With Netflix, Hulu, and other legal streaming sites, viewers easily have access to television series all over the world. One genre that has people of all ages obsessing over is South Korean dramas or K-dramas for short.
If you haven't watched one and are interested but don't know where to start, here's a list of eight introductory South Korean dramas that will get you addicted and wanting more because once you start, you can't stop.
Emergency Couple (2014)
After a failed marriage, Oh Jin-hee (Song Ji-hyo) and Oh Chang-min (Choi Jin-hyuk) meet again as emergency room interns at a hospital.
Recommended: It isn't as dramatic as ER or Grey's Anatomy, but if you like hospital themed shows, check this drama out. Like a lot of medical dramas, it touches upon some sentimental issues such as death and broken relationships among friends and family.
My Love From The Star (2013-2014)
Do Min-joon (Kim Soo-hyun) is an alien that landed on Earth during the Joseon Dynasty. He's unable to return to his home planet; thus, he makes Earth his home despite having a cynical view on humans. Now a professor at a university, he falls in love with a self-centered actress, Cheon Song-yi (Gianna Jun).
Recommended: If you are into any sci-fi romance involving extraterrestrial or supernatural beings such as the short-lived series, Star-Crossed or that vampire romance, Twilight, then My Love From The Star is for you. Kim Soo-hyun and Gianna Jun have great chemistry—they bring the feels and comedy.
Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010)
Wi Mae-ri (Moon Geun-young) has a difficult life: her father's business failed and now the loan sharks are after him for loan payments. To make matters worse, while driving her friends around in a car, she accidentally hits a musician, Kang Mu-gyul (Jang Keun-suk).
In order to pay off his debts, Mae-ri's father proposes that she must marry his rich friend's son, Byun Jung-in (Kim Jae-wook). Mae-ri doesn't want to and so she pretends to be already married to Kang Mu-gyul. As a result, her father proposes a compromise, in which she must spend 100 days equally with both men and from there, decide who she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
Recommended: This drama is based off a webtoon by Won Soo-yeon. If you like music dramas such as Instant Star or light-hearted musicals like High School Musical, then you should check this K-drama out. There's a lot of hilarious moments in it, but also has a bit of drama.
The 1st Shop Of Coffee Prince (2007)
Choi Han-kyul (Gong Yoo) is a rich young bachelor that doesn't want to join his family's business, but when his grandmother threatens to take away his privileges, he takes responsibility and becomes the manager of Coffee Prince cafe. He befriends and falls for a tomboyish girl, Go Eun-Chan (Yoon Eun-hye), who is pretending to be a man in order to work at Coffee Prince because the cafe only hires men.
Recommended: It's a show for coffee lovers, and for viewers that enjoy gender-bender characters.
Oh My Venus (2015-2016)
Kang Joo-eun (Shin Min-a) is a 33 year-old lawyer that was once known as the "Venus of Daegu" in her hometown when she was younger. Since then, Kang Joo-eun gained weight due to stress eating, and as a result, her boyfriend breaks up with her. With the help of a personal trainer, Kim Young-ho (So Ji-sub), Joo-eun undergoes a physical transformation, and they soon both find themselves falling for each other.
Recommended: If you enjoy shows or movies where people get makeovers such as The Princess Diaries or The Duff, then you should watch Oh My Venus.
The Innocent Man (2012)
Kang Ma-ru (Song Joong-ki) was a promising medical student until he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
He was madly in love with his childhood friend, Han Jae-hee (Park Si-yeon), a television reporter. Jae-hee gets caught up in a scandal that could ruin her entire media career, in which she accidentally killed a man. Rather than reporting the incident to the police herself, she lets Ma-ru take the fall resulting in him going to prison for a couple of years. While in prison, Jae-hee marries a rich CEO, betraying her "love" for Ma-ru.
Now, after getting out of prison, Ma-ru is a different person—broken-hearted and cold. He, then, meets a young heiress, Seo Eun-gi (Moon Chae-won), who happens to be the daughter of the man that Jae-hee married. Ma-ru uses Eun-gi to plan his revenge against Jae-hee, but he becomes conflicted when he starts to have feelings for Eun-gi.
Recommended: The Innocent Man is a drama for viewers that enjoy revenge plot sequences. So if you are interested in shows like Revenge or Pretty Little Liars, then this drama will be right up your alley.
The Heirs (2013)
The Heirs is about a group of rich, privileged high school students who are inheritors of their family's businesses, but these students have a tough time with romance. The main male protagonist, Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho), a rich handsome guy that is the heir of a famous South Korean corporation, is in love with Cha Eun-sang (Park Shin-hye), the daughter of a mute housekeeper that works in his family's home.
Recommended: The equivalent comparison of this show is Gossip Girl and The O.C. Like a majority of other K-dramas, this one has a "Cinderella" plot line, where social class status has a strong influence on the characters' interaction with others. If you like the story of Cinderella or other fairy-tales, The Heirs is a drama you should watch.
I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)
Ten years ago, Park Soo-ha (Lee Jong-suk) witnesses his father's death. The court was going to rule the death as an accident until a high school student, Jang Hye-sung (Lee Bo-young), gave a deciding testimony that put Soo-ha's father's murderer to prison.
Years later, Hye-sung is now a public defender and with the help of Soo-ha, who is now a high school student and has a special ability to read people's minds, they solve some tough cases.
Recommended: I Can Hear Your Voice isn't as dramatic or serious like Criminal Minds or Law & Order, but if you are the type that loves social justice, watch this show.
These K-dramas are some of the most popular ones out there and are guaranteed to get you addicted to this genre (and I'm speaking from personal experience). So if you're curious or need something to watch during the summer when all your fall shows are on break, I hope you check one of these series out and see how interesting and entertaining the world of K-drama is.
You can find these K-dramas on Dramafever.