 2 My Girl – a classic and a ratings powerhouse!
(highest episode rating – 26%)

My Girl, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Da Hae, k-drama, favorite classic rom com
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:My Girl / 마이걸 / Ma-i-geol
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: December 2005, Romantic Comedy 
Starring:
Lee Dong Wook as Seol Gong Chan
Lee Da Hae as Joo Yoo Rin
Lee Joon Ki as Seo Jung Won

Synopsis: Joo Yoo Rin is a happy-go-lucky girl whose father keeps getting into trouble. In order to pay her father’s debts, she is constantly desperate for money. She meets Seol Gong Chan, a stingy, well-to-do businessman and they enter into an agreement where Yoo Rin pretends to be Gong Chan’s long lost cousin to fulfill Gong Chan’s grandfather’s dying wish.

Comments: Practically 10 years old but this drama remains to be one of my all time favorites. There’s a Philippine version of My Girl starring Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson if you feel like re-visiting their story.
drama withdrawal syndrome, korean drama, k-drama, My girl, Kim Chiu


My Name is Kim Sam Soon – a classic and a ratings powerhouse!

(highest episode rating – 53%)

drama withdrawal syndrome, Kim Sam Soon, korean drama, k-drama, Hyun Bin, kim sun ah, favorite classic korean rom com
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:My Name is Kim Sam Soon / My Lovely Kim Sam Soon / 我的名字叫金散顺 / 내 이름은 김삼순
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Jun 2005, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Kim Sun Ah as Kim Sam Soon
Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Hun
Jung Ryu Won as Yoo Hee Jin (main girl in Princess Ja Myung Go)

Synopsis: Kim Sam Soon is a 30 year old baker who is scared that she will stay a spinster for life. She just got dumped by her boyfriend and her new goal is to find someone new. She meets Hyun Jin Hun, the rich owner of a restaurant and he becomes her boss. Desperate to appease his mother, Hyun Jin Hun talks Sam Soon into dating him as a cover.

Comments: I had my reservations at first because I had never heard of Kim Sun Ah or Hyun Bin before. Kim Sun Ah had to dress down and gain weight to play the role of Kim Sam Soon and I love her! She’s a great character, down-to-earth, quirky and pretty.


Rank # 3 All In – a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating 47.7%)

Korean drama all in classic k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Byung Hun Song Hye Gyo


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:All In / 올인 / Or-In
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: January 2003, Action Drama
Starring:
Lee Byung Hun as Kim In Ha
Song Hye Gyo as Min Soo Yeon
Ji Sung as Chae Jung Won

Synopsis: Loosely based on the true story of Cha Min Soo, All In is a dramatic tale of two men brought up under contrasting childhoods who ultimately wager everything they have into one final gamble. The protagonist Kim In Ha is a troubled orphan turned mobster who falls in love with Min Soo Yeon. 

Comment: The main characters of the drama, Lee Byung Hun and Song Hye Gyo continued their romance in real life but the relationship eventually turned south and they would never be seen together in any dramas.  


Rank # 4 Dream High
Dream High Kim Soo Hyun Suzy Bae 2010, koream drama withdrawals best kpop


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Dream High
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Musical Rom-Com
Starring:
Kim Soo Hyun as Song Sam Dong
Bae Suzy as Go Hye Mi

Synopsis: Go Hye Mi aspires to be an opera singer but due to financial troubles, she sets out to audition for a spot at Kirin Art High School instead. She then meets a group of students with similar goals and we are taken through their journey towards reaching their dreams.


Dream High 2

Dream High 2 Kang So Ra kdrama, musical rom com korean drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama or downright boring?

My Rating:Downright Boring
Title:Dream High 2
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2012, Musical Rom-Com
Starring:
Kang So Ra as Shin Hye Sung
Jin Woon as Jin Yoo Jin

Comments: Similar concept as Dream High but with a new cast, new songs and some of the supporting characters that we’ve grown to love. Unfortunately, all that jazz was not enough to redeem the show.


City Hunter

City Hunter Lee Min Ho, kdrama 2011 action drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:City Hunter
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Action / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as John Lee
Park Min Young as Kim Na Na

Synopsis: Based on the manga City Hunter, John.Lee plots revenge against those that were involved in his father’s death.


Midas

Midas Jang Huk Lee Min Jung 2011 kdrama best, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Midas
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: 2011, Business Drama
Starring:
Jang Hyuk as Kim Do Hyun
Lee Min Jung Lee Jung Yeon

Synopsis: Kim Do Hyun is smart and ambitious. Lee Jung Yeon is a caring nurse who faithfully remains by his side. However, as Kim Do Hyun gets embroiled in a dangerous ploy for money and power, he begins to realize just how grave a sacrifice he must make for a chance at success.


Secret Garden – a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating – 34.2%)
Secret Garden Hyun Bin Ha Ji Won, 2010 best kdrama, drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Secret Garden
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won
Ha Ji Won as Gil Ra Im

Synopsis: Gil Ra Im is a stunt-woman struggling to make ends meet while Kim Joo Won is an arrogant prick. They meet, miraculously swap bodies and the hijinx begin. —


Rank # 5 My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Shin Min Ah Lee Seung Ki, best kdrama 2010 drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:My Girlfriend is a Gumiho / My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy
Starring:
Lee Seung Ki as Cha Dae Woong
Shin Min Ah as Gu Miho

Synopsis: Cha Dae Woong unwittingly sets Gu Mi Ho free. She is a nine-tailed fox sealed within a painting for five centuries. Mi Ho saves Dae Woong from a near-fatal accident and has to stay close to Dae Woong until he can return what is hers.

Comment: Miho is awesome and Dae Woong is funny! I still vividly recall the rain scene where Mi Ho was left on the ship. It’s definitely a kdrama that brings back fond memories.


King of Baker, Kim Tak Goo – a ratings powerhouse! 

(highest episode rating 50%)


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo
Episodes: 30
Air Date and Genre: 2010, Epic Drama 
Starring:
Yoon Shi Yoon as Kim Tak Goo

Synopsis: Kim Tak Goo is the illegitimate son of the president of Samhwa Enteprises. Sharing his father’s passion for baking, Tak Goo inherited and even surpasses his father in skill and talent as he proves to be a genius in the field. However, there are many hurdles to to tackle as he makes his way to the top.


Shining Inheritance – a ratings powerhouse! 

(viewership as high as 47%)
Shining Inheritance Lee Seung Gi Han Hyo Joo k-drama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Shining Inheritance
Episodes: 28
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Romance Drama 
Starring:
Lee Seung Ki as Sun Woo Hwan
Han Hyo Joo as Go Eun Sung

Synopsis: Sun Woo Hwan is spoiled rotten yet he is heir to his grandmother’s food business. Go Eun Sung is a bright hardworking girl who lost everything after her dad faked his death to escape debt. Due to a chance encounter, Eun Sung meets Woo Hwan’s grandmother and is invited to their house to live. Can she help Sun Woo Hwan change for the better?


Rank # 6 City Hall

City Hall best kdrama 2009, korean drama withdrawals Kim Sun Ah, Cha Seung Won best


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:City Hall / 시티홀 
Episodes: 20
Air Date: 2009 Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Cha Seung Won as Jo Gook
Kim Sun Ah as Shin Mi Rae

Comments: This drama focuses on a small town in Korea where Shin Mi Rae and Jo Gook work for the government. It’s quite refreshing to see a rom-com fit into politics and to get to know the characters of Jo Gook and Shin Mi Rae who strive to fulfill their duties as public servants.


Rank # 7 Smile, You
drama withdrawal syndrome, Smile You, Jung Kyung Ho, best korean family drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Smile, You / 你笑了 / Geudae, Useoyo / 그대, 웃어요
Episodes: 45
Air Date: 2009 Family Drama / Comedy
Starring:
Jung Kyung Ho as Kang Hyun Soo
Lee Min Jung as Seo Jung In

Synopsis: Grandfather Kang, works as a driver for the Seo family. On the day of Seo Jung In’s wedding, her family goes bankrupt and she is abandoned by her newly-wed husband. These crazy circumstances lead to the meeting of Seo Jung In and Grandfather Kang’s grandson Kang Hyun Soo. This drama is about the daily lives of the Seo and Kang family.

Comments: Jung Kyung Ho is such a versatile actor, portraying the comedic and sweet Kang Hyun Soo in Smile, You as opposed to the tragic sword-fighting Prince Hodong in Ja Myung Go.


Rooftop Prince


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring

My Rating:Just Another Drama

Title:Rooftop Prince / 阁楼王世子 / 옥탑방 왕세자 / Oktabbang Wangseja

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: May 2012, Romantic Comedy / Fantasy Time Travel

Starring:

Micky Yoochun as Lee Gak / Yong Tae Yong

Han Ji Min as Park Ha / Bu Yong


Synopsis: Crown Prince Lee Gak and his servants are transported 300 years into the present. He has just lost his Crown Princess and he believes that solving this mystery may be the reason why he was brought 300 years into the future.


Sure enough, Lee Gak landed on the rooftop of Park Ha, the Crown Princess’ sister. Therefore, it is up to Lee Gak to adapt to modern life and to find a way to return to his rightful place.


Comments: An annoying grandma, evil stepsister, evil brother and a damsel in distress, need I say more.

Rank # 8 The 1st Shop  of Coffee Prince – a ratings powerhouse!

(viewership as high as 32%)

First shop of coffee Prince, drama withdrawal syndrome, Yoon Eun Hye classic romantic comedy
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince / 咖啡王子1号店 / 커피프린스 1호점
Episodes: 17
Air Date and Genre: July 2007 (Mon and Tues on MBC), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan
Gong Yoo as Choi Han Kyul

Synopsis: Go Eun Chan is the head of the household and she takes up multiple jobs to support her family. She meets Choi Han Kyul, the owner of a coffee shop. Eun Chan pretends to be a boy in order to be hired as a Prince / Waiter at the coffee shop.

Comments: I never found girl-pretending-to-be-boy stories even remotely believable. If it were, it’s probably because the girl really looked manly, which is a no-no in this case. Yoon Eun Hye is very pretty and she pulls off the tomboyish look quite well. She looks like a boy but we still see the lovable Yoon Eun Hye as Go Eun Chan.

Rank # 9 Autumn In My Heart – a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(highest episode rating 42.3%)

autumn in my heart song hye gyo classic kdrama, korean drama withdrawals, won bin


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?


My Rating:Must Watch

Title:Autumn In My Heart / Endless Love / 가을동화 / Gaeul Donghwa

Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: Sep 2000, Epic Drama

Starring:

Song Seung Hun as Yun Joon Suh

Song Hye Gyo as Yun/ Choi Eun Suh

Won Bin as Han Tae Suk


Comments: This is my first every kdrama and I cried buckets. Eun Suh and Joon Suh were raised as brother and sister but fall madly in love. In addition to incest, there’s also many more epic kdrama pre-requisites. This is one of the first dramas that started the korean wave. I strongly recommend it.

A Man Called God
A Man Called God Song Il Gook k-drama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:A Man Called God / 被称为神的男人 / 신이라 불리운 사나이
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2010 (Sat and Sun on MBC), Action / Revenge 
Starring:
Song Il Gook as Michael King

Synopsis: Michael King is an international assassin and he has connections worldwide. This time around, the job is personal because his ultimate goal is to avenge the death of his parents.


