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10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

Last year Parasite created a worldwide sensation and got top prize at the Oscars. Korean culture had been gaining global popularity. You may also hear of the Korean boyband BTS. Or perhaps developed a taste for Korean cuisine. Or maybe lined up with Korean beauty products.

Several Korean dramas are available on Netflix. Below are the most entertaining k-dramas to watch, from romance to thriller and to stunning period.

1. Mine

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

Everyone can’t stop talking about the latest drama that has wrapped its 16-episode. Mine centres around a strong chaebol family, specifically on its two daughters-in-law who try to carve out their identities—and reclaim what’s theirs—in a patriarchal society.

Part Succession, part Downton Abbey, and part Big Little Lies (a murder, revealed in episode 1, propels the narrative), await a binge-worthy, twisty plot and stellar lead actresses Lee Bo-young and Kim Seo-Hyung, especially, who is hugely like Tilda Swinton in I’m Love together with her impeccable style and poise.

2. Vincenzo

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

Title character Vincenzo was adopted by the top of an Italian crime family when he was young and grew up to become a consigliere to the mafia. Infighting and betrayal force Vincenzo to escape to Korea. He finds a replacement enemy to require down: a ruthless conglomerate.

3. Uncanny Counter

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

In this popular paranormal hit, a disabled teenager is recruited into a supernatural group known as the Counters, who follow the evil spirits that have escaped the afterlife to possess human hosts and corrupt them into committing terrible acts.

As a part of this crew of demon hunters (the front for their secret business may be a noodle shop), he develops superhuman and psychic abilities. As a result, he leads a double life—high school student by day, vanquishing evil by night.

4. Stranger

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

Now two seasons long (with fans looking forward to a third), this beloved crime thriller was featured on the NY Times’ list of the most straightforward TV shows of 2017. Louis Vuitton muse Bae Doona plays an enthralling detective who teams up with an empathetically challenged prosecutor (an operation gone wrong during childhood left him with very low EQ) to unravel a murder.

Along the way, they discover much deeper, more insidious forces at play within the name of political conspiracies orchestrated by Korean TV’s favourite villain: those all-too-powerful, ne’er-do-well conglomerates.

5. Start-up

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

As its title suggests, Start-Up is a few groups of millennial individuals working in Korea’s version of Silicon Valley. The show is more rom-com (except the standard, like love triangles, meet-cutes, etc.) than industry satire.

6. Mr. Sunshine

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

This historical drama is about the late Joseon Period, Korea’s last dynasty before Japan annexed the country within the early 1900s. Lee Byung-hun plays U.S. Marine Eugene Choi, who returns to his motherland and falls crazy with Go Ae-shin (played by The Handmaiden actress Kim Tae-Ri), a noblewoman who secretly moonlights for the Righteous Army, a militia fighting for Korean independence.

Mr. Sunshine has all the requisite ingredients for an excellent K-drama: love triangles, history, and action. But, above all, it is a cinematographically beautiful ode to Korea before it had been changed forever.

7. It’s okay to not be okay

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

A well-liked children’s book author (Seo Ye-Ji) has an antisocial personality disorder; a psychiatric ward caregiver (Kim Soo-Hyun), on the opposite hand, has high emotional intelligence and, therefore, the added baggage of getting to require care of his autistic older brother. Girl meets boy, and consequently, the healing begins.

8. Itaewon Class

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

First, Park Sae-ro-Yi (Park Seo-Joon) gets expelled for punching a faculty bully, who happens to be the son of the mighty owner of food conglomerate Jangga Group. Then he loses his father during a hit-and-run accident, during which the reckless driver is—who else?—that same rich bully. After beating his father’s killer to death, he gets sent to jail for three years.

After his release, he vows to require down the powerful company that ruined his life by opening up a bar in Seoul’s Itaewon neighbourhood to turn it into a franchise. This underdog tale received high marks for its diverse cast of characters—the bar’s employees include a transgender woman, a Guinean-Korean, a former gangster, and a sociopath—and its portrayal of their difficulties in trying to suit into a society that’s rarely kind to outsiders.

9. Extracurricular

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

To those around him, high school senior Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee) is simply another typical brainy overachiever—so bland that even his guidance counsellor suggests he study less and get a social life.

Outside of faculty hours, though, he runs a Security Service for an illegal prostitution business (while keeping his identity a secret), so he can earn enough money for his future. But, when a classmate discovers his secret and needs in the business, things start to urge tons more complicated—and dangerous.

10. Vagabond

THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix

After a plane carrying his young nephew crashes on its thanks to Morocco, stuntman Cha Dal-gun (Lee Seung-gi) vows to seek out what happened. With National intelligence agent Go Hae-Ri (Bae Suzy) assistance, the two begin to uncover a terrorist conspiracy that leads all the high to the Blue House (the presidency).

BONUS

  • Hospital Playlist
  • The Heirs
  • Hyena
  • When the Camellia Blooms
  • Kingdom
  • Romance is a Bonus Book

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THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix
About the author

Neha Garia is the founder and Editor at The Drama Paradise. She is a long-time K-Drama addict and K-Pop lover. Her favorite K-Pop artists are BTS, SF9, ATEEZ, and INFINITE but there are many more groups she is having a look at. Her favorite actors include Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim GoEun, and Kim TaeRi, to name a few. She hopes to share her love for Korean culture with people across the globe.

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THE DRAMA PARADISE | 10 Best Korean Dramas to Watch on Netflix