Okay, the word ‘best‘ seems to sound exaggerated. Afterall, quality and preferences are something subjective. It is more of a list of dramas that I have watched and like. But putting ‘Like‘ into the post title seems a bit out of tune. Hence, I go for ‘best’ instead. Having said that, let us go through some of the dramas that I had thoroughly enjoyed and would like to recommend to our readers, so you guys can watch them too. The list is not in any particular order or rank. All of them are equally good to me. They fit the two objectives that I want every time I watch a drama, i.e fun and relatable.
So, without further ado, here’s my top 10 best K-Drama that you can stream online:
Alchemy of Souls
I wrote about this drama last month You can read it HERE. The second part of the drama would be screened on Netflix in December. Alchemy of Souls is about the fate of some of its characters becoming twisted due to “hwanhonsool” or soul shifting using sorcery. Basically, it’s about black magic, politics and forbidden love. I love the chemistry between the two main actors. Very enjoyable drama, certainly a must watch.
Fans of popular K-Pop group, WJSN surely won’t miss this one. It features Kim Ji-yeon aka ‘Bona’ as one of the main characters. The drama takes us back to the year 1998, when the Asian financial crisis hit hard and affected many people in South Korea.
The main character, Na Hee-Do played by Kim Tae-Ri is a member of her high school fencing team. Due to the financial crisis, their school fencing team was disbanded. She had to move to other school to pursue her ambition and compete with her idol turned nemesis, Ko Yurim, played by Bona. After all the hardship and hurdles she gone through, Na Hee Do finally become a member of the national team and Ko Yurim‘s best friend.
The drama also features a romantic love story between Na Hee Do and Back Yi-Jin, whose family business went bankrupt during the crisis. His father had to hide and left the family to avoid creditors and left Back Yi-Jin with a very difficult life.
The drama is quite heart-warming and if you are a sports person, you might be inspired by Na Hee Do‘s determination to be the very best. As for fans of Bona and WJSN, you guys shouldn’t miss this one. You can stream Twenty-Five Twenty-One on Netflix.
You Are My Destiny
The drama was released in July 2014 and is still streaming on Netflix. It is one of the earliest K-Drama that I watched and still remain one of my favourites. We wrote about it HERE.
You Are My Destiny defines the word ‘jodoh’ and its true meaning. Basically, if you are meant to be with someone, you will be with him or her, no matter what challenge may come. Similarly, if you are not meant to be together, no matter how hard you try, you are not going to be together. Having said that, ‘jodoh’ co-exist together with love. If you find your true love, you most likely will find your ‘jodoh’. Ok, I’m being philosophic here. Watching those romantic drama turned me into a Love Doctor.
You Are My Destiny stars Jang Hyuk and Jang Na-ra as the main casts. It is a remake of the Taiwanese drama Fated to Love You which received high ratings during its run in 2008.
Jang Hyuk is Lee Gun, a wealthy heir to a large hair product company with a trademark maniacal laugh. Jang Na-ra portrayed as Kim Mi-young/Ellie Kim, a naive office worker at a law firm coming from a small Island. Accident happens. Thing get out of control and becomes chaotic and of course la, the two fall for each other.
The story might be simple but the plots, character building, etc. are very good and keep you entertain. When it reaches the climax, oh my good, you may want to prepare some tissues to stop the tears from falling.
As I mentioned above, you can watch You Are My Destiny on Netflix. All together there are 20 episodes to watch. Enjoy.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo
“Woo to the young to the woo” “Dong to the geu to the Ra-mi”. What a catchy phrase those two are. It is a drama series that further strengthen Park Eun-Bin position as one of the top actresses in Korea. She is adorable in her role in this drama. It is quite an important factor since the drama that features a person with disability in the main role, we (the viewers) don’t want to feel too sympathetic to enjoy the story. So, I thought she did extremely well.
The drama is a story about a young lady, Woo Young Woo with Asperger‘s syndrome. She boasts a high IQ, an impressive memory and a wonderfully creative thought process. Her photographic like memory helps her to become a lawyer. A very good one with a very high integrity. However, she struggles with everyday interactions. She did have a few good people in life, in particular Dong Geurami, played by Joo Hyun-young. She also found love with one of the officemates, Lee Jun-Ho (Kang Tae-Oh).
