Feeling Empty After “Extraordinary You”? Here’s What You Can Watch Next
Now that “Extraordinary You” is officially over, you may find yourselves with a Ha Roo/Dan Oh/Baek Kyung/Do Hwa-shaped hole in your heart. And I totally understand that. With a drama as charming as this, the withdrawal hits especially hard, and it’s just too difficult to move on right away.
Too. Cute. To. Move. On
So to help you with your withdrawal anxieties, here are some dramas that you can (re)watch, whether it’s for the actors, the premise, or the setting:
If you liked the actors from “Extraordinary You”:
“SKY Castle” was a major hit when it aired, and it successfully raised the profiles of many of its younger actors, one of which was Kim Hye Yoon. Her role as the ambitious Kang Ye Seo even won her the Best New Actress award at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Kang Ye Seo and her family live in an upper-class residential area called SKY Castle, where the women of the households would go to any lengths to ensure that they keep up the facades of their seemingly perfect lives. This includes making sure their husbands are at the top of their fields and that their children make it into prestigious universities. The drama itself is riveting because it taps into our conflicting emotions: one of wanting to take a sneak peak into the lives of the elite, and another of seeing that their lives may not really be that much better than us commoners.
Interestingly enough, when Kim Hye Yoon guested on “Running Man” in April this year, she mentioned that she hadn’t received much casting offers after “SKY Castle.” But it wasn’t long after that she was announced to be taking on her first leading role in “Extraordinary You.” And with her solid acting chops, there’s no doubt there’ll be plenty of work lined up for her in the future!
Watch “SKY Castle” below:
Part of the “School” series, “School 2017” depicts a group of high school students struggling with the high-stress education system. When Ra Eun Ho (Kim Se Jeong) is accused of being the mysterious student X who inflicts mayhem around the school, she faces expulsion, and her dream of going to university is at risk.
SF9’s Rowoon plays a minor supporting role in this drama (who is not named Ha Roo) as an idol who transfers into the school. While the storyline itself is far from ground-breaking, there’s something just as charming and relaxing about a straightforward storyline that you can just watch with ease. And the two leads Kim Se Jeong and Kim Jung Hyun also share such adorable chemistry that you can’t help but be pulled in.
Watch “School 2017” below:
“Search: WWW” tells a story of three highly successful women working in the top two competing web portal companies in the country. And if you think the story will revolve around the three just being spiteful and manipulative and trying to take each other down, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Instead, this drama celebrates their friendship and how they support each other through both their careers and love lives.
One of the trio of women is Cha Hyun (Lee Da Hee), who is all fierce and no-nonsense at her workplace but is actually also a lover of makjang dramas (so relatable!). Lee Jae Wook plays Seol Ji Hwan, an actor in her favorite drama. His charm breaks down Cha Hyun’s walls and allows her to lower her guard. The chemistry between Lee Da Hee and Lee Jae Wook is so palpable that their scenes together are always a treat!
Watch “Search: WWW” below:
For more Naeun, check out “A-TEEN”
“A-TEEN” is a coming-of-age story about six high school students and follows them while they try to navigate the messy waters of friendship, romance, and family. And while the storyline doesn’t necessarily tread any new ground, the charm and relatability still make for a fun watch and may just transport you back to your own high school days. Even better? It’s a web series, so the whole of season one only totals up to around four hours of viewing time, which makes for very easy consumption. And if you loved season one, there’s also a season two waiting for you to devour too!
Watch “A-TEEN” below:
If you liked the different timelines aspect:
If you liked keeping track of details and theorizing how “Extraordinary You” was going to play out, then you should definitely check out “Chicago Typewriter.” This is such an intricately written drama that it will be an exciting ride for those who like to play detective.
Without giving too much away, “Chicago Typewriter” tells the story of a famous novelist Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In) and what happens when he faces severe writer’s block. With the help of a mysterious typewriter and a ghostwriter, he writes a true story about the freedom fighters who fought during the Japanese occupation — a story that he and the ones around him are able to recollect vividly.
The drama switches deftly between the two different timelines, and we are treated to a story that has a fresh premise, is brimming with bromantic charm, and is underlaid with real emotion and pathos.
Watch “Chicago Typewriter” below:
This is another drama that focuses on two different timelines, but this one is unique in the sense that the two parts are divided cleanly into the first and second half of the episode, instead of intercutting them. This is also a true sci-fi drama (a rare breed in K-dramaland), so if you also enjoy sci-fi, then be sure to give “Circle” a try.
“Circle” tells a two-fold story where one is set in 2017, and the other in 2037. And with two timelines, two earths, aliens, mysteries, and double the amount of cliffhangers, there’s hardly a dull moment during the entire ride. And just like how “Extraordinary You” had us ruminating on the idea of existentialism, this drama similarly challenges us to think about what makes us human. There really is a lot going on, and as long as you can keep up, you’ll be in for a thrilling ride!
If you enjoyed “Extraordinary You” for its different timelines and that it’s set in a manhwa universe, then you’ll sure to be pleased with “W.” In fact, you can even consider “W” to be its older, more mature sibling, with bolder storytelling and more cracky twists. The drama weaves a story that switches between reality and a world constructed in a webtoon, where our male and female leads live in, respectively. It has a fun and refreshing premise with many buzzy twists and turns and a super adorable OTP that will easily have you sucked in. Granted, the logic of the series does slightly unravel during the latter half, but we won’t deny that this was still a fun (and angsty) ride while it lasted!
Watch “W” below:
If you liked the high school setting:
“Reply 1997” is the first in the “Reply” series and is also the one most centered around the heart-fluttering moments of first love. This drama is a beloved gem, not just for portraying the vibrancy of youth or the camaraderie of friendship, but that it also taps into the nostalgia of when K-pop boy groups were just sweeping over Korea. The frenzied passion and fangirling over first-generation boy groups really adds color to the drama as a whole, and having Eun Ji Won, who is a member of first-generation boy group SECHSKIES himself, is a nice meta nod. But even if you can’t relate to that era or of being a dedicated K-pop fan, there’s always something relatable in the universal themes of friendship and love.
Watch “Reply 1997” below:
There are plenty of entries in the “School” series, but “School 2013” is often lauded as the strongest and is also the one that successfully rebooted the series after a 10-year hiatus. And while high school dramas often focus on first loves, “School 2013” shines the spotlight on other platonic relationships: relationships between students and teachers, parents and children, and between classmates. These different relationships are all integral to a teenager trying to find their place in the world, and the drama tenderly addresses each facet. This was also the drama that put Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin (so glad he’s back BTW) on the map and put their careers into overdrive.
Watch “School 2013” below:
But if you just want to give “Extraordinary You” another go already, watch the drama again below:
Which show will you be adding to your watch list next? Or are you just going to rewatch “Extraordinary You” again? Let us know in the comments below!