Some say that you can get to know a person through her likes and perceptions, and bcos my love for K-drama is indefinable, so here I bring list of drama since 1999, actually I don’t really like dramas that forces me to think hard bout it’s story,ha..you can just call me lazy or am I really stupid,lol..I prefer a romantic-comedy drama, so don’t put high hope for my list of drama.
Here is a list of my top 5 Korean dramas that I’ve watched to completion. At first, I just want to list my top 5, but I become more greedy as there are too many good dramas that hooked me till now, so I just listed it according to it’s genre, ahahah.. xD
You can’t separate Korean dramas with secret birth or one of the most frequently appearing character-types in Kdrama, a “chaebol.” Kdrama feature many moneyed people, it’s interesting to watch the fantasy world of people living out a different lifestyle from our own than those of everyday ordinary folks.
Cha Ji Heon (Ji Sung) is son of a chaebol family, an incredibly immature young man and a director of DN Group, as well as the youngest son of the chairman (Park Young Kyu). Noh Eun Seol (Choi Kang Hee) a tough and courageous girl, was once a problematic girl in school and has a poor academic background. She is struggling to find a full time work. On the other side, there is another mature and hardworking young boss, Cha Moo Won (Kim Jaejoong) who is seemingly perfect but also has his own problems to deal with. After telling Director Cha Moo Won , who is Ji Heon’s cousin, a piece of her mind, at an interview at DN Group, she is hired as a secretary to Ji Heon. Determined not to be fired from her first professional job, Eun Seol works diligently putting up with Ji Heon’s childishness and helping him to prove that he can be a successor of DN Group. Through their working relationship, he begins to deal with the secrets of his own and falls for her.
Gong Chan (Lee Dong Wook) is the only heir of the owner of L’Avenuel Hotel, which is one of the top hotels in Korea, when he meets the lively and beautiful Yoo Rin (Lee Da Hae), a tour guide in a small company in charge of running mini tours in the Jeju Island of South Korea. Her father is a gambling addict, but despite all the debts that he runs up, Yoo Rin always finds a way to help repay them, Gong Chan finds out that she has connections to his missing cousin, whom his grandfather has been searching for. Driven by desperation and his love for his grandfather, Gongchan will do anything to ease his burden. When pointed out by his secretary that Yoo Rin bears a resemblance to his aunt, Gongchan hatches a plan to pass off Yoo Rin as his grandfather’s long-lost granddaughter whilst he carries on searching for the real one. He asks Yoo Rin to lie about being his long missing cousin until he can find his real cousin. Yoo Rin, who is desperate for money to repay her father’s debt, is unwilling to do the job as it involves lying to a dying man, something that she staunchly refuses to do. Gong Chan’s friend, Jung Woo (Lee Jun Ki) falls for Yoo Rin while Gong Chan’s ex-girlfriend, Seo Hyun (Park Si Yeon), a pro tennis player, tries to win him back.
Go Eun Sung (Han Hyo Joo) was studying overseas in New York and returned to Korea during her vacation to bring her autistic brother, Eun Woo, to the United States to study music. Sun-Woo Hwan (Lee Seung Gi), who was also studying in New York, was ordered to return to Korea by his grandmother, Jang Sook Ja, to learn how to manage her food company. Eun Sung and Hwan, who were on the same flight back home, accidentally had their luggage bags exchanged, which led to several misunderstandings between the two of them. Eunsung’s step mother, Baek Sung Hee, kicked Eun Sung and Eun Woo, out of the house after collecting the insurance money of his husband-fake-death and moved into a new home with her daughter, Yoo Seung Mi (Moon Chae Won). Realising that Eun Woo was missing, Eun Sung was devastated and tried searching for her brother but to no avail. With the help of her friends, Eun Sung rented a small room and started a small dumplings stall while continuing her search for Eun Woo. Meanwhile, Jang became deeply disappointed in Hwan as Hwan had no direction in life and did not know how to cherish her company and employees. While pondering over what to do about her grandson, Jang visited a neighborhood, Jang met with an accident and received help from Eun Sung. Jang was touched by Eun Sung’s compassion. Jang brought Eun Sung home and announced to her family that Eun Sung was going to live with them and that she was going to appoint Eun Sung as the heir of her food company…
‘City Hunter’ is an original script based on the world-famous novel by Japan’s Tsukasa Hojo. ‘City Hunter’ has switched the setting from Tokyo 1980 to Seoul 2011, and according to the original story structure, the protagonist becomes a city hunter and his character develops while resolving gratifying cases.
