Valentine’s Day — a.k.a. the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death, a.k.a. Single’s Awareness Day — is upon us. If you’ve got no date and you're expecting to receive zero Valentine's Day cards, then welcome to the club. As a singleton — or maybe just a couple who've grown tired of the rigamarole — there's never been a better time to coop up on the couch or under the covers with some amazing movies. For the super cynical among you, I've compiled a list of horror movies that shows the pitfalls of love. But if you're not feeling wholly pessimistic, or you want to feel some romantic excitement (or ‘kilig’, as we say in my home county), this post is for you. Even without a Valentine, then I implore you to watch these heartwarming Korean dramas that shows us the many different kinds of love: love for friends, for family, unrequited love, love between supernatural creatures, or simply just two beings who come together and fell into the blissful abyss of chemical imbalance of the brain.
7. 'Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo'
This is a coming-of-age South Korean drama that many of us can relate to. Although the series is very sports-heavy, it also focuses on awkward young adults and their first brush with love. Though not all of us are athletic, we can definitely relate to the charming, clumsy adolescent characters in this TV series – after all, we’ve all been (or still going) through it!
There is just something about time-traveling that captures our imaginations. In Faith, a royal bodyguard from the Goryeo period kidnaps a modern-day doctor (whom they call Heaven’s doctor) from Seoul, so that she may save his queen from a fatal injury. As time passes, the two fall in love, but her life is also threatened several times, as dark forces attempt to use her as a political pawn. Choi-Young (Lee Min Ho) always has to save Eun-soo (Kim Hee-sun), and bring her back to the portal where she came from. One day though, Choi-Young is also gravely injured; then it's up to Eun-soo to leave her future self some clues, hoping to reunite herself with her love once more.
Goblin tells the tale of an immortal goblin, who wanders the earth with the Grim Reaper, escorting souls to the afterlife. He's also trying to find his lost would-be bride. Why does he need to find her, you ask? Because he needs her to remove the sword he has been killed with from his chest, so that he may finally move on to the afterlife, of course! Goblin taught us about forgiveness, that true love can wait no matter how long, and that we must always cherish the moments we have with the ones we love, because we’ll never know when we’ll lose them. Trust us: Goblin will unleash all your feels.
4. 'The Legend of the Blue Sea'
Lee Min Ho from Faith returns in this new Korean drama that swept the nation off its feet. It's a story about two hearts intertwined, who find their way back to each other during seven cycles of reincarnation. It’s also a story about a mermaid and a human who basically grew up together and fell in love with each other, but suffered an ill fate because man and fish just can’t be, apparently. Their future selves are bonded by an artifact from their previous lives, which will hopefully ensure that they don't suffer the same fate as their previous selves.
3. 'Descendants of the Sun'
Descendants of the Sun is a TV series closer to life. It’s a love story about people from different worlds. One is a doctor, and the other a soldier. Despite their differences and outlook on life (and several failed attempts in dating), they finally make it through. This is a Korean drama that won’t just make you smile; it will also make you bawl your eyes out.
This series is one of my absolute favorites. It’s about a woman who has an accident after witnessing something she shouldn’t have. This accident causes her to fall into a coma, shortly after she gets engaged.
A mysterious figure called The Scheduler appears, and gives her a chance to save her own life. To wake up from her coma, she must inhabit another person's body and procure three 'true love' tears shed by people (aside from her family) who genuinely love her. 49 Days taught us a lot about the value of genuine friends, life, and death. This series also taught us to be kind and understanding to everyone, the importance of family, and that everyone has a story to tell.
1. 'My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho'
Thousands of years ago, a Gumiho (nine-tailed fox) was sealed inside a painting by a Samshin grandmother. In the present day, Cha Dae-woong, a regular college student, accidentally sets the Gumiho free. As he has a life-threatening fall, Dae-woong is saved by the Gumiho’s “fox bead”. When he wakes up, he thinks the pretty girl who saved his life is crazy, but then he realizes that she was indeed a gumiho, so he gives her the name Mi-Ho. Dae-woong has always wanted to become an action star ,and Mi-Ho’s fox bead gives him enhanced strength to do awesome stunts; in return he must help her turn into a human (by having the bead inside of him for 100 days). My Girlfriend is a Gumiho taught us that real love is selfless, time can truly heal old wounds, and can definitely set anyone free.
These seven Korean dramas should be enough to get you hooked, and change your cynical outlook about love and romance. These K-Dramas may also make us do some crazy dance when our oppas and unnies finally admit their love for each other. Be warned though, this might also raise your standards for romance. Nevertheless, once a K-Drama is on, everyday is like a Valentine's date to look forward to.
What are your favorite K-Dramas? Share them on the comments below!