In recent years, K-Drama fans are getting tired of romances. It’s perfectly fine if the show is focused on the relationship, but when writers just throw one in when there are more interesting things happening… it’s frustrating. While there are several K-Dramas coming out without romances, it’s still the number one item in most series.
As such, fans thought these 7 K-Dramas would have been miles better without that pesky romance!
1. Itaewon Class
Park Sae Ro Yi’s (Park Seo Joon’s) life has been turned upside down after he gets expelled from school and his father is killed in an accident. Following in his father’s footsteps, he opens a pub named DanBam in Itaewon.
Fans were mostly irritated with the love triangle aspect as it is very overused. They felt as if the romance was an afterthought as each character was unique and interesting on their own, and the romance didn’t really go with the plot. Many thought that there was no chemistry between the two and that the couple truly came out of nowhere.
2. Memories of the Alhambra
Strong-spirited Yoo Jin Woo (Hyun Bin) is the CEO of an investment company with a degree in engineering and a talent for developing video games. Suffering after his best friend betrays him, he takes a business trip to Granada, Spain, in search of the mysterious inventor of an augmented-reality game. He ends up at a hostel that Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye) owns. Hee Joo is a former guitarist who came to Spain to further her studies. They are both drawn into a series of strange and unexpected events.
Again, many thought there was no chemistry between the main couple. Fans said that it felt forced and that it ended strangely. They really hoped that the writers would have fleshed out the game concept as it was unique in the industry.
3. Prison Playbook
Kim Je Hyuk (Park Hae Soo), a famous baseball player, is arrested after using excessive force while chasing a man trying to sexually assault his sister. He is sentenced to a year in prison, where he meets his childhood friend and fellow baseball player, Lee Joon Ho (Jung Kyung Ho), who gave up on baseball after a car accident. He is now a prison guard and one of Je Hyuk’s biggest fans.
Most people, when looking at this series, wouldn’t think romance right off the bat. However, that’s just the issue! Fans thought that the main character’s girlfriend was completely unnecessary and forgettable. She was really only there as a connection with the outside world.
Queen Ji So (Kim Ji Soo) has been ruling Silla as regent since King Beopheung died, keeping her young son Sam Maek Jong (Park Hyung Shik) hidden from the world. As he comes of age, nobles, citizens, officials, and Sam Maek Jong himself grow impatient for her to cede power. However, Ji So fears that the powerful nobles will take it from her young son. To break the power of the nobles, Ji So creates a new elite group, the Hwarang, that will protect Sam Maek Jong and the throne.
Aside from fans being mildly weirded out by what the couple turns out to be in the end, everyone mostly wanted this to be a bromance series. We understand that the romance added some dramatic scenes, but everyone mostly just wanted to watch the Hwarangs’ usual story.
After many unfulfilling retail jobs, Seo Dal Mi (Bae Suzy) is unsatisfied with her life. Her soul longs for a grand adventure that sees her at the top and managing her own company. Although she doesn’t have much to offer, she makes up for it with immense ambition. Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk) is the founder of Sam San Tech, a start-up company looking to transition into bigger endeavors. Han Ji Pyung (Kim Seon Ho), a man who doesn’t want to owe anyone anything, owes a large debt to one special person who helped him greatly in the past. Tired of doing all the work but seeing the credit go to someone else, Won In Jae (Kang Ha Na) yearns to prove herself in a male-dominated industry as a capable woman who can succeed without the advantages her privileged childhood has given her.
This particular love triangle caused a lot of tension and arguments between viewers, and many didn’t even want the romance at all! Once again, fans just hoped to explore more of the start-up and the challenges of growing in that industry.
6. The K2
Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook) is a former mercenary soldier known as “K2” who suddenly turns into a fugitive when he is wrongfully accused of killing his girlfriend while serving in Iraq. When he returns to Korea, he gets a job as a bodyguard for Choi Yoo Jin (Song Yoon Ah), the owner of JSS Security and the wife of Jang Se Joon (Jo Sung Ha), who is running for president. Je Ha uses his new job to plan his revenge on Park Kwan Soo (Kim Gab Soo), the leader of the current ruling party, and Se Joon’s rival, whom Je Ha believes murdered his girlfriend. When Je Ha is assigned to guard Go An Na (Im Yoon Ah), the illegitimate daughter of Se Joon, they begin to develop feelings for each other. But what happens when the person who wants to harm An Na the most is Yoo Jin, Je Ha’s boss?
This show has given fans a major case of Second Lead Syndrome, but they also could have gone without romance completely! Many believed that the female lead didn’t need to exist and that the story should have focused on the much more interesting and intense things happening.
7. My Country: The New Age
Set during the end of the Goryeo period to the beginning of the Joseon period, two friends fight about differences in their opinions about “my country.” Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) is a warrior whose father, Seo Geom (Yoo Oh Sung), is a famous commander. He does not compromise when it comes to justice. Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) is smart and talented. However, because his mother was born into the lowest class, Nam Sun Ho is looked down upon by everyone. He wants to pass the military service examination, but he loses this dream due to a scandal involving his father.
Like Hwarang, fans felt that the romance was quite forced and awkward, and the writers should have just kept this series as a simple bromance show. Fans don’t really mind that the female lead is there, but they believe being friends/allies would have been much more interesting.