My Favorite Korean Dramas:
My very first Korean Drama was Panda and Hedgehog a sweet kdrama that hooked me in immediately. My second was King of Baking KimTukGoo! Addicted! Fermentation family was my third and now I was deeply in love with the Kdramas! I went on to learn that there are Korean dramas for all sorts of tastes: romances, comedy, melodrama, fantasy, crime/mystery, action/thrillers, historical, sci-fi and even ones to entice foodies! My favorites tend to be sci-fi/fantasy, comedy, romances or food related. If you watch one Kdrama and don’t particularly like it please keep trying until you find a favorite.
Up until recently Kdramas were and mostly still are “live-shooting” meaning they are filmed while the season is being aired and not pre-produced, thus producers and directors alter things as they are being filmed based on real-time feedback. You will notice entire side stories are dropped with no explanation. Living shooting can also mean rushed scenes, plots that go off on tangents or lose story lines all together and overworked actors. But despite these quirky points I am still madly in love with my Korean Dramas! Here is where we feed our Kdrama hunger: DramaFever.com and dramaload.com or if you just want to dip your toes in check out Netflix korean drama section or your local library!
Goblin (2016): Dokkaebi (Gong Yoo) This is one of my favorites it took me forever to watch it but once I did I found it quirky, cute, funny and sad. Have Kleenex handy this is an ongoing tear jerker! it makes you think about your life and your death. It has a bit of blood in the beginning few episodes that originally made me feel it was going to be a horror story or how it starts with the past made it also seemed like a historical drama (which I don’t tend to like). Instead, it surprised me with its fantasy and fun characters. The Goblin needs a human bride to end his immortal life and the Angel of Death has amnesia, these two meet and live together. Humor and trickery ensue. The actors look like they had fun with this series and enjoyed making it.
Fermentation Family (2011-12): I love underdog Kdramas, this one has some mystery and a few twists and turns. It is heartwarming and if you are a foodie you may like seeing the different types of kimchi they make in this one. This Kdrama is in my top 5. Lee Kang San and Lee Woo Joo find themselves taking over the management of their family’s traditional kimchi restaurant, Heaven, Earth and Man, when their father suddenly sets off on a journey one day without their knowledge. Ki Ho Tae arrives at the restaurant in search of the missing pieces of his past. Together with the other restaurant employees, long-time customers and a growing circle of friends, they work towards their individual goals while finding warmth and family through their sharing of food and support of each other.
My Love Eun Dong (2015): In his youth, Ji Eun Ho accidentally met Ji Eun Dong. She intercedes to keep him out of detention. The act of kindness, changes his attitude toward everyone. Eun Ho finds himself becoming very attached to Eun Dong. After losing her for many years, they meet by chance and fall deeply in love. This is the story of fate and everlasting love.
Oh My Ghostess (2015): Timid Na Bong Sun gets possessed by the ghost of a confident young woman who seeks to solve her one unfinished business by hooking up with Bong Sun’s boss, famous chef Kang Sun Woo.
One Percent of something (2016): A kind school teacher suddenly becomes heir to a large company on the condition she marries the owner’s grandson. As she is interested in neither, they make a deal that if they manage to date for a full six months, he will inherit instead.
Panda and Hedgehog (2012): My First Kdrama! This is another underdog series. It is a bit cutesy but you can’t help to watch what happens. Pan Da Yang is as sweet and lovable as her name suggests, and she owns a small bakery called Panda Café. She hires a new pastry chef, Ko Seung Ji, whose name sounds like “hedgehog” and has a prickly personality to match. As the clashing duo churn out sweet desserts, they try to compete against a national franchise Cake Company that happens to be owned by Panda’s first love. Whose desserts will reign supreme?
Personal Taste (2010): Personal Taste (aka Personal Preference) proves true love is found in the most unlikely places. Quirky and insecure Gaein lives alone in her father’s famous ‘Old World’–an architectural tribute to old Korea and Gaein’s late mother. Money troubles loom and Gaein is desperate for a roommate. To get inside this rare building, architect Jinho (Lee Minho from Boys Over Flowers) allows Gaein to believe he’s gay.
Reunited Worlds (2017): This is a a mystery and a love story. I was surprised I loved it so much. This is another tear jerker so keep the tissues on the ready. Sung Hae Sung (Yeo Jin Goo, Circle: Two Worlds Connected) is a cheery high school student. Being the eldest sibling, he wants to provide for his family instead of going to college. On the day of his 19th birthday, he gets into a car accident and passes out. He wakes up on the top of his school building. He thinks he survived and everything is normal. Except everyone thinks he died 12 years ago, and he hasn’t aged at all.
Shopping King Louie (2016): This was fun kdrama. An heir used to shopping away his grief finds himself trapped in Seoul with no memory and no one to help him except a sweet, rural girl who teaches him the value of a life without money.
Summer scent (2003): Three year’s previously Min Woo lost his first love in a tragic accident. As he struggles on with life he meets Hae Won who reminds him of his lost love but is racked with emotion and confusion as his feelings for these two women become intertwined.
