My fondness of K-drama has led me to compile the ultimate 200 best Korean drama series of all time since the Hallyu Wave.
Take note: Because the list is veeeeeeery long, I have to divide the posts. So, to make sure you keep up with the updated list, subscribe to my list and get email notification as soon as it goes live on my blog. Click here to get on my list.
In the early 2000s, Korean dramas came into Philippine televisions and dominated the whole night shows in comparison to local programs.
I could remember when my aunt turned on our old-fashioned television set. You know, those units with antenna. Since I was a kid, I couldn’t fully enjoy the whole series because I always stood behind the box holding the antenna high to keep the clear screen. Ugh, sucks.
Whenever the 5 o’clock in the afternoon strikes, we rush back home and watch our favorite Japanese drama “Gokusen” and Taiwanese adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime “Hana Yori Dango,” the F4’s “Meteor Garden.”
A few years later, the first Korean drama “Autumn In My Heart” aired on television, introducing the sentimentality of South Korea to the Philippine audience as well as the pleasing and attractive faces for both sexes the first time. “Oh, they look really good,” my aunt said.
Because of that experience, it’s worth my while to compile the 200 best Korean drama series of all time since the Hallyu Wave in the early 2000s. For me, it’s like sharing my childhood to you.
Here are those K-dramas worth the binge-watch:
1. Autumn In My Heart (2000)
Yoon Joon Suh and Yoon Eun Suh grew up as siblings but Eun Suh was in fact from a different family as there was a mix up at the hospital where she was born.
The switch came to light when Eun Suh was involved in a car accident and it was discovered that her blood type was different from her parents.
Eun Suh’s life took a complete turn when the 2 girls were returned to their respective families.
Soon after, the Yoon family left for the States and Eun Suh was left living in sordid condition with her real family in Korea. Years after, Joon Suh returned to Korea and by chance the two former siblings were reunited. (Source: MyDramaList)
2. Hotelier (2001)
Jin Young, a very open-minded and energetic woman, worked for the Seoul Hotel. Her ex-boyfriend Tae Joon resigned and had left for Vegas three years earlier due to an unfortunate incident w/ a guest.
The owner of the hotel had always believed in Tae Joon even more so than his own son, Young Jae.
When he died of a heart attack, his wife realized that Jin Young must go to Vegas to bring Tae Joon back so he could help run the hotel, which was falling into pieces. Their rival, Kim Book Man, was determined to acquire the Seoul Hotel. (Source: MyDramaList)
3. Winter Sonata (2002)
Jun-Sang moves to a small town in the country and meets Yoo-Jin in the local high school. They fall in love, but Jun-Sang faces a terrible tragedy and gets killed in a car accident.
Ten years later, Yoo-Jin meets a guy who looks just like her Jun-Sang. Yoo-Jin has to choose between her current boyfriend and a person who reminds her of her dead sweetheart. (Source: IMDb)
4. My Love Patzzi (2002)
Song Yi is a girl with a pure heart with a bad temper. She was tricked and humiliated by her “best friend” Hee Won as a child. From then on, Hee Won has always been the princess and successful while everyone mistook Song Yi as the evil child.
When Song Yi did not have a job, Hee Won introduced her to the amusement park that she is in charge of. There she found her childhood friend and ex-crush Hyun Sung, who Hee Won has “stole” when they were kids.
From then on, Hee Won tried to humiliate Song Yi many times, framing her in many situations that Hee Won has created herself. To get back at Hee Won, she decided to break the train that the park was launching so that Hee Won would be blamed.
Little did she know that she caused more damage and that the train caught on fire. What was worse was that the son of the president of the park was in the train.
Ridden with guilt, Song Yi risks her own life to save the life of Seung Joon. Seung Joon fell in love with Song Yi for her brave spirit and charming attitude.
But what will happen to their relationship when Hee Won exposes to the world of what she has done? (Source: DramaWiki)
5. Summer Scent (2003)
Three year’s previously Min-woo lost his first love in a tragic accident. As he struggles on with life, he meets Hae-won who reminds him of his lost love but is racked with emotion and confusion as his feelings for these two women become intertwined.
Unbeknownst to the florist Hae-won she has received her heart transplant and a second chance at life from Min-woo’s first love. When the two cross paths Hae-won notices her unusual heart beat.
Nobody knew it was her heart that remembered and beats strong for her lost love Min-woo. As Hae-won starts falling in love with Min-woo soon the conflict erupts between the lovely florist and her fiance Jung-jae. (Source: AsianWiki)
6. Rooftop Room Cat (2003)
Also known as “Cat on the Roof,” the story is about marriage as a thought to be the final conclusion of love: the most precious value in this world. But in reality, the marriage is not so sweet as recklessly imagined.
Instead of being a sweet dream, the marriage in reality is a commitment and a promise to live among many kinds of obligation and sacrifice. It is rather the end of love than a sweet beginning.
This is not what the lovers are aiming about. It’s not marriage but living love they are shooting for. This is a drama of couple who has found a new way of living happily in Love. (Source: AsianWiki)
7. All In (2003)
As a kid, all Kim In Ha ever did was follow his uncle around and help him cheat in gambling. As a high school student, he hung out with his friends at the basement of a theater.
As Kim In Ha gets to know Choi Jeong Won, a model student and also the son of a very rich family, In Ha tries to tempt him into doing mischievous deeds. (Source: IMDb)
8. Full House (2004)
In a bid to reacquire her childhood home, a free-spirited, unemployed, young woman agrees to a sham-marriage with a selfish neat-freak actor.
Their daily lives are complicated by overlapping love triangles and comic misadventures. (Source: IMDb)
9. Sweet 18 (2004)
Kwon Hyuk Joon’s grandfather, the head of the traditional Kwon family agrees to an arranged marriage between his grandson, Hyuk Joon, and Yoon Jung Sook when Yoon Jung Sook is born.
Eventually, the two families lose contact with each other, because soon after the contract is signed, Jung Sook’s family encounters financial issues and is forced to run away.