Prosecutor Princess
Prosecutor Princess Kim So Yeon k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, korean legally blonde
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama (cute tho)
Title:Prosecutor Princess / 检察官公主 / Geomsa Princess / 검사 프린세스
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2010 (Wed and Thurs on SBS), Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Kim So Yeon as Ma Hye Ri
Park Shi Hoo as Seo In Woo

Synopsis: Ma Hye Ri is the opposite of what you’d expect of a traditional prosecutor. She is quirky and a fashion aficionado. After graduating, Ma Hye Ri is assigned under head prosecutor Hang Jung Soo and she meets Lawyer Seo In Woo where she can test her luck in work and love.

Comments: Korean Legally Blonde


Will it Snow for Christmas?
Will it Snow for Christmas, k-drama GO Soo Kim Soo Hyun, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:Will it Snow for Christmas? / 圣诞节会下雪吗 / 크리스마스에 눈이 올까요?
Episodes: 16
Air Date: Dec 2009 (Wed and Thurs on SBS), Drama
Starring:
Go Soo as Cha Kang Jin
Kim Soo Hyun as young Cha Kang Jin
Han Ye Seul as Han Ji Wan

Synopsis: Cha Kang Jin is constantly judged because he is the son of a barmaid. Although extremely talented and the top of his class, he frequently gets into fights to defend his mother. He meets Han Ji Wan, a strong-willed teenager that has the guts to stand up for what is right.

However, a tragic incident that Han Ji Wan could not accept causes her to run away from her family and Cha Kang Jin.

Comments: Strong beginning especially with Kim Soo Hyun as the younger male lead but the story takes a turn for the worst as it progressed.


You’re Beautiful

You


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:You’re Beautiful
Episodes: 16
Air Date: Oct – Nov 2009 , Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Jang Geun Suk as Hwang Tae Kyung
Park Shin Hye as Go Mi Nam / Go Mi Nyeo

Synopsis: A.N.Jell just hired a new male band member Mi Nam but he had to leave for the US. Hence, his twin-sister Mi Nyeo agrees to fill in for Mi Nam by joining the band as her twin brother.

Comments: If the plot is not outrageous enough, wait till you realized the main character is also an extremely peculiar obsessive compulsive neat freak. It is a bit teeny bopper but overall, a cute and a fun watch.


Temptation of An Angel
Temptation of an Angel,korean revenge drama, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Downright Boring
Title:Temptation of an Angel / 천사의 유혹 / Cheonsaui Yuhuk
Episodes: 21
Air Date and Genre: October 2009, Revenge
Starring:
Han Sang Jin as Shin Hyun Woo (before)
Bae Soo Bin as Shin Hyun Woo (after)

Synopsis: Joo Ah Ran marries Shin Hyun Woo in hopes of destroying his family in order to avenger hers. After being cruelly plotted against by Joo Ah Ran, Hyun Woo undergoes surgery and comes back with a new face and identity.


Swallow the Sun
All in Part 2, Swallow the Sun, Ji Sung, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings:Pretty Good
Title:Swallow the Sun / All In 2 / 吞噬太阳 / 태양을 삼켜라
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Action / Revenge
Starring:
Ji Sung as Kim Jung Woo
Sung Yu Ri as Lee Soo Hyun

Synopsis: Kim Jung Woo is a penniless orphan. When he finally has the chance of a lifetime, he grabs the opportunity to work for business tycoon Jang Min Ho. Jang Min Ho takes advantage of Kim Jung Woo’s loyalty and leaves him to fend for himself. Feeling betrayed, Kim Jung Woo vows revenge. What will happen when Jung Woo discovers that the object of his hatred is actually his father?


Boys Over Flowers – a ratings powerhouse
(viewership as high as 36%)

Boys Before Flowers Lee Min Ho, Boys Over Flowers Geum Jan Di 2009, best most popular kdrama 2009 drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings:Pretty Good
Title:Boys Before Flowers / Boys Over Flowers / 花樣男子
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Lee Min Ho as Goo Joon Pyo
Koo Hye Sun as Geum Jan Di

Synopsis: Geum Jan Di attends Shin Hwa High School where the F4 are high school royalty. Given her fiery temper and hatred for injustice, she clashes with Goo Joon Pyo who is the leader of F4.

Comments: I just wrote a similar plot line from The Heirs, also starring Lee Min Ho. Boys Before Flowers is the Korean version of a manga by the same name that has been made remade in Japan, Taiwan, etc. I used to go gaga over F4 – re-package it as a k-drama and we have another hit!


Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel So Ji Sub 2009, kdrama korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings:Just Another Drama
Title:Cain and Abel
Episodes: 25
Air Date and Genre: 2009, Drama
Starring:
So Ji Sub as Lee Cho In
Han Ji Min as Oh Young Ji

Synopsis: Cain and Abel is about brothers turned rivals due to jealously and hatred. Lee Cho In is a talented doctor but his brother Oh Young Ji plots for his downfall and they ultimately turn against each other.

Comments: It’s overly dramatic and tragic, which can get very frustrating if you know what I mean.


The World That They Live In
The World That They Live In, Song Hye Gyo k-drama, Hyun Bin drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:The World That They Live In / World Within / 그들이 사는 세상
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Oct 2008 (Mon and Tues on KBS), Romance
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Jung Ji Oh
Song Hye Kyo as Joo Joon Young

Synopsis: This drama features the behind-the-scenes of television drama production. We are introduced to the personal and professional lives of the four main characters who work in the entertainment industry.


East of Eden – a ratings powerhouse!
(episode ratings peaked at 35%)East of Eden Song Seung Hoon, best k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:East of Eden / 伊甸園之東 / 에덴의 동쪽 / Edeonui Dongjjok
Episodes: 56
Air Date and Genre: August 2008, Epic Drama
Starring:
Song Seung Hun as Lee Dong Chul

Synopsis: Lee Dong Chul’s father was killed by Shin Tae Hwan. It was during times of political instability where money and power can make crimes disappear. Seeking justice, Dong Chul vows to avenge his father’s death.

However, a cruel twist of fate is played on the family of Lee Dong Chul and Shin Tae Hwan. Lee Dong Wook and Shin Myung Hun are born on the same day but were interchanged at the hospital. Shin Tae Hwan’s son grows up in the Lee family while Shin Myung Hun grows up under the care of his father’s killer.


Family’s Honor
Family
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:Family’s Honor / 家门的荣光 / 가문의영광
Episodes: 54
Air Date and Genre: October 2008, Family Drama
Starring:
Yoon Jung Hee as Ha Dan Ah
Park Shi Hoo as Lee Kang Suk

Synopsis: Dan Ah is from a traditional Korean family. The story revolves around her family’s encounters as well as Lee Kang Suk, a man from a rich family who will be pursuing Dan Ah.


Gourmet
Gourmet, drama withdrawal Syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title: Gourmet / 食客 / 식객
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: 2008, Romance / Cooking
Starring:
Kim Rae Won as Lee Sung Chan
Nam Sang Mi as Kim Jin Soo (main girl in Time Between Dog and Wolf)

Comments: This drama reminds me of Iron Chef where the judges can ramble on and on about food. I like food but not enough to watch cooking shows so this drama was quite average for me.


Time Between Dog and Wolf
Time Between Dog and Wolf, drama withdrawal syndrome, best k-drama, Lee Joon Ki
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

Ratings:Must Watch
Title:Time Between Dog and Wolf / 狗和狼的时间 / 개와 늑대의 시간
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2007 Action Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Joon Ki as Lee Soo Hyun / Kay
Nam Sang Mi as Soo Ji Woo
Jung Kyung Ho as Kang Min Gi

Synopsis: Lee Soo Hyun was orphaned after his mother was killed before his eyes. NIS Agent Kang Joong Ho raises Lee Soo Hyun as his own. Together, Lee Soo Hyun and Kang Joong Ho’s son Kang Min Ki join the government agency NIS.

During fieldwork, Lee Soo Hyun meets his mother’s killer again and anger pushes Lee Soo Hyun to go undercover and plan his revenge.

Comments: The first couple episodes were a bit boring but I’m so glad I picked up from where I left off. It’s a revenge story with an intricate plot, a must watch!


Lobbyist
Lobbyist Song Il Gook, drama withdrawal syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:Lobbyist (formerly known as Angel)/ 说客 / 로비스트
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: October 2007, Epic Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Song Il Gook as Harry / Kim Joo Ho

Synopsis: Kim Joo Ho and his little sister become orphans after their father’s death. Without any relatives left in Korea, Joo Ho had to leave his childhood sweetheart Yoo So Young to live with his aunt in the United States. So Young’s family also migrates to the US. They eventually meet again as adult Harry and Maria.

However, Maria’s sister is killed before her eyes. This incident takes Maria down the road of vengeance, thus beginning the story of Harry and Maria, two main players in the weapons lobbying industry.

Comments: We are introduced to the world of international weapons trading. This is not your typical Korean drama where the childhood sweethearts reunite as adults. Instead, this is a heavily-politicized drama that delves into the dangerously complex hierarchy of money and power in Korea.


Snow Queen
Hyun Bin, Snow Queen, drama withdrawal syndrome, k-drama
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title: Snow Queen / 雪之女王 / Noon Eui Yeo Wang / 눈의 여왕
Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: November 2006, Drama
Starring:
Hyun Bin as Han Tae Woong / Han Deuk Gu
Sung Yu Ri as Kim Bo Ra

Synopsis: Han Tae Woong is a mathematical genius. He becomes close friends with Kim Jeong Kyu, an overachiever who has to be the best in everything. He also meets Kim Bo Ra who unknown to him is Kim Jeong Kyu’s little sister. Han Tae Woong beats Jeong Kyu in a math competition and unable to face defeat, Kim Jeong Kyu commits suicide.

Filled with grief towards the loss of his friend, Tae Woong blames himself and chooses to give up his future. We see him again as a 25-year old, living life aimlessly until he meets his childhood friend Kim Bo Ra once again.


Goong – a ratings powerhouse!
(highest episode rating 28%)


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Goong / 궁 (宮)
Episodes: 24
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Romantic Comedy
Starring:
Yoon Eun Hye as Shin Chae Kyung
Joo Ji Hoon as Crown Prince Mu Won

Synopsis: In a fictional world where Korea is ruled by monarchs, Shin Chae Kyung discovers that she is actually betrothed to Crown Prince Mu Won. She is swept into the world of grandiose ballrooms, palace intrigues and torn between Crown Prince Mu Won and Lee Yul.

Comments: If you liked high school dramas like Boys Before Flowers, I highly recommend this drama about actual royalties in a high school setting.


Queen of the Game
Queen of the Game, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating: Downright boring
Title:Queen of the Game / 게임의 여왕
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: Nov 2006 (Sat and Sun on SBS), Drama / Revenge
Starring:
Lee Bo Young as Kang Eun Seol
Joo Jin Mo as Lee Shin Jun / Chase

Comments: I stopped watching after the 1st episode as I’ve had enough of revenge stories where the guy or girl wins the heart of the other only to destroy them.

Goodbye Solo Chung Jung Myung k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:Goodbye Solo / 再见独奏 / 굿바이솔로
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: Mar 2006 (Wed and Thurs on KBS), Romance
Starring:
Chun Jung Myung as Kim Min Ho
Yoon So Yi as Kim Soo Hee

Synopsis: This drama is about the lives of Kim Min Ho, Kim Soo Hee, Kang Ho Chul, Choi Mi Ri, Yoo Ji An, Oh Young Sook and Grandma Mi Young.


