The Unforgettable and Beloved –– Korean Drama of The 2010s Decade (Part III)
For what I first assumed would be a short and sweet two-parter, this “Korean Drama of the 2010s Decade” list turned out to be more of a walk down the memory lane than I first expected it to be, thus, making it to grow into this ginormous and lengthy 3 parter that it is today.
Seriously, even with it being divided into a 3 part series, i still somehow feel as if we’re still missing out on some ridiculously amazing kdramas that I couldn’t insert into the list. I mean, I wouldn’t mind adding more Korean dramas into this list, but boy if I did that, I feel like we’d be here forever!
That aside though, for those of you who are looking to poke your dainty toes into the Korean drama land, I feel like these lists are a good enough guide that can help you with choosing what to watch without it being too overwhelming. For those of you who are interested, feel free to check out Part I and Part II below.
- Best and Most Popular Korean Drama of The 2010s Decade (Part I)
- Most Popular Fan Favorite Korean Drama of The 2010s Decade (Part II)
Genre : Romance, Melodrama, Action
Starring : Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo
Aired : February 24, 2016 – April 14, 2016
Episodes : 16
This drama tells of the love story that develops between a surgeon and a special forces officer.
Kang Mo Yeon is a pretty and assertive woman who works as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Haesung Hospital. She isn’t afraid to admit her mistakes and believes that capability overrides whatever connections you have. However, she is soon faced with reality that she cannot advance with just capability. Her life is forever changed when she encounters Yoo Si Jin, the Captain and team leader of Alpha Team who cares more about protecting anybody who needs help as well as his country, even if it goes against the order of his superiors. This drama will tell of how they both band together in a time of war and overcome the odds against them.
Genre : Historical Romance, Fantasy, Melodrama
Starring : Lee Joon-gi, Lee Ji-eun, Kang Ha-neul
Aired : August 29, 2016 –– November 1, 2016
Episodes : 20
When a total eclipse of the sun takes place, a 21st century woman, Go Ha Jin, is transported back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea. She wakes up in the body of 16-year-old Hae Soo, an aristocrat living with Lady Hae, her cousin who happens to be married to one of the sons of King Taejo. She soon befriends several of the princes, who find her carefree and exuberant attitude refreshing. Although she knows she should not get involved in palace intrigues over the succession to the throne, she inadvertently becomes a pawn in the struggle, as several of the Princes fall in love with her.
3. Signal (시그널)
Genre : Suspense, Mystery, Crime, Supernatural
Starring : Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo and Jo Jin-woong
Aired : January 22, 2016 – March 12, 2016
Episodes : 16
Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school. At that time, Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student, witnessed the girl being taken away. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and detectives couldn’t find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police. Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
Genre : Romance, Comedy
Starring : Eric Mun, Seo Hyun-jin, Jeon Hye-bin
Aired : May 2, 2016 – June 28, 2016
Episodes : 18
Two women, both named Oh Hae Yeong, find themselves constantly mixed up in each other’s lives because of their shared name. From confusion over boys and grades in high school to ending up in the same occupation and company as adults, they can’t stop running into each other. And then there’s the man in their lives, a man with the ability to see into the future, a man who must decide which of these women he wants in it. Will these two women continue to find their lives entangled with each other? Or will they finally find a way to separate themselves from each other and become their own people?
Genre : Romance, Comedy, Coming of Age
Starring : Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon
Aired : November 16, 2016 – January 11, 2017
Episodes : 16
Bok Joo is a weightlifter who is pursuing her dream of winning the gold medal but she then finds romance for the first time in her life. While she is a woman who trains with heavy steel weights, she is also very feminine when it comes to relationships. To focus solely on weightlifting would jeopardize her relationship but leaving her weightlifting career for love would keep her from attaining her dreams. Can she find a way to have love as well as glory at the age of 20?
The characters within this drama are elite athletes in weightlifting, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics who work hard to reach their goals in life. It covers their coming-of-age stories and relationships through hectic life.
Genre : Romance, Melodrama, Comedy
Starring : Gong Yoo, Kim Go-eun, Lee Dong-wook
Aired : December 2, 2016 – January 21, 2017
Episodes : 16
Kim Shin was once an unbeatable general in Goryeo’s military who died a tragic death. He now possesses immortality, but is tired of living whilst everyone else around him dies. For 900 years, Kim Shin has searched for his bride, a mortal who can pull out the sword and end his life. One day, he encounters Ji Eun Tak, a positive, upbeat high school student who can see the dead and has gone through tragic events, yet still stays strong. She claims to be the Goblin’s bride, who can end his immortal life, but what appears to be an easy task, only gets complicated, as the two fall in love.
Genre : Romance, Comedy, Supernatural
Starring : Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, Ji Soo
Aired : February 24, 2017 – April 15, 2017
Episodes : 16
Do Bong Soon is a petite, unemployed woman who is honest and kind. She appears little and sweet on the outside, but she is in fact very, very strong. In her family, for generations the women have been gifted Herculean strength to use for the greater good. If abused, however, their power will be taken away. Whilst standing up for herself after gang members bully her, she finds herself approached by Ahn Min Hyuk, the handsome and somewhat childish CEO of Ainsoft, a gaming company.
Ahn Min Hyuk, who holds a great distrust towards the police, witnessed the whole exchange of Bong Soon’s superhuman strength, and now wants to employ her as a bodyguard after being threatened by an unknown enemy. Min Hyuk falls in love with super-strong Bong Soon at first sight, but there’s a catch. Bong Soon has eyes for someone else; police officer and childhood friend, In Guk Doo, whom she has known since high school. When chaos ensues after a series of kidnappings in Do Bong Soon’s hometown of Dobong-dong, Dobong-gu, Bong Soon must decide whether to use her strength and stand up to evil, or play it safe and keep her powers hidden from the world.