18 years later, Jung Sook has grown up to be a rebellious and strong-willed girl who just wants to live her life as she sees fit. With little aspirations, she is the direct foil of her achievement-bound counterpart, Hyuk Joon.
When the two meet again, they clash horribly; Jung Sook thinks her fiancee is nothing but boring, and Hyuk Joon believes Jung Sook to be nothing but an immature child. Despite this, they marry.
What follows is the story of their new life living together as a couple, and the obstacles they are faced with. (Source: MyDramaList)
10. Biscuit Teacher & Star Candy (2005)
Also known as Hello My Teacher, it talks about Na Bo-ri is a 25-year-old woman, who desperately wants to be a teacher at the high school.
She was kicked out of due to a misunderstanding with her teachers over injuring a group of male classmates (she had been a legend there for being a troublemaker and getting into fights).
After overcoming numerous hardships and getting her high-school equivalency certification, she rejects job offers from other high schools and works on becoming a substitute teacher at her old high school so she can work side by side with her longtime high school crush, the art teacher Ji Hyun-woo.
However, the only thing that enables her to get the coveted job is by signing a contract to essentially babysit Park Tae-in, a troublemaker who attends the same high school.
Tae-in, a lonely 20-year-old youth, quickly becomes the “jjang”, or “king” of the high school, and enjoys playing mean tricks on Bo-ri who’s tough but easy going personality attracts the majority of her students.
As his relationship with his teacher takes a turn for the worse, Tae-in gradually becomes attracted to her through a series of complicated events.
Noh Jem-ma is jealous of the relationship between Bo-ri and Tae-in, and goes out of her way to get Bo-ri kicked out but she’s not the only one against them. (Source: Wikipedia)
11. Sassy Girl Choon-Hyang (2005)
Lee Mong-ryong is transferred from Seoul to a high school in Namwon, North Jeolla Province. Chun-hyang does her best to help Mong-ryong, her first love and the son of the Namwon Police Station chief, to enter a prestigious university.
However, after meeting with Mong-ryong’s first love, Chae-rin, Mong-ryong’s love toward Chun-hyang is shattered, although Chun-hyang’s love remains unwavering.
One day, Byeon Hak-do, CEO of a famous entertainment company, appears in her life. He exudes confidence that he can make any woman fall for him.
However, as Chun-hyang shows no interest in him, his self-esteem is damaged profoundly. Byeon Hak-do is determined to make her love him. (Source: AsianWiki via KBS)
12. Green Rose (2005)
Lee Jung-Hyun works for SR Electronics Company. He falls in love with Soo-Ah. He did not know that she is the daughter of SR Electronics Company’s owner President Oh.
Soo-Ah, the only daughter of President Oh, is lovely, bright and cute. With such a character she can fall in love with Jung-Hyun, who comes from a poor background.
After Jung-Hyun learns who Soo-Ah’s father is he tries to end their relationship, but Soo-Ah appeals to him to not to break up.
When Jung-Hyun decides to continue their relationship he is then framed and falsely accused of attempting to kill Soo-Ah’s father.
Meanwhile, Soo-Ah takes care of her father who is now in vegetative state and runs the company. She eventually gets engaged to Hyun-Tae.
Jung-Hyun chases after a woman named Yoo-Ran, who he believes set him up. In China, Jung-Hyun meets Yoo-Ran and discovers clues on who is behind his frame up. Jung-Hyun then saves Jin Dae-In of Daeryook Corporation, who seizes the distribution industry.
Through various tests he is acknowledged and sent to South Korea as a representative of the company and to decide the fate of SR Electronics Company. At the negotiation meeting he meets Soo-Ah again. With his new name Jang Jong-Won, he falls in love with her once again.
Soo-Ah who meets Jang Jong-Won is confused with her feelings of love and hate, thoughts of revenge and longing for her old love.
Jung-Hyun must now go up against Hyun-Tae, Soo-Ae’s fiance. (Source: AsianWiki)
13. My Girl (2005)
Contract marriage? The couple won’t live in the same room. In the end, they actually will anyway. Contract dating? Why be shy when you’re going to date anyways? What? Contract siblings? That is quite something if you ask me.
However, there is one bizarre contract between two couples. Her major is creative writing (overflowing with lies), double majoring in acting (nice looking face with exceptional acting skills), minor major in broadcast entertainment (wonderful showmanship with quick agility of wit).
Joo Yu-rin has an imprudent European attitude with full capability to do anything along with her good looks.
There’s also Seol Gong-chan, a mighty fortunate man, who could handle any business of his own that he wants. There cannot be a more fatal chance of meeting than the one they have.
Nonetheless they get make a “contract sibling” agreement perhaps by their will or not. However, the two must join forces to go through the hardship that they must face… There’s another couple that get involved.
Jung-woo who is a free-loving person, and Gong-chan’s past sweetheart, Se-hyun, a famous Korean sports star. Jung-woo gets quite frustrated by Yu-rin who keeps escaping from him, and Se-hyun keeps thinking of her past sweetheart, Gong-chan and can’t seem to let him go.
Despite the small fights, the loving feelings that suddenly arise between Gong-chan and Yu-rin, and Jung-woo and Se-hyun’s love for them. What would happen between these four? (Source: AsianWiki)
14. My Name Is Kim Sam Soon (2005)
Kim Sam Soon is a baker who has a talent in making pastries and cakes. On Christmas Eve, she caught her boyfriend, Min Hyun Woo, cheating on her and breaks up. On that same night, she accidentally went into the men’s restroom and met Hyun Jin Hun.
By sheer coincidence, Jin Hun needs a baker for his restaurant Bon Appetit and Sam Soon is unemployed. Sam Soon is hired as the restaurant’s chief baker and the two fight like cat and dog. (Source: MyDramaList)
15. Couple Or Trouble (2006)
This series is based on the 1987 American movie Overboard. Anna Jo is a rude, feisty, and audacious American-bred heiress who can never be satisfied. She returns to Korea only to continue being a controlling wife to her already cowardly husband, Billy Park.