Lovers
Lovers, k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome, Lee Seo JinIs it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just another drama
Title:Lovers / 恋人 / 연인
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2006, Action / Gangster
Starring:
Kim Jung Eun as Yoon Mi Joo
Lee Seo Jin as Ha Kang Jae

Synopsis: Kang Jae was taken in by gangster boss Chairman Kang and raised as a gangster. He develops a sour relationship with Chairman Kang’s son Seo Yeon who yearns for his father’s acknowledgement. Kang Jae and Seo Yeon both meet and fall in love with the happy-go-lucky cosmetic surgeon Yoon Mi Joo.

Fashion 70s

Fashion 70s Lee Yo Won k-drama, drama withdrawal syndrome

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch

Title:Fashion 70s / 时尚70年代 / 패션 70’s

Episodes: 28

Air Date and Genre: May 2005, Epic Drama

Starring:

Lee Yo Won as Han Duh Mi / Ko Joon Hee (Queen Seon Deok)

Kim Min Jung as Ko Joon Hee / Han Kang Hee

Joo Jin Mo as Kim Dong Young

Chun Jung Myung as Jang Bin


Comments: There’s war, romance, amnesia, and of course fashion. If you’re looking for another big scale epic drama, give this a try.


Let’s Go to the Beach
Let
Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:Let’s Go to the Beach / 去海边吧 / 해변으로 가요
Episodes: 14
Air Date and Genre: 2005, Romance
Lee Wan as Jang Tae Pung
Lee Chung Ah as Yoon So-Ra

Synopsis: Jang Tae Pung and Jang Tae Hyun are stepbrothers. Jang Tae Pung has always been the fun-loving younger son whereas Jang Tae Hyun has always been mature and responsible. Jang Tae Pung is sent to the family’s resort to learn about the business but instead of training his younger brother, Tae Hyun assigns him to be a lifeguard.

Comments: If other shows have a food theme, this one has the beach theme. It’s a feel good drama with good looking guys. 

A Love to Kill

A Love to Kill Rain and Shin Min Ah krama 2005, drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch

Title:A Love to Kill / 이 죽일놈의 사랑/Ijuksa

Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: 2005, Romance Drama

Rain as Kang Bok Gu

Shin Min Ah as Cha Eun Seok


Synopsis: Kang Bok Gu is passionate and reckless. Driven mad over his brother’s death, Bok Gu seeks revenge on actress Cha Eun Seok, his brother’s ex-girlfriend. However, things become increasingly complicated as Bok Gu and Eun Seok begin to develop feelings for each other.


Rank # 10 Nine-Tailed Fox

Nine-Tailed Fox Kim Tae Hee 2004 best kdrama, korean drama withdrawals


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch
Title:Nine-Tailed Fox / Forbidden Love
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romance Drama / Action / Fantasy
Kim Tae Hee as Yoon Shi Yeon
Jo Hyun Jae as Inspector Kang Min Woo

Synopsis: Yoon Shi Yeon has responsibilities as a gumiho warrior while Kang Min Woo has his duty as an Inspector. What will this star-crossed lovers do amid an impending battle between humans and gumiho?

Comments: Action, fantasy, gumiho, romance of epic proportions? Exactly my cup of tea.


Lovers in Paris – a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(viewership as high as 57.6%)

Lovers in Paris Kim Eun Jung classic kdrama, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Pretty Good
Title:Lovers in Paris 
Episodes: 20
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romantic Comedy
Kim Jung Eun as Kang Tae Young
Park Shin Yang as President Han Ki Joo

Synopsis: Kang Tae Young meets Han Ki Joo in Paris. Follow their romance as this is a classic rom com.


Love Story in Harvard

Love Story in Harvard Kim Tae Hee, 2004 kdrama korean drama withdrawals


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Just Another Drama
Title:Love Story in Harvard
Episodes: 16
Air Date and Genre: 2004, Romance
Kim Tae Hee as Lee Soo In
Kim Rae Won as Kim Hyun Woo

Synopsis: Lee Soo In and Kim Hyun Woo are both students at Harvard – one is studying to be a doctor and the latter a lawyer. This drama is about their struggles in love and life.

Stairway to Heaven – a classic and a ratings powerhouse! 
(viewership as high as 42.3%)

Best kdrama all time, Kwon Sang Woo Stairway to Heaven, korean drama withdrawals

Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?



My Rating:Must Watch

Title:Stairway to Heaven 

Episodes: 20

Air Date and Genre: 2003, Epic Drama

Kwong Sang Woo as Cha Song Joo

Choi Ji Woo as Kim Ji Soo


Synopsis: Kim Ji Soo is your typical Cinderella, a girl whose father married an evil step-mother and a step-sister hell bent on taking everything from her especially the love of her life Cha Song Joo. 

Comments: Similar to Autumn In My Heart, take out the tissue boxes and prepare to bawl.

Full House – a classic!

Full House Song Hye Gyo best kdrama 2003, korean drama withdrawal syndrome


Is it a must-watch, pretty good, just another drama, tolerable or downright boring?

My Rating:Must Watch

Title:Full House

Episodes: 16

Air Date and Genre: 2003, Romantic Comedy

Rain as Lee Young Jae

Song Hye Gyo as Han Ji Eun


Synopsis: Han Ji Eun’s friend sells her house rendering her homeless. Desperate, she negotiates with actor Lee Young Jae, the new owner and they enter into a contract wherein Han Ji Eun can stay as long as she pretends to be his wife to get the media off his back.


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Korean dramas aired in 2000 - 2008

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Sours: https://mydramalist.com/list/D45rBvo1
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  4. Chihuahuas for sale under 200

Welcome to K-Drama picks – my very own list feature that would orient you to the trends, notable moments, drama recommendations organized by season.

Reaching phenomenal popularity, classic Korean dramas essentially have contributed to the worldwide growth of Hallyu. With the internet aiding the prevalence of streaming K-Drama content through various online video platforms, the direction of the industry it belongs looks utterly auspicious.

To kick off this feature, it is aptly right to pay respect and celebrate the stories which became forerunners of the Korean wave. Thus, we will hit it off with the Korean series from 2000 to 2005. In the early to mid-2000, the prevailing genres are romance and melodrama.

At that time, I was in constant bickering with my brother, who always complain about the series with heroines crying every episode. That appears to be true, my tear ducts were on a regular exercise during those years.

It can actually be attributed to why I have been picky in choosing tearjerkers at present; and why the “supposed tearjerkers” in recent years do not incite trauma to me anymore. Tried and tested elements of a love triangle, birth secret, rich-boy-poor-girl stories are recurring themes.

Villains are also on equal appreciation with the protagonists. These seasons in K-Dramaland also marked budding Korean stars, who at present time, are now established and bankable actors.

The roster includes Jang Dong Gun, Lee Byung Hun, Song Seung Heon, Choi Ji Woo, Song Hye Kyo, Son Ye Jin, Jang Na Ra, So Ji Sub, and Kim Rae Won among others. Below are great starters if you want a deep delving into the nature and structure of Korean dramas that are still evident in today’s generation.

Best Korean Drama List:2000 – 2005 | 2006 – 2009| 2010| 2011| 2012| 2013| 2014| 2015| 2016| 2017| 2018| 2019| 2020|



All About Eve (2000)

  • Jang Dong Gun | Chae Rim | Kim So Yeon | Han Jae Suk

Famed for the female leads’ rivalry, a whole lot of treachery, angst and ambition spins the story of this MBC classic.

 


Autumn in My Heart (2000)

  • Song Seung Heon | Song Hye Kyo | Won Bin |

Birth secret and forbidden unrequited love have layered this quintessential melodrama to sublimity. Succumbing to a bawling mess is normal when you watch Autumn in My Heart, a go-to drama when you need a good cry.

autumn in my heart


Beautiful Days (2001)

  • Lee Byung Hun & Choi Ji Woo

A story about two sisters who grew up together at an orphanage and two brothers who detested each other. The characters’ lives get entangled through music and a twist of fate. beautiful days


Winter Sonata (2002)

  • Bae Young Joon | Choi Ji Woo

Keeping the trademark theme of Endless Love series with childhood connection, first love, and a tragedy or sickness, this series has a happier ending. The love couple, constantly separated by circumstances and the tragic aftermath from an accident, still end up being together.


Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002)

Sprinting a zesty romantic comedy, this charmer is a cute and feel-good watch that never loses its magic, even if you do a rerun. While Fated to Love You might be popular to Jang Hyuk – Jang Na Ra shippers, this cute classic makes up all the rom-com elements that viewers would love.


My Love Patzzi (2002)

Jang Na Ra | Kim Rae Won | Kim Jae Won | Hot-tempered Jang Nara gets into trouble often because of her mischievous attitude. Kim Rae Won is in love with Jang Nara’s friend but begins to see her in a new light after an accident.

my love patzzi



Attic Cat (2003)

  • Kim Rae Won | Jung Da Bin (+)

Circumstances force Kim Rae Won and Jung Da Bin (+) to live together. This early cohabitation-themed story warms up the heart and frequently draws smiles from anyone who watches it.

attic cat


A Jewel in the Palace (2003)

  • Lee Young Ae | Ji Jin Hee

Empowering women to pursue their dreams is the theme of this classic period series. Lee Young Ae painted an iconic character in this hit MBC series. Although period dramas are notoriously known for their lengthy run, this woman-empowering series will not bring you down.

jewel in the palace


Stairway To Heaven

  • Choi Ji Woo | Kwon Sang Woo | Kim Tae Hee

Early melodramas strengthened the tear ducts of first-generation K-Drama fans. This Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo drama is a perfect example. Although it did not have a happy ending, the journey of the two leads to finding their way back to each other was worth all the tears and heartaches. The thought of thinking about this drama is already making me cry. *chuckles Prepare rolls of tissues if you want to indulge.

stairway to heaven


Full House (2004)

An aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor are forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father. We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other. Cohabitation and bickering are the main ingredients of this well-loved rom-com.


Something Happened in Bali (2004)

  • Ha Ji Won | Jo In Sung | So Ji Sub

Taking the archetypal route of Korean melodramas, if watched at this time, the Jo In Sung, So Ji Sub, and Ha Ji Won love triangle series, would surely appear trite and something you have seen before. In a way, the rich-boy-poor-girl and problematic second-lead syndrome elements can be traced to this model tearjerker that refuses to make an apology to its brave ending.


Forbidden Love (2004)

  • Kim Tae Hee | Jo Hyun Jae | Han Ye Seul

This gumiho-themed series combines action, thrill, and fantasy into a polished concoction.


Lovers in Paris (2004)

  • Kim Jung Eun | Park Shin Yang

Park Shin Young and Lee Dong Gun compete for the love and affection of Kim Jung Eun. From Paris to South Korea, this drama keeps viewers at the edge of their seats with romantic scenes and breathtaking scenery.


Love Story in Harvard (2004)

  • Kim Rae Won | Kim Tae Hee

Carving a memorable story amidst a strong K-Drama season, what made Love Story in Harvard remarkable for me is how it did not make me a blubbering mess. It honestly felt like seeing a favorite romance novel of mine on television.


