6 Underrated K-Dramas That Deserve More Love
Warm weather is here, and Dramaland is busier than ever as it adds dramas to keep us addicts satisfied over the course of 2019. Networks have expanded coverage, and Hallyu is full to the brim with talent. But what about those dramas that didn’t quite shine as they might have? These are dramas that have had high production costs, amazing performances by actors, or stellar scripting that fell under the radar for one reason or another. Fear no more, because I’m here to guide you through.
Admittedly, this drama suffered from a dramatic script change due to a ratings battle that did throw it off a little, but the saving grace and underlying quality of “Introverted Boss” lie in the performances of the cast, especially with Yeon Woo Jin as the titular shy boss. To allow the low ratings to sway you from the drama would be a pity, as the journey of Yeon Woo Jin’s painfully shy Eun Hwan Gi is certainly a journey to behold.
Also, the insight into the painfully shy and into the sweet, oft awkward romance is very true to life. Dramas often infuse drama for drama’s sake, but this one honestly tackled Hwan Gi’s issues in a respectful manner. This is the drama that was my gateway into the massive talent of Yeon Woo Jin, and I’d hate for you to miss it.
Choi Daniel is almost always enough to lure any unsuspecting K-drama fan into watching a drama, but in the case of “Ghost Detective,” he is a selling point, much like Yeon Woo Jin is for “Introverted Boss.” By his side is Park Eun Bin, a strong heroine who can get by on her own without a man. This series delivers mysteries, twists, turns, and a taste of romance that’s just enough to leave you thirsty for more. Plus, I must say that Kim Won Hae is, yet again, a standout supporting character worthy of awards upon awards, because how adorable is he in this role?
Watch “Ghost Detective”:
Let’s throw back to 2011 when so many of the actors popular today were young, not yet army ready, and chomping at the bit to prove their chops in Dramaland. Mix together a ton of gritty mystery, beautiful camera work, and clever writing with all the young talent, and you get “White Christmas.”
Perhaps it wasn’t popular because at the time drama specials weren’t as well-known. Perhaps it was because Kim Young Kwang, Lee El, Sung Joon, and Kim Woo Bin aren’t who they are today in popularity. But it’s worth it for the amazing scenery, color work, literary imagery, and clever soundtrack. For whichever reason, this holiday thriller is worth the eight hours despite its age.
Watch “White Christmas”:
Quirky. That is my one word to describe this drama. It takes “Groundhog Day” to the next level and makes the transformation of Kang Ji Hwan’s absolutely awful boss character into a decent human being actually believable. It is the mystical element of Baek Jin Hee’s strange time travel (she lives the same day over and over again until she can figure out how to break the cycle) that allows for her to heal Kang Ji Hwan and him, in turn, to heal her and eradicate the scourges of their company.
Watch “Feel Good to Die”:
Yoo Seung Ho’s comeback vehicle post-military came in the shape of a webtoon adaptation that pitted him with a very sassy cat as his co-star. While deceptively quiet, this slice-of-life drama is actually brimming with quality work as it integrates the original concept work of the webtoon with the quirky performances of Yoo Seung Ho as a struggling webtoon artist, Jo Hye Jung as a mysterious cat lover (an actress who deserves more recognition for her subtle acting), and Bitteulli as Bogkil, the sassy cat who lives with Yoo Seung Ho and keeps him as sane as any creative type can be. Along with the acting, it is the calm, sardonic, very natural way that the story progresses that makes this drama so high quality. And with only eight episodes, it is well worth the time investment.
Watch “Imaginary Cat”:
As a pre-produced drama back in 2011, musical and university-based drama “What’s Up” was taking a serious gamble as it aired. Unfortunately, the ratings didn’t pay off. However, what it lacked in ratings it made up for in storyline, music, character writing, and talent. It was the start of a few careers such as Jo Jung Suk’s and Kim Ji Won’s, and the continuation of a fantastic career for Im Joo Hwan. The drama combines levity with gravity so cleverly that you will find yourself crying and then laughing while your tears are drying. The music is beautiful and naturally integrated into the overall fabric of the drama experience.
Which are your favorite underrated but high-quality dramas? Let us know in the comments!
Raine0211 is a lover of all things Korean, especially K-pop, K-drama, and Korean food. When she’s not writing for Soompi, she’s playing the cello and singing. She happily indulges in all kinds of K-pop, but her biases are SHINee, INFINITE, and VIXX.