Are You a Human? You Should Watch K-Dramas With Me

Okay maybe it doesn’t have to be with ME, per se, and I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. But if you’d like to take a walk with me through a wonderland of dizzingly beautiful people, lust-worthy fashion, tropes that warm your heart with twists that will excite you, please do consider reading.

I LOVE K-drama, which is basically movies produced by Korea’s film industry. While the story lines will be familiar to most audiences, the genre has really created a feeling and set of expectations of it’s own. So, if you’re into that, this thread is to geek out together and share recs.

If you’ve never seen K-Drama, maybe you want to give it a shot but don’t know where to start? Well, I just so happen to have a list of some of the best K dramas on Netflix!

The list I’ve put together meet some simple criteria; 1) I bothered to finish the series and 2) I was happy about it. That may NOT seem like high praise, but Netflix is a graveyard of my abandoned pastimes, so I’d say it’s noteworthy.

Without further ado, my recommendations for taste testing (or savoring) Netflix’s selection of K Drama are below by genre.

Horror


KINGDOM (Meowkins Hall of Fame)
Good for people who like: zombies, period pieces, excellent costuming, fast paced action

Oh my fucking God I loved this series. It is the Korean take on zombie plagues and ALSO A PERIOD PIECE you guys. It was an incredibly well done (and almost prohibitively expensive) series for Netflix to put out. Beyond it’s genre bending, it’s genuinely entertaining and enjoyable to watch for the plot, pacing, and acting.


The Guest
Good for people who like: paranormal, strong female leads, getting their heartstrings pulled, MYSTERIES

The guest comes from the east sea and takes control of people via the dark desires of their hearts. Three kids that experience a horrible tragedy have their lives intertwined as they reunite in adulthood and try to unravel the mystery of what happened to them. I binged this; if was really good to the end.

Romance


Familiar Wife (Meowkins Hall of Fame)
Good for people who like: romance, comedy, intense bromance, slice of life, amazing fashion

IF YOU ARE A PARENT WITH A SMALL CHILD, AT LEAST WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE. And then post and laugh about it with me because it is so real.

Basically, this story is about a beleaguered salary man with two small children and a wife who has turned into a monster. Some twists later, he’s thrown into an alternate timeline where he’s married instead to The One That Got Away and life is great…or is it? The show is a belly laughing romp through the male leads journey to understand what real partnership means.


Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung
Good for people who like: strong female leads, pretty people, period pieces, excellent costuming

Political intrigue! Comedy! Science! Heart wrenching back stories! Basically, the emperor is forced into letting women into the court as scribes (an all dude job) and one of them happens to find out that the prince is secretly a romance writer (such embarrassing) and they become friends and save the kingdom. This series has it all, complete with romantic scenes that will make you catch your breath and/or squeal in delight at least once.

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Romance Is A Bonus Book
Good for people who like: strong female leads, second chances, romance, underdog takes on the man, bibliophiles

Ok straight up this series is majorly corny and I was attracted to only one person (DEMERITS ALL AROUND). BUT it features a mother in her mid life reinventing herself from stay at home mom into the professional she would have been if she stayed in the workforce. And sometimes that’s the story you need in your life.

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When the Camellia Blooms
Good for people who like: romance, family, comedy, mysteries, slow burns, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MAN ON EARTH

Okay so this is actually a hard sell. It’s SLOW. And the main characters speech affects confused me until my husband explained that it’s a super cultural korean thing.

Anyway. It’s a romance between a bumbling but loveable cop and a single mom. There’s baby daddy, mother in law, and maybe a murder issues, but overall super quirky and heartwarming.

You guys. There are moments in this romance that will make you melt into a puddle. I rewatch scenes sometimes and they are still so. Good.

Also Haneul Kang was incredible in this and is just omfg so gorgeous and sweet and charming and delightful and JUST KWBDIDNEOADJIDJEJE.

Thrillers

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Signal
Good for people who like: beautiful men, thrillers, cop shows, time travel

A cop finds a time bending walkie talkie that connects him to a cop in the past. Thing is, that past cop went missing mysteriously while uncovering a big case. Future cop vows to help. DRAMA ENSUES.

Also the lead is beautiful. BE - YOO - TI - FUL.

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The Call
Good for people who like: thrillers, strong female leads

This is a movie about a girl who keeps getting mysterious phone calls from another girl claiming to be living in her house… Except, almost 30 years in the past. As they both change the past together, their friendship turns into something darker and more than either of them bargained for.

Drama

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Misnaeng (Meowkins Hall of Fame)
Good for people who like: coming of age stories, fighting the system, underdog takes on the man, slow burns, complex character work

A Korean chess playing prodigy burns out before he can qualify to play professionally. Having dropped out in highschool, he now faces having to build a career with only a GED. He gets sponsored by a top companies President to intern and has to find his way to rise in the ranks while competing with colleagues from the best pedigrees money can buy. I cannot tell you how many times I cried while watching this. It is so funny and heartwarming and good.