I’m Sorry I Love You (2004)

  • So Ji Sub | Im Soo Jung | Jung Kyung Ho

Slowly emerging as a dominating trend last year, healing dramas are conquering K-Drama landscape. A few years ago, I’m Sorry, I Love You was an emotionally written masterpiece that ironically encourages.

i'm sorry i love you

 


Save the Last Dance For Me (2004)

Memory loss has been one of the favorite twists in romance stories, and the narrative seeps in heartfelt emotion seamlessly. A beautiful moving story of finding love and falling in love all over again with the same person.

save the last dance


My Lovely Samsoon (2005)

With a heroine who knows what she wants, Samsoon spearheaded one of the earliest dramas that is woman empowering. Add Hyun Bin in the picture and you get an endearing rom-com.


A Love To Kill (2005)

Cementing Rain’s emotional range as an actor, the heart-wrenching romance deserves the numbers the drama yielded when it was airing. His performance would let you forgive him in the next bad dramas he starred in after.


Hello My Teacher (2005)

Gong Yoo and Gong Hyo Jin’s noona romance is a prerequisite to dramas of the same theme. The happy ending comes after much tribulation, but they satisfyingly achieve it.


Only You (2005)

  • Han Chae Young | Jo Hyun Jae

A rip from the pages of your favorite romance novel, an aspiring chef had a one-night affair in Italy. It led her to go back to Korea after learning her pregnancy. Later, she meets again the man who fathered her child.


My Girl

  • Lee Dong Wook | Lee Da Hae | Lee Joon Gi

A rich man hires a woman to pretend as his lost cousin so his sick grandfather will feel better. The con backfires as they fall in love with each other.

Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae’s first pairing is a zesty cohabitation where the couple bickers a lot until romance knocks them out to submission. The road to the love realization threads on happy notes and lies. My Girl leaves a message on how time makes you braver to love someone, and how love stays true when separated by time.

 


Photos: Respective networks of mentioned dramas

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Spread K-Drama Love

2000 korean dramas2001 korean dramas2003 korean dramas2004 korean dramas2005 korean dramasA Jewel in the PalaceA Love To KillAll About EveAttic CatAutumn in My HeartBeautiful DaysForbidden LoveFull HouseHello My TeacherI'm Sorry I Love YouLove Story in HarvardLovers in ParisMy GirlMy Love PatzziMy Lovely Sam SoonMy Lovely Samsoononly youSave the Last Dance For MeSomething Happened in BaliStairway To HeavenSuccessful Story of a Bright GirlWinter Sonata

abbyinhallyuland

forever young | half-fangirl-half-amazing | hopes to retire at 40 and just watch films and series | sharing amazing dramas is my advocacy | loves to travel | doting furmom to obi |

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「피아노」(piano)Original MV(SkyJapan) 김하늘(Kim Ha-Neul)

List of South Korean dramas

Wikimedia list article

Main article: Korean television drama

This is an incomplete list of South Korean television dramas, broadcast on nationwide networks KBS (KBS1 and KBS2), MBC, SBS; and cable channels JTBC, tvN, OCN, Channel A, MBN, Mnet and TV Chosun. The list also contains notable Miniseries and web series broadcast on Naver TV, Netflix and other platforms.

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  • Ma Boy (2012)
  • Mackerel Run (2007)
  • Mad Dog (2017)
  • Madame Antoine: The Love Therapist (2016)
  • Magic Cellphone (2016)
  • Magic Kid Masuri (2002–04)
  • Make a Woman Cry (2015)
  • Make Your Wish (2014–15)
  • Mama (2014)
  • Man from the Equator (2012)
  • Man in a Veil (2020–21)
  • Man in the Kitchen (2017–18)
  • Man to Man (2017)
  • Man Who Dies to Live (2017)
  • Manhole (2017)
  • Manny (2011)
  • Marriage Contract (2016)
  • Marriage, Not Dating (2014)
  • Marry Him If You Dare (2013)
  • Marry Me Now (2018)
  • Marry Me, Mary! (2010)
  • Marrying a Millionaire (2005–06)
  • Marrying My Daughter Twice (2016)
  • Mask (2015)
  • Master of Study (2010)
  • Master's Sun (2013)
  • Matrimonial Chaos (2018)
  • May Queen (2012)
  • Me Too, Flower! (2011)
  • Medical Top Team (2013)
  • Melancholia (2021)
  • Melody of Love (2013–14)
  • Meloholic (2017)
  • Melting Me Softly (2019)
  • Memories of the Alhambra (2018–19)
  • Memorials (2020)
  • Memorist (2020)
  • Memory (2016)
  • Men Are Men (2020)
  • Merry Mary (2007)
  • Midas (2011)
  • Mimi (2014)
  • Mina (2001)
  • Mine (2021)
  • Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014)
  • Miss Ajumma (2011)
  • Miss Korea (2013–14)
  • Miss Lee (2019)
  • Miss Mamma Mia (2015)
  • Miss Mermaid (2002–03)
  • Miss Monte-Cristo (2021)
  • Miss Panda and Mr. Hedgehog (2012)
  • Miss Ripley (2011)
  • Missing 9 (2017)
  • Missing You (2012–13)
  • Missing: The Other Side (2020)
  • Mistress (2018)
  • Misty (2018)
  • Model (1997)
  • Modern Farmer (2014)
  • Mom and Sister (2000–01)
  • Mom Has an Affair (2020)
  • Mom's Dead Upset (2008)
  • Money Flower (2017–18)
  • Money Game (2020)
  • Money Heist (2021)
  • Monstar (2013)
  • Monster (2016)
  • Monthly Magazine Home (2021)
  • Moon Embracing the Sun (2012)
  • Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
  • Moorim School: Saga of the Brave (2016)
  • More Than a Maid (2015)
  • More Than Friends (2020)
  • Mother (2018)
  • Mother of Mine (2019)
  • Mother's Garden (2014)
  • Mouse (2021)
  • Move to Heaven (2021)
  • Mr. Back (2014)
  • Mr. Duke (2000)
  • Mr. Queen (2020–21)
  • Mr. Sunshine (2018)
  • Mrs. Cop (2015)
  • Mrs. Cop 2 (2016)
  • Ms. Hammurabi (2018)
  • Ms. Kim's Million Dollar Quest (2004)
  • Ms. Ma, Nemesis (2018)
  • Ms. Perfect (2017)
  • My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law (2004)
  • My Absolute Boyfriend (2019)
  • My Beautiful Bride (2015)
  • My Beloved Sister (2006–07)
  • My Bittersweet Life (2011)
  • My Catman (2017)
  • My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh (2018)
  • My Country: The New Age (2019)
  • My Cute Guys (2013)
  • My Dangerous Wife (2020)
  • My Daughter the Flower (2011–12)
  • My Daughter, Geum Sa-wol (2015–16)
  • My Dear Cat (2014)
  • My Fair Lady (2003)
  • My Fair Lady (2009)
  • My Fair Lady (2016–17)
  • My Fantastic Funeral (2015)
  • My Father Is Strange (2017)
  • My Fellow Citizens! (2019)
  • My First First Love (2019)
  • My First Love (2018)
  • My First Time (2015)
  • My Girl (2005–06)
  • My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010)
  • My Golden Life (2017–18)
  • My Healing Love (2018–19)
  • My Heart Twinkle Twinkle (2015)
  • My Holo Love (2020)
  • My Horrible Boss (2016)
  • My Husband Got a Family (2012)
  • My Husband's Woman (2007)
  • My Kids Give Me a Headache (2012–13)
  • My Lawyer, Mr. Jo (2016)
  • My Lawyer, Mr. Jo 2: Crime and Punishment (2019)
  • My Little Baby (2016)
  • My Love By My Side (2011)
  • My Love from the Star (2013–14)
  • My Love Patzzi (2002)
  • My Love Toram (2005)
  • My Lovely Girl (2014)
  • My Lovely Sam Soon (2005)
  • My Lover, Madame Butterfly (2012–13)
  • My Mister (2018)
  • My Mother Is a Daughter-in-law (2015)
  • My Name (2021)
  • My Only Love Song (2017)
  • My Only One (2018–19)
  • My Precious You (2008–09)
  • My Princess (2011)
  • My Roommate Is a Gumiho (2021)
  • My Rosy Life (2005)
  • My Runway (2016)
  • My Sassy Girl (2017)
  • My Secret Hotel (2014)
  • My Secret Romance (2017)
  • My Secret Terrius (2018)
  • My Spring Days (2014)
  • My Strange Hero (2018–19)
  • My Too Perfect Sons (2009)
  • My Unfamiliar Family (2020)
  • My Unfortunate Boyfriend (2015)
  • Mysterious Personal Shopper (2018)
  • Mystery 6 (2006)
  • Mystic Pop-up Bar (2020)

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References[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_South_Korean_dramas