When her yacht gets stuck for repairs, she hires local handyman Jang Chul Soo to fix her shower. But when they have a heated spat over her dissatisfaction and non payment, she pushes him overboard and dunks his tools into the ocean right along with him.
Later, after a quarrel with Billy that threatens to end their marriage, she herself gets drunkenly pitched overboard and falls victim to a bad case of amnesia. (Source: MyDramaList)
16. Goong (2006)
Chae Gyeong is an ordinary high school student. One day, she receives some unexpected news. Because of her grandfather’s will, she must marry the unendurable Crown Prince Lee Shin who also attends her high school. Chae Gyeong resists the proposal but reluctantly marries him to help her debt-ridden family.
As she struggles to adapt herself to the proper manners and royal duties of palace life and to her disagreeable husband, Lee Shin’s sentimental cousin and second-in-line to the throne, Yul, steps into her life.
She feels like she can rely on Yul to help her, but finds it difficult not to worry about her haughty, cold-hearted husband. To help bridge this gap, the senior members of the royal family take some special measures to get them to spend the night together. (Source: MyDramaList)
17. One Fine Day (2006)
After Seo Haneul lost her mother in a fire, she was later adopted by a wealthy family and experienced a life of many twists and turns. Seo Gun’s father had married an unwed mother, thus making Seo Haneul his sister in the eyes of the law.
After their parents passed away, Seo Haneul was adopted by a wealthy chairman of a large organization who has also became a gangster. Upon using Haneul to extort money, Seo Gun and Haneul slowly fall in love with each other. (Source: MyDramaList)
18. Soulmate (2006)
The person you meet once in your lifetime that fate has brought to you! This person you call your soulmate. The year 2006, your soulmate is secretly creeping up on you.
What if my other half is really living somewhere out there; will I be able to notice them?
It is a question that can be asked by anyone who is in their marital age. A time when matchmaking agencies are flooded with people!
Try re-identifying the true meaning of marriage and love while watching 6 couples live the same life that you’re living in. (Source: MyDramaList)
19. Unstoppable High Kick (2006)
Also known as High Kick!, it talks about Lee Yoon-ho, a motorcycle mania who engages in many fights at school and is known for his high kick, and Lee Min-ho, who enjoys spending time on scale models and web blogs
They are brothers born a year apart but attending the same class at school. These two portray completely opposite Korean teenage characters in a comical way.
And of course, there’s the rest of the family. Their father Jun-ha Lee, a full-time stock investor since being laid-off from work, nevertheless optimistic and reckless.
Their mother Park Hae Mi, an oriental medicine doctor and always overly confident; their grandfather Lee Soon Jae, who loves money more than anything in the world.
Their grandmother Nah Mun Hee, who is always defeated by her daughter-in-law in ongoing status quarrels, are some of them. Their uncle Lee Min-yong is a 27-year-old single dad.
After going through a premature marriage and early divorce, he enjoys his life back in the dating scene with his half-single and half-married status, while continuing to encounter emotionally-involved moments with his ex-wife Shin Ji at times.
Smooth High Kick! is a situation comedy, which portrays the everyday lives of the main characters colliding with each other in a comical way.
However, at a certain point, the surprising mysteries of their seemingly-normal surrounding characters begin to unravel one by one. (Source: AsianWiki)
20. Vineyard Man (2006)
In this romantic-comedy, (an adaptation of the book The Vineyard Man by Kim Rang), Yoon Eun Hye plays Lee Ji Hyun, a clothing designer in Seoul, who reluctantly leaves home for one year to work at her grand uncle’s vineyard in a small village.
However when arriving in the country, she reunites with a Jang Taek Gi Oh Man Suk, a local resident who had been wrongfully arrested in Seoul by police after Ji Hyun reported having a dress-which she had designed-had been stolen.
The two clash frequently as Ji Hyun has a difficult time adjusting to life in the country and working with Taek Gi. However, after many twists and turns Ji Hyun adapts to rustic life while falling in love with Taek Gi. (Source: MyDramaList)
21. What’s Up Fox? (2006)
Single 33-year-old Go Byeong Hee works as a reporter for a sex magazine. She wants more romance and a more respectable life but isn’t sure how to get it.
24-year-old Park Chul Su, mechanic and world traveller, is the younger brother of Byeong Hee’s best friend. He’s free-spirited and not concerned with what the world thinks.
One night, the two old family friends get drunk and wake up in bed together. Go Byeong Hee wants to forget it ever happened, especially since a good marriage prospect has just made an appearance. Unfortunately for her, Chul Su has other ideas. (Source: MyDramaList)
22. Bad Family (2006)
Na Rim, who came from a wealthy household, lost her family in a car accident when she was nine. After the accident, she suffered from amnesia.
So her uncle hired Oh Dal Gun, an ex-gangster, to recreate a similar household with parents, sister, brother, grandparents and uncle in hopes that she would regain her memory
In a hurry, Oh Dal Gun ended up hiring all sorts of odd ball characters to act as members of Na Rim’s family. None got along at the start and hilarious situation arose when all members tried to cope in front of the little girl and also to protect her from the one who caused her family’s accident.
Eventually they started to behave like a real family and cared for each other, proving that blood relation is not as important as a caring heart. (Source: MyDramaList)
23. 9 Ends 2 Outs (2007)
Also known as the Two Outs In The Ninth Inning, it talks about an spiring writer Hong Nan-hee is a foul-mouthed, disheveled and jaded single woman struggling with life and love.
She and Byun Hyung-tae have been best friends for most of their lives. They cook for each other, call each other daily, bicker like siblings, and support each other when things go wrong.
But everything is about to change. On her 30th birthday, Nan-hee realizes that she needs to shake things up. She begins dating Kim Jung-joo, a talented baseball pitcher who is aiming to play in the American big leagues.
But Nan-hee’s mother disapproves of their relationship because he is eight years younger.
Tired of living with her mother, she rents Hyung-tae’s house while he is on vacation, but complications arise and soon the two friends are living in the house together.
As the old friends navigate new territory, they start to discover things they never knew about each other — he’s neurotic, she snores.
