Cancel Your Plans! The Best Korean Dramas On Netflix Are Totally Addictive
Already caught the Korean wave? It’s no secret that Korean dramas or K-dramas have become the hottest shows on TV. Whether they’re offering sweet and chaste romances with over the top premises or suspenseful, high-stakes thrillers, K-dramas are the next big thing throughout the US. Luckily Netflix saw the Korean wave coming and scooped up dozens of Korea’s massive international hits. Not sure where to start? We’ve gathered up the best of the best.
The best K-dramas on Netflix
Check out these K-dramas to get your full dose of frustrated elite teens, determined revenge stories, and even fairy tale remakes. There is something everyone can love in these hot K-drama series on Netflix.
Crash Landing On You
Full of chemistry and loveable characters, Crash Landing on You has become a standout K-drama. Starting with the ultimate meet-cute, heiress and entrepreneur Yoon Se-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) is paragliding when a sudden tornado hits and drops her into a tree. A North Korean tree. Her savior ends up being North Korean officer Ri Jeong-Hyeok (Hyun Bin), and of course, all sorts of charming rom-com adorableness ensues.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) has never had an easy life. By the age of 30, he’s raising his autistic brother alone, working in a psychiatric ward, and still dealing with childhood trauma. A chance encounter with children’s book author Ko Mun-yeong (Seo Ye-ji) leaves the pair’s lives inextricably intertwined. As each thoughtfully developed character in It’s Okay to Not Be Okay learns to overcome their pasts, they find a partner who is willing to love them for who they are.
Based on a webtoon of the same name, Itaewon Class reveals how great a show can be when all of the elements come together just so. After a rich bully ruins Park Sae-ro-yi’s (Park Seo-joon) life, he’s determined to get revenge. He devises a plan to put the bully’s food conglomerate company out of business. With a diverse cast of characters, an excellent soundtrack, and an inspiring underdog story, Itaewon Class is a fan favorite.
When the Camellia Blooms
At first, When the Camellia Blooms looks like a standard rom-com, where the single mom struggles to let down her guard around her handsome suitor. However, as with everything K-drama, this one has a suspenseful twist. A serial killer is on the loose, and he's identified his next target. Full of romantic electricity, suspense, and engaging characters, you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat throughout.
Park Hae Young (Lee Je-hoon) is a criminal profiler who continues to be haunted by a kidnapping from his childhood. When he discovers a walkie talkie that connects him to the past, he joins forces with a detective from 1989 to solve and even prevent crimes from happening. A fast-paced police procedural that pulls its plotlines from real-life cases, Signal doesn't miss a single mark as it blends reality with fiction.
In the historical drama, Mr. Sunshine, a young boy born into slavery, escapes to the U.S. during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident. Returning years later, as an officer with the Marines, he falls hard for noblewoman Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri), who is secretly part of the militia fighting for Korean independence. With astounding cinematography and a beautifully written script, Mr. Sunshine quickly captured hearts around the world.
Serving as the K-drama version of Grey's Anatomy, Hospital Playlist follows five doctors who bonded during medical school who are now working at the same hospital. What makes this medical drama stand out from the rest? The friends take a break from their high-stress lifestyles to play in a band once a week. This medical drama was one of Korea's biggest hits last year and is becoming an international sensation.
Lawyers Yoon Hee-jae (Ju Ji-hoon) and Jung Geum-ja (Kim Hye-soo) work for rival firms representing the wealthiest clients with the loosest morals. As each lawyer proves they're willing to pull out all of the stops to succeed, this legal drama brings jaw-dropping twists. Full of deliciously shady practices, sexual tension, and laugh out loud comedic breaks, it's no surprise that Hyena racked up awards nominations.
Cinderella and the Four Knights
An enchanting take on the classic fairytale, Cinderella and the Four Knights is pure cotton candy style fun. Eun Ha-won (Park So dam) serves as our Cinderella. Trying to earn college money, she takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for three rowdy cousins. Each of them and their bodyguard fall hard and fast for Eun Ha-won, who must navigate life in a house filled with sexy suitors. Ridiculously fun and flirty, Cinderella and the Four Knights is a perfect escape.
Boys Over Flowers
Widely considered the "one that started the Korean wave," Boys Over Flowers is regarded as a classic K-drama series. Geum Jan-di (Ku Hye Sun) is a regular, working-class girl who earns a prestigious local high school scholarship. Quickly identified and targeted by a group of bullies who are also the school's most popular boys, Geum Jan-di proves she's nobody's victim. Full of teens living a life of excess, with wild parties and over the top drama, this engaging soapy series quickly shows how great K-dramas can be.
The Inheritors (also known in English as The Heirs) hits all of the same high notes as The O.C. or Beverly Hills, 90210, and serves as the successor to Boys Over Flowers. This series follows a group of rich who will someday take over successful businesses from their parents. When Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho) falls for the new girl at school, he's shocked to learn she's the daughter of his family's housekeeper. Full of Korea's next generation of A-list actors, Inheritors is teen melodrama at its very best.
Record of Youth
Following three young adults hoping to make it big in the world of high fashion models and wannabee actors, Record of Youth manages to add surprising depth to an industry focused on the superficial. As each of them navigates the road to success, including the obstacles they face from their pasts, they face looming issues relevant to everyone trying to thrive on their own.
The Reply series offers three (so far) standalone seasons within a specific year (Reply 1994, Reply 1997, Reply 1988). Following a group of friends and their families during pivotal moments in history, this coming-of-age drama offers a look at relationships that grow and change with a hefty dose of nostalgia for the time. With the Seoul Olympics taking center stage, audiences experience a slice of life in South Korea from the 1980s. Between the family dynamics, the relatable characters, and the high waisted jeans, Reply 1988 brings forth the best of television shows from the 1980s.
The hugely popular and thrilling crime drama, Stranger, made it onto the New York Times best T.V. shows of 2017. An international success, the story follows superb prosecutor Hwang Si-mok (Cho Seung-woo), who underwent brain surgery as a child, and was left with a lack of empathy and social skills. In investigating a murder case, he teams up with police lieutenant Han Yeo-jin (Bae Doona), who serves as his polar opposite. The two pair beautifully together, creating a compelling team as they unravel a case that's way bigger than anyone expected.
High school senior Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee) appears to be nothing more than a boring brainiac who lives for his schoolwork. However, when school is out, he secretly runs a security service for an illegal prostitution ring. Ji-soo's carefully balanced life turns upside down when a classmate discovers his secret. Extracurricular offers a thrilling drama with deeper themes, including the circumstances that can force teens into making dangerous choices.
Romance is a Bonus Book
In a sweet romantic comedy-drama, successful writer and editor Cha Eun-ho (Lee Na-young) is overwhelmed juggling his personal and professional life. Needing a housekeeper, he reaches out to his childhood best friend Kang Dan-I (Lee Jon-suk) for help finding one. Unbeknownst to Eun-ho, Dan-l is struggling as well, but she's just trying to make ends meet after her husband leaves her. Secretly, she takes the job herself. As the friends both navigate their changing lives, they find they may have deeper feelings than they've admitted.
Fans of the American legal drama of the same name will have reason to celebrate the K-drama version of Suits. Keeping to the K-drama theme of taking everything to the next level, Suits doesn't disappoint. The new version is even more captivating than the original, full of even shadier dealings, interwoven plots, and over the top excess. It's the perfect legal drama for those who are looking for their next binge-watch.
Something in the Rain
Something in the Rain is a notable standout in Netflix's sea of romantic K-dramas. Chronicling the developing romance between Yoon Jin-ah (Son Ye-jin) and Seo Joon-hee (Jung Hae-in), the pair navigates falling in love despite a substantial age difference. Beyond the May-December romance, Something in the Rain is a gorgeous look inside Korean culture, as the couple's life grows together over meals and long walks, offering audiences a window into their daily lives. Simple, sweet, and engaging, this romance will keep you up all night.
The award-winning romantic suspense series, Vagabond, is engaging from the start. Kicking off with a mysterious plane crash that kills 211 passengers, stuntman Cha Dal-Geon (Lee Seung-gi) is determined to investigate what happened, as his nephew was on the plane. This thrilling series will capture your attention with action, twists, and a hefty dose of romance.
Kim Je Hyeok (Park Hae Soo) is a talented baseball player who's about to make his MLB debut in the U.S. when it all comes crashing down. Convicted of "excessive self-defense" for attacking the man assaulting his sister, Je Hyeok now faces a year in prison. Forced to navigate the abrupt change his life is taking, Je Hyeok's life shifts from an inspiring success story to a hilarious dark comedy.