Vowing to avenge his fallen comrades, Lee Jin-pyo (Kim Sang-joong) kidnaps his comrades Moo-yul’s infant son. He flees to the Golden Triangle to raise the child as his own and trains the boy intensively in combat. Following an attack on a village they are living in, Jin-pyo confesses his long-term plan for revenge to the child, Lee Yoon Sung (Lee Min-ho).
Lee Yoon-Sung’s ultimate goal is to avenge his father’s killers. Using the identity of a Korean-American teenager who is later revealed to have died several years before, he assumes a double life by graduating and received his Ph.D from MIT, and works at the Blue House’s National Communication Network Team. Kim Na-na (Park Minyoung) was forced to fend for herself at an early age after her mother was killed in a drunk driving accident and her father went comatose. Her exceptional skills in martial arts eventually earns her an assignment with the Presidential Security Service. During her time as a bodyguard, she falls in love with Lee Yoon-sung and eventually discovers his real identity.
The drama tells the story of Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji-won), a poor and humble stuntwoman whose beauty and body are the object of envy amongst top actresses, and Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin), an arrogant and eccentric CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection. Their accidental meeting, when Joo Won mistakes Ra Im for actress Park Chae Rin, marks the beginning of a tense, bickering relationship, through which Joo Won tries to hide a growing attraction to Ra Im that both confuses and disturbs him. To complicate matters further, a strange sequence of events results in them swapping bodies.
Open up to a world of fantasy, it brings me to the new level of kdrama standard, the drama has the element of fantasy (time travel, soul switching, myth), yet it has the bittersweet reality of life.
The story opens with Yu Hyechan (29y.o / Park Sunyoung) decision to get a divorce. She has a car accident on the way to the courthouse. When she wakes up at the hospital she has no memory of her life past till age 18. Her husband Kang Bongman (Ryo Soo Young/ young : Choi Siwon) tries to support her since she is basically helpless now. As she recovers her memory she also starts to recover a relationship with her husband and begins to fall for him all over again..
On one day after Cha Dae Woong (Lee Seunggi) ran away from his grandfather, he accidently freed a nine-tailed fox who was closed in a painting for about 500 years. He didn’t realize what he has done, until the Gumiho(nine-tailed fox) (Shin Min Ah), who took the form of a beautiful woman, appeared in front of him. Dae Woong was really frightened that he ran away from her and fell on the riverbank.Since he was severely injured, Gumiho came to save him and gave him her most precious bead to share with him the mystic fox’ strength, as she owes him her freedom. Gumiho then asked him if he can help her become human and how to act like one. In return, she allowed him to use her bead for him to shoot for his dream action movie despite his body’s severe condition..
The story of the secret love between Lee Hwon (Kim Sohyun / Yeo Jin Goo), a fictional king of Joseon, and Hyeon Woo (Han Gain / Kim Yoojung), the daughter of a noble family who won the love of Hwon. Her enemies, jealous of her family’s position in court, schemed against her and wrestled away her rightful place as crown princess and nearly takes her life using a shaman curse. Years later, an embittered Hwon meets Wol (Hyeon woo’s new name), a female shaman who has no recollection of her past.
When Crown Prince Lee Gak (Yoo Chun) is transported 300 years into the future to present day Seoul along with his three retainers, they believe that it is their duty to solve the murder case of the Crown Princess (Jung Yoo Mi) in order to return to Joseon. They land in the rooftop apartment of Park Ha (Han Jimin), a cheerful woman in her mid-20s, who eventually believes the odd quartet’s predicament and becomes their guardian. As Park Ha educates the four on life in the 21st century, taking on the identity of Yong Tae Yong (his re-incarnation), Lee Gak slowly begins to unravel the murder of Yong Tae Yong and in turn moves closer to solving the murder case of the Crown Princess. As he finds himself in love with Park Ha, he figures that maybe the Crown Princess was not so perfect after all…
Prosecutor Min Tae Yeon (Yun Jung Hoon) is bitten by somebody and becomes a Vampire. Tae Yeon rejects the life of a vampire and he survives by drinking the blood of dead people and still lives as a righteous prosecutor. Tae Yeon also uses his new founded abilities as a Vampire to prosecute powerful persons normally thought above the law. A mysterious case then occurs and the evidence points to a Vampire as the perpetrator. Tae Yeon now knows that he is not the only Vampire. He also ponders why he became a Vampire and what truths may lie behind their motives..
The dramas that made the list use cutting edge special effects to put a happy face on the dullest historical event and explore Korean chronicles.