But more importantly, they gradually realize what their friends and family have always suspected — that, without realizing it, they’ve been the most important people to each other all along. (Source: Wikipedia)
24. Coffee Prince (2007)
Choi Han-gyul is the grandson of chairwoman Bang of Dong-in Foods, a company that has a thriving coffee business. He has never had a job and does not care for responsibility.
Han-gyul is hung up on his first love, Han Yoo-joo, who only sees him as a friend. Go Eun-chan is a 24-year-old tomboy who is often mistaken for a guy. Her father died when she was 16 years old and since then she has taken over as the breadwinner in her family.
When Han-kyul and Eun-chan meet, he, not knowing that she is a girl, decides to hire her to pretend to be his gay lover so that he can escape the blind dates arranged by his grandmother.
After getting an ultimatum from his grandmother, Han-gyul takes over a rundown old coffee shop, later renamed “Coffee Prince,” to prove that he’s capable, both to his grandmother and to Yoo-joo.
In order to attract female customers, he only hires good-looking male employees. Eun-chan, desperate for money, continues to hide her gender to get a job at Coffee Prince.
Soon, feelings start to develop between Eun-chan and Han-kyul. As Han-gyul is unaware that Eun-chan is a woman, he starts to question his sexuality and is thrown into turmoil.
When Han-gyul finds out that Eun-chan is a woman, he gets angry. But soon, they make amends with each other and the two fall in love again. Eun-chan eventually leaves for Italy to study and Han-gyul supports her. (Source: Wikipedia)
25. Dal Ja’s Spring (2007)
‘Dalja’s Spring’ is the story of Dalja, a 33-year old single at a crossroad of whether to remain single or get married before she gets older. The drama aims to comically and candidly portray the reality and undying pursuit of romance of a thirty something single woman.
The love triangle of Dalja, Taebong and Gijoong brews conflicts over love versus marriage. Taebong, a hunk six years younger than Dalja, works as substitute dates and becomes Dalja’s fake boyfriend. Gijoong is the type who dreams of an ideal and rational courtship.
The drama also highlights the life and work of women in their thirties through Dalja who is a talented managing director at a home shopping channel. (Source: AsianWiki)
26. Flowers Of My Life (2007)
Having grown up in a funeral home, Ha Na is immune to the range of human emotion. Money is the only thing she really loves.
One day she comes up with a scheme: She’ll find a terminally ill guy who also happens to be fabulously rich, marry him, and then inherit his fortune after he goes to the great beyond.
But nothing goes according to plan, and instead of a rich man whose money she can inherit, she meets Dae Bak, a man with ulterior motives of his own. Penniless and on the run from gangsters, he’s taken on the identity of a wealthy dead man.
When she discovers that Dae Bak has been diagnosed with incurable cancer, a deceived Ha Na adopts him as her lucky stiff. The problem? She doesn’t know that he’s even poorer than she is. And he doesn’t know that he has cancer. (Source: MyDramaList)
27. Goong S (2007)
The Empress is in her early 30s, but she is still not married. Since the 1st successor to the throne died, the royal family is in search for a new successor.
Incidentally, they come to know of a young man who was, in fact, the prince’s son of a woman who left the Palace in order to keep her pregnancy a secret. The young man’s name was Lee Hoo, more commonly known to his friends as Kang Hoo.
Lee Hoo worked as a delivery boy at a Chinese restaurant and was known for his 7-minute maximum delivery time. Lee Hoo had been brought up as more of a punk than a prince so his habits and his way of conversing were very different from the people of royal blood.
Although he had never dreamt of living in the Palace, he one day finds himself immersing himself in its grandeur and improving himself to prove that he indeed deserves to be called the Successor to the throne.
He soon finds out that not only will he be facing lessons to the path of royalty, and dilemmas of love and of stature, but he will also learn to compete for the position he had been, first and foremostly, called for. (Source: MyDramaList)
28. Hello! Miss (2007)
Lee Su-ha is the last living daughter of a once-respected clan in the countryside. Always wearing a beautiful hanbok, Su-ha is the embodiment of traditional feminine virtues.
Her peaceful life is interrupted when the son of a rich investor, Hwang Dong-gyu demands that she sell her ancestral house, which has 99 pillars, to him. (Under rules dating from the Joseon Dynasty, no one but a king could have a house with more than 99 pillars.)
But she scoffs at his offer and tries to save her home by holding traditional homestay programs for urban residents.
She also finds out that the kind-hearted Dong-gyu and his brash cousin and rival Hwang Chan-min, are descended from a servant family that worked for her clan during the days of the monarchy. (Source: Wikipedia)
29. Que Sera Sera (2007)
Kang Tae-joo has been working at an event planning company for three years. He is a player with charm and good looks who always dates rich women.
One day, he finds a strange girl named Han Eun-soo sleeping in front of his door. Although Tae-joo initially despises her, he eventually finds himself falling for Eun-soo.
Cha Hye-rin is the daughter of the CEO of a large department store chain. She and her adopted brother Shin Joon-hyuk are in love, but at her father’s request, Joon-hyuk dumps her.
To make her ex jealous, Hye-rin buys herself a new boyfriend, Tae-joo, but during their contract relationship, Hye-rin begins to like him for real.
Meanwhile, Eun-soo, an aspiring fashion designer, catches Joon-hyuk’s eye and he pursues her. Both relationships are more pragmatic financially for Tae-joo and Eun-soo, but they can’t seem to let go of each other.
Tae-joo realizes that he can’t forget Eun-soo as easily as he has dropped all the other women in his past. He senses that in Eun-soo, he’ll find his redemption from bastard to human. (Source: Wikipedia)
30. Witch Yoo Hee (2007)
As the director of her father’s advertising company, Ma Yoo Hee is known as a witch for her ruthless, no nonsense character. After a string of failed attempts to hire a housekeeper, she (literally) runs into Chae Moo Ryong, ex-medical student turned aspiring chef.
As a way to work off his debt for crashing into her car, he agrees to become her housekeeper and personal love affairs coach for one month.