Drama 2001 korean

K-DRAMA SERIESHOW MUCH I ENJOY IT vs. HOW I RATE IT (of 10)1% of Anything (2016)
1%의 어떤것A lovely, low-key remake. How refreshing to have a drama built entirely around the sweet, realistic development of a modern romance between two professional adults, while cutting out the aggravation, angst, and filler that often pad out a drama’s running time. (8 / 8)49 Days (2011)
49일Didn’t hate the ending, but it did make me think I’d given the drama way too much credit along the way. Decent effort at making a sentimental ghostly-possession story, mucky execution. (7 / 7) Age of Youth (2016)
청춘시대 A sleeper drama hit. Low-key, slice-of-life, hint of dolor. The relationships that spring up between the five housemates are fresh, winsome, and complicated in a nicely satisfying way. I wish they’d given it more production value, because the content was a breath of fresh air. (8 / 8) Air City (2007)
에어시티Hot guys. Cold plot.
(5 / 5)All In (2003)
올인Angry Mom (2015)
앵그리맘Tonally all over the place (dark, realistic, touch of absurd) but pulls together into an underdog story to root for. Kim Hee-sun is awesome as a kickass fake high schooler, but Ji-soo steals the show as a tough guy with marshmallow center. (8 / 8) Answer Me 1988 (2015)
응답하라 1988Answer Me 1994 (2013)
응답하라 1994Lovely small moments of friendship and family, buried under a mountain of sluggish, self-indulgent meandering. A ruthless editor would have done wonders. (6 / 8) Answer Me 1997 (2012)
응답하라 1997Nostalgic, witty, and sweet. Captures the pounding fervor and emotional extremes of youth with humor and heart. (9 / 9) Arang and the Magistrate (2012)
아랑사또전Creative universe built with a tightly plotted internal logic and a stirring romantic core. Quirky, dark, sweetly satisfying. (9 / 8) Athena: Goddess of War (2011)
아테나: 전쟁의 여신Attic Cat (2003)
옥탑방 고양이Awl (2015)
송곳I know a drama about labor union disputes doesn’t sound sexy, but Awl makes it downright riveting. Fantastically directed to infuse even the most mundane moments with energy, with a career-defining performance by Ji Hyun-woo. (9 / 9)
Baby-Faced Beauty (2011)
동안미녀It’s a familiar story and the heroine’s rather meek for my post-Sam-soon tastes, but it does the workplace setup and the cute noona-romance with a sweet, funny touch. (7 / 7)Bad Couple (2007)
불량커플Bursts out of the gate with peppy chemistry, then slows with tears and angst and The Dreaded Illness. Lost interest after episode 6. (6 / 5)Bad Family (2006)
불량가족Love it. Heart-warming and hilarious as this motley mock family becomes a real one, without dipping into cheesiness. Kim Myung-min is a hoot. (9 / 9)Bad Guy (2010)
나쁜남자I can’t heap enough superlatives for the drama’s assured directing, gorgeous visual appeal, music, acting, overall ambiance. Story drove me nuts. (7 / 7) Basketball (2013)
빠스껫볼Underdog sports story set in the Occupation, set up to culminate in historic unified Olympic team. If only we got there! Should’ve been more moving, more powerful, more sensical. Draggy plot, painfully green acting. (5 / 5)Beautiful Gong Shim (2016)
미녀공심이Adorable, feel-good weekend drama with a hilariously quirky lead couple. Namgoong Min is delightfully weird, and Minah cutely offbeat. The “mystery” is overplayed and the chaebols are fairly one-note, but turn your brain off in those scenes and the show is good breezy fun. (8 / 7) Best Love (2011), aka Greatest Love
최고의 사랑Tight writing, hilarious scenarios, memorable acting, and a string of the wackiest, yet oddly appropriate metaphors I’ve ever seen in a drama. Feel-good and satisfying. (9 / 9) Big (2012)
Like getting to the bottom of a tasty meal and finding a half-eaten worm. (6 / 4) Birth of a Beauty (2014-15)
미녀의 탄생Starts with a refreshingly screwball sense of humor, fully embracing its silly nature, but latter third gets bogged down with needless complications. Still, the leads have adorable chemistry. (7 / 6)Biscuit Teacher Star Candy (2005)
건빵선생과 별사탕Bottom of the 9th with 2 Outs (2007) aka 9 End, 2 Outs
9회말 2아웃Boys Before Flowers
(2009)
꽃보다 남자Such a hot mess, but a blast to watch. The fandom frenzy was sometimes more fun than the show itself. (8 / 5) Brilliant Legacy (2009) aka Shining Inheritance
찬란한 유산Bring It On, Ghost (2016) aka Let’s Fight Ghost
싸우자 귀신아 (? / ?) Bubblegum (2015)
풍선껌Centered around a lifelong friendship turning to love and a mother’s slow descent into Alzheimer’s, there are shining moments in the thoughtful writing and strong directing. There isn’t much actual plot, but it’s an introspective watch with heartwarming relationships. (8 / 8)Can’t Lose (2011)
지고는 못살아This mellow rom-com proves that conflict can exist without crazies or baddies. Simple but sweet. (7 / 7) Cantabile Tomorrow (2014)
내일도 칸타빌레Full of sweetness and heart, if lacking in some other areas. Messy execution can dull the shine from the coming-of-age poignancy, but the feel-good nature has a way of warming the cockles. (8 / 7) The Chaser (2012)
추적자 The ChaserCheese in the Trap (2016)
치즈인더트랩Halfway through, this was set to be an all-time favorite—thoughtful, sweet, intriguingly dark. But the story lost focus and the production was thrown into backstage turmoil late in the game, fizzling out disappointingly. (8 / 8) Chuno (2010)
추노Visually breathtaking and characterized by sweeping grandeur, though a bit lacking in soul. (7 / 8)Cinderella’s Sister
(2010)
신데렐라 언니Marvelous start and stellar acting counter the heavy angst, but the frustrating plot slows to a near-crawl. (4 / 6) City Hunter (2011)
시티헌터It isn’t flawless, but it did everything I wanted it to and then some. Action, intrigue, humor, heart. (10 / 9) Coffee House (2010)
커피프 하우스Offbeat comedy with a wacky, unpredictable hero. Features loose plotting and a light feel, though second half gets heavier. (7 / 7) Coffee Prince Store #1 (2007) 커피프린스1호점Thoughtful rom-com hit that became a cornerstone for Hallyu. At times cheeky, at times poignant. Standout soundtrack. (9 / 9) Come Back, Ajusshi (2016)
돌아와요 아저씨Ranges from slapstick to tearful to dramatic; worth watching for Rain’s and Oh Yeon-seo’s crack-up performances as middle-aged men stuck in beautiful young bodies. It’s too bad that only half the story was engaging (hers), while the other half suffered from bad writing (his). (7 / 7) Dal Ja’s Spring (2007)
달자의봄Fresh and fun, with dashes of insight into modern (career-)womanhood, rife with Heroine’s romantic and professional foibles. Adorable main couple, great supporting cast, easy to zip through. (9 / 9)Dating Agency Cyrano (2013)
연애조작단 시라노Light on emotional heft, but angstless in a good way. Fun rapport between the agency family, breezy romance, and well-used cameos keep things zippy. (7 / 7) Dear My Friends (2016)
디어 마이 프렌즈Oof. A heavy hitter emotionally, though not in angst-ridden or melodramatic ways. It depicts the heartbreaking moments in everyday life, told in phenomenal performances by dramaland veterans. Sometimes hard to watch, but often rewarding. (8 / 9) Delightful Girl Chun-hyang (2005)
쾌걸춘향High comedy factor with strong chemistry between the leads, playing teenagers forced to marry who fall in love later. Jae Hee is wonderful, and the directing is sharp. A sentimental favorite. (9 / 8)Descended From the Sun (2016), aka Descendants of the Sun
태양의 후예Credit where it’s due: This drama tapped into something special and took the country (and parts of the world) by storm. Plot wasn’t much to speak of, but it had that sweet romance, endearing military bromance, and charming Song Joong-ki. Not really my cup of tea, but I recognize that it had a magic touch. (7 / 8) Doctors (2016)
닥터스This is a romance drama dressed in doctors’ gowns, with a plot so thin it’s hardly there at all. But it also flows lightly and easily, making it a crowd-pleaser with a cast of mostly likable characters and a few who are fun to hate. (6 / 7) Drinking Solo (2016)
혼술남녀A heartwarming depiction of a quirky microcosm populated by lovably eccentric characters, all going through stories of personal struggle and growth in the high-pressure, academy-filled environment of Noryangjin. Satisfying and feel-good. (8 / 8) Doctor Stranger (2014)
닥터 이방인Dr. Champ (2010)
닥터 챔프Dr. Jin (2012)
닥터진This craptastic show is tons of fun to mock, with amazingly bad directing and laughable dissonance between intent and execution. And there’s no denying the idea itself was intriguing. But taken straight, as a drama? More pain than fun. (4 / 3)Dream High (2011)
드림 하이Adorable friendships, great handling of youthful foibles and the shark-infested showbiz waters. A showcase for its idol cast; if only they were better actors, it could’ve been even better. (9 / 8) Dream High 2 (2012)
드림 하이 2Was it lazy, trying to ride Season 1’s coattails, or was it overambitious, trying to be everything and ending up with idol/dance-off/rivalry/romance hodgepodge? It tries both too hard and not enough. (5 / 4)East of Eden (2008-9)
에덴의 동쪽Emergency Couple (2014)
응급남녀Touted as a divorced-lovers-reunite comedy, it’s awfully low on comedy. Slick and beautifully shot, but emotionally feels empty. (6 / 5) Empire of Gold (2013)
황금의 제국Entourage (2016)
안투라지There’s no reason a cheeky, showbiz-themed drama all about bromance and swagger should have been this dull or heavy-footed. Pacing was sluggish, the characters frustratingly dislikable. This is a remake that got it all wrong. (3 / 3) Ex-Girlfriend Club (2015)
구여친클럽Low-key on conflict, but plenty of cute comic hijinks amongst an appealing mix of characters without any bad guys. Main couple is sweet, but it’s really the ex-girlfriends with strong personalities who add the pep and zing. (8 / 7) Exhibition of Fireworks (2006) 불꽃놀이Started great with lots of comedy, went downhill with convoluted evildoers gumming up the works. Kang Ji-hwan is the only good thing here. (5 / 4)Faith (2012)
신의Absurd villains, repetitive conflicts, and a clumsy director bog down execution. At least the leads and their romantic connection hold up their end; the rest tends to plod along. (5 / 6) Fantastic (2016)
판타스틱It’s refreshing for a drama about cancer to take the uplifting, cheerful approach. It did lose steam toward the end and the romance took on an oddly juvenile bent, emotionally. But sweet and enjoyable overall. (7 / 7) Fantasy Couple (2006)
aka Couple or Trouble
환상의커플Flawed but enjoyable opposites-attract comedy. Its humor overdoes the slapstick, but the Hong sisters writers keep the plot moving. (7 / 7) Fated To Love You (2014)
운명처럼 널 사랑해Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara turn this familiar story into something better than itself, but can’t save it entirely from exasperating angst. (6 / 6) Feel-Good Day (2014)
기분 좋은 날Flower Boy Next Door (2013)
이웃집 꽃미남Wistful, sweet, and thoughtful. The first half is pitch-perfect, balancing humor and insight; the second half drags. (7 / 8) Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (2011)
꽃미남 라면가게Super cute camaraderie in the ramyun family. Jung Il-woo is a hoot. Plot spins its wheels a bit, but it’s sweet and funny. (8 / 8) Flowers For My Life (2007) aka I Came In Search of Flowers
꽃찾으러 왔단다Criminally underrated. Witty with a touch of dark humor. Set in a funeral home, it gives lovely, quirky insights on life and death. (10 / 10)Friends (2004)
프렌즈 / フレンズJoint collaboration between Korea and Japan, about two people who come together despite barriers of culture, language, and distance. Pleasant, with gorgeous leads Won Bin and Fukada Kyoko, but unexceptional. (6 / 6)Full House (2004)
풀하우스One of the most popular cohabitation dramas out there—lots of bickering-as-courtship, cute couple moments. It’s overrated (plot becomes repetitive), but enjoyable. (7 / 6)Gaksital (2012)
