Entertainment

The Top 10 Best Kdramas on Netflix

South Korean series are totally hot right now - even outside of South Korea. This phenomenon is also known as hallyu, or Korean Wave. Do you love Kdrama, but do you have trouble deciding what to watch? Then check out our top 10 of the best Kdramas on Netflix!

Published on: 02-06-2022

Netflix Kdrama

Many people have been introduced to Kdrama thanks to the enormous success of the South Korean series Squid Game on Netflix. Kdrama, which is the common abbreviation for Korean drama (like K-pop is short for Korean pop music), is a genre that became wildly popular during the corona crisis. Since then, Netflix has been regularly adding the greatest and latest Korean series to its line-up.

As you may have noticed, Korean series are very different from American or European series. Romance Kdrama on Netflix is very lovely and sweet, almost fairytale-like, while South Korean crime series are very bloody and violent. 

Take a look at our top 10 so you can decide which Korean series - apart from Squid Game - you will put on your watch list!

10. Thirty-Nine (2022)

Still of three main characters Thirty Nine
Image source: Netflix
Get those tissues ready, because Thirty-Nine is a real tearjerker. The Netflix series Thirty-Nine is bittersweet, because it is full of moments of joy and sadness. Fun fact: in its second episode, the series breaks a very important rule of Kdrama. We're not spoiling anything - but we're sure you'll figure it out straight away!

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 12


What is Thirty Nine about? 

Thirty-Nine is a Kdrama about three friends, who - as you’ve probably already guessed - are almost 40 years old. One of them finds out that she’s seriously ill, after which she expresses her last wishes to her best friends. They then do everything they can to make their sick bestie the happiest patient in the world. Something about peonies, forbidden love and a Chinese restaurant.

9. Love ft. Marriage & Divorce (2021-2022)

Artwork of Love ft Marriage and Divorce
Image source: Netflix
Most Korean series only have one season, but Love ft. Marriage & Divorce offers you no less than two seasons of glorious kdrama! As the title suggests, this series is all about love. But what it also reveals is that there will be quite a few heartbreaks!

  • Seasons: 2
  • Episodes: 32 (2 X 16)


What is the plot of Love fr. Marriage & Divorce?

In this Kdrama we follow the story of three women, each in a different stage of their lives. 30-year-old Boo Hye-Ryung is a radio DJ and she recently got married to a young, handsome lawyer. 40-year-old Sa Pi-Young is the producer on the radio program and is happily married to a doctor, with whom she is raising a gem of a daughter. 50-year-old Lee Si-Eun is the writer of the radio program. She’s been married for 30 years and she’s working her butt off to support her husband and children. 

Who falls in love and who gets divorced - and why? Check out the series and you’ll find out!

8. My Name (2021)

Still of main character My Name
Image source: Netflix
Our number 8 is My Name - which is a totally different Kdrama compared to our numbers 9 and 10! My Name is a thriller/crime series - with lots of blood and violence. It’s the perfect series for those who are not in the mood for sugary romance, but would rather watch a series about a kick-ass chick who takes revenge!

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 8

What is My Name about?

Yoon Ji-Woo's life is turned upside down when her father is brutally murdered on her doorstep. She then decides to join the notorious Dongcheon gang, because she’s convinced that her father's killer is involved in this drugs gang. Dongcheon's boss, Mu-Jin, turns out to be her father's best friend and promises her the revenge she seeks. Like a real badass, she goes undercover for the gang, and gets assigned to the narcotics brigade. Will she track down her father's murdered and get a chance for justice?

7. The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)

Artwork of The King: Eternal Monarch
Image source: Netflix
The creators of Korean dramas are known for mixing up all kinds of genres. And this series is no different. With The King: Eternal Monarch, you can enjoy a tasty combination of history, fantasy, humour and romance.

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 16

The Story of The King: Eternal Monarch

Many Kdramas are based on the Joseon Dynasty - a period of over 500 years, when Korea was ruled by kings and queens. In The King: Eternal Monarch, you’ll see what South Korea would’ve looked like as a monarchy in today’s modern world. 

The king named Lee Gon is looking for his father’s murderer. In doing so, he travels through a mysterious portal to a parallel universe and ends up in the Republic of Korea -  the South Korea we know today. 

During his search, he meets an exceptionally beautiful detective named Jeong Tae-Eul. At first, she doesn't believe he’s the king of Korea - which is totally understandable. But eventually, she falls madly in love with him. Will Lee-Gon find his father's killer? And will their love survive the impossible circumstances that come with parallel universes? 

6. Twenty-Five Twenty-One (2022)

Still of main characters twenty five twenty one
Image source: Netflix
With Twenty-Five Twenty-One we step into the time machine and go back in time. We end up in the 90's, where having a mobile phone was still a rare thing, and you had to rush to the nearest bookstore to be the first to read the latest issue of your favourite comic. Twenty-Five Twenty-One shows us the story of a group of teenagers, and how they rapidly grow up while facing all kinds of hardships.

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 16

What is the plot of Twenty-Five Twenty-One?

Na Hee-Do is a crazy, spontaneous and incredibly driven girl who wants to become the best fencer in the world. She lives alone with her mother, who has little time for her daughter due to her high-profile career. 

