KDramas to Watch for First Timers –– Korean Drama Recommendations

KDramas to Watch for First Timers –– Korean Drama Recommendations

 

If you’ve followed this blog even for just a while, then you know that your girl is freaking obsessed with Kdramas. So much so that I’m making a whole blogpost to recommend Korean drama to watch for first timers just to poach even more kdrama fans to join the fandom. 

 

Korean drama beginners watch

 

I mean, if you really want to go into it, you have to agree that it sure is better to go gaga over kdramas and books rather than cocaine and booze. *snickers*

Jokes aside however, I’m sure with the recent boom in South Korea’s entertainment industry and the fact that one of the biggest streaming company (Netflix) is not only adding but also promoting its viewers onto kdramas, there are more first timers now than ever looking for a guide to ease them into Korean drama land. And that is where your girl swoops in to save the day. 

 

Korean drama beginners watch

 

Ah, if only I’m as hot as superwoman. One can hope. 

But yes, in this post I’m going to help guide you––first timers––on your journey to Korean drama land. If there is anything I will say before we embark onto this journey, it will be this: your life after Kdrama will never again be the same. 

 

 

Korean drama beginners watch

 

1. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (힘쎈여자 도봉순)

 

Genre : Action, Supernatural, Comedy, Romance 

Starring : Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik, Ji Soo

Aired : February 24, 2017 –– April 15, 2017

Episodes : 16

 

BLURB : 

 

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?

 

 

Korean drama beginners watch

 

2. Healer (힐러)

 

Genre : Action, Thriller, Mystery, Romance 

Starring : Ji Chang-wook, Park Min-young, Yoo Ji-tae

Aired : December 8, 2014 –– February 10, 2015

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

Seo Jung Hoo is a special kind of night courier, known only as “Healer” by his clients. For the right price and with the help of a genius hacker, he gets his clients whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t involve murder. His latest job leads him to a second-rate tabloid writer, Chae Young Shin, and the successful reporter, Kim Moon Ho. He begins to uncover the mystery of his own shared past with the two reporters, thus putting them all in danger.

 

 

kdrama beginners watch

 

3. Descendants of the Sun (태양의 후예)

 

Genre : Action, Melodrama, Romance 

Starring : Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-kyo, Jin Goo

Aired : February 24, 2016 –– April 14, 2016

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

A 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 the reality that she cannot advance with just capability. Her life is forever changed when she encounters Yoo Shi Jin, the Captain and team leader of Alpha Team who cares more about protecting anybody in need of help as well as his country, even if it goes against the order of his superiors. This drama will tell of how they both bond together in a time of war and overcome the odds against them.

 

 

kdrama beginners watch

 

4. Sky Castle (SKY 캐슬)

 

Genre : Mystery, Psychological, Drama 

Starring : Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah

Aired : November 23, 2018 –– February 1, 2019

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

Han Seo Jin, Noh Seung Hye, Jin Jin Hee, and Lee Myung Joo all live with their families in SKY Castle, a luxury private neighborhood hosting wealthy doctors and professors. All of the women wish for their children to enter prestigious universities and are actively supporting their education.

One day, Myung Joo unexpectedly commits suicide following her son’s acceptance into Seoul National Unversity as a medical student. The community is shocked and her remaining family quickly moves out of SKY Castle. However, the residents are even more shocked when Lee Soo Im and her inferior family move in.

Soo Im takes it upon herself to help the stressed-out children and challenging the other women of SKY Castle while questioning her ways of supporting her step-son and uncovering the truth of what happened to Myung Joo’s family and their relation to the grade coordinator, Kim Joo Young.

 

 

kdrama beginners watch

 

5. Iris (아이리스)

 

Genre : Action, Thriller, Mystery, Romance 

Starring : Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-hee, Jung Joon-ho

Aired : October 14, 2009 –– December 17, 2009

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

Kim Hyun Joon and Jin Sa Woo are best friends who were brought into a top secret organization known as NSS by analyst Choi Seung Hee and Park Sang Hyun. Hyun Joon and Sa Woo both fall in love with Seung Hee when she first profiles them. Their lives are changed forever when Hyun Joon is given a solo mission in Hungary. Hyun Joon later tries to find out who set him up and to figure out what IRIS is and wants.

