As the Korean wave (or Hallyu) sweeps across the entertainment industry, more viewers become intrigued by K-dramas that have achieved cult status. Netflix has earmarked $2 billion for Korean content within the next four year period. This will allow it to increase its Korean film, TV series and movie offerings.
Beyond Squid Game‘s phenomenal success, the streaming giant is also capitalizing on reality series like “Physical: 100” and “Single’s Inferno,” yet it’s the diverse K-drama collection that’s captivating audiences globally with its mix of science fiction, romance, and more.
Here’s a curated list of the best K-dramas that you can stream right now on Netflix:
Crash Landing (2019)
In “Crash Landing On You,” a sudden storm carries Yoon Se Ri, a South Korean heiress, into North Korea during a paragliding trip. She meets Ri Jeong Hyeok a North Korean officer, who becomes her protector. The delicate narrative is woven with humor and poignancy as their love blossoms amid geopolitical tensions, familial expectations and the tensions of geopolitical conflict. The K-drama offers a unique view on the cultural differences between Koreas, but also tells an incredibly human story about love, sacrifice and resilience.
Alchemy Of Souls 2022
“Alchemy of Souls” is a fantasy drama in which characters exchange their souls to achieve powerful abilities. The story centers on Jang Uk. He is a nobleman who has his life forever changed when Nak-su enters his body. She is a warrior with a powerful soul. Their intertwined lives lead to a journey that is filled with battles and political intrigue as well as an underlying romance. This K-drama has two seasons under its belt and invites viewers to a visually stunning universe where love transcends boundaries of body and spirit.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)
“Extraordinary Lawyer Woo” is about Woo Young-woo. She is an attorney with autism. She approaches her cases using remarkable insight and compassion. The show is a beautiful balance between the high stakes in courtrooms and Young-woo’s personal struggles and triumphs. Her unique perspective brings new approaches to legal battles and highlights the importance diversity and understanding in an often rigid society. The series is an inspiring story that promotes individuality, perseverance and warmth in a family-oriented setting.
My Mister (2018)
“My Mister”, an exploration of human relationships that is nuanced, explores the life of Dong Hoon. He is a man stuck in a depressing job and a failing relationship. His path crosses that of Lee Ji-an a young woman with her own problems and secrets, which could change Dong Hoon’s life. As they face their own personal struggles, a complex and deep bond develops between them. This paints a somber but hopeful picture of the struggles of life. This Kdrama is an introspective look into the nuances of pain and the redemptive powers of companionship.
The Glory (2022).
The Glory is a gritty story about vengeance, redemption and Moon Dong-eu’s meticulous plans to avenge her childhood bullying. The story is a tapestry that weaves together the past and the present. Each thread leads to a moment where everything comes to a head. The pace is deliberate to allow viewers to fully immerse in the protagonists’ calculated descent into the depths her adversaries lives. The two-part drama is a testament of the lengths to which one will go in order to find closure, and the price that comes with it.
Mr. Sunshine (2018)
“Mr. Sunshine”, which is set in the Joseon dynasty of the early 1900s, takes viewers back to Choi Yoo Jin’s birthplace, where he returns as a Marine Corps officer. The core of the story is his encounter with Go Aeshin, a woman who was involved in Korea’s fight for independence. The story of their forbidden love unfolds against a backdrop of a nation fighting to preserve its sovereignty. The K-drama has been praised for its production value, stirring performances, as well as its intricate portrayal a pivotal time in Korean history.
All of Us are Dead (2022).
This high-octane zombie series offers a fresh perspective on the genre. Set in a highschool that becomes a microcosm to society as a result of a zombie epidemic, the show is a fast-paced and exciting take on the genre. As alliances begin to form and survival instincts kick-in, the show delivers a visceral and intense experience that explores themes like loyalty, adolescence, as well as the moral decisions one must make under extreme duress. “All of Us are Dead” is an exciting addition to the zombie canon, and also serves as a metaphor for high school life.
The second season “D.P.” The gritty portrayal of the South Korean military continues, shedding a harsh light upon the harsh realities of bullying and the rigid hierarchies that exist within. The narrative is anchored in the experiences of Corporal Han Hoyeol, and Private An Junho as they investigate deserters. This forces them to confront the complexity of duty and their own moral compass. This is a powerful series which doesn’t shy from difficult topics, and offers a window into often unseen military challenges.
Black Knight (2023).
In 2071, “Black Knight”, a dystopian Korea is introduced where air pollution forces the wear of gas masks. The society is on its knees. A deliveryman, who is skilled at navigating a treacherous cityscape becomes the unlikely heroine in this chaos. The series is a social comment on corporate power and environmental issues. It combines drama, action, and a subtle romantic element to create an intriguing vision of the future.
This Kdrama merges the worlds and sports, focusing on two boxers who are caught in the grips of debt and despair. “Bloodhounds”, as they become entangled in the ruthless loan shark world, examines the impact and destructive allure of quick cash. The story is a powerful mix of ambition, camaraderie and the darker sides of human nature. It’s set against the gritty background of underground boxing.
Would you recommend these K-dramas?
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