7 Korean dramas to introduce you to the world of K-entertainment

Spread across genres, Korean dramas offer a whole new spectrum of entertainment for viewers who are willing to get past the fear of subtitles.

Hellbound masked people
A scene from Hellbound, that overtook Squid Game as the most watched series. Photo credits- Netflix

If you are endlessly scrolling through Netflix to pick your next series to watch , we suggest you give Korean dramas a chance. From K-pop to K-dramas and films, South Korea has been able to capture the attention of international viewers with its promising content and high value entertainment.

Even before Squid Game became the “Have you watched it yet!?” series, Korean culture had steadily been making waves for all good reasons. In 2019, the black comedy thriller, Parasite became the first South Korean film to win the Academy award for Best Picture. The film gained universal critical acclaim for its depiction of social divide.

K dramas have opened up a whole new arena of storytelling and offer a wide selection of genres and categories to chose from. So if subtitles don’t hold you back, here are some interesting options to intiate yourself into the K world. From a period zombie horror to a breezy seaside romance, they have it all!


Credits- Netflix

Whether you are into zombies or not, Kingdom is a must-watch. This multi-genre series has received international critical acclaim for its unique storyline and cinematography. It combines the genres of history, politics, horror and thriller to create a plot that will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout.

The drama is set in the 16th century in a fictional version of Joseon (Modern day Korea) where crown prince, Lee Chang sets out to investigate the mysterious plague that has gripped his kingdom and is turning people into flesh craving monsters. However, this is not the only challenge he is facing as he navigates his way through political intrigues and unravels conspiracies at his court that threaten his throne and his life. The series has two seasons and a special episode and we recommend that you binge-watch. We know you’ll do it anyway.

P.S- The zombies can run!


Credits- Netflix

Based on a webtoon of the same name, Navillera follows the moving tale of 70-year-old Shim Deok-chul who finally decides to pursue his life-long dream of learning ballet, much to the disapproval of his family. At the dance academy, Deok-chul meets 23-year-old Lee Chae-rok who is a dancer haunted by a traumatic past and is on the verge of leaving ballet. The two begin to form a close bond and help each other heal and achieve their dream of becoming ballerinos. Watch Navillera for the unlikely friendship and endearing chemistry between the two protagonists and for its inspiring message of never giving up on your dreams.

Mr. Sunshine

Credits- Netflix

Mr. Sunshine is a highly acclaimed period romance that received widespread acknowledgement for its cinematography and storytelling. The story revolves around Eugene Choi, who was born into slavery but is able to escape to the United States where he becomes a Marine Corps officer. Years later, when he returns to his home country on a mission, he meets and falls in love with a reserved noblewoman, Ae-shin, who is secretly a member of a revolutionary outfit that is the fighting against the Japanese occupation of Korea.

Apart from the main leads, Mr. Sunshine also boasts of a stellar supporting cast that brings both depth and dimension to the story. With attentively developed individual story arcs and well-fleshed out characters, they manage to evoke a range of emotions. Mr. Sunshine is both intense and incredibly moving at the same time. Watch it for its stunning cinematography, brilliant acting and gripping story.

Hometown Cha Cha Cha

Credits- Netflix

Hometown Cha Cha Cha is a wonderfully refreshing drama that explores the lives and relationships between the residents of a small sea-side town in Korea. A series of unfortunate events force an ambitious and pragmatic dentist to move to the town to establish her independent practice. As she struggles to fit-in with the overly friendly and interfering neighbourhood, she forms a reluntant friendship with a man who is her exact opposite. Cheif Hong (Du-Sik) is a kind-hearted, seemingly laidback ‘Jack of all Trades’ and is much loved by his townspeople. While the two gradually grow close, they begin to uncover each other’s heartbreaking pasts that they have been running from and embark on a journey of healing and forgiveness.

However, the story is not only about these two main leads. It has a number of very real characters, all lovable in their eccentricities and humanness. The story weaves the lives of all these people together to tell a tale of love, warmth and kindness. Watch Hometown Cha Cha Cha for its simplicity, and the emotional maturity of its characters and how they navigate through complicated emotions.

The Stranger

Credits- K DRAMA

If a Korean drama’s cast mentions Bae Doo-na, we recommend that you watch it. Known both for her national and international performances, the actress brings this breathtaking crime-thriller drama to life. Emotionally challenged prosecutor Hwang Si-mok and police officer Han Yeo-jin team up to solve a murder case which unwittingly ends up unraveling a trail of corruption that leads to the halls of power. The series grips you with its compelling narrative and unpredictable twists. The Stranger received international recognition and was featured in the list of Best Shows of 2017 by New York Times.

Itaewon Class

Credits- Netflix

Itaewon Class is another very well received Korean series that centers around the life of an ex con-man who works towards the dream of becoming a successful businessman to be able to avenge the death of his father. Aided by his friends, he opens up a street bar in a vibrant Seoul neighbourhood, in the hope of eventually turning it into a franchise. Its both an underdog and a coming of age drama that packs some brilliant performances. What is even more remarkable is the diversity and range of the characters in the show. The people who own the bar consist of an ex-convict, a transgender woman, a Guinean-Korean and a sociopath, all alienated and out of place in their otherness but finding a safe space and purpose in each other’s company.


Credits- Netflix

This violent-fantasy series quicly overtook the very popular Squid Game as the most watched series globally within 24 hours of its release. Based on a webtoon of the same name, Hellbound accounts for strange happenings in Korea, where apparent sinners are informed about their time of death by a ghostly entity. The prophecy is then realized by a group of monsters who descend out of nowhere and condemn the said person to hell by mauling and incinerating them in broad daylight. The event gives rise to a cult, called The New Truth whose leader quickly gains the status of a prophet for the people who begin to live in fear.

The six episode series will leave you with a lot of mixed emotions. The absurdity of its events provides for a perfect platform for the extremely believable human reactions to it. At the heart of this series is the question of how faith can be weaponized into something unimaginably dangerous. The show is not as much about the event as it is about how society responds to something that is beyond its comprehension.