aka Bridal Mask
각시탈Epic in the best of ways. This show has major stones, venturing dark and grim to fearless degrees. It’s not perfect—though its grand, stirring culmination more than makes up for earlier missteps. (9 / 9) Gap-dong (2014)
갑동이How I wish this serial-killer suspense mystery had more suspense and mystery. The slow pace and lack of surprise can be frustrating, but it offers an intensive psychological study of some damaged characters. (6 / 7)Girl K (2011)
소녀KAt 3 episodes, this badass shoot-em-up revenge story tantalizes with hints of what a full drama could have done. Doesn’t have time to really get you in the heart, but sets up a great world. If this is the future of cable, I’m onboard. (8 / 8) Girl Who Sees Smells (2015)
냄새를 보는 소녀The police work can be laughably shoddy, but the drama is buoyed by adorable chemistry between the squeezably cute leads, plus a solid villain performance. The plot’s just there as a vehicle for the acting and the cute. (7 / 7)God of Study (2010)
공부의 신God’s Gift – 14 Days (2014)
신의선물 – 14일Starts with a heart-pounding bang. Plot’s overly convoluted, but strong performances and speedy pace keep it exciting. What could go wrong? OH, THAT ENDING. (8 / 7) Gold Rainbow (2013-4)
황금무지개Golden Cross (2014)
골든 크로스Set in the financial world, this revenge thriller features a classic underdog hero up against an interesting mix of antagonists, winning some nice payoffs. Banking isn’t that sexy, but the writing and performances are solid. (7 / 7)Good Doctor (2013)
굿 닥터The medical stories are laughably simple and the politics are tedious, but the growth and bonding amongst the hospital family makes for heartwarming human drama. (7 / 7)Goodbye Mr. Black (2016)
굿바이 미스터 블랙The story wasn’t terrible (it’s a revenge thriller classic!), but the muddy cinematography and clumsy directing made it feel like it was worse than it was. Not that I can defend the show, not even for the actors, who are normally so much better. Sigh. (4 / 3) Goong (2006)
aka Palace or Princess Hours
Beautifully executed but slow. Gorgeous rendering of fictional monarchy—if only the plot didn’t drag. (7 / 7) Goong S (2007)
aka Palace S or Prince Hours
궁SA reverse-Cinderella tale as an ordinary guy becomes a prince. Disappointing start and poor acting. Still, picked up toward end, inversely to its ratings. (5 / 5)Gourmet (2008)
식객Solid execution perhaps obscures a banal story, but Kim Rae-won makes this work. Predictable but enjoyable, like comfort food. (8 / 7)Green Rose (2005)
그린로즈Who doesn’t love a Count of Monte Cristo revenge story? Dramatic thriller veers into over-the-top territory, but the underdog revenge plot can get addictive. Great romantic angst. (7 / 7)Gu Family Book (2013)
구가의 서Drama, I sentence you to 422 years of time out. Maybe I’ll like you better then… or maybe sucky endings last forever. (5 / 5) Haeundae Lovers (2012)
해운대 연인들Healer (2014-15)
힐러Consistently entertaining, winning, cohesively written, with a super awesome main couple—it was everything I wanted and more. Always delivered more than I thought to ask for, and left me with a full heart. (10 / 10) Heart to Heart (2015)
하트투하트Heirs (2013)
상속자들I know it’s popular… but why? A big tease, and then nobody got off. Rom-com drama blue balls. (6 / 5) Hello! Miss (2007)
aka Hello Baby
헬로! 애기씨Light and jokey, but not much emotional depth. Lee Da-hae can do (and has done) better. (5 / 5)High Kick 3: Counterattack of the Short Legs (2011)
하이킥 3: 짧은 다리의 역습Surprisingly well-drawn characters and relationships that mean something. Packs a lot of heart into those 20-minute episodes, and consistently, week after week. Slice of life and poignant. (8 / 8)High School King of Savvy (2014)
고교처세왕Hilarious comic performance by Seo In-gook. Poignant and funny for most of its run… but fantastical with its resolution, which sucks out some of the joy. (7 / 8) High School: Love On (2014)
하이스쿨 러브온Great genre premise (reaper falls to earth, falls in love, wants to be human) with a cute heroine and intriguing world… but languishes under middling acting and a story that focuses on less interesting stories and muddled angst. What could have been! (6 / 5)Hong Gil Dong (2008)
쾌도 홍길동This fusion historical drama has action, comic gags, romance, political intrigue, betrayal—but lacks subtlety. The tone is uneven, but Kang Ji-hwan is wonderful. (7 / 7)Hyang Dan Jeon (2007)
aka The Story of Hyang Dan, 향단전Fun blending of folktales and modern humor in a fusion romantic comedy. Only two episodes, it’s a silly, Shrek-like goof. (8 / 7)Hyde, Jekyll, Me (2015)
하이드, 지킬, 나I Am Legend (2010)
나는 전설이다Started off so well, but suffered an identity crisis halfway through. (6 / 5) I Do, I Do (2012)
아이두 아이두Started with cuteness, chemistry, potential. Unfortunately, a slow place and business machinations nobody cares about drag it down. Nice overall character trajectories for our leads. (6 / 6) I Hear Your Voice (2013)
너의 목소리가 들려Not a subtly crafted show, but compulsively watchable with an addictive pace. The legal stuff is unrealistic, but who’s watching this for the law? (7 / 8) I Miss You (2012-13)
보고싶다A screaming, wailing, fucking mess. (3 / 4)I Need Romance (2011)
로맨스가 필요해I Need Romance 2012 (2012)
로맨스가 필요해 2012I Need Romance 3 (2014)
로맨스가 필요해 3I Remember You (2015)
너를 기억해Intriguing mix of mystery and quirky humor, with refreshing characters connected by an intricate web of relationships. Sadly underrated. (8 / 8) IRIS (2009)
아이리스Some smoldering performances decorate this explosion-packed action series but the writing gets spotty. More style than substance, a fun ride with eye candy. (7 / 7) Iron Man (2014)
aka Blade Man
아이언맨This may either be really your type of drama, or really not. Genuinely quirky sense of humor with absurdist comic-book sensibility. Was a laugh-out-loud winner for me; might be a total pass for others. (8 / 8)It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl (2010)
괜찮아 아빠딸Okay, this show isn’t good. It’s got the potential to be, but is marred by poor acting and weird pacing—it’s like a highlight reel of a longer family drama. Yet, oddly, it draws you in with its good-naturedness and warmth. (7 / 4)Jeon Woo-chi (2012-13)
전우치A solid B-list drama. Strengths are its light comedy and the hero’s cute backup team. The villains and romance are its weaknesses. (7 / 7) Joseon Gunman (2014)
조선 총잡이Gorgeously shot, well-acted, engaging use of history—just a bit less exciting than I’d wished for. Consistently solid storytelling, but I would’ve taken lower lows to get higher highs. (8 / 7) Joseon X-Files (2010) aka Secret Investigation Record
기찰비록FANTASTIC. Quite possibly genius melding of historical record and sci-fi mystery. (10 / 10)The K2 (2016)
더케이투This could have been thrilling, blood-pounding, and epic, and the high-powered action scenes certainly went all-out. The drama had a tendency to overdo everything, but had strong villains and solid setup. Why they chose to focus on a limp biscuit of a romance is beyond me. (7 / 7) Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)
킬미힐미Ji Sung (and all his personas) was rock-my-world amazing. The rest? Campy, a little sloppy, and way over-the-top, though its manic energy was fun. Without Ji Sung, it would’ve been such a mess. (7 / 7)The King 2 Hearts (2012)
더킹 투하츠King of Dramas (2012-13)
드라마의 제왕Light, funny, and acted with commitment. But what really makes it stand out is the fact that henceforth, I will always see dramaland through the lens of this show’s world. Not a little accomplishment. (8 / 8) King’s Family / Wang Family (2013-14)
왕가네 식구들Ridiculous characters, beat-you-over-the-head simplistic with its outrageous conflicts. This is makjang in the most dumbed-down way, but there’s a silly entertainment factor that kicks in once you stop caring or taking anyone seriously. (6 / 4)The Last Scandal of My Life (2008)
내 생애 마지막 스캔들What happens when first loves reconnect 20 years later… when one’s an ajumma and the other’s a movie star lying about his age? Hilarious, touching, and well-acted. Never a dull moment. (9 / 8)Legend of the Blue Sea (2016-7)
푸른바다의 전설(? / ?) Let’s Eat
(2013-4)
식샤를 합시다Let’s Eat 2
(2015)
식샤를 합시다 2Still got the endearingly glib Yoon Doo-joon and reels and reels of glorious food porn, but new cast populates this food-as-bonding drama. Low on conflict but lots of heart; new heroine Seo Hyun-jin is adorable and affecting and runs away with the show. (8 / 8)Level 7 Civil Servant (2013)
7급 공무원I’d said that the funny, flirty spy-romance movie should be made into a drama. I take it back. Silly in the extreme, with no sense to speak of. How are these people functional adults, much less secret agents? (3 / 3) Liar Game (2014)
라이어 게임Full of well-executed twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, tightly plotted with brain teasers that keep you guessing. Intriguingly complex villain and distractingly hot hero. (9 / 9) Lie To Me (2011), 내게 거짓말을 해봐It’s like Drama blew its budgetary wad on the stars and forgot to provide a story. Some randomly cute couple scenes, but mostly so boring. (4 / 3) The Lonely Shining Goblin (2016-7)
쓸쓸하고 찬란하神 – 도깨비(? / ?) Love & Marriage (2008)
연애결혼Cute story between an uptight divorce attorney and bubbly matchmaker. It’s like a meal of dessert. Sweet filler, but speedy, flirty fun. (7 / 7)Lovers (2006)
연인Brisk start descends into weepy melodrama with birth secrets, family strife, and a Love That Cannot Be that’s more like a Love That Should Not Be. By the end I couldn’t stand it. Oh! The! Tragedy! (3 / 6)Lucky Romance (2016)
운빨로맨스Once it hits its rom-com stride it has some very cute moments, but there’s a lot about the story that doesn’t make much sense. Still, Ryu Joon-yeol is so good (and so freaking adorable) that he almost overrides every negative. Almost. (7 / 6) Ma Boy (2012)
마보이For being based on a big gimmick (pretty boy disguised as a girl star), this tween-targeted mini-drama displays surprising restraint with the gag—played more with sweetness than slapstick comedy. Doesn’t reinvent anything and the young cast is green, but there’s a nice simple story here. (7 / 7)Man of Honor (2011)
영광의 재인Mandate of Heaven (2013)
aka Joseon Fugitive Story
천명A solid, heartwarming, well-paced fusion sageuk about a fugitive out to clear his name. Gorgeously filmed and packed with a bevy of awesome side characters who tend to outshine the hero and heroine. What it lacks in crack factor it makes up for with feel-good payoffs and consistency. (8 / 8)Manny (2011)
매니A cute premise and a light, episodic format keep this comedy watchable, but the romance angle is the least interesting. Why are the adults acting like kids? (6 / 6)Marriage Not Dating (2014)
연애말고 결혼I wish more rom-coms could be like this: laugh-out-loud comedy, zippy chemistry, a winning heroine. (9 / 9) Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010)
매리는 외박중Uber-boring. Worst drama I saw in 2010. (3 / 4) Mask (2015)
가면Addicting melodrama with some deliciously outrageous characters doing questionable things. Plot sometimes veers on absurd, but it’s always the entertaining kind. Fast and engaging, if you don’t overthink it. (8 / 7) Master’s Sun (2013)
주군의 태양Smart use of ghost premise to drive the romance—a slow but steady burn, loaded with chemistry. Not quite crack-drama status, but satisfying and sweet. (9 / 8) Me Too, Flower! (2011)
나도, 꽃!What a way to tank a promising series; watching its steady decline was a sad thing as the show lost focus on the characters we cared about. At first, it was unfairly underrated. By its end, deservedly so. But Yoon Shi-yoon is wonderful, despite being terribly miscast. (6 / 6)Mi-rae’s Choice (2013)