Gladly, he gives her a makeover that attracts both her old friend Johnny Kruger and her first love Joon Ha. Despite having a girlfriend, Sung Mi, Moo Ryong eventually finds himself falling for Yoo Hee. (Source: MyDramaList)
31. The World That We Live In (2008)
Jung Ji-oh and Joo Joon-young are two people with vastly different backgrounds. Joon-young is a daughter from a rich family who faces problems regarding her mother’s gambling habits and affairs with multiple men; while Ji-oh is a son from a poor family of farmers, though he loves his mom dearly.
They were lovers back in their college days, but later had a complicated break-up due to their separate relationships with other people. When they eventually got back together, Ji-oh and Joon-young began to learn from each other and eventually Joon-young becomes more expressive, warm and understanding.
However, Joon-young’s mother doesn’t approve of Ji-oh, due to his poor background. Ji-oh’s pride is deeply wounded by the treatment of Joon-young’s mother, so he decides to break up with Joon-young. Joon-young is deeply hurt and doesn’t realize the reason of their break-up, and Ji-oh constantly pushes her away.
Though he still loves her, he is bothered by their differences in wealth, values and personality. Later, Ji-oh suffers an eye disease which requires an operation and results in him not being able to film. Many conflicts stand in the way of Ji-oh and Joon-young, will they overcome them and make their relationship work? (Source: Wikipedia)
32. Who Are You? (2008)
Son Il-gun is a middle-aged deliveryman and devoted father to his daughter, Young-in. Young-in just graduated from high school and is an aspiring cartoonist, but she is working part-time instead of going to college due to financial difficulties, which the quick-tempered young woman partly blames on her “loser” father.
She has no idea that Il-gun was once a struggling artist in his youth, but now that one of his paintings was sold for an exorbitant amount to a collector in New York, a local gallery offers Il-gun a solo exhibition.
But before he can make a decision, Il-gun dies in a traffic accident, leaving Young-in penniless.
According to Buddhism, the soul of a dead person is allowed to wander for 49 days in order to let go of all earthly attachments before going to the afterlife. But Il-gun loves his daughter so much that he takes it one step further, and possesses a stranger’s body to care for Young-in and make it up to her.
Cha Seung-hyo was abandoned as a child, then adopted and raised in the United States. He is now a cold-hearted, perfectionist corporate raider without any meaningful relationships.
However, after a traffic accident, he begins to lose time and wake up in strange situations, and he eventually learns that Il-gun is spiritually possessing him for three hours a day.
Not only does Young-in find it suspicious that this stranger is suddenly concerned about her well-being, buying her expensive clothes and food, but Seung-hyo’s subordinates also find it weird that he periodically acts out of character like a manically cheerful, old-fashioned man.
Against his will, Seung-hyo gets drawn into Young-in’s life, and discovers that Shin Jae-ha, owner of Nuri Art Gallery, is ingratiating himself with her, hoping to find more of the late Il-gun’s paintings and buy them off her for less than they’re worth.
Young-in initially dislikes and mistrusts Seung-hyo, but the more she gets to know him, she glimpses his loneliness and gradually falls for him, which inevitably leads to awkwardness and hijinks. (Source: Wikipedia)
33. Star’s Lover (2008)
Lee Ma Ri is a top star in Korea and throughout Asia. The head of her management agency, Seo Tae Suk, hires a ghostwriter to help transform Ma Ri’s image.
Poverty-stricken university lecturer Kim Chul Soo takes the job in order to earn money to repay his ex-girlfriend, who paid for his college tuition. Whilst they are in Japan he falls in love with Ma Ri.
However, when the travel essay book “Lovers in Asuka,” written by Chul Soo on Ma Ri’s behalf, becomes a bestseller, Ma Ri gets caught up in the controversy generated by the ghostwriting.
The two lovers try to continue their relationship away from media attention, but obstacles abound: eligible young executive Jung Woo Jin, who pursues Ma Ri.
Ma Ri’s first love Kang Woo Jin, who suddenly vanished from her life; Chul Soo’s ex-girlfriend Choi Eun Young; and the manipulative Seo Tae Suk, who seeks to control everything in Ma Ri’s life. (Source: MyDramaList)
34. My Sweet City (2008)
Also known as My Sweet Soul, the drama about the love life of an old maid, Oh Eun Joo. She has been working at a book publishing company for seven years. Eun Joo forms a love triangle with Tae Oh and Young Soo.
Tae Oh is younger than Eun Joo by seven years and Young Soo is a businessman who Eun Joo meets on a blind date. Eun Soo is reluctant in letting Tae Oh meet her friends because of their huge age gap.
This causes a rift in their relationship because Tae Oh thinks that Eun Soo doesn’t take him seriously. At the same time, Eun Soo continues to see Young Soo and there’s something about him that draws her closer to him. (Source: Wiki Addicts)
35. Love Marriage (2008)
What would happen if a couple manager and a divorce lawyer fall in love? Couple manager’s task is connecting peoples’ love, and divorce lawyer’s job is detaching people’s relationships.
Nevertheless, the two jobs share the same conclusion; it’s love. Ganghyeon is a ‘couple manager’. She manages people’s’ arranged marriages, but dreams about her love marriage. She gets out from work for a marriage fraud, and starts to work as a remarriage couple manager.
Unmarried woman, who failed in love, enters into the world of remarriage. Hyeon-su is a ‘divorce lawyer’. He married through the arranged marriage, and got divorced.
He’s got the wounded heart about the divorcement, and doesn’t know what true love is. Ironically, he needs to help those who have the same pain and trouble that he has. (Source: AsianWiki)
36. The Last Scandal Of My Life (2008)
Hong Sun-hee is a 39-year-old housewife facing extreme financial difficulties due to her husband Ahn Yoo-shik’s mounting debt. One day, Yoo-shik disappears, leaving Sun-hee to take care of the household. She later learns that he has married a rich woman.