Also, it is one of the first breakout movies for Haneul Kang who is one of the most beautiful men on earth and Meowkins all time bae.

This list should get you started! But it’s not exhaustive. There are so very many wonderful k dramas on Netflix right now. I hope I find some k drama geeks here to chat with! Or even just some of you giving it a shot :slight_smile:

… And if not I will just chatter into the void about great k drama and tell myself I’m doing it FOR THE LURKERS!

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I appreciate this content!
Will report back after some viewing.

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OMG yes. I’ve watched two K-dramas thus far - both focused around female entrepreneuership.

Can you recommend more in that vein? :joy:

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Maybe!! Which two have you watched?

Hm… I will have to find the names. Will report back when I’m not actually at work where I should probably NOT pull up my netflix history :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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HELLO YES I AM HUMAN.

I have only seen one k-drama. Unfortunately I will not recommend it here. It was incredibly fatphobic.

I will determine if I have access to any of the shows. I took a year of Korean in college and am uhhh a bit obsessed with k-pop and have fancies that I could maybe learn a bit of Korean through TV and pretend it’s a sophisticated hobby.

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Highly recommend this extension for netflix, I used to learn new languages regularly

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Shows are all in Netflix!

I LIKE KPOP TOO. This is why I want to learn to dance tbh…

I like Korean but have too many open ended languages that I should focus on.

Iiiiinnnnnnteresting…

All of the (nearly all of the? A lot anyway) Netflix Original shows (the newer ones anyway) have options for multiple languages now - French, Spanish, Italian, German) and sometimes have subtitles in additional (I’ve seen Chinese, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese). Sometimes I watch things I’ve already seen, but in Italian. This extension would be handy though, because sometimes the dialogue is too fast or too slang-y.

(Sorry, this comment is not about K-drama!:upside_down_face:)

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I resemble this statement.

Me currently: trying to keep up my German, learn Arabic, learn Croatian, maintain basic French and recently abandoned Russian

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My status: the native Spanish speaking of a 5 year old, very basic conversational Arabic quickly degrading, ongoing Japanese push but stuck in beginner

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BUT HEY IF YOU EVER WANNA PRACTICE ARABIC. Also, unrelated to k drama, but I recently posted about a new series called Paranormal that is all in Arabic and based on the works of one of the best sci fi writers in the Arab world. Might be cool for language exposure!

Oops meant to reply to @anomalily so tagging for viz

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I am not really at a speaking level right now unless you just want to like…have me say HOUSE, CAT, CHILD, WIFE, NEIGHBOR, DAKAR, JORDAN, and GOD WILLING at you. That is my full vocab.

My local friend from Jordan offered ALL the conversation practice I want if I come babysit her 1 year old :joy: I did talk to the 1 year old on zoom and we have about the same level

I desperately need a physical book that shows me how to write. I can sound out and recognize all the letters but I can’t write shit, everything I write looks like a 2 years old. If the letters are spoken, I can figure out the word from looking at the written language, but it takes me like 30 seconds to decode one word.

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I hear Jordanians have some of the best Arabic! Mine most closely resembles the Gulf with some borrowing from Egypt.

My writing in Arabic is fine, but my reading is atrocious. I read SO SLOWLY.

More arabic derail

Yea, I’m tryinnnng to learn Modern Egyptian, but I’m not at a level where the region will matter much :joy: I did learn to recognize the alphabet sounds with speakers from all 3 common dialects but like… I couldn’t pronounce all three.

I think Arabic may be one of those languages where it is best (at least initally) studied in a classroom in person especially if you’re not familiar with the script. It is VERY hard to self study for English native speakers I think.

ETA: I am not aiming for fluency, but I am aiming for easier travel in Arabic-speaking countries. Easier to haggle, easier to read street signs, get taxis, and check into hotels, etc.

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continuing down arabic tangent

Modern Egyptian is really pretty, like when “yes” is “na’am” in fusha and “yes” is “aywah” in Egyptian. But I really don’t like that they make all their J’s into G’s. A preference thing, but no other Arab country does it, so I am ornery!

My main goal would be to understand scripture and historical docs so it would have to be in a classroom for sure. Traveling with Modern Standard should be super doable though so seems like a good choice!

My dream would be to go live in Japan for two years for language acquisition but that is just never gonna happen LOL.

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I decided since we derailed so hard, we needed a thread:

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Just finished Rookie Historian, it was my partners first korean show. We both enjoyed it. Really cute characters and has a fun story that is easy to follow. Very happy with the ending.

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@Meowkins
Have you watched Mr. Sunshine yet?

YES ME TOO THE LAST SCENNNEEE :heart::heart:

I haven’t yet! Do you recommend it? I think I saw the previews but didn’t know what to make of it.