11 Fluffy Sageuk K-Dramas That Will Immerse You In Another World
There’s something irresistibly enchanting about sageuks, or historical K-dramas: the beautiful palace backdrops and luscious hanbok robes; the breezy, old-fashioned romances; and the charm of simpler times before the days of technology. And while political schemes and intense action are key parts of many historical dramas, these plot devices can at times make sageuks convoluted and tedious. We don’t blame you if you find yourself fast-forwarding through the spiteful Queen Dowager’s rants (why is she so shrill?) or yawning while the ministers plot to overthrow the Crown Prince (seriously… again?).
So we’ve pulled together a list of historical dramas that leave all that serious stuff in the background and focus instead on the one thing we can’t get enough of: the fluff! With youthful romance, touching coming-of-age stories, and vibrantly crafted K-drama worlds, these 11 dramas are fluffy, fun, and perfect for binging!
1. “My Sassy Girl”
As the title suggests, “My Sassy Girl” is a dose of lighthearted fun that will have you laughing out loud: when a serious, well-respected scholar (Joo Won) is tasked with educating a mischievous princess (Oh Yeon Seo), the result is endlessly amusing — and cuteness abounds when an unlikely romance begins to blossom between the two. Step into this colorful sageuk world for a breezy, enjoyable watch!
Start watching “My Sassy Girl” on Viki:
“Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” is famously fluffy, featuring one of the sweetest romances around — with a unique twist, thanks to the comedy added by a little cross-dressing fun. Crown Prince Lee Young (Park Bo Gum) finds himself strangely drawn to a new eunuch in the palace — who is none other than a woman, Hong Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung), in disguise. The emotional and intellectual bond between the two makes their relationship all the more pure when Ra On reveals that she is, in fact, female, and their romance begins to blossom for real. Political plotting takes a backseat to the love story in this drama, which will have you smiling non-stop at this adorable couple as you breeze through episodes. There’s a reason why “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” became hugely popular both in Korea and around the world!
Catch “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” here:
3. “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”
Cross-dressing is also a central theme in “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” which features not only a winning cast (hello, Park Yoochun, Yoo Ah In, and Song Joong Ki!) but also an irresistibly amusing premise: Kim Yoon Hee (Park Min Young) lands herself a spot at Sungkyunkwan, an elite educational institution in the Joseon Dynasty — but there’s just one problem: women are not allowed to be educated in this period. Hilarity unfolds as Yoon Hee must navigate school rules, roommates, troublemakers, and of course, romantic feelings, all while maintaining her male disguise. This drama is pure sageuk fun!
Check out the first episode of “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” here:
4. “Hong Gil Dong”
Born an illegitimate son into Joseon’s rigidly classed society, Hong Gil Dong (Kang Ji Hwan) spends his youth as a troublemaker, until he decides to help others who share his less fortunate circumstances. Based on a famous tale of Korean folklore, “Hong Gil Dong” follows its titular character as he evolves into a hero, fighting against injustice by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. But don’t be fooled by its moral themes of justice and inequality: this retelling of the Korean Robin Hood tale places the focus on its characters, making it fresh and binge-worthy! A comedy at its core, the drama will draw you into the vivid world of this mischievous male lead with a heart of gold.
Start watching “Hong Gil Dong” here:
“Hwarang” literally translates to “Flower Knights,” so you know this drama is going to be as fluffy and bright as spring — or as the smiles of its legendarily handsome cast. It follows a group of young noblemen in the Silla Dynasty who have been selected to join the Hwarang, an elite group of warrior-scholars. While the young men initially butt heads (as sons of various noble families, they’re born to mistrust each other!), the fun of “Hwarang” is watching the guys learn to get along and rely on each other, with plenty of funny and cute friendship moments along the way as they study, play, and overcome challenges together. Just look at all the glorious bromance:
Watch “Hwarang” on Viki:
6. “Gu Family Book”
“Gu Family Book” is heavier on the action and more intensely dramatic than some of the others on this list, but the mythical setting of this fantasy sageuk makes for a magical world like none other. You’ll be drawn into the moonlit realm of mystical creatures and martial arts and hooked on the unique characters — and, of course, the romance between a half-gumiho, half-human (Lee Seung Gi) and a kick-ass female martial arts instructor (Suzy). Now there’s a fantastical love story you won’t get bored of!
Start watching “Gu Family Book”:
7. “100 Days My Prince”
“100 Days My Prince” manages to include two K-drama tropes — childhood love and amnesia — without feeling cliched. That’s how good this drama is! Crown Prince Lee Yul (EXO’s D.O) loses his memories, landing himself among the commoners and in a marriage with Yeon Hong Shim (Nam Ji Hyun). She just happens to be his noble-born first love disguised as a peasant, although they are both unaware of each other’s identities. Family problems and political plots loom over the pair’s shared past, but this rich K-drama world focuses mainly on the youthful romance and meaningful relationships between characters. “100 Days My Prince” is also high on the comedy meter: it never gets old watching Yul struggle hilariously through daily life as a peasant while, much to everyone’s annoyance, being unable to shake the mannerisms of a royal!
8. “Splash Splash Love”
“Splash Splash Love” starts off pretty relatable, when high schooler Danbi (Kim Seul Gi) has had enough of mathematics and wants to avoid taking a test… so she time-travels back to the Joseon Dynasty. The ensuing romance between her and King Lee Do (Highlight’s Yoon Doojoon) is adorably heartwarming, and the drama is lighthearted, laugh-out-loud fun. Plus, considering it only has two 60-minute episodes, watching “Splash Splash Love” all in one sitting doesn’t even count as binging!
Watch “Splash Splash Love” on Viki:
9. “Deserving of the Name”
“Deserving of the Name” is one of those rarer time-traveling K-dramas where a character is transported from the past to the present — and to hilarious effect. A doctor of traditional medicine from the Joseon era plus a modern-day surgeon with a love of nightclubs? Sign us up!
10. “The King Loves”
Be warned that “The King Loves” does have one of the most difficult love triangles around (seriously, we’re talking impossible to choose a side), so this drama will tug at your heartstrings one way or another. But this is only because “The King Loves” does such a good job developing the friendships among the three main characters: the brotherly friendship between Wang Won (Im Siwan) and Wang Rin (Hong Jong Hyun) especially is so strong that it will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. The drama does have its fair share of the classic sageuk politics and bad royal parents, but the emphasis is on the fluffy scenes of sweet friendship, which are further illuminated by the gorgeous costumes and bright scenery of this sageuk world.
Check out “The King Loves” here:
11. “Arang and the Magistrate”
Yes, “Arang and the Magistrate” is noticeably spookier than the other dramas on this list. But despite the fact that the female lead is a ghost, this one still has some major fluff! As Arang (Shin Min Ah) coerces prickly government official Eun Oh (Lee Joon Gi) into helping her uncover the secret behind her death, there is plenty of cheeky fun to be had along the way. Plus, “Arang and the Magistrate” is wacky, insane, and features ridiculous supernatural creatures galore. This is one fantastical K-drama world you won’t want to miss out on!
Watch Episode 1 of “Arang And The Magistrate” here:
Hey Soompiers, which of these sageuks have you seen? Which will you be binging this summer? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases. Follow her adventures in Seoul on Instagram.