17 K-Dramas To Binge Watch When You’re Stuck At Home
Being stuck at home can sometimes be a good thing. It’s a good thing in that it can force you to be proactive about things you’ve been putting off for far too long, like cleaning out your closet, reading that book you bought months ago, or binge-watching that ever so long list of K-dramas you’ve been wanting to watch. Or maybe you’re just spending your days doing nothing.
But if you’ve already gone through that list of K-dramas and are looking for more, here are some that you might want to check out.
Warning: minor spoilers for the dramas below.
If you’re in need of healing K-dramas:
Moon Cha Young (Ha Ji Won) is a young girl who meets a young boy who has a passion for cooking. Influenced by this young boy, she becomes a chef when she grows older. Lee Kang (Yoon Kye Sang) is a neurosurgeon who has gone through some tragic events in his life. The most impactful of these was the death of his mother. This left him to his grandmother’s care, which wasn’t the most loving conditions for a young boy. Lee Kang and Cha Young meet again as adults and it takes awhile for Kang to recognize Cha Young, but the two start to develop strong feelings for each other.
There are lots of side stories apart from the main leads. Seeing the characters being able to overcome all the hardships throughout the drama provides so many uplifting moments that brings such satisfaction and healing. The series touches on forgiveness, regret, and so many other things people go through in their lives.
“When the Camellia Blooms”
Gong Hyo Jin stars as Dong Baek, a single mother who moves to a small town called Ongsan. She opens a bar and becomes the source of gossip from other women in the area. Hwang Yong Sik (Kang Ha Neul), is a police officer for Ongsan who falls in love at first sight with Dong Baek. The two go through a rollercoaster ride of emotions as they fall slowly in love.
The best part about this drama lies in the character, Yong Sik. His optimism, energy, and bright personality could melt away the toughest of days. Dong Baek has been through a lot in her life, so when Yong Sik enters the picture, he becomes like a ray of sunshine. The positive energy that Yong Sik brings will seep into your life and you really won’t be able to help but smile every time he comes on the screen!
Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) is a K-drama writer who is trying to catch a break. She goes through a streak of bad luck and is at the point where she has to move back home to live with her parents. Not wanting to do this, she makes a deal with Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) to have a contract marriage so that she doesn’t have to leave the city. In return, she will help Nam Se Hee with chores around the house as well as help him pay off his house.
This drama may seem very cliche and overdone with the contract marriage trope, but it’s far from it. It’s a series that touches on the hardships of life and the reality of the world when life just doesn’t seem to go your way. All the characters have struggles in their lives that people could relate to, and seeing how they overcome them is so uplifting and hopeful.
Catch the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:
If you like thriller/horror:
“Kingdom” is the hit series starring Joo Ji Hoon as Lee Chang and Bae Doona as Seo Bi. It’s a zombie drama that is set in the Joseon period, which in itself sounds pretty awesome. Joo Ji Hoon is Crown Prince Lee Chang, who is trying to find out why he is not allowed to visit his father. In order to find out, he goes out to look for the doctor who was treating his father. It’s on this journey where he encounters Seo Bi and the storm of zombies that are slowly taking over the country.
If you liked “Train to Busan” or “The Walking Dead,” this series is right up your alley. It’s got all the elements of horror with the zombies and the story is so smart that it’ll keep you on your toes. Just when you think it can’t get more grotesque, it does. The second season of “Kingdom” was just released, which is also a must-watch!
Jung Seo Yeon (Jo Yeo Jeong) is a married woman who is in an abusive marriage. Just when things get really hard for her, she stumbles across a car accident and finds a lot of money in the car. From this point on, she decides to keep it and struggles to keep it a secret. On the other hand, former police officer Kang Tae Woo (Kim Kang Woo), whose brother passed away as a result of the accident, is determined to find out what happened to his brother and where the money is located.
This series will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first episode. There’s lots of twists and turns that make the drama engaging, making viewers wanting to find out what happens next. It’s a binge-worthy K-drama and you won’t be able to stop watching!
Watch “Woman of 9.9 Billion” now:
Moon Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk) is a detective whose wife was tragically murdered by a serial killer. He spends his days trying to solve murder cases, doing whatever it takes to track killers down. He meets Kang Kwon Woo (Lee Ha Na), an emergency call responder, who helps Moon Jin Hyuk solve crimes.