Do watch the drama and see how Woo Young Woo handles all the challenges in her life. Inspiring drama with many lovely moments. Another one that you can stream on Netflix.
The drama is set in the 1980s and against the backdrop of political upheaval in South Korea. The drama sparked controversy when it was aired on Disney Hotstar because of the fictional contention that a North Korean spy was potentially involved in or even associated with Korea’s pro-democracy movement. It took me a while to like the movie because I’m not familiar with Korea’s history. But once the drama gets into episode 3 onwards, I just feel that I can’t stop watching it.
Snowdrop plot revolves around the era when South Korea was governed by a dictatorial government, when greed and self-interest precede over humanitarian consideration. The government of the day were prepared to sacrifice their own people in order to stay in power. At the centre of this 2021 JTBC’s production is an enduring love story between two lovers from opposite sides of Korea. North Korea spy Lim Soo-Ho is covered in blood and he jumps into the female dormitory at Hosu Women’s University of South Korea. Eun Yeong-Ro finds him and helps to hide him. Well, you can possibly guess what comes next but there are plenty of interesting plots awaiting that will keep you glued to your chair and continue to watch the next episode till it ends.
The drama features Kim Ji-Soo of the famous K-Pop group, Blackpink as Eun Yeong-Ro. She was awarded Outstanding Korean Actress at the Seoul International Drama Awards for her role in Snowdrop.
Power, lust, greed, backstabing and mental issues are the theme of this drama. It shows how power can turn people so bad that other people’s life means nothing as long as you can hold on to that power. Those in power are normally politicians. Like in our country, most politicians are very ambitious, power driven and extremely greedy.
On the other side of the story is the poverty issue. When you are poor in Korea, you are very poor. You are not just poor in terms of money and assets, you are pretty much being looked down by the community at large. It does make you do the most crazy thing in life to change your life.
In short, Little Women is a story about 3 sisters. Oh In-Joo (Kim Go-Eun) is the oldest sister, who believe s that money is the most important thing to protect herself and her family. Her dream is to live an ordinary life like other people. The second one, Oh In-Kyung (Nam Ji-Hyun) has always been poor, but money doesn’t rule her life. She believes in doing the right things. Oh In-Hye (Park Ji-Hu) is the youngest of the three sisters. She is a student with natural talent in painting.
Together they face challenge in life in a good-versus-evil like story. Another one that you can watch on Netflix. The final episode ended in September and hopefully there will be season 2.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
I had written this one too in this blog. You may check it HERE. It is a love story about a guy, Moon Gang-Tae (Kim Soo-Hyun) who is employed in a psychiatric ward and a woman, Ko Moon-Young (Seo Yea-Ji) with an antisocial personality disorder, who is a popular writer of children’s books. Moon Gang-Tae has an older brother, Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung Se) who is autistic. The two move from town to town very often as Moon Sang-Tae is still traumatized after witnessing their mother being brutally murdered.
Gang-Tae meet Moon-Young in Seongjin City and interestingly there are history between the two. From there onwards, there are plenty of intriguing plots, suspense and heart warming moments. Do watch this drama on Netflix.
One Dollar Lawyer
The season finale was streamed on Disney Hotstar on 11th November 2022. Originally it’s supposed to have 16 episodes before the producer reduced it to 14 and eventually to 12. Hence, I admit that the ending was a bit disappointing. A bit rushed towards the end and certain plots are not thoroughly explained. Nonetheless, it does not stop this drama from making into my top ten. It was enjoyable to watch right from the start.
The main character in this drama is Cheon Ji-Hun, played by charismatic actor, Namkoong Min. He is a very strange lawyer who only charge his client 1,000 won (about $1 USD) for his service. I can only imagine his firm getting their income through costs charged back to the opponent when they win the case. Provided, they win the case with cost. I’m not familiar with Korean law though. Ha ha..
He was an ex-persecutor. A very good one with the highest integrity and fights hard against powerful criminals. Half way through the story, you will get the explanation why he becomes like a mental patient and left the prosecution office.
