The Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

Małgorzata Stefanik 2020-10-01

The fact that the Netflix platform strongly focuses on expanding its Korean series offer is easy to notice. Month after month, more and more interesting titles appear, which are more and more often made available to viewers just a week after the end of broadcasting in Korea.

The latest and most interesting drama is "It's Okey Not to Be Okey," the story of an empathy-less writer who decides to win over a man she saved as a child. Thanks to sensational acting, breaking the usual patterns and occasional animations kept in the style typical for Tim Burton, it instantly won the hearts of the viewers and gained popularity comparable to the second title from our ranking - "Crash Landing on You". This story begins like Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz", except that the main character, kidnapped by a whirlwind while paragliding, moves from South Korea to North Korea, where nothing good awaits her if the communist authorities find out about her existence. After such a description you may expect a serious production with bitter overtones, but nothing could be further from the truth, because despite some depressing scenes, this k-drama is extremely funny and charming.

The heroes of "The King: Enternal Monarchy" also had to cross the border between two Koreas, but this time it wasn't a demilitarized zone, but a border connecting two dimensions. On one side we have the Republic of Korea existing in our reality, and on the other side we have the Kingdom of Korea, and the main romance takes place between people coming from two different worlds.

It is worth mentioning that Netflix has a rich enough offer that not only romance fans will find something for themselves. Viewers with a weakness for historical productions can easily reach for sagas set both during the reign of kings (excellent examples are "My Country: The New Age" and "Rookie historian Goo Hae-Ryung"), and when the times of monarchy were coming to an end and Korea was inexorably heading towards the loss of independence, as it is perfectly shown in "Mr. Sunshine". Two Netflix original productions should not be overlooked: "Kingdom", which attempted its own interpretation of history, which decided to include the zombie epidemic, and the equally spiced with fantasy elements "Arthadal Chronicles", set in a time when people were just beginning to lay the foundations of civilization.

Other interesting k-dramas more focused on fantasy include "Korean Odyssey" which focuses on a pantheon of mystical creatures coming to Earth, as well as the ghostly "Mystic Pop-up Bar", "Hi bye, mama", "Abyss", "Black" and the darker "Possessed". Especially these last two titles will appeal to people who like crime stories and a larger dose of action. In turn, "Vagabond" is a sensational production maintained in the genre of thrillers, telling the story of a man who discovers that behind the death of his nephew, who died in a plane crash, is not a simple technical failure, but a terrorist attack, so the protagonist decides to do everything to punish those responsible.

Netflix has also not left out k-dramas focusing on characters who rightly or more often wrongly had to serve their sentences. Prison Playbook" presents the daily life of inmates as well as prison guards, and in "Itaewon Class" we learn the story of a boy who lost everything, including his freedom, because of the family of a rich businessman. After serving his sentence, he slowly and diligently does his best to get justice.

As you can see, there's no shortage of interesting and genre-diverse titles on Netflix, which will meet the expectations of even the most picky fans of k-dramas, and every week the platform expands the base of productions worth paying attention to.

My Country: The New Age

Action & Adventure Drama South Korea 2019

My Country: The New Age

Action & Adventure Drama South Korea 2019

1 season, 16 episodes

Set during the turbulent time of the fall of Goryeo and the founding of Joseon, two former friends face-off against one another over a woman and the future shape of the nation.

Abyss

Comedy Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2019

Abyss

Comedy Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2019

1 season, 16 episodes

After meeting an untimely demise in separate incidents, Cha Min and Go Se-yeon discover they’ve come back to life in new bodies they don’t recognize.

Possessed

Mystery South Korea 2019

Possessed

Mystery South Korea 2019

1 season, 19 episodes

A foul mouthed yet soft hearted top detective teams up with a reclusive psychic to solve cases.

Prison Playbook

Comedy Drama South Korea 2017

Prison Playbook

Comedy Drama South Korea 2017

  • Prison Playbook
  • 8,2/10

1 season, 16 episodes

With his major league baseball debut right around the corner, a star pitcher lands in prison and must learn to navigate his new world.

  • #prison

  • #corruption

  • #gangster

Mystic Pop-up Bar

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

Mystic Pop-up Bar

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

1 season, 12 episodes

At this mysterious late-night food cart run by an equally mysterious woman and her part-timer, customers are provided a space for respite and counseling through their dreams. But most importantly, everyone here is treated equally—living or dead.

  • #bar

  • #reincarnation

  • #dream

Love Alarm

Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2019

Love Alarm

Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2019

  • Love Alarm
  • 9,3/10

2 seasons, 14 episodes

Love Alarm is an app that tells you if someone within a 10-meter radius has a crush on you. It quickly becomes a social phenomenon. While everyone talks about it and uses it to test their love and popularity, Jojo is one of the few people who have yet to download the app. However, she soon faces a love triangle situation between Sun-oh whom she starts to have feelings for, and Hye-young, who has had a huge crush on her.