 

 

kdrama beginners watch

 

6. Marriage, Not Dating (연애 말고 결혼)

 

Genre : Comedy, Romance, Drama 

Starring : Yeon Woo-jin, Jeong Jin-woon, Han Sun-hwa

Aired : July 4, 2014 –– August 23, 2014

Episodes : 16

 

BLURB : 

 

Wealthy plastic surgeon Gong Ki Tae is a successful and happy bachelor who does not want to find himself a wife. He believes that his life is perfectly planned, and being single is the only option he accept. However, his family is badgering him to marry. In an effort to get his parents off his back about the constant string of blind dates and marriage prospects, Ki Tae purposely brings Joo Jang Mi home to meet his parents posing as his girlfriend, certain that they’ll never approve of her.

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

7. Because This is My First Life (이번 생은 처음이라)

 

Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life 

Starring : Lee Min-ki, Jung So-min, Lee Som

Aired : October 9, 2017 –– November 28, 2017

Episodes : 16

 

BLURB : 

 

A house-poor man and homeless woman become housemates in a drama that examines the institution of marriage and the problems that young people face today. 

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

8. Mr. Sunshine (미스터 션샤인)

 

Genre : Action, Political, Historical Romance 

Starring : Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok

Aired : July 7, 2018 –– September 30, 2018

Episodes : 24

 

BLURB : 

 

A Korean boy from a poor family who ends up in the United States after the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident returns to his homeland during a historical turning point. Now an officer with the American military, Eugene falls in love with Ae-sin, an aristocrat’s daughter, and discovers a dark scheme to colonize the country from which he once fled. Ae-sin tries to figure out if Eugene is a friend as they wonders what the English word “love” means.

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

9. The Guest (손)

 

Genre : Thriller, Horror, Supernatural 

Starring : Kim Dong-wook, Choi Seung-hoon, Kim Jae-wook

Aired : September 12, 2018 –– November 1, 2018

Episodes : 16

 

BLURB : 

 

Twenty years ago, Yoon Hwa Pyung, a young psychic born into a shaman family, learns about the powerful demon called “Son” (Guest). The demon has the power to control other demons and allow them to possess weak people. The possessed people then go mad, kill their families, and stab themselves in the eye. Hwa Pyung, Choi Yoon; a young boy born in a religious Catholic family, and Kang Kil Yeong; the daughter of a detective, fatefully meet when their families are killed by a demon.

Twenty years later, the demon killings started again. Hwa Pyung is now a taxi driver who uses his power to seek out possessed people in order to help them, while Yoon is a Catholic priest who is talented in exorcism, and Kil Yeong is a detective who doesn’t believe in ghosts. The trio meets again and tries to work together to defeat “Son”.

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

10. Reply 1988 (응답하라 1988)

 

Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Youth

Starring : Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo

Aired : November 6, 2015 –– January 16, 2016

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

Five childhood friends, who all live in the same Ssangmundong neighborhood of Seoul, lean on each other to survive their challenging teen years and set a path for their futures.

Sung Deok Sun struggles for attention as the middle child in her poor family while also carrying the burden of her 999th ranking in school.

Kim Jung Hwan only has a one-track mind for soccer, even after his family becomes rich overnight.

Sung Sun Woo is the perfect student, student council president and a caring and dependable son in his family.

Ryu Dong Ryong is a geek who knows more about girls and life than the rest of his friends, but his poor academic score prevents him from being able to go to college.

Choi Taek is a genius baduk player who dropped out of school to go professional.

As the group of friends gets into and out of mischief around the neighborhood, what experiences from these memorable times together will they carry with them into their future lives?

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

11. Spring Waltz (봄의 왈츠)

 

Genre : Romance, Melodrama 

Starring : Seo Do-young, Han Hyo-joo, Daniel Henney

Aired : March 6, 2006 –– May 16, 2006

Episodes : 20

 

BLURB : 

 

Will the tragedy of spring be repeated years later?

To escape debt, Lee Su Ho’s father escaped to a remote island where his friend has a young daughter Eun Young, who is the same age as Su Ho. After being abandoned by his father, Su Ho sought to leave, but his mind changed after being touched by Eun Young’s pure heart. A series of unfortunate events ensue, and Su Ho disappears, while Eun Young is sick in the hospital. Years later, while travelling in Austria, Eun Young meets the talented pianist Jae Ha, a man with a cold exterior with a few words, who bears a resemblance to Su Ho. As their love starts to develop, the truth unfolds… Can their love endure the harsh spring tragedy many years ago?

 

 

Korean drama first timers

 

12. Autumn in my Heart (가을동화)

 

Genre : Romance, Melodrama, Tragedy

Starring : Song Seung-heon, Song Hye-kyo and Won Bin

Aired : September 18, 2000 –– November 7, 2000

Episodes : 16

 

BLURB : 

 

A young couple live as brother and sister, then they learn that she was switched with another girl at birth. They are separated, but years later, they reunite and must face obstacles when they fall in love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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