미래의 선택Agh, it could have been so sweet and interesting. Waffled around in indecision, and not even a cast of likable characters could perk up the cop-out of an ending. (6 / 5) Mirror of the Witch (2016)
마녀보감Fantasy dramas, take note: This is how you do magic and mystery. Acting is excellent, story tightly woven. The ending felt right thematically and emotionally but was a teeny bit of a letdown, which is my only disappointment. (9 / 9) Misaeng (2014)
미생Moody, sharp, devastating in its mundane realness though ultimately uplifting (admittedly not difficult when it first crushed you to floor, and there was nowhere to go but up). (9 / 9) Miss Korea (2013-14)
미스코리아Full of heart, despite a frivolous-sounding premise. Aimless heroine teams with desperate hero to become an underdog team worth rooting for. A sweet, if low-key, watch. (8 / 8) Miss Ripley (2011)
미스 리플리Interesting character study of some unlikable personalities who draw you in with charged acting. Story loses its bite in the end, though. (7 / 7) Mixed-up Investigative Agency (2007)
얼렁뚱땅 흥신소Quirky, offbeat, extremely well-plotted. Strong acting, particularly by Yeh Ji-won. A comedy romp, treasure hunt, and mystery rolled into one. (9 / 9)Modern Farmer (2014)
모던파머Suuuuuper lowbrow, with outrageous gags and gross-out humor. It may be too crude and silly for some tastes, but the drama knows what it is and goes after it with gusto. Upbeat and feel-good, in a simplistic way. (6 / 6)Monstar (2013)
몬스타Had the makings to be really special, but fizzled in the end. Atmospheric with strong (though long) musical numbers. Too bad the dip at the end killed the already meandering pace. (8 / 8) Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)
달의 연인 – 보보경심 려Had moments of greatness and an emotional core that was intermittently gripping. Truly awkward directing and sloppy writing bounced the focus all over the place, though, and what was great could only shine in glimpses. (7 / 6) The Moon That Embraces the Sun (2012)
해를 품은 달A straight-up juvenile romance, dressed up as a grown-up sageuk. The drama’s one-track mind keeps it from having depth or substance, but it’s easy to watch. (7 / 8) Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (2016)
구르미 그린 달빛Winsome and charming; directed gorgeously and put together seamlessly. Perhaps lacked emotional heft, but it was a delight to watch, with a winner of a youthful romance and a brilliant performance by Park Bo-gum as a smart, saucy prince in love. (9 / 8) My Fair Lady (2009) aka Please Take Care of the Lady, 아가씨를 부탁해Terribly written plot, even if the chemistry of the couple carries the drama. Skip. (4 / 4) My Girl
(2005-06)
마이걸Fantastic fun, speedy pace. Super chemistry between the endearing lead couple. (9 / 8)My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho (2010)
내 여자친구는 구미호Super enjoyable, adorable chemistry, and great mix of the gumiho mythology with the rom-com bits. But somehow it’s only my No. 3 Hong sisters drama. (9 / 8) My Love Patzzi (2002)
내 사랑 팥쥐Short, cute drama with two too-perfect guys and a spunky heroine as an anti-Cinderella. Not very deep, but easy to watch. (7 / 6)My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (2005)
내 이름은 김삼순Poignant and funny, worth the hype. (9 / 9) My Princess (2011)
마이 프린세스Who knew such a middling rom-com could be a turning point for Kim Tae-hee (and, to a lesser degree, Mr. Robot Hotness Song Seung-heon)? (7 / 6) My Secret Hotel (2014)
마이 시크릿 호텔Oy, this show. Compelling chemistry between Yoo Inna and Jin Yi-han, but what was with that plot? An incidental murder mystery and a relationship conflict that’s beyond frustrating drag down what could’ve been a fun, quirky rom-com. (6 / 6)My Sweet Seoul (2008)
달콤한 나의 도시Halfway between indie and trendy. Plotting is loose, but has a refreshing atmospheric feel and good directing. Unfortunately, I hate the main character. (6 / 8)Myung-wol the Spy (2011)
스파이 명월Could’ve been so wacky and hilarious, but changed its mind halfway through and tried for earnest angst. We got tedious moping instead. (5 / 5) Nail Shop Paris (2013)
네일샵 파리스A weird show, tonally—it’s a hodgepodge of crossdressing, flower boys, romantic comedy, melodrama, procedural, and paranormal. Anemic acting and strange writing make it a head-scratching experience. Song Jae-rim may be the only reason to watch this. (5 / 4)Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho (2016)
동네변호사 조들호I didn’t expect this show to be as enjoyable as it turned out to be, so it was a pleasant surprise. The cases are solved simplistically and there’s never a true sense of danger because of the quick resolutions, but it’s a feel-good drama about little people fighting against corrupt big dogs (and winning). (7 / 8) A New Leaf (2014)
개과천선Nice Guy (2012) aka Innocent Man
세상 어디에도 없는 착한남자Polished, suspenseful, addictively paced. Characters are whackadoo in the extreme, but intense and compelling. Not meant to be overthought; just go with the melo. (7 / 8) Nine: Nine Time Travels (2013)
나인: 아홉 번의 시간여행The definite winner of the time-traveling genre, with a tightly written, complex (and yes, sometimes convoluted) plot that keeps you guessing. Intelligent and suspenseful. (9 / 9)Oh My Ghostess (2015)
오 나의 귀신님Oh my goodness Park Bo-young is adorable. Chemistry is awesome, the comedy light and cute, the ghost mystery a little plodding. Worth it for the acting and romance. (9 / 8) Oh! My Lady (2010)
오! 마이 레이디Light and fluffy older-woman/younger-man, housekeeper-landlord romance. Choi Siwon’s charm carries the show. An easy, unchallenging watch. (6 / 6)Oh My Venus (2015)
오마이 비너스Never have I watched a drama with SO little plot and cared so little about that—bubbly, adorable, and good-natured, this drama is worth watching only for the relationship of Shin Mina and So Ji-sub. Which thankfully is most of the drama. (7 / 7) Ojakkyo Brothers (2011-2)
오작교 형제들Cute, poignant relationships make you care about the characters, while the romance keeps you addicted. An example of family drama done right. (8 / 8) Oh Hae-young Again (2016), aka Another Miss Oh
또! 오해영Oh, I just loved this. The angst dragged longer than necessary but the first half was superb, twisting my heart in the best of ways. Seo Hyun-jin is excellent and elevates everything. It’s too bad the show lagged in the end, because it rode such a high at its peak. (9 / 9) One Fine Day (2006)
어느 멋진 날Only You (2005)
온리 유Bleh. I can’t remember why I bothered. Han Chae-young is pretty, but Jo Hyun-jae is wasted. (4 / 3)Oohlala Spouses (2012)
울랄라 부부This marital body-swapper should have been uproariously funny. It had some amusing bits, but the couple was too aggravating to wish for reconciliation, thereby negating its entire point. (5 / 6)Panda and Hedgehog (2012)
판다양과 고슴도치Pasta (2010)
파스타The couple is SO cute together, and individually very appealing. Yet there’s so very little plot. (6 / 6) Persevere, Gu Hae-ra (2015)
칠전팔기 구해라Starts strong — sweet, cute, hint of coming-of-age angst. But plot drags with simplistic twists and heavy-handed machinations, and acting ranges from decent to very spotty. Still an easy, pleasant watch and full of wonderfully revamped cover songs and performances. (7 / 7)Personal Taste (2010)
개인의취향The jerky directing is the biggest flaw; the writing is engaging at parts but random in others. Lead couple is well-acted and have charming chemistry. (7 / 6) Pinocchio (2014)
피노키오Playful Kiss (2010)
장난스런 키스Despite lack of conflict, the couple is sweet and Jung So-min lovable. But there’s so little story here. (6 / 6) Poseidon (2011)
포세이돈Choi Siwon and Lee Shi-young are a cute matchup. Too bad this coast guard action thriller wants to be cooler than it is. (4 / 4)Prime Minister and I (2013-14)
총리와 나A warm, pleasant contract-marriage romance with cute rapport between the mismatched couple. A shame that the ending sputtered out so dully. (7 / 6) The Princess’s Man (2011)
공주의 남자Epic and stirring. Constant plot twists, tight political intrigue, and a strong Romeo and Juliet romance with stakes that actually feel life-and-death. (10 / 9)The Producers (2015)
프로듀사Abandons experimental mockumentary style in favor of more conventional, more familiar workplace rom-com format. Lovable characters and wonderful actors carry it, despite overlong episodes and meandering side plots. (8 / 8) Prosecutor Princess (2010)
검사 프린세스Que Sera Sera (2007)
케세라세라Took a few episodes to fall in love, but boy did I. Intense and unapologetic. Not for the casual watcher. Flawed but complex people drive this character drama. (9 / 9)Queen In-hyun’s Man (2012)
인현왕후의 남자Thrilling, romantic, adorable, and engrossing. One of the best of the time-traveler dramas. (9 / 9) Queen of Reversals (2011)
역전의 여왕The Return of Iljimae (2009)
돌아온 일지매Gorgeous. Poignant. Soundtrack and cinematography are exceptional. (10 / 10) Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim (2016-7)
낭만닥터 김사부(? / ?) Rooftop Prince (2012)
옥탑방 왕세자Uproariously funny once the time-travelers land in Seoul. First and last episodes are an interesting sageuk story, though they feel out of step with the stuff in between. Adorable cast. (7 / 7) Runaway Plan B (2010)
aka Fugitive Plan B,
도망자 플랜비Wastes a lot of time in the beginning with flashy action and goofy comedy, but once it settles down, there’s a compelling conflict here. Rain does a fabulous job juggling emotions, action, and humor. (8 / 7) Sassy Go Go (2015)
발칙하게 고고The central premise necessitating the existence of cheerleading is a bit thin, but it’s a peppy show with a fun-loving cast and a love-to-hate villainess who keeps the conflict going. (8 / 7) Scent of a Woman (2011)
여인의 향기A drama about death that’s not really about death. The main trio’s stories edge out the aggravatingly meddly second leads. (8 / 8) Scholar Who Walks the Night (2015)
밤을 걷는 선비Fantastic: Lee Jun-ki. Solid: Most of the cast, also plot. Directing and execution: Blehhhhhh. (7 / 6) School 2013 (2013)
학교 2013The understated, slice-of-life storytelling packs a surprising emotional punch. (8 / 8) Secret (2013)
비밀Addictively paced, the show churns out a steady diet of extreme behavior committed by people who are either morally reprehensible or dumb. Often simplistically melodramatic, it’s at least a soapy, entertaining watch. (7 / 7)Secret Door (2014)
비밀의 문So much potential, ergo so much waste. How do you make such an exciting story so dull? Stellar acting can’t save this from disappointing. (6 / 7) Secret Garden (2010)
시크릿 가든Well-acted, sharp dialogue, great chemistry. Beautiful to look at, but it’s a lot of slick veneer. Alas, I found it hard to connect with emotionally. (7 / 8) Secret Love Affair (2014)
밀회Shark (2013)
상어She Was Pretty (2015)
그녀는 예뻤다Bubbly rom-com fun with a heroine who gives it heart. I could never fully warm to the leading man (second lead Siwon steals the show) but the good-natured characters and warm spirit make it an easy, feel-good watch. (8 / 7) She’s So Lovable (2014)
aka My Lovely Girl, 내겐 너무 사랑스러운 그녀Can something be offensively bland? We’ve seen this a zillion times before, and done better. Milquetoast characters and poor acting sink an already thin plot. (5 / 4)Shopping King Louis (2016)
쇼핑왕 루이The plot and tone of this drama are beyond silly, but the leads are utterly winning and elevate this into a cheerful drama with a huge heart. Absurd, frothy, and laugh-out-loud. (8 / 8) Shut Up: Flower Boy Band (2012)
닥치고 꽃미남밴드Pitch-perfect. It’s rockin’ with music and brotherhood, but most of all it’s about the heart-tugging process of finding yourself. (10 / 10) Signal (2016)
시그널Moving, gripping thriller that’s intellectually satisfying while also grabbing you by the heart. Wove together two timelines seamlessly and intelligently. Has this show created a new gold standard? (10 / 10) Sly and Single Again (2014)
