This new project of mine is a useful guide since you have decided to join the kdramaaddict community. Kdramaworld has been running for quite a while so I’ll share you the dramas that you need to complete and you might have missed along the way.
Since we are celebrating the love month, let’s commence this bucket listing activity with trendy romantic comedy dramas. These stories are typically what initiated your kdrama cravings.
The sighs, the swoons, the squeals, the hot flushes, the involuntary parting of our lips on the kiss scenes, the hot oppas, the we-wish-we-can-be-the-leadgirl-moments… There are a lot of reasons why we love these kind of dramas. Most of the dramas in this list are runaway hits, others have sweet chemistry between the main leads. These are love pills that we can watch over and over again every year, and yet we don’t get tired of it. These are my favorite fan service romcoms, what’s on your list?
♥My Name is Kim Sam Soon (Hyun Bin and Kim Sun Ah)
Sam Soon’s love adventure gave hope to girls with weight insecurities that they can still snatch the man of their dreams as not all men are blinded by pretty faces and hot bodies. *chuckles
This is where I first met Hyun Bin oppa and I fell in love with his then chubby cheeks. *lol I was on my early 20’s when this was aired, and I was not hooked at that time. But when I watched it in my late 20’s, I was able to appreciate it more because the heroine’s sentiments appealed to me probably because I was at the stage of my life when I endured love frustrations and experienced being blissfully in love.
This is my first dose of contract relationship and it endeared me a lot as it left a love lesson that no matter how extremely different a man and a woman is, spending time together and getting to know each other in the process would warrant a leap of romantic emotion that can result to a sweet love declaration.
♥ Full House (Rain and Song Hye Gyo)
The modern Cinderella story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father. We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other.
The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love were the strongest points of Full House. The feel good premise still make me pick this drama when I don’t have anything on my plate to watch.
♥ Princess Hours (Joo Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye)
Any princess story appeals to most girls right away. With a distant and yet secretly warm prince portrayed nicely by Joo Ji Hoon oppa, I can’t help but love the nines on the clouds of high when I was watching Lee Shin and Chae Kyung’s royal love story.
My pillows suffered a lot from strangulation on the emotional and heart fluttering scenes. Actually Goong had mostly melodramatic tones, but it was neutralized by the lead girl’s vibrant presence and optimism to survive in the arranged marriage she was forced to take for the sake of her family.
This is one youth drama you should not miss as it is one of the kdrama staple classics.
♥ My Girl (Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae)
I know right? Contracts are often part of kdrama plots. For “My Girl”, we have a business conglomerate heir hiring a con-woman to pretend as his long-lost cousin to appease his ill grandfather, but ended up trapped in the lie they created when they started falling in love with each other.
The strong second leads supported well the romantic development by playing well the annoying ex-girlfriend and the how-could-you-not-love-him second lead man.
“My Girl” had a consistently addictive run and nicely done closure credit it to the bubbly heroine and her chemistry with the workaholic lead man chaebol.
I think this is where I first saw that lead-man-following-drunk-lead-girl scene which became a guaranteed cute scene on rom-coms.
♥ The First Shop of Coffee Prince (Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye)
This cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined.
It was so cute when Gong Yoo’s character disregarded everything and was okay to admit that he could possibly be a homosexual due to his growing feelings on his pretending-to-be-a-man lead girl.
Coffee Prince’s ending was also sweet as it wrap up with how the lead man let go of his girl for the mean time to pursue her own dreams. This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will not lose its appeal even after a few decades from now.
♥ Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Gu Hye Sun)
Almost Paradise… Yay! This is Lee Min Ho’s breakthrough performance that swept hallyuland like a storm during its run. Finally adapting the famous Japanese manga, the Korean version gave a pretty depiction of the rich-boy-poor-girl love story by projecting an elaborated presentation of the wealth disparity of the main love couple. Sprinkling it with the flower boy bromance and their side love stories cemented a victorious run for this youth drama.
“Boys over Flowers” is a great initiating drama to welcome you in kdramaland. It is feel-good, buoyant and everything sweet perfect on movie marathon sessions and rainy days.
♥ My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi)
Fusing Korean folklore to a modern lovestory was notched perfectly by chilsung cider addicted Mi Ho and her action star wanna-be lead guy. When a nine-tailed fox was released from a painting she was imprusoned to, she sealed a deal with a free spirited guy who does not have any dream but to become an action star.
