5 Romances Like

With “My Perfect Stranger” wrapped up, it’s a good time to examine one of the genres that Korean dramas do best: time travel. With a plethora of murder mysteries, second-chance romances, and fantasy rules added in, these dramas will hold your attention to the end. Without further ado, here are some of the best shows and little-known gems!

Note: this is a spoiler-free review!

Go Back Couple

Choi Ban Do (Son Ho Jun) and Ma Jin Joo (Jang Nara) were university sweethearts who married with love in their eyes and the goal of building a wonderful life together. 18 years later, the two hate each other. Ban Do is a struggling pharmaceutical salesman who desperately tries to promote the business. His job takes him away from home at all hours—trying to make sales during the day and being forced to drink with prospective clients, coworkers, and his bosses at night. Meanwhile, Jin Joo holds down the fort at home as a housewife who’s struggling to take care of their very young son and complete all the households tasks that Ban Do doesn’t bother to do. After their marriage reaches a breaking point, Ban Do and Jin Joo suddenly find themselves 18 years in the past as their university freshman selves. This time, they both vow to do things differently and never date, let alone marry. But will things work out as they plan?

Why you’ll love it: “Go Back Couple” has shades of “My Perfect Stranger” all over it! Only this time, it’s the main couple trying to ensure that they don’t end up together, not the couple’s daughter. Jang Nara and Son Ho Jun are hilarious together when being petty. This is one to watch!


Check out the show below!

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Familiar Wife

Similar to “Go Back Couple,” “Familiar Wife” also deals with the breakdown of a marriage. Cha Joo Hyuk (Ji Sung) is a banker who finds himself under severe strain at work. The only bright spot in his day are the lunch breaks he shares with his best friend Yoon Joong Ho (Jang Seung Jo) and his PlayStation. As for his wife Seo Woo Jin (Han Ji Min), she’s left to pick up the pieces at home, work a full-time job, perform all household chores, take their two children to school, and be the primary caregiver for them. Naturally, things get ugly when Joo Hyuk keeps neglecting Woo Jin and breaking promises to her. Woo Jin throws out his PlayStation in anger, and Joo Hyuk leaves home—only, the road he’s driving aimlessly on suddenly warps and changes, and he finds himself back in the past. A slight alternation of plans, and he’s no longer married to Woo Jin but to his first love, the very wealthy Lee Hye Won (Kang Han Na). Joo Hyuk is finally as wealthy as he wanted to be and is living the dream in his point of view. But things alter in a second when he runs into a happy, thriving Woo Jin at the same workplace at him. And what happens when he realizes that her life turned out better because he wasn’t in it?


Why you’ll love it: This one’s a different sort of second-chance romance, where we follow a male character who really is the worst. But it’s a story of redemption, growth, and maturity that drives in how the grass isn’t always better on the other side.

Check out the show below!

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“Queen In Hyun’s Man”

There’s the reverse situation in this drama where a scholar from the Joseon dynasty comes to the present (which was 2012 at the time!). Kim Bung Do (Ji Hyun Woo) is the last remaining member of his family after they were murdered by political rivals. He is part of a faction that supports the reinstatement of Queen In Hyun, a real life queen who was kicked out of the palace due to the evil royal concubine Jang Hee Bin.

Meanwhile in Seoul, Choi Hee Jin (Yoo In Na) is an actress who has finally gotten her big break: a role as Queen In Hyun in a drama chronicling her life and battle with Jang Hee Bin. Add a mysterious talisman that transports Bung Do to modern day Seoul where he’s taken with the not-real Queen In Hyun, and we have a romance in the making.

Why you’ll love it: This show has it all from fake dating to time travel hijinks. It’s always fun to see someone from olden times struggle to grasp modern technology. And the main couple has great chemistry, making the central romance cheesy but believable.

Again My Life

Kim Hee Woo (Lee Joon Gi) worked his way up from the bottom to become a public prosecutor, known for meting out justice. But his life comes to an abrupt end when he digs into a politician suspected of corruption and is murdered by a hitman.

However, rather than dying, he’s saved by a mysterious Grim Reaper who sends him back to the past to repeat his life all over again and succeed in his battle against the politician this time. Returning to his 18-year-old body, he begins university once more, carefully cataloguing his allies and enemies and preventing every evil that befell his life. But even with a second chance at life, can one man really stand against the might of a wealthy conglomerate?


Why you’ll love it: Lee Joon Gi always delivers, and he’s no exception in “Again My Life.” The show is tightly-plotted and very fast-paced, with loyalties shifting at every bend. There is a very minor hint at romance here, but very little is said or done, so anyone looking for a quick, clinical watch should enjoy this!

Check out the show below!

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What if you could change the past without visiting it? Park Hae Young (Lee Je Hoon) is a criminal profiler who has a deep distrust of the police system despite working in it. As a child, he witnessed a friend being kidnapped and tried to inform the police that he had seen the kidnapper. However, the police didn’t believe him, and his friend was later found dead. The case was never solved. Life proceeds as normal until Hae Young happens upon a walkie-talkie that seems to speak to him with the voice of police detective Lee Jae Han (Jo Jin Woong). Hae Young believes Jae Han to be a fellow officer until he finds that Jae Han is a detective in the ’80s and is mysteriously missing in modern-day Korea. What’s even stranger is that Jae Han is investigating the kidnapping of Hae Young’s friend. He believes it linked to a streak of murders that have been occurring in the city. Hae Young, Jae Han, and his colleague Cha Soo Hyun (Kim Hye Soo), who has wondered about her senior’s whereabouts and wants to prevent him from going missing, team up to use information from the future to solve the case in the past. But their enemies are smarter than they think.


Why you’ll love it: It’s the perfect mix of nostalgia, murder mystery, and a deep-dive into character. All three leads are seasoned actors. Combine that with a tight script, and you get a story for which people are still clamoring for a second season!

Hey Soompiers! Have you seen any of these dramas? Which ones did you love best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she fangirls over Ji Sung, and spins thrillers set in increasingly fantastic worlds. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching:  “See You in My 19th Life,” “Delightfully Deceitful,” “Lies Hidden in My Garden,” “Numbers,” “Revenant,” and “King the Land.”
Looking Forward to: “Gyeongseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” “The Worst Evil,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.

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