So you wanna watch a Kdrama, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, y’all, I got you covered. Today, I’ll be talking about 12 Kdramas currently on Netflix you can start right now.
If you’re not familiar with Korean dramas, that’s totally cool! I didn’t know what they were when I found them so many years ago, but I quickly grew to love them (in fact, I watch more Korean dramas than I do American televsion). They are trope-y fanfictiony goodness all rolled into 16-20 episodes. That’s right, 16-20 episodes. Unlike American tv which has multiple seasons of shows, Korean dramas tend to tell their story completely within a much shorter time frame. Typical dramas only air for a few months and then they’re done! No season two, three four, etc. There are exceptions to this, but very few. I actually found the format refreshing because I knew that once I started a Kdrama, I wouldn’t have to wait 8 seasons to see certain developments. All in all, I’ve become obsessed with them and can’t wait to share my love with y’all.
Recently, Netflix has stepped up its Kdrama game, adding more and more Kdramas to their service (including Netflix originals!) and I could not be more thrilled with this. When I first started getting into Kdrama, my selection was limited. Netflix barely had any (in fact, at the time, Hulu had an entire library of ’em) and I had to use Dramafever (RIP 😭) and Viki for most of my fix. But these days, that’s not the case at all. Not only has Netflix added some old favorites, they’re regularly picking up current and new Kdramas at a fast pace. Here’s a few options for you if you feel like checking them out.
*I’m from the US so these will all be found in the US Netflix catalog.
BOYS OVER FLOWERS
Boys Over Flowers is a 2009 South Korean television series that is based on the Japanese shōjo manga series Boys Over Flowers written by Yoko Kamio. The series is about an average girl who gets tangled up in the lives of an arrogant rich boy and his friends.
This is my gateway kdrama (as is the case for many kdrama fans) that follows a poor girl/rich boy trope that is way over the top and definitely dated, but if you like lots of drama and ridiculous over the top plotlines including: kidnapping, amnesia, evil mothers, harem romance, and jerk with heart of gold this could be for you.
*Trigger warnings for sexual assault and suicide elements.
Reply 1997 is a 2012 South Korean television series that centers on the lives of six friends in Busan, as the timeline moves back and forth between their past as 18-year-old high schoolers in 1997 and their present as 33-year-olds at their high school reunion dinner in 2012, where one couple will announce that they’re getting married.
This is the most popular entry in the Reply series (I actually like Reply 1988 best), and is definitely a fan favorite. It definitely leaves you in suspense about who ends up with who, but it also has a bittersweet side narrative featuring a boy in love with his male best friend. It’s a far cry from actual representation, but a big step for Korean media to be sure.
Chicago Typewriter depicts three resistance fighters who lived during the 1930s Japanese occupation of Korea, and are reincarnated into the present as a best-selling writer in a slump, a fan, and a ghostwriter. It is an epic story of comradeship, friendship, love and betrayal that lasts 80 years. As the trio of writer, ghostwriter and fan race against time to find the truth of the past that haunts them, will their discovery affect their present?
This drama is one of my underrated faves. Part historical, part supernatural romance, it’s super unique and tons of fun. Plus, the chemistry between the leads is amazing. It is a bit lighter on the romance aspect, but honestly, I just really loved the originality with which the story is told. All the actors in this were fantastic.