Top 8 Best Korean Dramas On Netflix

Are you looking for new shows to watch on Netflix? We all know Netflix has many great shows we’ve heard of and want to see, but Netflix makes binge watching so easy with its myriad of hits and famous “Skip Intro” button. If you are like us and you’ve just finished the last show on your watch list, you’re now twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do with your life. Never fear–and get back on that couch –because we’ve got a treat for you in the form of the ten best Korean dramas on Netflix!

Korean dramas are on the rise all over the world for several reasons, and we are excited to share with you ten of the best Korean Dramas on Netflix so you can get started on your next fulfilling binge-watching session immediately. Let’s take a look at our top ten list so you can add these shows to your new and improved watch list.

Korean Dramas on Netflix FAQ

We found and answered a few important frequently asked questions regarding what Korean dramas on Netflix are, why they are so popular in the US and all over the world, and why we believe you should invest your time into watching Korean dramas. We also included who the best stars are of Korean dramas so you can look out for your favorites and watch the shows on our list that they star in. We also included how you can connect with other fellow fans of Korean dramas and meet people who have similar interests!

1. What Are Korean Dramas on Netflix?

There are two basic genres of Korean dramas, the first of which is called Sageuk. Sageuk refers to any Korean film or television drama that is based on historical figures, incorporates historical events, and/or uses a historical backdrop. The word Sageuk literally translates to “historical drama: and is reserved for dramas taking place during Korean history. These genres have attained major success outside Korea since the mid-2000s; high satisfaction ratings have been reported in countries such as Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Fiji, and Iran. Specifically, in Iran, 2008 saw an 85% viewership.

korean sitting on tightrope

There are also contemporary genres of Korean dramas. These genres are typically centeredaround love stories. These dramas are set in contemporary or current times and put family ties and relationships in the focus. The characters in these genres are usually idealized Korean male leads who are often portrayed as handsome, intelligent, and emotionally relatable. This genre has been a major contributing factor to the popularity of Korean dramas among women as the image of Korean men became different from other Asian men.

As for the history of Korean dramas, the first dramas in Korea began under Japanese rule on the radios in 1927. Most of the programming around this time was mostly Japanese and only about 30% was in Korean. Television broadcasting began in 1956 and the first national television channel was called Korean Broadcasting System (or KBS). This started in 1961 and the first Korean television film was a 15-minute piece entitled The Gate of Heaven. Since then, Korean drama has been on the rise in popularity and are loved by many.

2. Why Are Korean Dramas on Netflix So Popular?

There are many reasons people like Korean dramas, mainly because of the eye candy these shows offer. There’s also tons of eductational cultural appeal, and the G-rated shows are often squeaky clean and contain nothing dirty or foul-mouthed. There is also an immense cuteness overload for those who enjoy it, and no shortage of precious moments in these dramas. If you become a K-Drama veteran, you will notice your lingual dexterity increase, and there’s a fresh factor that is a welcome change from the Western world shows. There are also cute clothes, mouth-watering food, and great music.

3. Why Should I Be Watching Korean Dramas on Netflix?

There is a smorgasbord of choices; there are romantic comedies, metier melodramas, and a myriad of genres, including historical, fantasy, science fiction, and action, and so many other ingredients. There is immense accessibility of these shows thanks to sites like Netflix, and the 16-20 standard episode format is perfect to tell a whole connected story that has a strong buildup and conclusion. There are also addictive properties to keep viewers hooked, such as emotional connections with characters.

Characters in Korean dramas go through trials and tribulations in such a way that the audience relates to the characters. There are cliff-hanger endings on almost every episode, and the tension builds up so that the emotional resonance is much higher than with many American dramas.

4. Who Are the Best Actors of Korean Dramas on Netflix?

We would like to share with you ten of the most popular Korean actors so you can follow your favorites and watch the shows they star in. Lee Min-Ho is in Boys Over Flowers, City Hunter, Faith (The Great Doctor), and Heirs. Kim Soo Hyun is from My Love From Another Star, Dream High, and Moon Embracing the Sun. Jang Geun Suk stars in You’re Beautiful, Love Rain, Beethoven Virus, and Pretty Man, Lee Seung Gi is in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Gu Family Book, and Brilliant Legacy.

Kim Hyun Joong stars in Boys Over Flowers, Playful Kiss, and Inspiring Generation. Rain is in Full House, The Fugitive: Plan B, and A Love to Kill. Kim Bum is in Boys Over Flowers, High Kick, and Dream, Yong Jung Hwa stars in You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings, and Marry Him If You Dare. Lee Hong Ki is in You’re Beautiful and Bride of the Century and Choi Jin Hyuk can be seen in Heirs, Emergency Couple, Gu Family Book, and I Need Romance.

5. How Can I Connect with Other Fans of Korean Dramas on Netflix?

If you enjoy Korean dramas, you may feel like you’re alone or a rare breed. Thankfully there are lots of ways you can connect with people who share your interests. There are lots of interesting blogs and websites dedicated to recapping and reviewing episodes for foreign audiences like us. Dramabeans is a great popular site for this recapping feature. It specializes in Korean entertainment news and cultural insight for non-Koreans. Dramafever is another great site to find out information on Korean actors and pop culture news for all of Asia.