aka Cunning Single Lady,
앙큼한 돌싱녀At times silly and overly simplistic with rather broad comedy, but the core of the show is sweet and heartwarming. The main couple (and actors) buoy the show. (7 / 7) The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House (2009)
aka My Too Perfect Sons,
솔약국집아들들Hilarious, heartwarming family comedy about a family with four sons who each find love, with some help (and interference) from their boisterous family.
(8 / 7)Soulmate (2006)
소울메이트Witty, trendy, funny. Fabulous soundtrack and surprisingly tight plotting. Skillful use of chronology and narrative. (10 / 9) Standby (2012)
스탠바이Oh, how I wished this were better. So many actors I love playing characters I didn’t care about. Ha Suk-jin carried this sitcom for me, and for that alone it was worth watching. But only just. (6 / 5)A Star’s Lover
(2008-09)
스타의 연인Pro: Choi Ji-woo and Yoo Ji-tae’s acting and great chemistry. Con: Everything else (slow, repetitive, predictable). (5 / 6)Story of a Man (2009)
aka The Slingshot
남자이야기Intense, thrilling, smartly woven together. Great balance of light and dark. Hits on all three points of acting, directing, writing—and it’s FUN. (10 / 10)Strongest Chil Woo (2008)
최강칠우This is not a good drama, but thankfully its outrageousness (intentional and otherwise) keep it entertaining. Alas its hilarity doesn’t come as frequently as one would like. (6 / 6)Summer Scent (2003)
여름향기Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)
성균관 스캔들So cute and well-done. But, ran out of steam toward the end, curtailing the earlier addiction high. (9 / 8) The Superman Age (2015)
초인시대Low-budget production values and wittily deadpan sense of humor pair well with the bawdy comedy tone. Acting is surprisingly affecting, though sadly the plot loses its way. Promising effort from actor-writer-director Yoo Byung-jae, even if this one didn’t quite figure itself out in time. (6 / 6) Surplus Princess (2014)
aka The Mermaid
잉여공구This show is all silliness, but in a good way. It meanders a bit and the ending is rushed, but it’s bolstered by a fun cast of oddball underdogs, a dimly sweet heroine, strong friendships, and an assertive sense of humor. (8 / 7)Suspicious Housekeeper (2013)
수상한 가정부A little mysterious, a little ominous, the drama turns out to be a heart-warming story of healing, growth, and bonding. Has some slowish moments, but refreshing in tone and message. (7 / 7)Sweet 18 (2004)
낭랑18세A breezy romance between a couple who marries first, then falls in love. Led by an adorable pairing (who became a real-life couple after this drama), the stakes are low and so are the dramatics, but the show keeps up a chipper tone as a sweet, innocent rom-com. (8 / 7)Sword and Flower (2013)
aka Blade and Petal, 칼과 꽃Overdirected and underwritten, with an ending that’ll make you want to throw your screen. The style actively works against substance. Often pretentious, sometimes insufferable. (3 / 4)That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013)
그 겨울, 바람이 분다Beautifully filmed, elegant schlock. Draws you in with its moody, almost dreamy melo touch, but the story is nothing we haven’t seen in other (faux) incest-chaebol-takeover dramas. Disliked every character and the tiresome machinations. (5 / 7)This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair (2016)
이번 주 아내가 바람을 핍니다Wow, did I love this. How can a drama be simultaneously so neurotic, hilarious, caustic, and poignant? This show snuck up on me, but it won me over with its thoughtful writing, intelligent directing, and fleshed-out characterizations. (10 / 9) Thousand Day Promise (2011)
천일의 약속Su Ae is commanding. Virtually no plot, just a grim progression of a disease with no hope at the end. Depressing and a little smug. (5 / 7) Three Days (2014)
쓰리 데이즈Three Musketeers (2014)
삼총사Solid adaptation, taking a well-worn plot and turning it into something fresh. Winsome chemistry and clever plotting drive this action adventure. (9 / 8)To the Beautiful You (2012)
아름다운 그대에게Tree With Deep Roots (2011)
뿌리깊은 나무Sharp writing, slick directing, stellar acting by Han Seok-kyu as Korea’s most famous king. Full of intrigue and thrills. (8 / 9)Triple (2009)
트리플Breezy and refreshing, but also slow. Tone feels like Coffee Prince, but lacks focus and direction. (6 / 5) Trot Lovers (2014)
트로트 연인A silly show with outlandish plot twists that overdoes what could (should) have been a sweet story of romance and growth in the lesser-known world of trot music. Points for Jung Eun-ji’s awesome a cappella singing, which was a highlight—perhaps the only one. (5 / 5)Twelve Men in a Year (2012)
일년에 열두남자Twenty Again (2015)
두번째 스무살Partly delayed coming-of-age story and partly wish fulfillment, the show gives us heartwarming growth from a wallflower ajumma and adorable romance from her grumpypants friend-teacher-admirer. (8 / 8) Two Weeks (2013)
투윅스Skillfully maintains compelling pace that tempers a breakneck fugitive plot with character development. Wonderful growth trajectory for the underdog hero. (8 / 8) Uncontrollably Fond (2016)
함부로 애틋하게Perhaps a drama like this could have succeeded twenty years ago, but it feels static and old now—so slow and stingy with happy moments for our leads that it becomes an exercise in masochism. Could have been a beautiful heartbreaker, but the unimaginative writing failed it. (6 / 5) Unemployed Romance (2013)
실업급여 로맨스Unstoppable High Kick (2006-07)
거침없이 하이킥Loosely plotted family sitcom featuring an adorable cast of future superstars. The problems are small, but the show’s heart is big. (8 / 7)Vampire Idol (2012)
뱀파이어 아이돌You don’t make a show about alien vampire idol trainees, then half-ass the camp factor. Props for taking all the best parts of a ridiculous concept and adding adorable relationships on top. Sweetly dim. (7 / 6) Vampire Prosecutor (2011)
뱀파이어 검사Sexy and smart, this action-crime drama is more procedural than paranormal, but damn if the paranormal (Mr. Vampire Hotness) isn’t sizzling. (8 / 8) Vampire Prosecutor 2 (2012)
뱀파이어 검사 2The crew is back, the dynamic is funnier, and the addition to the team is a welcome and heartwarming one. And yet, it doesn’t quite have the bite (or the punch or kick) of the first season. (7 / 8) Village: Secret of Achiara (2015)
마을 – 아치아라의 비밀Not quite as thrilling or dark as it wants to be, but the mystery of who killed the long-dead corpse delivers a steady stream of twists. Strong acting and intense characterizations keep the tension alive. (7 / 7) The Vineyard Man (2006)
포도밭 그사나이Mildly amusing, but very ordinary. Oh Man-seok is great, Yoon Eun-hye is forgettable. If you’re a Yoon fan, skip it and see Coffee Prince instead. (5 / 6)W—Two Worlds (2016)
더블유 Definitely one of the most innovative dramas of recent years. Second half doesn’t quite match its heart-pounding first half, but if it had lived up to everything it promised, it could have been an epic game-changer in dramaland. (8 / 8) Wanted (2016)
원티드 The premise still strikes me as innovative and thrilling, but the execution couldn’t live up to it, and rather than the mystery getting more exciting as we got deeper into the criminal’s reality show, it felt duller and more pedestrian. Heroine’s flat acting was the nail in the coffin for me. (7 / 6) Warm and Cozy (2015)
맨도롱 또똣Where the hell was the plot? Adorable couple with great chemistry, but nothing really happens. Hong sisters, please take a nap and come back when you have ideas. (6 / 5) Warrior Baek Dong-soo (2011)
무사백동수Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju (2016-7)
역도요정 김복주Charming and fresh, like every proper youth romance should be. This couple was aces, and the heroine’s foibles as a newbie in love were realistic and earnest in a way that made you want to be right there with her, cheering her on. (9 / 9) What’s Up, Fox (2006)
여우야 뭐하니Good follow-up by writer of Samsoon. Go Hyun-jung is always a treat to watch, as is Chun Jung-myung. Not necessarily exciting, but humorous and witty. (8 / 8) White Christmas (2011)
화이트 크리스마스Who Are You? (2008)
누구세요?This drama is all heart. Surprisingly better than its silly start, it gets steadily better as you go along, and the body-swapping is both hilarious and meaningful. Yoon Kye-sang is a standout. (9 / 8)Who Are You? (2013)
후아유Watchable mix of mystery, paranormal, and procedural cases lightened up by intermittent comic beats. Neither as poignant nor as dark as I wanted it to be; lead couple lacks that spark. Decent showing, but leaves some of its potential unfulfilled. (7 / 7)Who Are You—School 2015 (2015)
후아유—학교 2015Tension-filled high school drama driven by constant supply of conflict and well-paced push-and-pull between heroine and her awesomely hateful foe. Be warned: the romance might disappoint if you choose the wrong ship! (8 / 8) Will It Snow For Christmas? (2009-10)
크리스마스에 눈이 올까요?First half of this romance melodrama is poignant, emotionally wracking, layered; second half gets too convoluted for comfort. Go Soo is marvelous. (8 / 7)Wish Upon a Star (2010)
별을 따다줘Pro: It’s unexpectedly charming. Con: Messy plot and weak secondary characters. Adorable kids and an appealing heroine keep it watchable. (8 / 6)Witch Amusement (2007) aka Witch Yoo Hee마녀유희Endlessly mockable, but in the fun way. Pure eye candy, no nutrition. (6 / 3)Witch’s Romance (2014)
마녀의 연애This cute workplace noona-romance does nothing different in the rom-com genre, but it hits all the sweet spots and has sizzling couple chemistry. (8 / 7) The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry (2010)
아직도 결혼하고 싶은 여자Breezy, witty. Touching and fun depiction of modern friendships and romance. (9 / 8) Wonderful Season (2014)
참 좋은 시절Complex character relationships and story of familial healing can be sweet and heartfelt, but the pace gets overly meditative to the point of plodding. Could really have used a punch of energy. (6 / 7) The World They Live In (2008) aka Worlds Within
그들이 사는 세상Yong-pal (2015)
용팔이One of the most dramatic examples of a drama starting off with a huge bang—excitement, intrigue, pulsing tension—and then fading away into the same old mundane plot turns. It’s a waste of a truly exciting start, and also a waste of a sidelined Joo-won. (7 / 6)
You From Another Star (2013-14)
별에서 온 그대With its winsome comedy, sizzling chemistry, and a zippy story, it’s not hard to see why this became the rom-com sensation of the year. It’s got some plot holes, but still is one of the best rom-coms to come around in a while. (9 / 9) You’re All Surrounded (2014)
너희들은 포위됐다The endearing quartet of teammates-turned-friends was the highlight, but the plot was a bit of a yawn. (7 / 7) You’re Beautiful (2009)
미남이시네요Hilarious situations, fast-moving plot, memorable characters. Park Shin-hye is adorable (if dim), but it’s Jang Geun-seok who kills it. (9 / 8) You’re Here, You’re Here, You’re Really Here (2012)
왔어 왔어 제대로 왔어As insipid as shows get. I cut it some slack for being on a fledgling cable station with a minuscule budget, but ultimately it flops. Winning leads in a dull world. (4 / 4)You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin (2013)
최고다 이순신Alternately adorable and aggravating; had all the parts of a cuter, funnier show yet failed to take advantage of its assets. Focused too much on the insufferables, not enough on the more enjoyable storylines. Not the worst family drama ever, but not the fun ride I wanted it to be. (6 / 5)You’ve Fallen For Me (2011)
aka Heartstrings
넌 내게 반했어
Sours: https://www.dramabeans.com/about/ratings/
Her House, 01회, EP01, #02

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