In Korea, there are four things that get the most attention: the cosmetics, the plastic surgery, K-pop, and finally the Korean dramas. Hands down, out of all the Asian based dramas, it is safe to say that Korea has dominated the category. With the rise of the cliche but thrilling plot lines, people are intrigued to start from one drama to another. Although sometimes very predictable, the affectionate romance behind the scenes and the breathtaking cliffhangers after every episode keep the viewers on the hook. Every drama has its unique plot and character. If a drama with a good plot doesn’t match up to its expectations, the majority of the viewers automatically blame the actors; therefore, it takes precision and heated discussions on selecting the building of each individual character for the drama. Every single actor has an exclusive aurora that the directors take note of in order to find the perfect fit.
Korean dramas do have the reputation of being unrealistic, having the plot line of “poor Cinderella” waiting for her “Prince Charming.” In fact, the plot lines with this vibe take up most of the hits. Despite the numerous hits, here are some of the narrowed down hits of Korean dramas since 2013!
The cliche poor Cinderella with her Prince Charming plotline, but this drama earned very high ratings. The actors of this drama, Park ShinHye, Kim WooBin, and Lee Min Ho, successfully started to rise in fame after the air of this drama.
Summary: Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) and Cha Eun Sang (Park ShinHye) meet in the States for various reasons; and Kim Tan, although an “heir” of a chaebol family, falls in love with EunSang. They meet back in Korea where their love blossoms through the difficulty of the typical lunatic parents and barriers of the rich and poor.
My Love from the Star
With the superb acting of Kim Soo-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun, the drama sprouted popularity across the world. Even China has made multiple adaptations of this very drama.
Summary: A romantic fantasy story about an alien (Kim Soo-Hyun) who comes to Earth. When Cheon Song Yi, a top actress in Korea in the drama, starts to fall down in her fame, the alien helps boost her confidence.
This drama gained popularity for the unique arrangement of romance and horror combined together. Many famous lines were said in this drama and are still used today.
Summary: A girl who is involved in an accident gains the ability to see ghosts. Due to this, her life is abnormal until she finds a man who is able to stop her from seeing these ghosts by a single touch. But, the man, an owner of a shopping mall named Kingdom, is very arrogant. Will she be able to approach him to get rid of these ghosts?
It’s Okay, That’s love
This drama was highly rated due to its realistic plot line which builds upon the relationship between a doctor and a novelist. In fact, their selection of actors was praised as D.O. , an Exo member, was involved in the casting. Exo is a very famous Korean boy band, known for their KPOP.
Summary: The novelist who has a mental disease due to his abusive past seeks help from the doctor who also has the fear of getting into relationships. The doctor and a novelist fall in love while trying to help each other overcome obstacles.
Ji Chang Wook finally got his fame due to this action drama that incorporated very settling romance. Due to this drama, he started acting in more action dramas.
Summary: A boy with the codename “Healer” seeks revenge on the ones that hurt the economy and the people. Yet without the name, Healer, he lives a normal life where he falls in love with a girl. The girl doesn’t know about the boy’s second identify. The problem is the girl is in love with Healer, not the normal everyday boy.
Kill Me, Heal Me
With splendid actors and a unique plotline, this drama rose to fame immediately.
Summary: The protagonist has a rare disease of five personalities, and the issue is that he is in a workforce where many eyes are on him. A woman is hired by the company only to find out that she evolved a relationship with all five different personalities.
Although most dramas are directed more towards women with cliche romance, this drama was known for its unique family nostalgic atmosphere. The realistic scenes of the days back in 1988 grabbed a lot of attention from the ones who lived during that time frame as well.
Summary: Duksun, the main character, in 1988 goes through entangling conflicts of family, friendship, and romance. A lot of cliffhangers are seen in this drama as the setting shifts from present to past often. There are love triangles formed between the friends in order to confuse the viewers as the past and present scenes are portrayed to answer one question :“who is Duksun’s husband?”
Love in the Moonlight
A historical drama where the actor Park Bo-Gum gained a lot of fame for his excellent acting. The drama satisfied the eyes of many, picturing beautiful scenery from 19th century Korea.
Summary: The woman protagonist, Kim Yoo Jung, tries to hide her identity of a woman throughout the story for a mystery reason. Park Bo-Gum, the king, finds “him” very reliable, and as they spend more time together, the truth unravels itself.
Descendants of the Sun
One of the reasons this drama came to fame was the beautiful scenery as the drama was filmed in Greece and South Korea. Using Greece’s beautiful geographies, the directors were able to depict realistic situations of wars.
Summary: A sergeant and captain of the Special Army force is on vacation in Korea where they catch a thief. The doctor mistakes them for hurting the thief instead and files a report; that’s when they first meet. The captain and the doctor continuously meet through fated and purposeful actions. Their real love story begins when the doctor sent to Greece as a special work force team where they meet again.
Although there were American TV shows that were similar to this drama, this was a new genre for the Koreans.
Summary: A suspenseful mystery where 9 kpop stars are stranded in an island in the middle of nowhere due to a plane crash. In that island, there were actions of savagery such as murder. But ironically, more trouble occurs when they seek help and arrive to Korea. The murderer gets to Korea first where he brainwashes the community to think he’s innocent from murdering. Will the 8 other victims be able to prove themselves innocent?
Tomorrow With You
With Lee Jae Hoon’s successful works from the past, people are anticipating for this new drama especially with his chemistry Shin Min-ah.
Summary: A man (Lee Jae-Hoon) and woman (Shin Min-ah) barely survive a train crash by getting into a heated argument and leaving the train. Ever since then, the man becomes a time slipper and is able to travel to the future from the present. Soon he finds out that his future isn’t bright and tries to change it. In the process, he gets involved with a woman who he deliberately marries for the sake of his future.
These were brief summaries and reviews, so it’s your time to find out what truly happens inside each drama. Even after binge watching dramas for many years, I am still always ready for new releases; each one has its own suspense and enchantment.
Prepare some hot cocoa and popcorn, snuggle up in a blanket, and be prepared to cry, laugh, and smile all at the same time.
-Tae-Young Uhm (’18)
Featured Image: Umaria Tariq Malik