Now a single divorced mother with a thirteen-year-old daughter, Sun-hee runs into top actor Song Jae-bin at a commercial shoot, and he turns out to be none other than her first boyfriend, Jang Dong-chul.
Sun-hee was once the prettiest girl in high school, but in the years since she has let herself go and is now a middle-aged, plain-looking housewife, which is why Jae-bin doesn’t recognize her at first.
Greatly disappointed to find his first love so much changed, the egoistic, self-absorbed actor tries to avoid her. But the famous star is not without problems, either.
To maintain his popularity, he deceives people about his age, background, history and even his name. Little wonder he is embarrassed to meet Sun-hee again, who knows all about his past.
But Jae-bin’s feelings change when Sun-hee moves into his home as a housekeeper and nanny to his nephew Hoon, son of his older brother and manager Dong-hwa and estranged from the boy’s mother, Lee Na-yoon.
At first alternately ignoring and teasing her, Jae-bin finds himself growing jealous when Sun-hee gets along with Dong-hwa, who unlike him, is gentle, kind and mature.
Reminiscing about the good old days, Jae-bin recalls how beautiful Sun-hee was when they fell in love with each other 20 years ago. And in the present, he feels happy and relaxed with her, since he can be perfectly honest in front of her as an ordinary man, not as a famous actor who has to put on a show for the public.
Thus, Jae-bin falls in love with Sun-hee all over again. He tries to show her in little ways: by having a hairstylist straighten out her unflattering perm into a stylish bob cut, buying her some nice clothes, and even paying for her laser eye surgery so that she’ll be able to take off her thick, horn-rimmed glasses. But more than restoring her outer beauty, he also hopes to heal her emotional scars. (Source: Wikipedia)
37. Gourmet (2008)
Talented chefs Bong Joo and Sung Chan were raised like brothers after Sung Chan was orphaned and taken in by Bong Joo’s family. Bong Joo’s family owns a famous traditional Korean restaurant and claims descent from the last royal chef of the Joseon Dynasty.
Bong Joo assumes that as the eldest, he will be the one to take over his family’s restaurant and marry Joo Hee when his father makes a surprising announcement about a special cooking contest!
Sung Chan is seen as a threat by some because of his youth, talent, creativity and non-conforming ways. Feeling sorry for him, Joo Hee tries to help him.
Discovering the truth about their great-grandfather causes a crisis for Bong Joo, but he later becomes even more determined to be a success while Sung Chan decides to leave.
Sung Chan becomes a food peddler, specializing in the freshest and best ingredients in traditional Korean cuisine. Will he ever become a chef again? Will they ever become united as “brothers”? (Source: MyDramaList)
38. East Of Eden (2008)
Shin Tae-hwan is the managing director of a coal mine in Taebaek. As the true embodiment of ambition, he strives to become the inheritor of the coal mining company called the Taesung Group.
In this process, he kills Lee Ki-chul, another miner who has been blocking his path to success. For his own selfish pleasure, he also seduces a nurse at Taebaek Hospital, only to coldly brush her away later.
At that moment, the wife of the deceased miner Lee Ki-chul gives birth to a son at Taebaek Hospital. On that same day, Shin Tae-hwan’s wife also gives birth to a baby boy.
Mi-ae is the nurse who has been betrayed by Shin Tae-hwan. In her rage, she comes up with a scheme to fulfill her own revenge. As if to jab a dagger into Shin Tae-hwan’s heart, she switches the two babies born in the same hospital. By doing so, she viciously transforms the fates of the two lives. (Source: AsianWiki)
39. Boys Over Flowers (2009)
Set at a famous high school for the super-wealthy, this is a puppy love story centered on a poor girl and the F4 gang of rich kids headed by the rough and fearless Jun-pyo Koo.
Geum Jan-Di is a girl from a poor family but has an unrivaled sense of optimism and drive and is by chance admitted to a prestigious private high school.
There she meets the infamous group of four astonishingly good looking and rich boys who are known as F4. The group’s leader is Koo Jun-Pyo, who is a spoiled heir to world-leading conglomerate Shinhwa.
He is joined by mysterious and breathlessly handsome Yun Ji-Hu, So Lee-Jeong, and Song Woo-Bin. Their love story moves from Seoul to New Caledonia to Macau. (Source: AsianWiki)
40. Shining Inheritance (2009)
During her visit home from studying abroad, Go EunSung’s father is declared dead from a gas explosion. Her stepmother takes the life insurance money and moves out with daughter, Yoo SeungMi, leaving EunSung and her autistic but musically-talented brother, EunJoo, without money or shelter. Soon after, EunJoo goes missing, leaving EunSung devastated.
The head of a food company, Jang SookJa is disappointed by her spoiled grandson and heir apparent, Sun WooHwan. After encountering EunSung, she is touched by EunSung’s compassion and work-ethic.
SookJa’s brings EunSung to her home and announces that EunSung will become the new heir to the company. This understandably upsets Hwan, whose previous encounters with EunSung have already lead to some animosity. To further complicate matters, Hwan is SeungMi’s first love and marriage target. (Source: Wiki Addicts)
41. IRIS (2009)
Two elite National Security System (NSS) agents, Hyeong-Jun and Sa-Woo, who were sworn blood brothers, both fall for fellow agent Seung-Hee. Sa-Woo attempts to suppress his feelings for Seung-Hee and wishes the couple the best.
Hyeon-Jun is then sent off on a solo mission to Hungary. In Hungary, Hyeon-jun accomplishes his mission and while in escape mode becomes wounded. Shortly later, Hyeon-jun finds out that he was betrayed by fellow agent Sa-woo.
Seung-Hee attempts to help Hyeon-Jun escape, but a car explosion separates the two and both are misled to believe that the other person are dead. Hyeon-Jun is then saved by an unknown voice and learns of the secret society “IRIS”.
One year later, Hyeon-Jun returns to Korea to seek revenge. During this time, the two Koreas are set to reunify, while the group “IRIS” are intent on stopping the reunification. (Source: AsianWiki)
42. My Fair Lady (2009)
Of the high-rolling top ‘hot celebrities’ of the wealthy upper class in Korea’s high society, Kang Hye Na is the one desired by the men, feared and hated by the women.