The arresting face and portrayal of Shin Min Ah made Mi Ho one of my all-time favorite kdrama characters. Hong sisters blended the supernatural and folklore premise in this drama in an innovative approach to complement the modern setting.
This is where I first saw the reversal of roles for the lead couple. The always curious heroine took charge in taking care of her lead man in the most part of the story.
The quirky interaction of the lead couple until reaching the eventual love zone was something you would root for while you are watching the narrative.
♥ You’re Beautiful (Jang Geun Seuk and Park Shin Hye)
When her twin brother met an accident, Go Mi Nyu, a nun-to-be was forced to assume her brother’s identity (Go Mi Nam) who was posed to join a famous boyband. Having spent most of her time in the convent Mi Nam worked hard to adapt in a new world of cohabiting with her fellow band members.
There are a lot to love about ANJELL and the main lead couple. The second lead also made an impressive showing to shake the official love pairing.
“You’re Beautiful” was brimming with witty humor and sweet scenes which propelled its run to a strong fanbase. I think this is also was the start of me stalking Hong sisters dramas.
♥ You’ve Fallen For Me (Park SHin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa)
This youth drama set in a Music school was the fulfilment of the second love pairing that we did not get from “You’re Beautiful”. The refreshing tone and the campus romance drew smiles and sigh in me as Lee Shin suited up to his campus hearthrob role effortlessly and effectively.
The music, the youthful vibe, the college setting dates endeared this drama to me. Maybe because it just went free flowing and did not exert effort in placing overly conceived central conflict. “You’ve Fallen For Me” is light and comforting perfect for your stoic days.
♥ Discovery of Love (Eric Moon and Jung Yu Mi)
Now this was not as popular as the rest of the dramas in this list, but it belonged to my all-time favorite love dramas because of its superb screenplay and storytelling.
Yeorum is a furniture maker who was caught between her present boyfriend and her first love. “Discovery of Love” took an ingenious path to uncover the woes and inhibitions of a woman in confronting love confusions that involved weighing down the amount of pain and love you are prepared to invest in a relationship.
You will thank me later after you watch it.
♥ Another Oh Hae Young (Eric Moon and Seo Hyun Jin)
Yes I think I can declare that I stalk Eric oppa’s dramas as he mostly pick interestingly done projects.
Another Oh Hae Young was the best romance drama for 2016 banking on its realistic approach on the frustrations and bliss of trusting the love willingly given to someone only to be disappointed for not reciprocating it well.
The hot kisses, the brave heroine and the weird journey on how fate intertwined the love couples were some of the things you would love in this drama.
♥ Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun)
Freshly caught from the kdrama sea, this mermaid-conman romance gave us laugh fits and heart-fluttering moments. The love-fueled-mind-reading ability of Heo Joon Jae was a favorite twist of mine in this drama. I got a lot of laugh trips from those scenes.
The writing was almost perfect except from that last episode auto pilot ending. Nevertheless, “Legend of the Blue Sea” will surely warm your heart with the overflowing love vibes sketched in past and present timelines with reincarnation plot on the side.
♥ The Greatest Love (Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin)
When a top actor, Dokko Jin got entangled to a third-rate actress, a hilarious romance ensues as he battled out his emotions only to succumb to it when an equally adorable traditional doctor wields his intention to be with the lead girl.
This is the third Hong sisters entry on my list and the trademark smart humor on the writing was evident. I loved Cha Seung Won in City Hall and even more in his overconfident character in this story. Gong Hyo Jin as always brings out any character given to her. Her submissive and kind attitude neutralized Dokko Jin’s strong persona and forced him to become a better person worthy to accept and give love.
♥ Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min)
Time-traveling and a clueless Joseon prince who was transported to modern times made me a happy camper on its weekly run because of the Prince and his warriors hilarious adjustments to technology powered way of living.
The romance was an added bonus, but when I look back it is really the cute bromance that sealed this drama in my kdrama memory compartment.
♥ Flowerboy Ramyun Shop (Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah)
Dear drama, you know you got me at Jung Il Woo.
“Flower boy ramyun shop” checked the romcom essentials of cohabitation, mean love triangle, and rich boy poor girl love line. The adorable chasing of the lead man to win the heroine’s heart was crazily sweet and in turn secured Jung Il Woo a spot inside my heart. *chuckles
♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun
You have two wonderful love pairings to indulge on and an extra equally sweet bromance for dessert. What more can you ask for?