If you’re into murder mysteries and don’t mind a bit of gore, this series will have you hooked from the first episode. It’s got an eerie tone and features some creepy killers. Amongst these creepy killers is Kim Jae Wook, who plays a psychopath serial killer. His role in this series is unforgettable and you’ll have a hard time getting him out of your head!
Catch the first episode of “Voice”:
If you’re looking for a light-hearted watch:
Kim Hye Yoon stars as Eun Dan Oh, a girl that is caught up in a whirlwind of a romance with Ha Roo, played by SF9’s Rowoon. They are both classmates at an upscale high school and everything seems to be pretty normal until Dan Oh discovers that she and everyone around her are characters in a comic book. Dan Oh must fight against fate as she tries to be with Ha Roo, who is a mere extra in the comic book.
This series is unexpectedly so endearing and well-written. The characters are all likeable and Kim Hye Yoon does such a great job of portraying the bubbly personality of Dan Oh. It also helps that there’s some very good-looking guys and gals in the cast that will make it impossible to stop watching.
Catch the first episode of “Extraordinary You”:
Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) is not your conventional K-drama character. She’s in college with dreams of becoming a weightlifter. She is raised by a single father who owns a fried chicken restaurant. On a random day, she happens to bump into Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk), who goes to the same college as her. He is training to become a swimmer but has some things he wants to figure out. The two of them become really good friends and eventually have feelings for each other.
If you haven’t already watched “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” then now is the time to start. It’s hard not to like this series. Not only is the love story and chemistry between Kim Bok Joo and Jung Joon Young so adorable and heart-fluttering, but the friendships and comic relief will melt your heart. The sis-mance is real in this one!
Watch Bok Joo’s love story unfold right now:
A masterpiece written by the Hong sisters, “Master’s Sun” tells the story about a woman named Gong Sil (Gong Hyo Jin) who has the unfortunate gift of being able to see ghosts. And because she can see dead people, she sees them constantly surrounding her, asking her to help them get closure on various things that happened before they passed. She is constantly living her life in fear until she meets Joong Won (So Ji Sub). When she is around Joong Won, she doesn’t see ghosts, which makes her want to be with him all the time. The two form a love-hate relationship, which eventually turns into true love.
Although there are some parts of the series that can be a bit creepy, the love story between Gong Sil and Joong Won makes it worth the watch. Seeing Joong Won go from an arrogant CEO to a man who complete gives his heart to Gong Sil will give you all of the feels. There’s also the added bonus of getting some serious second-lead syndrome as Kang Woo (Seo In Guk) falls in love with Gong Sil.
Start watching “Master’s Sun” now:
The perfect script and guaranteed good watch:
“Crash Landing On You”
Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye Jin) is a chaebol who is very famous. She suffers from bouts of depression and has a hostile relationship with most of her family. When a paragliding trip goes wrong, she stumbles into North Korea and meets a handsome North Korean soldier named Ri Jung Hyuk (Hyun Bin). The two end up falling in love with each other and Jung Hyuk tries to help Se Ri get back to South Korea.
“Crash Landing On You” was one of the biggest hits of 2020 and most of it is owed to the fact that it was written by Park Ji Eun, who also wrote “My Love From The Star.” Another reason why this series was such a huge success is because of the chemistry between the two main leads, Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin. In fact, there was such a strong connection between the two that they’ve even had to deny dating rumors twice.
Park Sae Ro Yi (Park Seo Joon) is seeking vengeance on the family who put him in jail and killed his father. He spends his time in prison intricately coming up with a plan to take down the people who ruined his life. Herein starts his adventures as the owner of Sweet Night pub.
“Itaewon Class” is based on the web comic written by Jo Kwang Jin. Because of its huge success and great storyline, it was turned into a K-drama. The drama has become a huge success as the script breaks down so many norms when it comes to traditional K-dramas. The characters are all unique and have their quirks that are relatable to basically anyone. You’ll become so invested in all of them!
Starring IU as Lee Ji An, “My Mister” is a heartbreaking story about a girl who is just trying to get by in life. She was dealt an unfortunate hand in life and has rarely had anything good happen to her. She takes care of her frail grandmother by taking on a bunch of part-time jobs and lives in a serious pit of constant depression. But this starts to change when she meets Park Dong Hoon (Lee Sun Gyun), an optimistic and compassionate office worker. He sees Ji An struggling and tries to help her whenever he can.