  • #love

  • #technology

  • #based on manhwa

One Spring Night

Drama South Korea 2019

One Spring Night

Drama South Korea 2019

1 season, 32 episodes

When Lee Jeong-in and Yu Ji-ho meet, something unexpected happens. Or it just may be that spring is in the air -- and anything is possible.

  • #romance

  • #single father

  • #father son relationship

Vagabond

Action & Adventure Drama South Korea 2019

Vagabond

Action & Adventure Drama South Korea 2019

  • Vagabond
  • 8,1/10

1 season, 16 episodes

Stuntman Cha Dal-geon gets involved in a tragic airplane crash and ends up discovering a national corruption scandal in the process. Go Hae-ri, the oldest daughter of a deceased marine, decides to work for the National Intelligence Service as a secret ops agent in order to support her mom and younger siblings, although all she wanted to do is to become a civil servant.

Hi Bye, Mama!

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

Hi Bye, Mama!

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

  • Hi Bye, Mama!
  • 7,8/10

1 season, 16 episodes

When the ghost of a woman gains a second chance at life for 49 days, she reappears in front of her remarried husband and young daughter.

Memories of the Alhambra

Action & Adventure Drama Mystery Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2018

Memories of the Alhambra

Action & Adventure Drama Mystery Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2018

  • Memories of the Alhambra
  • 8,1/10

1 season, 16 episodes

While looking for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented-reality game, an investment firm executive meets a woman who runs a hostel in Spain.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung

Drama South Korea 2019

Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung

Drama South Korea 2019

1 season, 40 episodes

The story takes place at the beginning of the 19th century. Goo Hae-Ryung is a historian who tries to fight gender stereotypes as her work is often looked down on. She meets Prince Yi Rim.

  • #romance

  • #historical fiction

  • #joseon dynasty

Black

Comedy Crime Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2017

Black

Comedy Crime Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2017

  • Black
  • 7,6/10

1 season, 18 episodes

The story of a grim reaper who gets erased from the memories of the world for breaking the rules of heaven and falling in love with a mortal woman after inhabiting a human body.

A Korean Odyssey

Comedy Mystery South Korea 2017

A Korean Odyssey

Comedy Mystery South Korea 2017

  • A Korean Odyssey
  • 5,8/10

1 season, 20 episodes

A self-serving mythical creature's bid for invincibility backfires when he finds himself at the mercy of a woman who can see otherworldly beings.

Itaewon Class

Drama South Korea 2020

Itaewon Class

Drama South Korea 2020

  • Itaewon Class
  • 7,8/10

1 season, 16 episodes

In a colorful Seoul neighborhood, an ex-con and his friends fight a mighty foe to make their ambitious dreams for their street bar a reality.

Arthdal Chronicles

Drama South Korea 2019

Arthdal Chronicles

Drama South Korea 2019

  • Arthdal Chronicles
  • 7,4/10

1 season, 18 episodes

In a mythical land called Arth, the inhabitants of the ancient city of Arthdal and its surrounding regions vie for power as they build a new society.

Kingdom

Action & Adventure Drama Mystery South Korea 2019

Kingdom

Action & Adventure Drama Mystery South Korea 2019

  • Kingdom
  • 8,1/10

2 seasons, 12 episodes

In this zombie thriller set in Korea's medieval Joseon dynasty, a crown prince is sent on a suicide mission to investigate a mysterious outbreak.

Mr. Sunshine

Drama South Korea 2018

Mr. Sunshine

Drama South Korea 2018

  • Mr. Sunshine
  • 8,4/10

1 season, 24 episodes

Based in Shinmiyangyo, or the U.S. expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the story of a Korean boy born into a family of a house servant running away to board an American warship, later to return to his homeland as a U.S. marine officer. He ironically falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonize the country that he once ran away from.

The King: Eternal Monarch

Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

The King: Eternal Monarch

Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

1 season, 16 episodes

When a gateway opens to a parallel universe in modern-day Korea, a king must step into another world in search of answers to a long-unanswered mystery.

Crash Landing on You

Comedy Drama South Korea 2019

Crash Landing on You

Comedy Drama South Korea 2019

  • Crash Landing on You
  • 8,3/10

1 season, 16 episodes

A paragliding mishap drops a South Korean heiress in North Korea -- and into the life of an army officer, who decides he will help her hide.

It's Okay to Not Be Okay

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

It's Okay to Not Be Okay

Comedy Drama Sci-Fi & Fantasy South Korea 2020

1 season, 16 episodes

Desperate to escape from his emotional baggage and the heavy responsibility he’s had all his life, a psychiatric ward worker begins to heal with help from the unexpected—a woman who writes fairy tales but doesn’t believe in them.

  • #healing

  • #mental health

  • #psychiatric hospital

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