10 best Korean romance dramas on Netflix, Prime video & more

Korean romance has seen its popularity grow around the world along with all other genres available as the country goes through a particular cultural boom thanks to the vast access available.

The Korean studios have managed to portray a budding romance in such a wide variety of settings from the workplace to the middle of an apocalypse and each time it’s displayed with significant emotional heft leaving the audience invested in the characters through and through.

Here are the 10 best Korean romance series’ on Netflix, Prime video & more:

1. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (Saikojiman Gwaenchanha)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Kim Soo-hyun, Seo Ye-Ji, Oh Jeong-Se, Park Gyuyoung, Park Jin-Joo, Kim Joo-Heon

Moon Gang-tae is a selfless caretaker at a psychiatric ward in the OK Psychiatric Hospital in Seongjin City. His interest in helping the mentally challenged arose from living with his autistic older brother who went through a traumatic experience of watching their mother’s murder when they were young.

Go Moon Young is a successful children’s book author with antisocial behaviour who crosses paths with the young caretaker and becomes obsessed with him and follows him to Seongjin City. The three individuals begin to spend more time together and realize that they’re the key to improving each other’s lives.

This series was the most popular romance series on Netflix in South Korea for 2020, garnering praise for the performances of the cast.

2. Business Proposal

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Ahn Hyo-Seop, Se-Jeong Kim, Seol In-ah, Min-Kyu Kim, Byungchan, Han Ji-Hyo

Kang Tae Mu is the CEO of a big company who is being ushered to get married by his father. He agrees to go on a blind date with Jin Young-seo but in reality her friend, Shin Ha-ri goes instead as Young-seo doesn’t want to get married just yet. Tae Mu immediately falls for Ha-ri without knowing her identity while Ha-ri finds the situation difficult as Tae Mu is her boss.

A funny story filled with hijinks and fake identities, ‘Business Proposal’ is an enjoyable weekly romance series that is filled with charm and humour.

3. Crash Landing on You (Sa-rang-eui bul-sa-chak)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Seo Ji-hye, Kim Jung-hyun, Yang Kyung-won, Yoo Su-bin

Yoon Se-ri, a South Korean heiress, finds herself trapped in North Korea after a devastating paragliding accident when she meets Ri Jeong-hyeok, a respectable military captain. The two of them grow close together as he tries to protect her identity and she gets a closer look at the hardships of living in North Korea.

The series was a massive hit in many countries like China and Japan for its reliability and honest depiction of life in North Korea. It also received critical acclaim from many publications in the United States.

4. Twenty Five Twenty One

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Ji Yeon, Choi Hyun-Wook, Lee Joo-Myung, Seo Jae-hee, Kim Tae-ri

The story follows Na Hee-do, a teen fencer who is forced to transfer schools to pursue her passion for the sport due to the IMF crisis that took place in the late 80s in South Korea. She also meets Baek Yi-jin, a young man whose family is separated due to financial troubles as he aims to work hard to bring them back up.

The retro theme and feel of the series turned out to be a popular choice and one of the reasons it was consistently in the Top 10 weekly lists of most-watched international series on Netflix for the duration of its run.

5. Mr Queen (Cheolinwanghoo)

Available on: Prime Video

Cast: Hye-Sun Shin, Kim Jung-hyun, Seol In-ah, Kim Tae-Woo, Jae-won Lee, Chae Seo-Eun

Jang Bong-hwan is a chef with a carefree attitude but one day he finds himself in the body of Queen Cheorin in the Joseon period. The king is a gentle and kind man who does not seem to hold any real power. The more time Bong-hwan spends as the Queen, he realises that all is not right with the king and the monarchy.

A hilarious concept with some great performances made this the seventh highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history.

6. Snowdrop (Seolganghwa)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Jung Hae-In, Jisoo Kim, Yoo In-Na, Yun Se-ah, Jeong Eu-Gene, Kim Jung-nan

When two relatively young students meet other at the height of political turmoil in 1987 South Korea, their lives become immensely complicated after Lim Soo-ho turns up at Eun Yeong-ro’s dorm covered in blood and bruises. As she tends to his wounds and cleans him up it is revealed that he is not exactly who he claims to be.

The romance in this series is taken up a notch thanks to the historically significant setting. The popular cast and the thrilling story make this an exciting watch.

7. Hometown Cha Cha Cha (Gaetmaeul Chachacha)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Shin Min-a, Kim Seon-Ho, Gina Su, Harrison Xu, Ren Hanami, Darren Keilan

Yoon Hye-jin is an intelligent young woman and a dentist who loses her job when she calls out her boss against his malpractice. She proceeds to start her practice in the small seaside village of Gongjin. Here she meets Hong Du-sik, who seems to be the man to call for anything and everything according to everyone in the village.

These two contrasting personalities combine to present quite a quirky story for the audience. It is one of South Korea’s longest-running hits as it spent 16 weeks on the Netflix global top ten rankings.

8. Descendants of the Sun (Tae-yang-eui hoo-ye)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Song Joong-ki, Song Hye-Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji-Won, Kim Min-Suk, Kang Shin-il

A love story for the ages between a Captain of the special forces and an esteemed surgeon, all with the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis in a fictional war-torn country. Under such pressure situations, the two of them grow closer together and overcome many obstacles to forming a loving bond.

This series was such a success that it managed to boost tourism and successfully spread Korean culture to different parts of the globe. The magnificent screenplay and wonderful love story are two of its best features.

9. Our Beloved Summer (Geu Hae Urineun)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Choi Woo-sik, Kim Da-Mi, Kim Sung-cheol, No Jeong-ee, Lee Joon-hyuk, Hye-Won Jeon

Choi Ung and Kook Yeon-soo were two classmates who shot a documentary chronicling their relationship when they were in school. However, things end badly and they break up, promising never to see each other again. Years later when the documentary goes viral online, the two of them are forced to meet again and confront their pasts to move forward.

A heartwarming romantic comedy reuniting two former lovers to catch up with each other as adults and learn from the mistake that they made, ‘Our Beloved Summer’ is a great romance series on the Netflix library.

10. My Love from the Star (Byeol-e-seo on geu-dae)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Jun Ji-hyun, Kim Soo-hyun, Park Hae-Jin, Yoo In-Na, Seong-rok Sin, Kim Chang-wan

Do Min-joon is an alien who landed on Earth in 1609 during the Joseon Dynasty but gets stranded there. Just a short while before Min-joon is set to make his journey back after 400 years on Earth, a famous Hallyu actor named Cheon Song-yi moves in next to him. The two of them have opposing views on a multitude of topics and she gets on his nerves but he finds himself drawn to her eventually.

The balance between logical storytelling and whimsical subplots is what made this romance series one of the most popular programs in South Korea, credited with leading to a resurgence of the ‘Korean Wave’ throughout Asia.

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