There are K-Dramas that air the finale and give us the proper closure we need; And there are K-Dramas that air the finale and make us scream, “Come back, we’re not ready!” The ending lingers on and on in our hearts. The scenes play over and over in our heads. The soundtrack rings and rings in our ears. It leaves us saying, “Can’t believe that’s over…” for the next one, two, ten weeks. And that’s how we know — we’ve met “the drama” of our lives. Avid K-Drama watchers have picked and shared these top 5 titles to be their undying favorites.
And what would this make? The ultimate To-Binge list!
1. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
This historic fantasy romance starring IU with big name actors like Lee Joon Gi and Kang Ha Neul premiered in 2016. After traveling back in time to the ancient Korean Goryeo dynasty, IU finds herself torn between the gentle Prince Wang Wook and the dark Prince Wang So. Who will she choose? Can she go back to the 21st century where she belongs? Does she want to leave her princes behind? What will happen to the royal Wang family without her?
2. SKY Castle
This satirical drama starring actress Kim Seo Hyung — and her breathtakingly intimidating portrayal of the college admission “coordinator” — swept the nation in a sensational frenzy when it aired between 2018-2019. Shedding light on the scandalously competitive lives of the rich in Korea, SKY Castle shows how the parents’ desire to micromanage their children to send them to prestigious colleges eventually destroys everything — including their own lives.
3. Mr. Sunshine
This historic action romance starring actor Lee Byung Hun and actress Kim Tae Ri gained a tremendous amount of attention for its international premiere on Netflix in 2018. Then, throughout the episodes, viewers grew hooked on the hopeless love story between a Korean-born-but-American-raised marine and an aristocrat-born undercover activist. Will the marine fight for the country that took him in or for the country that abandoned him? Can the aristocrat lady overcome her identity and really push the movement for Joseon‘s independence? Does love really transcend all social restrictions like their statuses?
4. I’m Sorry, I Love You
This 2004 heartthrob series starring actor So Ji Sub and actress Im Soo Jung is truly an “old but gold” one that made it on to this list. Dubbed to have the most tragic ending of all romantic K-Dramas, this show tells the impossible love story between an Australian-raised scam artist with a dark past and a grim future and a helplessly devoted stylist with nothing but love in her heart. Both leads end up dead — breaking the cliché of happy endings. Why though? Only the sickly twisted rollercoaster plot can tell.
5. Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
This fantasy series from 2016, starring actors Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook, and actress Kim Go Eun, ranks #2 on the list of Korea’s most-viewed tvN dramas. Featuring the story between a girl who sees spirits and a “spirited” god who needs her help to rest in peace, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God charmed the nation as soon as it premiered — with a solid plot and the best visuals ever. Will she be able to say goodbye to the one and only guardian she has had in her life? Will he be able to let her bid farewell?