Drawn in folklore and chimeric premise, consider Goblin as a karmic prize for kdramaaddicts’ loyal following. The polished storytelling and amazing cast portrayal nailed a quintessential drama that you can share with your grandchildren in the future.
♥ Reply 1997 (Seo In Gook and Jung Eun Ji)
I chose the first story from the Reply Franchise as it gave an impressive showing of a first love story as well as friendship turned romance narrative. Nostalgic in its projection, “Reply 1997” will give anyone a trip back to those wistful memories of their young, unrequited love.
♥ The Master’s Sun (So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin)
My final Hong sisters drama on the list went to a spooky millieu and was successful in doing so. A ghost-seeing woman has been burdened by her ability all her life. When she finally bumped with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost request she keeps getting with and without her warrant, she stuck by the prickly rich department store owner and soon after developed a relationship with him.
“Master’s Sun” exhibited the usual comedic and romantic writing brilliance of the Hong sisters. I meant to watch this before because of So Ji Sub oppa and I got more than I asked for.
♥ Queen In Hyun’s Man (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo Inna)
Abby’s Man aka Queen In Hyun’s Man stirred an excitement in me due to its avant-garde story of a time traveling Joseon scholar who utilized his talisman powered time-space wrinkling ability to hide in the present time while brewing his next moves on fulfiling his duty to the deposed Joseon Queen.
An actress helped him to adapt to contemporary living and they eventually fell in love with each other. “Queen In Hyun’s Man” was hip and fun and affirmed that my decision to eat kdramas for breakfast was valid. *chuckles
♥ Healer (Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young)
“Healer” put me on my longest kdrama character crush. It was so severe that I watched all Ji Chang Wook dramas even the ones that were not worth watching. That’s how much impact the drama gave me.
The love progression was steady and engaging in this drama and you bet I was in dreamy land after that Healer hideout kissing binge. “Healer” is the fulfilment of any adult woman’s ideal man.
♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)
Credit the cast for their commitment to this coming of age drama. It created an international cult following especially on the teens and the early-twenties. “Weightlifting Fairy” was my first and last kdrama binge for 2016. I initially had reservations if I will put it on my plate, but one night when I don’t have anything scheduled to watch anymore, I took it and was uncaring if I wake up the entire village with my laughter festival.
This is the drama I will make my daughter watch when she goes to college so she can have an idea of the perfect college boyfriend. *wink
♥ Oh My Venus (So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)
There were a lot of sighs, swoons, melting moments and heart-stopping arrests when I watched coach-nim and Daegu beauty realized their love potential through a weight loss program.
To reclaim her goddess body, a woman sought the help of a famous weight loss coach to carry on with her project. He was initially adamant about it, but she trapped him by threatening how she will reveal his identity to the world if he does not agree.
“Oh My Venus” oozed with sweet, steamy scenes that will tickle your heart and imagination. If you are on a weightloss program, watch this so coach-nim can inspire you.
♥ Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo)
Suave and prettily written, Captain Yoo Si Jin won my heart in his cool depiction of a military elite officer who got the girl he dreamt of even when their careers inhibit them to spend quality time with each other.
Thanks to Song-Song couple’s right on the dot chemistry, they were able to pull off a breathtaking lovestory that will be forever loved by many like me.
♥ Something About 1% 2016 (Ha Suk Jin and Jeon So Min)
Cropping unnecessary scenes and light on its conflict, Something About 1 Percent is the exact description of a fan-service drama.
Jae In and Da Hyun’s love story progressed in an addictive pace through their sweet kisses. It is a big, pink bubblewrap drama that will comfort you when you want to be alone after a break-up.
♥ Oh My Ghost (Jo Jung Seok and Park Bo Young)
A virgin ghost hosted on a meek woman’s body to get a formal passport to afterlife. The ghost helped the timid girl worked on the crush she harbored on the Chef of the restaurant she was working. Chef-nim mistook the sudden changes in her personality as a psychological disorder and tried to help on but nurtured emotional feelings in the process.
“Oh My Ghost” was a quirky watch that will give you laugh fit and enough knee-weakening scenes to feed your love cravings.
