The best way to learn a language is to dive deep into the culture. With the Hallyu wave, Korean has become popular worldwide. With BTS and Lee-Minho becoming more popular as days pass, it’s only fair to look at the most popular dramas for beginners.
A great thing about K-dramas is that most run for one season with 16-25 episodes. The longest-running K-dramas were Never Twice (72), Mother of Mine (108), Golden Garden (60), Blessing of the Sea (122), It’s My Life (124), My Only One (106), My Healing Love (60) and Six Flying Dragons (50).
Plot: This 25-episode show revolves around a poor girl and “F4”, a gang of four wealthy boys in a private school led by Gu Jun-Pyo (Lee Min-Ho). Geum Jan-di (Ku Hye-Seon) is a girl from a low-income family but has an extraordinary sense of optimism and receives a swimming scholarship to a prestigious private high school.
It is a story of a love-hate relationship between the protagonists’ Geum Jan Di and Gu Jun-Pyo. Gu Jun-Pyo plays the role of a spoiled bully who is the heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa. He has three childhood friends – the handsome Yun Ji-Hu (Kim Hyeon-Jung), a famous potter So Yi-Jung (Kim Beom), and the heir to Korea’s largest construction company Song Woo-bin (Kim Jun).
The story takes place across Seoul, Macau, and New Caledonia.
Cast: Kim Beom, Kim Hyun-Joong, Kim Jun, Ku Hye-Seon, Lee Min-Ho, Lee Si-Young, Han Chae-Young.
Where To Watch: Netflix, Rakuten Viki, Dramacool`
Rating: 7.9/10 (IMDB)
Plot: This 16-episode story arc revolves around Shi-Jin (Song Joong-Ki), a Special Forces captain, and Dr. Mo-Yeon (Song Hye-Kyo), a doctor at a private hospital. The show starts with Shi-jin catching a motorcycle thief (Kim Min-Suk) with Sergeant Major Dae-Young (Jin Goo) and getting his phone stolen by him.
He goes to the hospital, where he meets Mo-Yeon, to retrieve his phone. She accidentally assumes he is a criminal. Shi-Jin falls for her immediately and proves his true identity with the help of army doctor Myeong-Joo (Kim Ji-Won).
The story follows Shi-jin and Mo-Yeon as they navigate their relationship while juggling jobs that don’t wait for anyone.
Cast: Song Joong-Ki, Song Hye-Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji-Won, Kim Min-Suk, Lee Seung-Joon, Seo Jung-Yeon, Onew, Park Hwan-Hee, and Hyun Jyu-Ni
Where To Watch: Netflix, Rakuten Viki, Dramacool.
Rating: 8.3/10 (IMDB)
Plot: Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is burdened with immortality after being betrayed by the king he served. After being forced to watch his family die, he dedicates his life to helping people using his supernatural abilities. He wanders the planet searching for his “bride” – the one famed to remove his sword and him from living forever.
The current story is set 19 years after Kim Shin saved a woman from dying. Her daughter, Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun), has since gained the ability to interact with supernatural beings. She grows up as an optimistic and driven individual who works part-time at a chicken restaurant owned by Sunny (Yoo In Na).
Kim Shin’s lifelong friend, the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook), plays a significant role in how any person’s life unfolds. The story evolves amidst a myriad of emotions and plot twists. Will Kim Shin be free from his eternal misery? Watch to find out.
Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Go-Eun, Lee Dong-Wook, Yoo In-na, and Yook Sung-Jae.
Where To Watch: Netflix, Rakuten Viki, Dramacool
Rating: 8.6/10 (IMDB)
Plot: When a complete solar eclipse occurs, Go Ha-Jin (IU), 25, drowns and wakes up in the year 941AD – the year of King Wang Taejo’s reign – as Hae-Soo. After her initial shock, she becomes comfortable in her new timeline with the help of the gentle and warm-hearted 8th Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha-Neul).
She is later drawn to the fearsome 4th Prince Wang So (Lee Joon-gi), called “wolf-dog” due to his scar. Scars, at this time, are considered a sign of weakness and ugly. With the story’s progression, Hae Soo finds herself unknowingly caught up in palace politics and sibling rivalry fighting for the throne.
The story is gripping, emotional, and educational. While this story is loosely based on history, it gives you a new perspective on what shaped the Korea we know today.
Cast: Lee Joon-Gi, IU, Kang Ha-Neul, Hong Jong-Hyun, Nam Joo-Hyuk, Baekhyun, Ji Soo, Yoon Sun-Woo, Kang Han-Na, Jin Ki-Joo.
Where To Watch: Rakuten Viki, Dramacool.
Rating: 8.7/10 (IMDB)
Plot: Yoon Se-Ri (Son Ye-Jin) is the heiress of Queen’s Group in South Korea. There is sibling rivalry between her and her older half-brothers due to her business acumen. Her stepmother dislikes her, so she decides to start her own company and leave the family business to her brothers.
In a paragliding accident when testing her new sportswear line, strong winds force Yoon Se-Ri to land in North Korea, where she meets Ri Jeong-Hyeok (Hyun-Bin) – a North Korean Army officer. Ri Jeong-Hyeok and his troop try to help her return home several times. During these attempts, she realizes she appreciates their old-fashioned and straightforward way of life and creates strong bonds – unbreakable by a border separating them.
Cast: Hyun-Bin, Son Ye-Jin, Seo Ji-Hye, and Kim Jung-Hyun.
Where to watch: Netflix, Rakuten Viki, Dramacool.
Rating: 8.7/10 (IMDB)
Learning a new language means learning to appreciate the culture and the various nuances that come with it. The best way to understand these nuances is by immersing ourselves in the culture. In modern times, we can do this by signing up for foreign language classes, watching movies and shows, and eating different foods. After all, isn’t the point of globalization to be more appreciative than discriminate based on our differences?
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April 26, 2022 | 6 Minutes to Read