“My Mister” is not a love story, but it’s a story about hope and finding hope when it seems impossible to do so. It’s realistic and beautiful to see two people supporting each other through life. Dong Hoon makes Ji An realize that she can trust people and depend on them without getting anything in return. It’s a story that will touch anyone.
Watch “My Mister” here:
“Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” (Goblin)
Gong Yoo stars as a 900-year-old goblin named Kim Shin who must await his bride in order to no longer be immortal. He is ready to cross over and leave the earth. But when he meets the cheerful and adorable Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun), he finds her annoying but also sees her charm. Eventually, the two find themselves falling completely in love with each other.
This drama can be a bit heavy to watch as it deals with loss and death, but it also serves as a small reminder to hold those we love even closer. You would also think that a series involving a goblin and the Grim Reaper, played Lee Dong Wook, would be pretty dark, but the bromance between the two makes it so light-hearted and hilarious. Be prepared to laugh and cry at any given moment throughout the series.
Start watching “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” now:
If you’re looking for some classics:
“Autumn In My Heart” stars Song Hye Kyo as Yoon Eun Suh and Song Seung Heon as Yoon Joon Suh. The two are siblings who find out that they are not blood related. Eun Suh was switched at birth by accident and decides to go live with her biological mother. After years of being separated from Joon Suh, the two meet again by chance and realize that they are in love with each other.
Once you start this series and get into it, it’ll be hard to stop watching. The story between Eun Suh and Joon Suh is so heartbreaking. It’s got all the classic K-drama tropes and it’s done so well. The story tugs at the heartstrings and makes you invest everything into the characters. You’ll also get a pretty strong dose of second-lead syndrome with Won Bin as Han Tae Suk. His undying love for Eun Suh is one to be remembered and is probably one of the most romantic second lead love stories in K-drama history! Yes, it’s that good.
“Star In My Heart” is the 1997 hit romance K-drama starring the late Choi Jin Shil as Lee Yun Hee and Ahn Jae Wook as Kang Min Hee. The story follows Yun Hee, a poor girl who has dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She happens to meet Kang Min Hee who is aspiring to become a singer. He ends up falling in love with Yun Hee and is willing to sacrifice everything in order to be with her.
This classic love story is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever fantasized about your bias falling in love with you despite his fame, then you won’t want to miss this series! It’ll make you daydream for days after watching it. Seeing bad boy Min Hee proclaiming his love for Yun Hee will give you all of the butterflies.
If you like them short and sweet:
“Individualist Ms. Ji Young”
“Individualist Ms. Ji Young” stars Min Hyo Rin as Ji Young and Gong Myung as Byeok Soo. The two are complete opposites in personality and have different perspectives when it comes to life. Ji Young is very realistic and couldn’t be bothered with commitment whereas Byeok Soo is willing to give his all no matter the risk. As the two get to know each other, it becomes harder for Ji Young to get rid of Byeok Soo.
This drama is only two episodes in length, so it’s pretty easy to finish but totally worth the watch. Seeing the realistic way in which Ji Young views love will be all to relatable for many people, but it’s also so heartwarming to be able be able to go through the journey of her being able to open up her heart again.
“The Universe’s Star”
EXO’s Suho stars as an idol that goes by the name of Woo Joo. He’s successful and famous, but is unable to find happiness. He’s depressed and has to take sleeping pills in order to fall asleep at night. One day, he meets a girl named Byul (Ji Woo) who is an angel of death. She has always been a huge fan of Woo Joo and now she has been given the chance to be by his side.
“The Universe’s Star” was written by Kim Ji Hyun, who also wrote “Splash Splash Love” (another short and sweet K-drama to check out). This series is so dark but beautifully written. There’s something about the character that Suho plays that makes it seem like he can relate to it to a certain extent, considering he’s a K-pop idol in real life. You’ll find yourself so drawn to his character and you’ll love seeing the story between Woo Joo and Byul blossom. It’s one you don’t want to miss!
Hey Soompiers, which of these K-dramas are you going to binge-watch next? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “I’ll Go To You When The Weather Is Nice,” “Kingdom,” and “Heart Signal 3”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen