Ah, the holidays–the perfect time for gaining x pounds and evolving from a productive member of society to a completely immobile couch potato. And what’s better to binge watch than the most contagious type of series of them all–Korean dramas.
Pro trip for K-drama fans? Ya’ll can give VIU a chance–it’s practically a Netflix for Korean dramas that you can use to stream your favorite shows legally. You’re welcome.
Now that we have that aside, check out all the sparkly new dramas you can marathon on break. They’re not some of Korea’s most popular television shows for nothing.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
The Gist: A coming-of-age story of aspiring athlete Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) as she stumbles through life with her social awkwardness and passion for weightlifting.
Recommended for: People who enjoy coming-of-age dramas and shows in school settings.
Author Commentary: Two words–cuteness overload. I love both Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk. They make a really cute and quirky couple. Aside from the college setting, which I usually love watching, I also adore the comedy and writing of this one. Lee Sung Kyung is a gem. She’s beautiful but naturally gifted in comedy too.
Sweet Stranger and Me
The Gist: Hong Na Ri (Soo Ae) is a flight attendant who comes home to find a guy living in her house. Plot twist: the stranger is actually her deceased mother’s young husband (Kim Young Kwang).
Recommended for: People who enjoy family makjang dramas but long to watch a little less of the overacting and ridiculous plotlines.
Author Commentary: Okay, I know the premise sounds a bit weird (I mean, a young stepfather and his orphaned stepdaughter who’s practically the same age as him?), but trust me, it actually goes about quite well despite the initial creepiness. Also, the supporting characters (Na Ri’s ex-boyfriend and her second leading man) are loads of fun. The entire show is cute and humorous and deserves at least one chance.
The Gist: A young movie star (Seo Kang Joon) goes about the Korean entertainment industry with his friends and entourage as they all find out that it’s not all glitz and glamour.
Recommended for: People who are tired of the same old K-drama tropes and want to watch something with a bit more of a Western twist.
Author Commentary: Honestly, it was hard for me to get into this drama because I couldn’t understand the humor. I really just started it for Seo Kang Joon, whom I adored in Cheese in the Trap. I found it disjointed and all over the place, which is a little disappointing for a drama so anticipated. But hey, maybe it’ll be your cup of tea. Also, Seo Kang Joon is still really gorgeous, so…
The Gist: To end his immortality, a goblin (Gong Yoo) searches for the human bride (Kim Go Eun) who can break his everlasting curse. In the meantime, he lives with a dismal grim reaper (Lee Dong Wook) and a young rich and spoiled lackey (Yook Sung Jae).
Recommended for: Lovers of high fantasy romance.
Author Commentary: I. Love. This. Drama. I don’t know how to stress this enough. I admit that it can be a bit dragging and long, but the characters really carry this entire show. They’re all incredibly likeable and interesting (also super funny) and you get invested in all of them from episode one. And guys, it’s Gong Yoo, okay. He’s that cute guy from Train to Busan who tweeted this:
I was reading your messages and I am happy but what is “Papi?” And why many call me “Daddy?” 모르겠습니다? 적어 주세요! 부탁합니다, 감사합니다. ☺
— Gong Yoo (@ActorGongYoo) September 14, 2016
The Gist: Two doctors meet a renowned surgeon who was once one of the city’s most famous. Both learn lessons about life and love through this mysterious surgeon who goes by the name “Romantic Doctor.”
Recommended for: Medical drama fans.
Author Commentary: Ya’ll, this drama is intense as fuck. My friend and I caught a couple episodes while we were in Seoul and despite not understanding what they were saying (Korean TV sadly has no subs), our eyes were glued to the TV.