There is another important character in this drama (Baek Ma-Ri), played by Itzy’s Ryujin lookalike, Kim Ji-Eun. Baek Ma-Ri is a granddaughter of Baek Hyun-Mu (Lee Deok-Hwa) who is the founder of Baek Law Firm, a famous and powerful law firm. She is confident and posesses high self-esteem. She lost her case to Cheon Ji-Hun and despises him for that. Strangely, the grandfather sends her to Ji-Hun‘s firm to learn from him.
Many things happen afterward and the more Ma-Ri knows about Ji-Hun, the more she becomes fond of him. Together they fight the main antagonist in this drama. To know who is the antagonist and what happens to Ji-Hun and Ma-Ri, do watch the drama on Disney Hotstar. All 12 episodes are now available for streaming.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Features the darling of Korean entertainment industry, Lee Ji-eun, famously known as IU, Scarlet Heart Ryeo takes us back to the year of 941, during the Goryeo Dynasty. It starts in the present time (it was produced in 2016), when a young lady, Go Ha-jin (Lee Ji-eun) is transported back in time during a total solar eclipse. Ha-Jin wakes up in the body of Hae Soo and found herself among the many princes of the ruling Wang family, during the reign of King Taejo.
In the beginning of the story, Ha-Jin/Hae Soo falls for the gentle and warm-hearted 8th Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha-neul). However, as the story develops, she finds herself in love with Wang So (Lee Joon-gi), the fearsome 4th Prince. Wang So has a derogatory nickname “wolf-dog” and according to history is the one that will spill the blood of his brothers to become the King. He hides his face behind a mask due to the scar that he got from his mother when he was a young boy.
There are so much of palace politics and the rivalry among the princes who are fighting for the throne. The brotherhood means nothing although they seem to be good with each other on the surface. Deep inside, almost everybody has a desire for the throne. It gets more complicated since the King has many wife, and each wife wants to see their child ascend to the throne one day. Ha-Jin/Hae Soo was caught in between and had to live a very difficult life. Spoiler alert, the ending is quite melancholy. You may need a box of tissue to get through the last two episodes.
Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo can be streamed online on VIU. They have the BM and Indonesian dubbing, in addition to English sub-titles too.
A mafia themed Korea drama. Quite a risky combo. But they managed to pull through tho. Song Joong-ki is really perfect as the main character, Vincenzo Cassano. He has all the charms and charisma to be an Italian mafia. Having said that, the drama starts with plenty of explosion as the leader of Italian mafia, Don Fabio dies, the tussle for a new leadership begins.
Vincenzo Cassano born as Park Joo-hyung and at the age of eight, he was adopted by Don Fabio, head of the Cassano Family. He becomes a lawyer, a consigliere for the mafia, and Don Fabio’s right-hand man. After Fabio dies, Paolo, Fabio‘s biological son and the new leader of the Cassano Family attempts to kill Vincenzo. He flees to Seoul and sets out to recover 1.5 tons of gold that he helped a recently-deceased Chinese tycoon secretly stash within the basement of Geumga Plaza. However, a subsidiary of Babel Group has illegally taken ownership of the building, and Vincenzo must use his skills to reclaim the building and recover his fortunes.
The drama then revolves around the relationship between Vincenzo and the quirky tenants at Geumga Plaza, especially with Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), a lawyer who later joins forces with Vincenzo and the other tenants to fight Babel Group.
You can watch Vicenzo on Netflix too. There are 20 episodes all together. Enjoy.
Well that’s about it. I can’t believe I had to leave so many good drama out from the list. It shows how far Korean drama has come and turned into a big industry globally. If you like K-Drama as well, feel free to leave your comment. Do state your favourite drama too. Perhaps, I can spend time watching those I haven’t watched, based on your recommendation.
Thank you in advance.
ISMAIL N is the Chief Blogger/Blog Owner. An HR practitioner in his normal daily life & a casual blogger in his free time. Addicted to coffee, Man Utd, K-Drama/K-Pop. Semi-retired Pokemon Go trainer (TL50). Most easily accessed via his Twitter account.