The world of South Korean leisure is as lovely and different as it’s addicting. That’s true for just about each type of artwork that falls beneath the huge shadow of the Hallyu—and Ok-Dramas aren’t any exception.
When you get used to the pacing and appearing types of South Korean tv, you’ll discover that staying away from the myriad of tales it has advised and continues to inform could be very tough—in any case, there’s one thing for everybody.
Whether or not you need an epic fantasy story of magic and romance or a coming-of-age story about friendships and hardships, then you’ll be able to ensure that there’s a Ok-Drama revolving exactly round that—with beautiful areas, wealthy cinematography and clearly essentially the most lovely solid you’ve ever seen in your life.
If you happen to’re simply beginning out, although, the sheer variety of decisions accessible to you may really feel a bit intimidating. The place precisely do you have to begin? And right here’s when this information comes into play—a listing of 9 Ok-Dramas, which I ranked in keeping with my private desire however that each one come straight from the group of highest-rated titles within the historical past of South Korea. In any case, there will need to have been a purpose why they’ve saved 1000’s of viewers of their residence nation hooked up to their screens, proper?
9. Sky Citadel
Having aired between 2018 and 2019, Sky Citadel really sits in second place within the checklist of highest-rated cable Ok-Dramas of all time. The twenty episodes of this satirical sequence paint a brutally trustworthy portrait of the Seoul higher class—and particularly, of a gaggle of moms who will cease at nothing and trample over just about everybody to ensure their husbands are essentially the most profitable and their youngsters get accepted into essentially the most elite faculties. Sky Citadel stars actresses Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, and Kim Search engine optimization-hyung, and it’s accessible to stream on each Netflix and Viki.
8. Hospital Playlist
Each nation wants their very own quota of beloved medical dramas, and Hospital Playlist undoubtedly fills that position for South Korea. Aired within the spring of 2020, the core solid of the sequence is made up of 5 docs—who’ve been finest associates since their medical college days and who now all work in the identical hospital, in addition to being a part of a band collectively. Hospital Playlist additionally has a second season—and each can be found to stream on Netflix.
7. The World of the Married
Presently the highest-ranked cable Ok-Drama of all time, overtaking Sky Citadel with its closing episodes, The World of the Married relies on the BBC sequence Physician Foster—specializing in a married couple that falls down a spiral of revenge, grief, and forgiveness as soon as the husband’s infidelity involves the floor. It aired in 2020, with every episode bringing in larger scores than the earlier ones, and each director Mo Wan-Il and lead actress Kim Hee-ae profitable their respective awards on the Baeksang Arts Awards of that 12 months.
6. Reply 1988
Identical to the title suggests, Reply 1988 is about in 1988—and it focuses on 5 associates who reside in the identical neighbourhood in outer Seoul. The sequence follows them by means of their teenage years and their every day struggles and victories, each at college and at residence. Reply 1988 is definitely an installment in channel tvN’s wider Reply sequence, which additionally consists of Reply 1997 and Reply 1994. Reply 1988 is accessible for streaming on Netflix, Prime Video, and Viki, whereas Reply 1997 and Reply 1994 are simply on Prime Video and Viki.
5. Resort del Luna
A really textbook magical realism Ok-Drama, Resort del Luna stars certainly one of South Korea’s most beloved singers and actresses—IU, stage title of Lee Ji-eun—because the proprietor of a really peculiar lodge that caters completely to ghosts and spirits in order that they will fulfill their final needs earlier than transferring on. Lighthearted and eccentric, Resort del Luna is accessible for streaming on Netflix, Prime Video and Viki.
4. Twenty-5 Twenty-One
A really current addition to this checklist, Twenty-5 Twenty-One premiered in the beginning of 2022 and have become one of the crucial profitable Ok-Dramas of this 12 months. Set between the years 1998 and 2021, the sequence follows a younger fencer—performed by actress Kim Tae-ri—as she pursues her athletic goals and the inheritor of a disgraced chaebol household—performed by actor Nam Joo-hyuk—throughout his struggles to rebuild his life after it fully collapsed. The sequence is accessible for streaming on Netflix.
3. Mr. Sunshine
One of many biggest interval Ok-Dramas of all time, Mr. Sunshine stars actress Kim Tae-ri as soon as once more. This time, she’s an aristocrat with a penchant for sharpshooting who lives in Hanseong, town that will develop into Seoul, in the beginning of the twentieth century—when Korea was nonetheless referred to as Joseon. She joins the reason for Korean independence as Japan’s colonialism begins changing into extra oppressive, and in doing so she crosses paths with Eugene Choi—performed by general nationwide treasure actor Lee Byung-hun—who was born in Joseon however raised in the USA. The sequence is accessible for streaming on Netflix.
2. Crash Touchdown on You
One of the vital beloved Ok-Dramas to return out lately, Crash Touchdown on You’s premise is as extravagant as rooted in actuality on the identical time. A chaebol heiress—performed by actress Son Ye-jin—has an accident whereas she paraglides which has her crashing into North Korea the place she meets Ri Jeong-hyeok—performed by actor Hyun Bin—a Captain of the North Korean military. Enjoyable reality: The 2 actors really began a relationship whereas on set and information of their marriage ceremony was introduced within the Spring of 2022, to an enormous social media frenzy from devoted followers and informal viewers alike. The drama is accessible for streaming on Netflix.
1. Guardian: The Lonely and Nice God
I did say that this checklist was primarily based on my private desire, which is why Guardian: The Lonely and Nice God—extra regularly referred to as Goblin—was at all times going to occupy the primary spot. The primary Ok-Drama I ever watched and just about crammed to the brim with all of my favorite tropes, the story follows a dokkaebi—a determine from Korean folklore—performed by actor Gong Yoo, as he strikes by means of the ages searching for the one one that can free him of his curse. That particular person finally ends up being scholar Ji Eun-tak—performed by actress Kim Go-eun—who has at all times possessed the power to speak with ghosts. Coronary heart-wrenching and heartwarming on the identical time, Goblin is accessible for streaming on Viki.
Have you ever seen a few of these Ok-Dramas already? And what would you add to a watchlist of impossible-to-miss dramas at hand over to somebody taking their first steps on their journey into South Korean tv?
(featured picture: tvN)
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