It’s summer! Time for vacations, chilling by the pool, planning out new adventures…and pulling multiple K-drama all-nighters. Whatever your summer plans are, here are 10 not-to-miss dramas that are perfect for the summer mood you’re in.
1. “Goodbye Mr. Black”
In the midst of all the soft, warm, and fuzzy rom-coms that are out lately, you may find yourself in the mood for something a little more serious — darker, more kickass, with a “what-goes-around-comes-back-around” vibe — and perhaps with a little dash of revenge. Or a lot of revenge.
If you’re in the mood for all that, look no further than “Goodbye Mr. Black,” a drama based loosely on the classic “Count of Monte Cristo,” in which a man (Lee Jin Wook) comes back from being presumed dead to get revenge on his best friend (Kim Kang Woo) who betrayed him and his love (Moon Chae Won). The characters of “Goodbye Mr. Black” do not act passively on the screen — instead, they spin out a very twisted tale with an ending that you can’t really predict.
All episodes of “Goodbye Mr. Black” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
Everyone knows that the beach is the place to be during the summer. If you’re a K-drama fan who can’t get enough of the ocean waves, then “The Legend of the Blue Sea” is the perfect show for you. Centered around mermaid lore, “The Legend of the Blue Sea” features an innocent mermaid (Jun Ji Hyun) who happens to be a reincarnation of her former, wiser self from the Joseon period.
She falls in love with a dashing conman (Lee Min Ho) and travels to land in the hopes of being with him, whereupon the two begin to recall their former lives together (and the tragic fate that went along with it) in the hopes of changing the story this time. Ironically, “The Legend of the Blue Sea” premiered around Christmas time, so if you’re homesick for the holidays and the snow then this show will give you just the taste of winter you’ve been missing.
All episodes of “The Legend of the Blue Sea” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
3. “My Secret Romance”
“My Secret Romance” is a drama with an unconventional approach: Yoo Mi (Song Ji Eun) is a pretty and conservative nutritionist who runs into the handsome and charismatic Jin Wook (Sung Hoon). The chemistry between the two escalates into a one night stand, whereupon Yoo Mi regrets her actions in the morning after and disappears in embarrassment. Three years later, the two meet again. If you’re looking for a drama that mixes in sizzling chemistry with the normal cute vibes, then “My Secret Romance” is the show for you.
Watch the trailer for the drama below!
4. “Greatest One-Shot”
For a laid back, fun drama to match your carefree summers, look no further than “Greatest One-Shot,” where ’90s pop star Hyun Jae (played by Yoon Shi Yoon) gets hurled into the present. “Greatest One-Shot” is a hilarious mashup of Korean ’90s culture (that a lot of Americans will recognize, too) and 21st century trends that are both hilarious and interesting to watch.
With a slight “Back to the Future” vibe, you’ll definitely find yourself cheering for the charming Hyun Jae as he navigates the modern world, makes new friends, and tries desperately not to fall in love. On a different note: hairstyle of the year goes to Yoon Shi Yoon in his ’90s getup. The viewers approve!
Watch the trailer for “Greatest One-Shot” below:
If you’re looking for a thrill ride, “W” is the K-drama you need to watch. It features Kang Chul (Lee Jong Suk), a comic book hero, and Yeon Joo (Han Hyo Joo), a daughter of said comic book creator. When both of their universes collide, our two heroes fall deeply in love, only to be threatened by evil villains, memory holes, and the fate of their existences. It’s like Aha’s “Take On Me,” stretched into an entire K-drama.
All episodes of “W” are now available for free! Catch the latest episode of “W” on Viki!
6. “Tomorrow With You”
“Tomorrow With You” is one of the few time-traveling K-dramas that came out slightly before it became such a big hype. The drama tells the story of So Joon (Lee Je Hoon), a regular time traveler who spends most of his life in the future, and his wife Song Ma Rin (Shin Min Ah), a photographer who would much rather live in the present. If you’re hoping to let your imagination run wild, then you’ll enjoy the show’s unique concept and tone. However, fair warning: this drama does have a tendency to jerk at your emotions, so be prepared.
All episodes of “Tomorrow With You” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
7. “Uncontrollably Fond”
For a little drama, watch “Uncontrollably Fond,” in which a movie actor dying of cancer struggles to win the heart of his childhood friend, a negative and corrupt documentary producer, before his time runs out.
The word to describe this drama would be “bittersweet”; main characters No Eul (Suzy) and Joon Young (Kim Woo Bin) must deal with a lot of personal growth, having previously faced a devastating incident together that crippled their views on life, and Joon Young’s illness provides a very serious outlook on death. However, it’ll certainly provide you with thoughts to meditate on, and lead actors Suzy and Kim Woo Bin are a pair that many fans have been waiting for.
All episodes of “Uncontrollably Fond” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
8. “Lucky Romance”
“Lucky Romance” is a drama full of questionable shaman magic and mishaps that begin when Bo Nui (Hwang Jung Eum), a superstitious and unlucky woman, hears that she must sleep with a man whose zodiac sign is the tiger in order to save her sister. Cue said tiger, the logical and very non-superstitious CEO Soo Ho (Ryu Jun Yeol). Pulled together by shaman superstition and mutual attraction, the two must find a way to bridge their differences while tumbling head over heels for each other in this summer drama.
All episodes of “Lucky Romance” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
9. “Don’t Dare to Dream (Jealousy Incarnate)”
Set in a news broadcasting station, “Don’t Dare to Dream (Jealousy Incarnate)” is a K-drama featuring a strong love triangle between rivals Jung Won (Go Kyung Pyo) and Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk), and the girl of their attention, Na Ri (Gong Hyo Jin). For fans who enjoy the hobby of “shipping” couples, you won’t want to miss out on watching these characters compete for Na Ri’s affection.
All episodes of “Don’t Dare to Dream (Jealousy Incarnate)” are now available for free! Click below to watch:
“Goblin” is, by now, a K-drama classic. If you haven’t watched this drama yet, you need to; and if you have watched it…well, chances are, you need to see it again. “Goblin” is a beautiful, inspiring show with beloved characters Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun), Goblin (Gong Yoo), Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook), and Sunny (Yoo In Na) who will make you laugh, cry, and cheer. Plus, the show features some beautiful views of Canada, so if you didn’t get a chance to go abroad this summer, you can use this chance to see a foreign country through the lens of one of your favorite K-dramas.
All episodes of “Goblin” are now available for free! Catch the latest episodes on Viki!
Hey Soompiers, what are your favorite K-dramas to watch during the summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Ariana K. Welsh is a college student who spends most of her time obsessing over K-dramas with her sister, dancing to loud music, and writing into the wee hours of the night. Her current fave things in life are: snow, Waldeinsamkeit by R.W. Emerson, and Butterbeer.