Temperature of Love (2017): About the love between a writer who is elder than the person she loves, the chef.
Chicago Typewriter(2017) : Writers that lived under Japanese rule in the 1930’s are reincarnated into a bestselling writer who is in a slump, a mysterious ghostwriter and an anti-fan of the bestselling writer.
Circle (2017) : A Sci-Fi-Mystery drama kept my rapt attention from the very beginning- episodes contain two shorter stories, the first half is set in 2017 called “Beta Project,” and the second half in 2037 called “Grand New World.” Aliens arrive on earth and humans take advantage of their knowledge and learn new skills from them, In the year 2037, humans emotions are controlled and regulated. The story centers on two brothers in both ‘Beta Project’ and ‘Grand New World’ as they try and figure out the mystery that surrounds them and find needed answers.
Coffee House (2010): Jin-soo Lee is a writer who has reached super stardom after writing thriller novels. He works for an old friend, Eun-young Seo, an intelligent, beautiful and successful woman who can handle everything that comes her way. Enter Seung-yeon Kang, a girl who has been average in everything throughout her life but is determined to be the best secretary jin-soo ever had and jin-won Han, an old flame of Eun-young that wants to win her back.
Coffee Prince (2007): A tomboy, mistaken for a lad, maintains the deception for the sake of employment. The situation becomes complicated when her male boss begins to develop feelings for this “boy.”
Fated to Love (2014): I needed Kleenex for this one too. A touching Korean drama filled with comedy about a girl who finds happiness, friendship and love in the most unexpected way!
Go Back Couple (2017): We all have those thoughts about how time flies and what if we could go back to high school do it all again. In this drama, you get to travel back in time with a young unhappy couple. It is cute, funny and sad as you watch them take their second chance at life. Having married young, when frustration with their lives make Choi Ban Doo and Ma Jin Joo regret their marriage of 18 years, a strange occurrence has them traveling back in time to the day before they met and into their younger selves.
Gourmet (Shik-gaek) (2008): Talented chefs Bong Joo and Sung Chan were raised like brothers after Sung Chan was orphaned and taken in by Bong Joo’s family. Bong Joo’s family owns a famous traditional Korean restaurant and claims descent from the last royal chef of the Joseon Dynasty. Bong Joo assumes that as the eldest, he will be the one to take over his family’s restaurant and marry Joo Hee when his father makes a surprising announcement about a special cooking contest! Sung Chan is seen as a threat by some because of his youth, talent, creativity and non-conforming ways.
Imaginary Cat (2015): Hyun Jong-Hyun is a webtoon writer and works part-time at a bookstore. He always dreamed of working of as webtoon writer, but he has difficulties due to his stubborn and self-centered personality. He also has a cat named Boggil. He first met his cat on the street during a rainy day. Since then, they have lived together and Hyun Jong-Hyun only opens his mind to Boggil.
King of Baking Kim Tak Goo aka Bread Love and Dreams (2010): One of my favorites! Another underdog series. This kdrama has characters to love and hate. Kim Tak Goo is born out of love of his parents but his parents werent allowed to marry. He is eventually dropped with his Father and wife to be raised but soon after is chased away by the family. “Bread, Love and Dreams” covers the life of Kim Tak-Gu from the 1970’s until the late 1980’s as he becomes one of the most successful bakers in all of Korea.
My Spring Days (2014): This was sweet but seemed in the end, like a really long commercial for organ donation. Lee Bom-yi (Choi Soo-young) was once a terminally ill patient, but she’s been given a second chance at life after getting a heart transplant and now lives each day to the fullest. She meets Kang Dong-ha (Kam Woo-sung), the CEO of Hanuiron and a widower with two children who lost his wife to an accident. Bom-yi falls for Dong-ha, not knowing that her donor was Dong-ha’s wife.
Jeju Island Gatsby aka Warm and Cozy (2015): A romantic drama of a man and a woman of opposite personalities and different aims gradually fall in love with each other.
Pasta (2010): Pasta is the story of Seo Yoo Kyung, who has endured the grueling job of kitchen assistant at high-class restaurant La Sfera for two years in hopes of being promoted to chef.
Have yet to watch:
Something in the Rain (Hangul: 밥 잘 사주는 예쁜 누나) (2018):The series explores the relationship of two people as they go from being “just acquaintances” to “a genuine couple”.
Feast of the Gods (2012): Set within the backdrop of a traditional royal cuisine restaurant named Arirang, two women grow as chefs through competitions with each other, either in love or life.
The Greatest Marriage (2014): While the love lives and marriages of those around her unfold, a famous news anchor makes the controversial choice to become a single mother.
Late Night Restaurant (2015): A restaurant opens at midnight until seven in the morning. Its mysterious owner and chef, simply called the ‘Master’, has no fixed items on his menu, but will take orders from any customer and cook up whatever they ask for. As the Master cooks, his customers tell him their life stories.