If Korean dramas are good at one thing, that would be making a squeal-worthy, arm-flapping, heart-melting kind of romance that will make you want to fall in love. They have quite literally taken over my life.
My Netflix queue is filled with them which is a good indication that these shows are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. I can no longer relate to the latest American thriller, but I can give you recommendations for the latest Korean romances that will have you on the edge of your seat just the same.
1. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Starring Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk
Kim Bok Joo, played by Lee Sung Kyung, is no laughing matter. She is a collegiate weightlifter and one tough girl when it comes to what she believes in. Although she isn’t popular with the boys and intimidates just about everyone else, Kim Bok still has a heart of gold. So when she runs into free-spirited swimmer Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk), she is taken aback by his aggressive reaction when she tries to return his handkerchief. Jung Joon saves her after she falls into a pool, which is when he realizes that she is the same girl that saved his life several years ago.
2. It’s Ok, That’s Love
Starring Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin
We all have our problems, but Jang Jae Yeol’s (Jo In Sung) problem is that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. For the sake of his career as a mystery writer and radio DJ, he seeks professional help from Doctor Ji Hye Soo (Gong Hyo Jin). No one is perfect in this series as it becomes apparent that these two might be the only ones able to cure each other. With all the emotional feels, the soundtrack is perfect at setting the mood. This show will heal your heart, just as much as it will set it ablaze.
3. Descendants of the Sun
Starring Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo
If you did not catch on to the series’ popularity when it first came out, then summer is the perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing. No amount of drama is spared in this fateful encounter between special forces Captain Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) and the talented surgeon Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Gyo). Even though circumstances keep pulling them apart, fate brings them back together when they both reunite in Uruk as part of work.
There were times that I couldn’t stop my tears at the endless challenges faced by the two lovers. In return, the show’s lighthearted humor will keep you smiling until the end.
4. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God
Starring Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun
In this supernatural romance between an immortal “goblin” Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), known as the protector of souls, and the human Ji Eun Tuk (Kim Go Eun), love and death are closely intertwined. The curse of immortality being that you can never die, even when you want to, Kim Shin tries to end his life the only way he knows how, by marrying a human bride. Ironically, it may be love that actually kills him.
5. Wild Chives & Soybean Soup
Starring Lee So Yeon and Namgoong Min
Have you ever wondered if a first-love will last? Well, it took twelve years for this one to be realized, but, then again, not everyone accidentally becomes pregnant after sleeping with their first love. It is the worst case scenario which happens to high school student Jang Gook (Lee So Yeon) and her crush, Yoo Joon Soo (Namgoong Min), that causes their parents to separate them until they meet again twelve years later. I’ve heard of love surviving distance, but now, you might be convinced that feelings can surpass time as well.
Even if you have never watched a K-drama before or are not a big fan of subtitles, these shows are entertaining and easy-to-follow. Be prepared; even if you stay inside to avoid the summer heat, you will still be left feeling hot after just one episode.