A tragic love story between the daughter of Prince Sooyang and grandson of Kim Jong Seo. The son of Kim Jongseo, Seungyoo (Park Shi Ho), is a handsome and wise man who carries a noble quality. Princess Seryung, a daughter of King Sejo, aka prince Sooyang (Moon Chae Won), is a cheerful, lively lady with a strong curiosity and bold personality. SeRyung learns that Seung Yoo is chosen as the candidate for Prince Consort and is devastated. Her cousin, Princess Kyung Hee (Hong Sohyun) understands the political import of marrying Seung Yoo and orders her not to meet Seung Yoo again, suspecting that the two are falling in love. Meanwhile, Seung Yoo and SeRyung meet outside the palace again. They fall in love instantly but later they find out that their parents are sworn enemies. It’s a Chosun dynasty version of “Romeo and Juliet”.
Jumong (Song Il Gook) was the founder of Goguryeo in 37 BC. He was the son of General Hae Mo Su (Heo Joon-ho) and Lady Yoo Hwa (Oh Yeonsoo), and was raised by King Geum Wa (Jeon Kwang Ryeol) who took him and his mother in when Hae Mo Su was believed to have been killed in an ambush by the Han Dynasty. Lady So Seono (Han Hye-jin) was a merchant’s daughter who helped Jumong in realizing his dream to build a new country, and later became his second wife. An interesting look into the realm of Korean folklore, covers 700 years of Korean history through the story of Jumong, the legendary leader who founded the nation.
Set in a period where society does not allow females to be educated nor employed, Kim Yoon Hee (Park Min Young) disguises herself as her brother, Kim Yoon Shik, in order to make ends meet for her family. She goes through a series of odd jobs, mainly at a local bookstore, before she gets offered a chance to increase her earnings by becoming a substitute test-taker (an illegal act) for the upcoming entrance examination in the prestigious Sungkyunkwan. She gets caught by the upright Lee Sun Joon (Park Yoo Chun), who later acknowledges Yoon Hee’s talents, and even encourages her to enroll in the university. There, she must bear with the endless mischief of upperclassman Gu Yong Ha (Song Joong-Ki), put up with the constant mood swings of roommate, Moon Jae Shin (Yoo Ah In), avoid getting in trouble with the strict, student body president, Ha In Soo (Jun Tae Soo), keep her secret from being discovered, all the while trying to maintain her growing affections for Lee Sun Joon, at bay. Together, the four form the “Jalgeum Quartet” (“Joseon F4”).
The drama takes its name from a poem (Yongbieocheonga) that says that trees with deep roots do not sway (If the flower is the king, then the commoners are the roots). It tells the story of Kang Chae-yoon/Ddol-Bok (Jang Hyuk) investigating a case involving the serial murders of Jiphyeonjeon scholars (the serial killings during the days before the announcement of the Korean script) in Gyeongbok Palace while the King Sejong (Han Suk-kyu / Song Joongki) comes to create the Korean written language (hangul). The deaths were caused by a secret society called “Hidden Root”, with the goal of giving more power to ministers and less to the king.
Ddol-Bok spends several years becoming a great warrior. Dam, who has a photographic memory, becomes a court lady called So Yi (Shin Se-kyung), but she feels so guilty about her role in the other slaves’ deaths that she is mute.. It soon becomes known that the king, with the help of So Yi and the Hall of Worthies scholars, has been working for years on a secret project, which turns out to be the creation of the Korean alphabet.
About 500 years ago during the time of Chosun Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure. Set in this period, “Jewel in the Palace” is based on a true story about a legendary girl, Jang Geum (Lee Young Ae) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang Geum overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king. She was even given by the king the title “The Great Jang Geum.” The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. It’s sure to touch your heart.
– Sad Love story
I tend to get really emotional when I’m watching dramas, so I prefer watching a happy ending story, but some says that crying actually makes you feel better?It help to unlock trapped feelings and clear your mind, your body releases chemicals to make you feel better, and so these are some dramas that help me lets out my emotions.
Shin Ji Hyun (Nam Gyuri) was enjoying absolute bliss as she was about to marry her fiancé, Kang Min Ho (Bae Soo Bin), but her perfect life is shattered when she gets into a car accident that leaves her in a coma. She is given a second chance at life by a reaper, but it comes with a condition: she has to find three people outside of her family who would cry genuine tears for her. In order to do this, she borrows the body of Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won), a part-time employee at a convenience store for 49 days.
At 17, Tae Woong (Hyun Bin), a mathmatical genius, meets two people who will later become people he loves. One becomes his best friend and the other, his love. Tae Woong’s best friend, Kim Jeong Kyu (Lee Sun Ho), also classified as a genius, competes for academic accolades. After Tae Woong beats him in an international math Olympiad Jeong Kyu commits suicide. During this same time, Tae Woong meets a little girl who develops a crush on him. However, he loses touch with her without finding out her name.
These tragic events take their toll on the rest of Tae Woong’s life. At 25, eight years later, Tae Woong is now a third class boxer and in unexpected events, finds Bo Ra (Sung Yu Ri), the little girl he once knew.
Yoon Joon-suh (Song Seung Hoon) and Yoon Eun-suh (Song HyeKyo) grew up as siblings but Eun-suh was in fact from a different family as there was a mixed up at the hospital where she was borned.The switch came to light when Eun-suh was involved in a car accident and it was discovered that her blood type was different from her parents. Eun-suh’s life took a complete turn when the 2 girls were returned to their respective families. Soon after, the Yoon family left for the States and Eun-suh was left living in sordid condition with her real family in Korea. Years after, Joon-suh returned to Korea and by chance the two former siblings were reunited. One day Eun Suh discovers she has leukemia (the same fatal condition that killed her biological father’s). She doesn’t tell anyone except Tae-Seok (Won bin), who offers to pay for her treatment. When her health deteriorates, the others begin finding out the extent of her condition. Eun-Suh soon falls into a coma. Joon-suh finds out about Eun-Suh’s health and reacts with shock and fear.
Cha Moo Hyuk (So Jisub) was adopted by an Australian family but was abused and left homeless at an early age. One day he comes across Song Eun Chae (Im Su Joong), the coordinator for Choi Yune (Jung KyungHo), a famous singer in Korea, whom she is secretly in love with. Her fateful encounter with Moo Hyuk ends up affecting not only her life but that of her precious Yune as well.
Because of an accident involving his ex-girlfriend, Moo Hyuk is left with 3 months to live. This leads him to head back to Korea in search of his biological mother. The discoveries he makes, changes his heart from longing to revenge. Even with all this darkness surrounding him, he finds an unexpected source of happiness with someone he did not expect to love.
Sad Sonata is a love story about two men and one woman. The young Joon-young (Kwon Sang Woo), who was raised by his mother who sold liquor to American soldiers, met the blind Hae-in (Kim Hee Sun) and they became childhood sweethearts. Then, Hae-in immigrated to the U.S. following her aunt and her uncle[American soldier that married her aunt]. There she met Gun-woo (Yeon Jung Hoon), who was Joon-young’s best friend and son of a very rich man. After she received a letter from Hwa-jung saying that Joon-young is dead, she accepted Gun-woo’s love. After an operation, Hae-in was able to see again . The story picks up again when composer Joon-young, singer Hae-In, and music producer Gun-woo all meet again.
A drama that I don’t even dare to compare with any other drama, and I don’t think I can find such nice writting, great plot, awesome cast, good directing in anytime soon.
5. Princess Hours (2006)
A story about young love in face of tradition, politics, and intrigue. In the imaginary world, modern-day Korea is a constitutional monarchy and the Royal Family lives in a grand Palace, the Goong. Story opens with the sudden death of the reigning the King. Faced with the decreasing popularity among the public for the Royalty, a grand wedding for the Crown Prince, Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon), is decided to be the best publicity move to improve the image of the Royalty and at the same time prepare Shin for immediate succession. The intended bride? The headstrong, awkward, and sweet spirited Shin Chae-kyung (Yoon Eun Hye) that just happens to go to the same exclusive art school. Chae-kyung was betrothed to become the next Crown Princess by her grandfather and Shin’s grandfather.
In this sometimes dark twist on the Cinderella story, two beautiful stepsisters battle each other for their lives, loves, and careers. Sun Mi (Chae Rim) has always had a happy life. Raised by her loving father after her mother dies, she spends her childhood alongside best friend and first love, Woo Jin (Han Jaesuk). But everything changes when her father decides to adopt Young Mi (Kim Soyeon), after her father is killed at his construction company. Sun Mi’s new stepsister is every bit as beautiful as she is – but her heart is as cold as ice. Envious of all that Sun Mi has, she goes after everything that she loves from Woo Jin to her dreams of being a reporter. Soon, the two young news reporters are competing for the top position in the network, and when one of the network’s top executives (Jang DongGun) begins to fall in love with Sun Mi, Young Mi goes after him too, sparking a no-holds-barred battle between the stepsisters, but Young Mi’s secret dark past begins to come to light, making everything spin out of control. This gripping drama garnered lead actress Chae Rim much attention and has been spoken of as one of the best Korean dramas of all time.
3. Dae Janggeum (Jewel In The Palace) (2003)
It’s a fantasy-action-melodrama which describes love beyond time and space, between an upright scholar Kim Boong Do from Chosun dynasty (300 years ago) and an ‘old rookie’ actress in modern era. Kim Boong-Do (Ji Hyun-Woo) is a noble man from the Joseon Dynasty, approximately 300 years ago. He then happens to travel through time and winds up in present day Seoul, South Korea. Kim Boong-Do then crosses paths with Choi Hee-Jin (Yoo In-Na), a not so successful actress. Choi Hee-Jin is currently performing as Queen In-Hyun in the drama series “New Jang Hee-Bin”. These two people fall into a romantic relationship …
Han Ji-eun (song HyeKyo), an aspiring script writer, lives in a house called “Full House” built by her late father. One day, her two best friends trick her into believing she has won a free vacation. While she is gone, they sell her house. On the plane, she meets a famous actor named Lee Young-jae (Rain). Through comedic events, they get acquainted during her vacation and when she returns, she discovers her house has been sold to him.
Though they don’t get along with each other as she is messy and he has a bad temper and likes cleanliness, they agreed to live with each other. At first, Ji-eun works as his maid in order to buy her house back, but because of Young-jae’s wish to make the love of his life and Kang Hye-won jealous, they get married. They set up a contract for the marriage to last six months. During that time, complications arise and Ji-Eun and Young-Jae become attracted to each other.
And finally, there are also some that I hated mostly cos it’s flat story or boring character (no improvement in story or character), that I’ve never finished cos I felt I’ve been cheated or I just skipped enough episodes along the way that I no longer feel comfortable :
5. Cinderella Stepsister (2010)
Eun-Ju (Moon Geun-Young), who lost her father many years ago, finally moves gets a new family home when her mother remarries. Although things seem to have turn the better for the cynical Eun-Ju, she immediately faces problems when she meets her new step-sister Hyo-Seon (Seo Woo). Hyo-Seon with her bright character is the apple in her father’s eyes and the clear favorite in the house. Furthermore, Eun-Ju’s mother also seems to have fallen for the charismatic personality of Hyo-Seon.
Making matters worse for Eun-Ju, Hyo-Seon seems to like Eun-Ju’s prince Ki-Hoon (Chun Jung-Myung). Eun-Ju decides then and there to take matters in her own hands and exact revenge on her Cinderella like stepsister …
A drama that contrasts a woman who succeeds with knowledge and reason and a woman who weaponizes appearance and sensitivity.
Byun So Ra (Yoon So Yi) comes from an ordinary background, but she works very hard. She is then betrayed by her boyfriend and her dreams of becoming a professor fails. Byun So-Ra then joins a cosmetics company and she also meets a rival with whom she clashes in this cosmetics company. Yoon Joon Soo (Jae Hee) is a good looking, smart, and talented chaebol, as he’s the head of this cosmetics company.
As the director of her father’s advertising company, Ma Yoo Hee (Han Ga In) is known as a witch for her ruthless, no nonsense character. After a string of failed attempts to hire a housekeeper, she (literally) runs into Chae Moo Ryong (Jae Hee), ex-medical student turned aspiring chef. As a way to work off his debt for crashing into her car, he agrees to become her housekeeper and personal love affairs coach for one month. Gladly, he gives her a makeover that attracts both her old friend Johnny Kruger (Dennis Oh) and her first love Joon Ha (Kim Jung Hoon). Despite having a girlfriend, Sung Mi (Jun Hye Bin), Moo Ryong eventually finds himself falling for Yoo Hee.
Ji Seung Yeon (Go Eun Ah) dreams of becoming a hip-hop legend and unexpected events set her on the path to achieve just that, although there is an added obstacle – she has to dress up as a boy in order to join a male idol group. In the process, she meets Kang Woo Hyun (Park YooHwan), the leader of the popular idol group, M2, who captivates fans with a killer smile that masks his rude and selfish personality.
1. Miss Ripley (2011)
Two very different men fall in love with Jang Mi Ri (Lee DaeHee), a woman whose life is a complicated web of lies, propelled by her greedy desires that stem from an unfortunate childhood. Jang Myung Hoon (Kim SeungWoo) is an ambitious hotelier who maintains perfect control of himself and his life, while Yutaka (Park Yoo Chun) is the warm and gentle heir of a Korean-Japanese hotel conglomerate. Their love for Mi Ri and her tragic ambition eventually leads them down the path of destruction.
But once again, the list above is just showing my taste of K-drama, it doesn’t mean you’ll like what I like, or hate what I don’t like. Byooong~ ^^