Meet Your Next Big Obsession: Korean Dramas

Back in the pre-Golden Era of Television, people used to sit in front of the TV and flip channels for hours, dissatisfied with the offerings of infomercials and TLC reality shows. Now, most of us suffer from the opposite problem. There’s far more good TV than even the most devoted consumer could watch in a lifetime.

Brace yourselves, because your TV-watching life is about to get even more saturated with goodness. Enter the Korean TV show — or, as devotees call them, K-dramas. Once you start watching these Korean shows on Netflix, you’ll find it hard to stop.

Whether you’re watching a period piece or a romantic drama, you’ll find similar elements across the K-drama board. The shows are known for their action-packed narratives, gripping story arcs, pulpy relationships, and, of course, terrifically good-looking lead actors. Plus, unlike American TV shows, you don’t have to fear when, and if, the show will jump the shark. K-dramas are almost all one season, divided up into a manageable number of episodes.

Dive into the world of these addictive mini-series without pressure of committing to a second season. Here are the best places to start.

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If you love Groundhog Day

One More Time (2016)

For the past ten years, Yoo Tan (L) has been living a rock star life with his indie band. Then, the band is approached by a label, which brings problems of its own. At this moment in his life, Yoo Tan reaches a time loop that allows him to get another chance of winning his ex-girlfriend back. He'll keep repeating this day until he can get the girl.
If you love fairy tales and cursed princesses

Secret Healer (2016)

Our tale begins with a despondent queen who desperately wanted a child. She brokers a deal with a magical and mischievous shaman, who agrees to cure her barrenness by tricking another shaman. The scorned shaman curses the queen's daughter, forcing the princess to live in isolation. And as many more fairy tales go, two strapping young men go out in search for the princess when she comes of age.
If you love Outlander

My Only Love Song (2017)

This K-drama manages to pull off the same feat as Outlander, and make time travel sexy. When My Only Love Song begins, Soo-jung (Gong Seung-yeon) is a famous and conceited pop star. Then, she falls into a gap between space and time, and ends up in 6th-century Goguryeo, a kingdom of Korea. Traveling back in time is a humbling experience. Penniless and in over her head, Soo-jung now must rely on the help of others.
If you believe in the paranormal, watch

Oh My Ghostess (2015)

Psychic powers run in Na Bong-sun's (Park Bo-young) family. Shy and timid, Bong-sun is constantly overwhelmed in he job as an assistant chef. And then, everything changes. She's possessed by a very lustful ghost, who uses Bong-sun as the vehicle through which she can carry out seduction.
If you're a devotee of Olivia Pope from Scandal, watch

White Nights (2016)

As the characters in White Nights know all too well, it's a ruthless road to the top. The three main characters of White Nights — an heiress, her former lover, and her new hire — might have different backgrounds, but they share the same aspirations toward success.

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If you're struggling with the whole "adulting" thing, watch

Hello, My Twenties (2016)

What happens when five young women with five radically different personalities move into a house together? A hilarious, heartwarming, and relatable show. Hello, My Twenties intersperses emotional plot lines and intense character struggles with humor straight out of Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It's impossible not to like.

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If you've run out of American crime dramas, watch

Bad Guys (2014)

In a move straight out of Catch Me If You Can, a detective hired to eradicate crime enlists help from three of the most notorious criminals in the prison system. In exchange for working for the police, three convicts are freed from jail: A psychopathic serial killer with two PhDs, a man who became a mob boss in 25 days, and a hit man who mysteriously turned himself.

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