K-drama essentials to watch on Netflix

K-drama essentials to watch on Netflix - Boys Over Flowers
Boys Over Flowers

If you’re a fan of ultra-popular K-pop groups like Monsta X and BTS, you’re already riding the wave of Hallyu entertainment straight from South Korea. But K-pop isn’t the only form of entertainment making waves around the world: Korean K-dramas or dramas are equally popular.

Historical epics, fantastic tales, romantic comedies, romantic-style sitcoms: K-dramas cut across all genres, and do it brilliantly. But long before streaming monsters like Netflix exploited this cultural phenomenon to create original Korean fictions on their platform, some staples of the genre had already convinced fans from the start. Marked by wacky storylines, Hallyu stars and awesome soundtracks, these movies and series set the tone for most of the dramas that followed.

You can just check out recent projects, but frankly? I suggest you take a look at the classics. The high level production quality of today’s new dramas is even more appreciable when you consider how they got there.

To discover the essentials of K-dramas to see absolutely, it’s here!

The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince (2007)

Having to provide for her family after her father’s death, Go Eun-chan (Yoon Eun-hye) an androgynous-looking young girl finds a job in a run-down cafe run by the handsome playboy Choi Han-kyul (Gong Yoo ). The only problem ? The cafe’s policy is to hire only men. She must therefore hide her true identity even as she falls in love with her boss.

Where to watch: Netflix

Boys Over Flowers (2009)

Many of your favorite dramas wouldn’t exist without the Candy Girl – the lonely worker who seduces the rich and popular dude – and Boys Over Flowers is no exception. Courageous heroine Geum Jan-di (Goo Hye-sun) made headlines at elite Shinhwa High School after drawing the wrath (and later affection) of Class King Goo Jun-pyo (Lee Min -ho). Can this complicated romance have a happy ending?

Where to watch: Netflix

My Love From the Stars (2013)

After centuries of wandering on Earth, the life of alien Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) is turned upside down by the sudden appearance of famous Hallyu star Cheon Song-yi (Jun Ji-hyun) . Although they are totally opposites – he’s kind and she’s a terror – the two are destined to meet and end up falling in love. But dating a celebrity is just as chaotic as dating an alien with superpowers.

Where to watch: Netflix

Full House (2004)

You might know Rain as the greatest solo artist in the music industry, but he’s also tried his hand at acting a few times. The singer starred in the 2004 romantic comedy as a famous actor who takes a liking to a struggling writer (played by megastar Song Hye-kyo) after unknowingly buying her house. The two protagonists bicker, but find themselves in a contractual relationship that quickly turns into a simple relationship.

Where to watch: Netflix

My Father is Strange (2017)

Ahn Joong-Hee (Lee Joon) is an actor who used to be a member of an idol group. One day, he appears in front of a family who consists Byun Han-Soo and Na Young-Sil and their 4 children including Hye-Young and Mi-Young (Jung So-Min). Joong-Hee begins to live wth them. Starring Kim Joung-cheol, Kim Hae-sook, Lee Joon, Lee Yu-ri, Ryu Su-young, Jung So-min, Min Jin-woong, Lee Mi-do, Ryu Hwa-young, Ahn Hyo-seop.

Where to watch: Netflix

Dream High (2011)

If you’re an early K-pop fan, you couldn’t miss this crossover of epic proportions when it was released ten years ago. In this musical drama, the cream of the second generation of K-pop played the role of budding idols training in an elite private school. With Kim Soo-hyun, Suzy (miss A), IU, Eun-jung (T-ara), and Taec-yeon and Woo-young from 2PM.

Where to watch: Netflix

Vincenzo (2021)

At the age of 8, Park Joo-Hyeong went to Italy after he was adopted. He is now an adult and has the name of Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-Ki). He is a lawyer, who works for the Mafia as a consigliere. Because of a war between mafia groups, he flees to South Korea. In South Korea, he gets involved with Lawyer Hong Cha-Young (Jeon Yeo-Bin). She is the type of attorney who will do anything to win a case. Vincenzo Cassano falls in love with her. He also achieves social justice by his own way.

Where to watch: Netflix

IRIS (2009)

Two friends are recruited by South Korea’s national security service and train to protect the country from internal and external threats. However, their missions are complicated by the intervention of a mysterious secret society which wants to prevent the reunification of North Korea and South Korea. Starring Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee, Jung Joon-ho and TOP from K-pop group Big Bang.

Where to watch: Netflix

Daniel Bishopp

Daniel U. Bishopp joined LA MODE in November 2020 to work on the features team covering fashion, culture, food and drink and technology in print and online. Before that, he worked for STYLE ME AFRICA.

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