Kim Hyun Joong stars in Boys Over Flowers, Playful Kiss, and Inspiring Generation. Rain is in Full House, The Fugitive: Plan B, and A Love to Kill. Kim Bum is in Boys Over Flowers, High Kick, and Dream, Yong Jung Hwa stars in You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings, and Marry Him If You Dare. Lee Hong Ki is in You’re Beautiful and Bride of the Century and Choi Jin Hyuk can be seen in Heirs, Emergency Couple, Gu Family Book, and I Need Romance.

How We Reviewed

Our team spent much time and effort to bring you this unbiased best-of list featuring the ten best Korean dramas on Netflix. We reviewed these ten items based on the parameters of their respective pros and cons, and whether they are contemporary or Sageuk. We reviewed:

Boys Over Flowers

Boys Over Flowers

PROS

Positive, up-and-coming success story

Four different romantic love interests to one female lead

Radically different personalities make clashes in this show

Feel-good plot about a working-class girl who wins a scholarship to an elite boarding school

Great character development

Characters are different and relatable

CONS

Not for those who don’t enjoy shows like Gossip Girl


Not for viewers who aren’t interested in romance


Show is aimed more towards women than men


Not for children


Plot is not relatable


Show Format 

Contemporary

Secret Healer

Secret Healer

PROS

Involves a queen and an evil shaman

Fantasy story full of mystical devices and mischievousness

Fairytale storyline

Love and romantic aspects

Handsome male leads and beautiful female leads 

CONS

Not for more mature adults


Not for small children


Not a realistic plotline


Show Format 

Contemporary

One More Time

One more Time

PROS

Love story with romantic aspects

Struggles, trials, and tribulations to keep the viewer entertained

Plenty of conflict

Mystical fantasy-like aspects to the storyline

Plot offers a push and pull for interesting dialog

CONS

Not for more mature adults


The storyline may be sad and distressing


Not for those who don’t enjoy mystical fantasy plots

Show Format 

Contemporary

Reunited Worlds

Reunited Worlds

PROS

Up-and-coming story

Tragedy and death to keep the audience gripped

Love interests and romantic aspects of storyline

Redemption story that offers a second chance

The plot brings up important questions that will keep a viewer watching

Relatable material (distraught over the stress of death of a loved one, giving up dreams for a simple, boring job that doesn’t fulfill)

CONS

Not for those who dislike romance and love interests


Not a realistic plot device


Aspects of the show may be dull and boring to watch

Slow pace of storyline

Show Format 

Contemporary

Spring Has Come

Spring Has Come

PROS

A wholesome storyline with conflict

Excellent character development

Great balance of fast and slow paces

Love interests and romantic aspects to the storyline

Characters have opposite personalities to keep things interesting

CONS

Not technically an actual K-Drama


Not for those who don’t enjoy romance


Start of the show detailing the female lead’s sales associate lifestyle can be boring and dull

Show Format 

Contemporary

Hello, My Twenties

Hello My Twenties

PROS

Endearing and relatable show

Enthusiastic plot lines

Exceptional character battles

Great sense of humor

Liked and anticipated by many

Characters have different personalities to keep things interesting

CONS

Audience margin is thin


Not for children


Not for older adults

Show Format 

Contemporary

Heaven’s Garden

Heaves Garden

PROS

Realistic and relatable plot

Tugs on all your heart strings

Heartwarming reconciliation story of a father and daughter who lost their bond

Chance for a happy ending

Families coming together and bridging differences

Excellent character development and chances for humor within the series

CONS

May make some viewers sad with its heavy-handedness


Not for those who don’t like heavy subjects or family issues


Lots of conflicts, which some viewers may not enjoy

The beginning may be rough and dystopian for some viewers

Show Format 

Contemporary

Lucid Dream

lucid dream

PROS

Great for those who enjoy science fiction

Great for those who enjoy the movie style of The Matrix

The sentimental plot gets viewers attached

Great character development

Time travel aspects

Alternate universes and realities

Great for history buff viewers

CONS

Aimed at more nerdy viewers


Not for older adults


Not for children
Unrealistic science fiction (Doctor Who-esque) plot

Can be confusing to some viewers because of the time-traveling aspects

Show Format 

Contemporary

Mister Sunshine

Mister Sunshine

PROS

Realistic plot devices

Emotion-heavy storyline

Skilled screenwriter and director

Love and relationships showed

Plenty of hardships and excellent push and pull conflict

Historical aspects that are accurate

Excellent character development

CONS

Not for those who dislike shows about war


Not for those who don’t enjoy love interests and romantic aspects


Not suitable for those who don’t enjoy historical K-Drama shows

Not for children, teenagers, or the faint of heart 

Show Format 

Contemporary

The Miracle

The Miracle

PROS

Great conflict

Twin sisters that are polar opposites

Mystical and fantasy aspects that keep a viewer guessing

Gripping story

“The big switch” plot device offers an interesting tagline for future episodes

Relatable content and lifestyles for anyone watching

One popular twin, one reclusive twin suddenly switch bodies; this creates whimsy and fascinating plot lines

CONS

Unrealistic plot


Plot devices have been done many times before; this story is not a unique one


Body shaming aspects some viewers may be sensitive to

Not for older adults
Not for those who dislike mystical and fantasy plots

Show Format 

Contemporary

Our Final Thoughts

If you are looking for your next Netflix obsession, we hope our list of the ten best Korean dramas on Netflix has given you some great options to add to your watch list. Pick some of the Korean dramas on Netflix that we’ve listed here and start your binge-watching session to discover a whole new genre that we know you will love. What are you waiting for? It’s possible that your next favorite must-watch drama awaits!

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