Being the only successor to the largest conglomerate company, Kang San Group, Kang Hye Na has both the looks and the background. She is the owner of the ‘Lady Castle’ and lives a ‘princess-like’ life with her servants.
Until one day, out of pure coincidence, she comes across Seo Dong Chan who turns her life upside down. Not only does he make her do community service, he even kidnaps her and now he’s the new household manager.
Even after stepping on him, crushing him and biting him, he still doesn’t run away. She may have finally met her match. (Source: MyDramaList)
43. The Sons Of Sol Pharmacy House (2009)
Also known as “My Too Perfect Sons,” this Korean drama series talks about Song Jin Poong, who is the eldest of four sons and works hard to earn money to support his family.
He is also a man who cannot forget his first love. His mother, Ok Hee, wants him to get married because he is already 38 years old.
Ok Hee believes that her sons are great catches and any woman would be lucky enough to marry them, however, their neighbors feel differently as each son has an unique problem. (Source: MyDramaList)
44. Story Of A Man (2009)
Also known as “The Slingshot,” in the blink of an eye, Kim Shin (Park Yong-ha) loses everything dear to him.
His father’s company goes bankrupt, his brother commits suicide, his girlfriend (Park Si-yeon) leaves him, and he himself ends up in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
While in prison, Shin learns that all of this was brought about by corporation head Chae Do-woo (Kim Kang-woo), who devised the scam that brought down his father.
Determined to beat Do-woo at his own game, Shin sets out to get revenge, no matter the cost. More and more people are pulled into the unforgiving battle of wits as stakes are raised, secrets are revealed, and love turns into a weapon. (Source: Wikipedia)
45. Triple (2009)
Eighteen-year-old aspiring figure skater Lee Ha-ru moves to Seoul to pursue her ice dreams. In the city she reunites with her stepbrother Shin Hwal, whom she hasn’t seen in years.
Her divorcee mother had remarried Hwal’s father when Ha-ru was 6, but their parents died in a car accident when she was 13. Ha-ru was sent to live with her real father in the countryside and had since lost touch with Hwal.
Hwal, now in his mid-thirties, works at an advertising agency with his two best friends and roommates, Kang Hyun-tae and Jo Hae-yoon. When Ha-ru suddenly shows up at the doorstep of their bachelor pad, she ends up moving in with the three men.
Ha-ru’s new figure skating coach, Choi Soo-in turns out to be Hwal’s estranged wife. Her plans to make amends with her ex-husband are derailed when his outgoing friend Hyun-tae falls for her instantly and begins pursuing her.
Hae-yoon and bartender Kang Sang-hee are longtime friends. When a one-night stand leads to something more, the more old-fashioned Hae-yoon has difficulty dealing with Sang-hee’s commitment issues.
Meanwhile, Ha-ru feels torn between Ji Poong-ho, a short track speed skating national athlete her own age, and her growing romantic feelings for her much older stepbrother Hwal. (Source: Wikipedia)
46. Will It Snow For Christmas? (2009)
Cha Kang Jin is the son of barmaid, Cha Chun Hee. His life is difficult as he gets into fights and has to watch other people push his mother around yet he can’t do anything to stop it.
He met Han Ji Wan when they were teens but they weren’t able to continue their relationship as Ji Wan ran away.
He meets Ji Wan 8 years later, when he’s attending her engagement ceremony to Park Tae Joon. However, he is heartbroken as Ji Wan pretends to not remember him at all. (Source: MyDramaList)
47. You’re Beautiful (2009)
The management company of the idol group A.N.JELL insisted on adding a new singer to the group as the lead vocal, Tae Kyung’s voice was hurting.
However,the new member, Mi Nam, had to go to the States to repair a botched eye job just before signing the contract. His agent came up with the idea of having his twin sister, Mi Nyu,to stand in for him and pretend that she was her brother.
The two of them grew up in an orphanage and Mi Nyu, who was all set to become a nun, agreed to this charade as she didn’t want to spoil her brother’s chance of fame which would make it easier to look for their mother. (Source: MyDramaList)
48. Cinderella’s Sister (2010)
Also known as Cinderella’s Stepsister, this Korean drama series talks about Eun jo. Ever since she was young, she has learned to trust no one and live strong on her own.
Used to being dragged from one broken home to another by her manipulative, money-grabbing mother, Eun-jo doesn’t know what to make of her mother’s latest catch Dae-sung, the solemn head of a traditional rice wine brewery.
Both Dae-sung and his daughter, bubbly spoiled princess Hyo-sun, warmly welcome wary young Eun-jo into their sprawling home, and treat her with a kindness that she simply can’t stomach.
Instead, she forms a bond with brewery staff Ki-hoon, the first person to see past her tough act, and it is his betrayal that will hurt the most. However, Dae-sung’s genuine kindness to her eventually melts Eun-jo’s defenses, and she learns to trust and love her stepfather.
Naive Hyo-sun, meanwhile, stubbornly seeks affection at every turn, only to slowly realize she’s losing Ki-hoon and everything else in her life to her cold stepsister.
Eight years later, Jung-woo reappears in Eun-jo’s life, a boy she used to treat as her little brother who is now a young man determined to win her heart.
Reluctant sisters Eun-jo and Hyo-sun both experience angst and rivalry, as their polar-opposite personalities and love-hate relationship bring them through many ups and downs from adolescence to adulthood. (Source: Wikipedia)
49. Coffee House (2010)
The story revolves around a charismatic writer Lee Jin Soo who reached stardom after writing thriller novels, which quickly became bestsellers.
He works for a publishing company run by his old friend Seo Eun Young, a strong-willed, smart, beautiful and successful woman who can handle everything that comes her way.
Jin Soo meets Kang Seung Yeon, a young woman who has been below average in everything in her life. But somehow she ends up being hired as a secretary by Jin Soo.
The great first impression Seung Yeon has of the writer soon washes away as she discovers that the man is actually weird, sarcastic, has strange habits and is hard to please. However, she is determined to be the best secretary anyone could have – a true professional.