♥ It’s okay, this is love (Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin)
Kdramaland has displayed refreshing love stories through the years and it keeps getting better. The love story between a famous writer with some psychological issues and a psychiatrist was a runaway hit for me in 2014. And not just because of Jo In Sung oppa, but due to the cast that you can’t help but fall in love.
It’s okay, this is love fulfilled the promise of a lingering chronicle of ardent love. It may not appeal to tweens and young women but I’m sure that women in their 30’s will appreciate it a lot.
♥ Fated to Love You (Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra)
When I look back on this drama, I can’t help but remember Jang Hyuk oppa’s outrageous laugh. hahaha
“Fated to love you” tells the story of a one night stand that brought together an unlikely to fall in love couple. Left with no choice they got married, but misunderstandings and losing their baby separated them unfortunately. Years after fate brought them together again and they finally get the validation that they have always been meant to be.
This is probably my favorite Jang Na Ra drama because it achieved a balanced story of how relationships have reasons why they are not meant to be at a particular moment.
♥ A Gentleman’s Dignity (Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ha Neul)
Before the Goblin-GrimReaper Bromance, the brotherhood in this drama was my most favorite. The snappy storyline and side love stories were some of the reasons why I picked this drama. This is one of the earlier dramas from Goblin/DOTS writer so you will get an idea on how she has really worked on her skills over the years.
♥ My Princess (Song Sung Heon and Kim Tae Hee)
The long lost last princess of Korea was found and to prepare her for her royal duties, the grandson of a rich family who nurtured the princess family wealth prepped her up in facing her new responsibilities. Think Princess Diaries + Pretty Woman.
This is the first bribe I got from both the actors to notice them and they were successful in forming a cheery love story.
♥ Myungwol the Spy (Eric Moon and Han Ye Seul)
A serving of a North Korean spy who got entangled emotionally with a South Korean top actor needed nothing else to convince me in watching it.
This is one hilarious romcom spectacle you should not miss.
♥ Personal Taste (Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin)
The cute twist of the heroine misconceiving her lead man to be homosexual plus the cohabitation ride that slowly but surely built up the romance, this is the drama that secured Lee Min Ho a slot on my radar as I enjoyed their story immensely.
There are a lot of love and life lessons for women to learn on this drama as Gae In provided her insights on how focusing on personal dreams should come first before frustrations.
A must watch Lee Min Ho drama to add on your plate if you have just recently started liking him.
♥ Secret Garden (Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won)
This body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeded everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story.
I swear that curl up sweet scene still make my heart flutters. *chuckles “Secret Garden” showed a reversal of gender roles as we are given a heroine with unfazed attitude who fell in love with a rich man who did everything to make her love him.
Now that I remember the “rain twist”. There’s something about rain that makes it a staple twist in kdrama stories as projected in Goblin, My GF is a Gumiho and Secret Garden. Anyway, I loved Hyun Bin here more than his stint in Samsoon probably because I am more inclined to like unusually imagined story premise.
♥ Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yoo Chun, Park Min Young and Yoo Ah In)
For me “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” is still my best pick for both school and youth drama even when the drama is set in Joseon era. If you are curious why then take some time off and spend time with these scholar flower boys plus the cross dressing heroine.
If you liked the recent Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, the missing nudges on that drama were effortlessly notched in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.
♥ W: Two Worlds (Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo)
“W” strode a scintillating first half but fell short on the labyrinth and depth of the ambitious plot the writer conceived. Nonetheless, Kang Chul sweetly haunted my weak heart as he romanced his lady love.
Kang Chul is everyone’s dream guy and more. If you want to forget a recent relationship set back feel free to enter the worlds of Kang Chul.
♥ You From Another Star (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun)
Since my favorite actress headlined this drama, it was already a given that I secured a spot for my busy time to watch it simultaneously as it aired. In 2015, I let kdramas conclude first before I delve on them. I had to break it because I trusted the girl who brought me to Hallyuland that she was up for a brilliant project. She did not prove me wrong and I was on high savoring the beautiful alien and top actress love story that served as a lesson to current kdrama actresses roster to learn how rom-com should be done. Kim Soo Hyun was a bonus like equivalent to $1 Million dollars. The impeccable chemistry of the lead couple surged a memorable love story that would appeal to anyone.
“You From Another Star” is still my all time top pick for the Best Romcom Drama ever produced in kdramaland.