Hee-Do meets a slightly older handsome fella, called Back Yi-Jin. His family fell apart due to his father's bankruptcy. He’s very determined to reunite his family, but in order to do so he chooses the same demanding job as Na Hee-Do's mother. Can their relationship handle the pressure of fencing championships and the hectic schedule of a journalist?

5. Business Proposal (2022)

Still of main characters Business Proposal
Image source: Netflix
We kick off our top 5 with Business Proposal, a Korean romance comedy series based on a webtoon. Do you feel like binging an incredibly sweet, feel-good Kdrama? Then it’s a great idea to put Business Proposal on your watch list!

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 12

What is Business Proposal about?

Arranged blind dates are still quite common among South Korea's wealthy families, but Jin Young-Seo just doesn't feel like it. Therefore, she asks her best friend Shin Ha-Ri to go on the arranged blind date for her. Ha-Ri agrees and does everything she can to be rejected by the guy. But it turns out her date is the handsome Kang Tae-Moon, CEO of Go Food - the company where Ha-Ri works. 

She tries to keep her real identity a secret, but Tae-Moon soon discovers she’s lying. To avoid disappointing his grandfather (who desperately wants Tae-Moon to get married), he signs a 'dating' contract with Ha-Ri. But can love, documented in a contract, ever be real? You'll see it on Netflix!

4. D.P. (2021)

Still of main character DP
Image source: Netflix
Are you up for a more serious Kdrama? Then D.P. is definitely one to watch! D.P. is a rock-solid Korean (short) drama series that tackles painful topics such as bullying, abuse and humiliation in the Korean army.

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 6

What is the plot of D.P.?

In South Korea, all men between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve at least 18 months in the army. This Korean drama series shows the harsh reality of the Korean obligatory military service, where violent hazing and mental (and physical) abuse by superiors is sadly not uncommon. 

In D.P. you follow the story of An Joon-Ho, a quiet young man who joins the D.P. team (D.P. is an abbreviation for Deserter Pursuit). Because they miss their families, but also because of terrible bullying, some soldiers leave the army prematurely. Desertion is of course forbidden, and it’s the duty of the D.P. team to search for these deserters and bring them back safely...

3. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay (2020)

Still of main characters its okay to not be okay
Image source: Netflix
Do you like fairytale-like, romantic Kdrama series - with a dark twist? Then the award-winning It's Okay To Not Be Okay is definitely a must-see! In fact, it was Netflix's most popular romantic Kdrama in 2020. Sounds promising, right?

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 16

What is It's Okay To Not Be Okay about?

This Korean series is about Moon Gang-Tae, a selfless, insecure but sweet boy who works as a caregiver in a mental hospital. Gang-Tae lives with his autistic big brother, Moon Sang-Tae, who loves illustrating and drawing. Sang-Tae has an irrational fear of butterflies, which is the result of a traumatic event from the past. Because of this, the brothers have to move every spring - to escape these creepy insects. 

Gang-Tae meets a children's book author named Ko Moon-Young, who is difficult to read due to her personality disorder. She develops a slight obsession with Gang-Tae and follows him to the next village he moves to. As time passes, they discover that they’re bound together by their pasts. Will this extraordinary trio manage to heal their wounds from the past together?  

2. Vincenzo (2021)

Still of Vincenzo drinking coffee
Image source: Netflix
Number two on our list of the best Korean Netflic series is Vincenzo. Humour, action, crime and romance: Italians know what good food is, and these are all the ingredients you'll find in the Kdrama Vincenzo. 

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 20

What is the plot of Vincenzo?

Park Joo-Hyeong was 8 years old when he was adopted by an Italian family. Later, Don Fabio, the head of the Cassano family, took Joo-Hyeong under his wing. He was renamed Vincenzo Cassano and worked as a lawyer and consultant for this Italian mafia boss. But unfortunately, a conflict forces him to flee to South Korea. 
 
In South Korea, he plans to find 1.5 tons of gold, which is hidden in the basement of the Geumga Plaza. There, he meets a lawyer named Hong Yoo-Chan, with whom he develops a good relationship. He also meets the lawyer's beautiful daughter Hong Cha-Young - who is a lawyer from a rival party. Finding the gold turns out to be quite difficult, as a company called Babel Group is trying to illegally claim the rights to the Plaza. Will this end well for Vincenzo? 

1. Crash Landing On You (2019)

Still of main characters Crash Landing On You
Image source: Netflix
Crash Landing on You is an all-time favourite of almost every Kdrama fan and should therefore not be missing from your watch list. This romantic Korean drama is about an impossible love affair and shows the obvious difference between North and South Korea. Fun fact: the protagonists are married to each other since 2022. So the sparks you see between them in the series are real!

  • Seasons: 1
  • Episodes: 16

What is Crash Landing On You about?

Successful businesswoman, and Chaebol heiress, Yoon Se-Ri wants to test her latest line of extreme sportswear. But while paragliding, she suddenly gets caught in a tornado and makes an emergency landing in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) - a buffer zone between North and South Korea that is strictly guarded by both North and South Korean armies.

Army officer Ri Jeong-Hyeok comes across her and tries to help her, but she escapes and flees back to South Korea - or so she thought. As it turns out, she ran the wrong way, ending up in a North Korean village and bumping into the officer again. It seems impossible for Se-Ri to return to South Korea, but Jeong-Hyeok does everything he can to help her.

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