I decided to test out kdramas this summer, just see what all the fuss was about. A friend was watching the show, Descendants of the Sun and was raving about it so I started with that. Unfortunately it hasn’t stopped because the k-world is really a rabbit hole that once you get sucked into you can never escape. So unless you have immense self-control (a characteristic I have no claim to whatsoever) be warned.
First let’s start off with an explanation. Kdramas work like mini-series with 16-20 episodes per show on average. So it’s really easy to get hooked. Some kdramas are pre-filmed which means they’re fantastic since they have a solid storyline and have been well edited. Others are filmed while the show is still airing so they alter the storyline based on viewer reviews. I prefer pre-filmed ones but they have bigger budgets which means there are fewer of them
Secondly, the shows are legally free for the world to watch with people volunteering to subtitle each episode in various languages. There are two popular sites Dramafever and Viki where all kdramas are listed. Some shows are exclusive to the site so don’t except Viki to offer all the same shows as Dramfever or vise-versa.
IF you do want to start kdramas read on for my recommendations because I have watched quite a few by now (time and kdramas are a deadly combination):
- Descendants of the Sun: watch this as your first drama! I did and I’m hooked. It came out in 2016 so the effects and action sequences are pretty top notch. It was pre-filmed so the editing is great too! It’s a military/medical drama, romantic with hilarious and touching moments. It also helps that literally every actor on the show is beautiful. 9/10
- It’s Okay that’s Love: I adored this drama. It touches all the high points with fantastic acting, an excellent script and the best soundtrack. It’s a show about psychologists and mental health. Don’t worry, it’s a romantic comedy! 10/10
- The Master’s Sun: This show has the same actress as It’s Okay that’s Love. She’s a great actress and the main characters really pull this show together. It’s a mix of comedy, inspiration and murder mystery. It works well and I highly enjoyed the ride. 8/10
- Oh My Venus: my favourite drama tbh. It wasn’t overly dramatic or soapy. It handled real issues about self-love and health. It inspired me to start working out which says a LOT! The acting is again top-notch and it never dragged. 10/10
- Healer: A satisfying ending with flawed but hilarious characters and an awesome action driven plot makes this drama a win in my book. I really liked it so watch it if you’re into relatable characters and a fun ride! 9/10
- W: this one recently ended and wow, I will never not recommend this show. Wow. Honestly! It has fantastic effects, wonderful acting and a complex plot which sucks you right in. 11/10
- Moonlight Drawn by Clouds: This one is still airing. It is a period drama and I have no idea how it’ll end but I enjoyed all the episodes thus far. Once again, the acting sells the show. The filming and great costumes are a bonus. 10/10
- Scarlet Heart (Ryeo): Words cannot describe how I feel about this show. It is a period drama which may or may not be a turn off. It was pre-filmed which explains the beautiful filming and a mostly good soundtrack. The acting is superb and the plot…I’m on tenterhooks wondering how it’ll end. It’s the only show I’m okay with watching as it airs because I actually eagerly await each episode. 12/10
I have watched a lot more than these but I wanted to share the ones that actually stood out to me. I hope you enjoy them. Let me know in the comments how you feel about kdramas and if you’ve watched any!
Until next time,