Combined with the love triangle she faces between In Guk Doo and Ahn Min Hyuk, as well as having to keep Min Hyuk safe, Bong Soon’s life is thrown into turmoil. Can she use her strength for the greater good, or will it prove in the end to be too much?
Genre : Romance, Mystery, Comedy, Supernatural
Starring : Yoo Ah-in, Im Soo-jung, Go Kyung-pyo
Aired : April 7, 2017 – June 3, 2017
Episodes : 16
This drama follows the lives of two men and a woman through two eras: one during the 1930s Japanese occupation of Korea and the other in the 21st century.
The three main characters are Han Se Joo who was a writer in his past life and a bestselling author in the present. But Se Joo is depressed with writer’s block so he can’t write his next book. Yu Jin Oh owned a bar in his previous life. In 2017 he is a talented ghostwriter who can bail Se Joo out of his predicament, but the mysterious man has a condition for his services. Se Joo may not be able to meet it. Jeon Seol was a sniper. Now she has extremely varied expertises. She is a former Olympian hopeful, a veterinarian and a book lover who runs her own delivery service. She oscillates between extreme fandom and an anti-fandom of Se Joo.
The intricately woven story of these three characters unfolds to reveal strange mirroring connections between the time periods as well as possibilities for past lives to be redeemed or improved in the modern world.
Genre : Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life
Starring : Park Hae-soo, Jung Kyung-ho, Krystal Jung
Aired : November 22, 2017 – January 18, 2018
Episodes : 16
Kim Je Hyuk, a famous baseball player, is convicted after using excessive force while chasing a man trying to sexually assault his sister. Shockingly to him and the rest of the nation, he is sentenced to a year in prison. There he meets his childhood friend and fellow baseball player, Lee Joon Ho, who gave up on baseball after a car accident, but now is a prison guard and one of Je Hyuk’s biggest fans. The drama revolves around Je Hyuk’s time in prison, as well as prisoners he meets and events that take place there.
Genre : Drama, Slice of Life
Starring : Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Ji-eun, Go Doo-shim
Aired : March 21, 2018 – May 17, 2018
Episodes : 16
A man in his 40’s withstands the weight of life. A woman in her 20’s goes through different experiences, but also withstands the weight of her life. The man and woman get together to help each other.
Genre : Historical Romance, War, Action, Tragedy
Starring : Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok
Aired : July 7, 2018 – September 30, 2018
Episodes : 24
Mr. Sunshine centers on a young boy born into a house servant’s family and travels to the United States during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo (U.S. expedition to Korea). He returns to his homeland later as a U.S. marine officer. He meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter. At the same time, he discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea.
12. Kingdom (킹덤)
Genre : Historical, Suspense, Horror
Starring : Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae-Doona
Aired : Jan 25, 2019
Episodes : 6
Set in the Joseon period. The king falls ill to smallpox and rumors start to spread that he has actually died. Meanwhile, the Crown Prince Lee Chang is labeled a traitor by the Haewon Cho Clan, the clan of the current pregnant Queen and her father, Cheif State Councilor Cho Hak Joo. While trying to uncover the mystery of what happened to his father, the Crown Prince goes with his guard, Moo Young, to Dongnae to look for Physician Lee Seung Hui who treated his father, only to be stuck with Assistant Physician Seo Bi and the mysterious man, Young Shin, in a village plagued with a mysterious disease.
Genre : Historica Romance, Melodrama
Starring : Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, Lee Se-young
Aired : January 7, 2019 – March 4, 2019
Episodes : 16
Joseon is in a state of disorder due to uprisings and a power struggle surrounding King Yi Heon. To avoid assassination, a clown named Ha Sun is brought to the palace to take the place of King Yi Heon. Ha Sun looks almost identical to King Lee Hun. When Ha Sun was a child, his parents died during an epidemic. Ha Sun almost died from starvation around that time, but he was saved by a group of clowns. Ha Sun grew up with the clowns and became one of them. During their performance, Ha Sun would play King Yi Heon due to their similar physical appearance. Now, Ha Sun is nervous that someone in the palace will find out he is not the real king as he falls for beautiful Queen Yoo So Woon.
Genre : Romance, Mystery, Drama
Starring : Ji Sung, Lee Se-young, Lee Kyu-hyung
Aired : July 19, 2019 – September 7, 2019
Episodes : 32
“Doctor John” is a new medical drama about doctors specializing in pain management. In a refreshing take on the genre, “Doctor John” will portray the doctors’ search for the cause of their patients’ mysterious pain as a thrilling chase, almost like a detective hunting down the perpetrator behind an unsolved crime.
Genre : Romance, Comedy, Supernatural, Fantasy
Starring : Lee Ji-eun, Yeo Jin-goo, Jung Dong-hwan
Aired : July 13, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Episodes : 16
Jang Man Wol is the CEO of Hotel del Luna. The hotel is situated in downtown in Seoul and has a very old appearance. She made a big error many years ago and, because of this, she has been stuck at Hotel del Luna. She is beautiful, but she is fickle, suspicious and greedy.
Goo Chan Sung worked as the youngest assistant manager ever at a multinational hotel corporation. He is a sincere perfectionist. He looks level-headed, but he actually has a soft disposition. Due to an unexpected case, he begins to work as a manager at Hotel del Luna. The hotel’s clientele consists of ghosts.
Genre : Romance, Comedy, Drama
Starring : Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun
Aired : December 14, 2019 – February 9, 2020
Episodes : 16
The absolute top secret love story of a chaebol heiress who made an emergency landing in North Korea because of a paragliding accident and a North Korean special officer who falls in love with her and who is hiding and protecting her.