Jin Soo and Eun Young, despite trusting each others abilities, don’t get always along and fight constantly. That is, until Eun Young’s ex-husband Han Ji Won returns and announces he still loves her and wants her back.
Eun Young, unimpressed by his cheesy actions joins forces with Jin Soo, who finds the guy as annoying as her, to get rid of him.
But everything gets complicated when unexpected sparks start flying between the foursome and hearts are bound to be broken in this funny yet romantic story of Jin Soo’s life. (Source: AsianWiki)
50. Dr. Champ (2010)
Kim Yeon Woo is an orthopedic doctor who takes up a new post at Taereung National Village, the training center for national Olympic athletes, after she is fired from her previous job.
She becomes romantically involved with Park Ji Heon, a young judo athlete, and Lee Do Wook, the short-tempered, crippled director of the facility who is still haunted by the injury that had cut short his speed-skating career.
This is further complicated by the presence of the swimming coach, Hee Young, who becomes her rival for the attentions of Do Wook. (Source: MyDramaList)
51. God Of Study (2010)
Kang Seok-Ho is an ordinary lawyer and former biker gang member. He then takes a position to revive a third rate high school named “Byeong-Mun High School”.
To revive the school, Kang Seok-Ho needs his students to become accepted into prestigious universities. Because of this, Kang Seok-Ho decides to teach a bunch of rebellious students.
He promises to get five of them into their most prestigious colleges in the country. Kang Seok-Ho takes students who have bad scores, and guides them to improve not only their scores but their outlook on life.
One such student is Hwang Baek-Hyeon a defiant and headstrong student who is similar to Kang Seok-Ho at that age. Their strong personalities causes them to have clashes.
But gradually, Hwang Baek-Hyeon opens up to Seok-Ho’s teaching methods and eventually becomes the best student in the class. (Source: AsianWiki)
52. I Am Legend (2010)
Jeon Seol-hee files for divorce after realizing that she deserves to be treated better by her unappreciative lawyer husband, Cha Ji-wook and his snobbish family.
Determined to get her life back on track, she returns to her rock band roots, becoming the leader of the Comeback Madonna Band.
Her bandmates are fellow “ajummas” who have personal problems of their own, and together they search for happiness and personal fulfillment through music. (Source: Wikipedia)
53. Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010)
Wi Mae Ri is the cheerful, pragmatic daughter of a failed businessman who had grown used to being constantly on the move to escape from debtors. She becomes fast friends with the free-spirited indie singer, Kang Moo Kyul, when she nearly ran him over in a car.
Meanwhile, her father, Wi Dae Han, is saved from his debtors by his old friend, Jung Suk, who had just returned from considerable success in the Japanese entertainment industry.
Jung Suk, who had harboured a secret love for Mae Ri’s mother, sets up a deal with Dae Han to have Mae Ri marry his son, Jung In.
In a desperate attempt to escape this predicament, Mae Ri begs Moo Kyul to pose as her husband, and finds herself in even more trouble than before when her father proposes a 100-day period.
From there, she has to divide her time equally between Moo Kyul and Jung In, after which she has to decide who to marry. (Source: MyDramaList)
54. My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho (2010)
One day after Cha Dae Woong runs away from his grandfather, he accidentally frees a nine-tailed fox who was trapped in a painting for about 500 years.
He didn’t realize what he has done until the Gumiho (nine-tailed fox), who took the form of a beautiful woman, appeared in front of him.
Dae Woong was so frightened that he ran away from her and became severely injured. The Gumiho saved him by giving him her most precious bead to share with him the mystic fox strength, as she owed him her freedom.
The Gumiho then asked him to help her become human and teach her how to act like one. As time goes by, their mutual relationship grew deeper as they start to fall for each other. (Source: MyDramaList)
55. Oh My Lady (2010)
A spunky 35-year-old housewife, Yoon Gae Hwa, takes on the job of manager to prickly top star Sung Min Woo in order to earn enough money to regain custody of her child from her ex-husband.
Romantic hijinks and hilarity ensues when they find themselves in an awkward living situation as Min Woo pays Gae Hwa to take care of his daughter, Ye Eun. (Source: MyDramaList)
56. Pasta (2010)
Seo Yoo Kyung endured the gruelling job of kitchen assistant at high-class restaurant La Sfera for two years in hopes of being promoted to chef. Things are looking up as she meets a handsome stranger on the street who ends up being the restaurant’s new head chef.
His first day on the job, however, he fires all the female cooks, including Yoo Kyung. Yoo Kyung, too stubborn to let go of her dream, she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her job back.
Yoo Kyung struggles as she butts heads with the new chef while trying to learn everything she can from him at the same time, and sparks begin to fly.
Things are complicated by the presence of Kim San, a charming customer with an eye for Yoo Kyung who seems to have mysterious ties to the restaurant.
Oh Sae Young, a famous TV Chef and former love of Hyun Wook, not to mention the kitchen politics that get in the way of their budding romance. (Source: MyDramaList)
57. Personal Taste (2010)
Jeon Jin Ho is a straight guy who is mistaken as gay when he applies to become Park Gae In’s roommate.
His hobbies include organization and ironing, and he’s known for his stoic poker face. He’s a stickler for cleanliness, but he also has a talent for figuring out a women’s feelings.
Gae In is very trusting even though she has a habit of being betrayed. However, that doesn’t stop her from giving people the benefit of doubt and Jin Ho is no different.
How will Gae In react when she finds out that her gay roommate is not actually gay at all and that he has fallen for her? (Source: MyDramaList)
58. Playful Kiss (2010)
“Mischievous Kiss” is a romantic-comedy covering the romance between Baek Seung-Jo , an arrogant young man with a genius IQ, and Oh Ha-Ni, a ditzy young woman who gets poor grades, but whose heart is as powerful as Seung-Jo’s mind.
The series is based off from a Taiwanese drama and a Japanese manga book. It is call “It Started With a Kiss.” It is about a girl in F class that falls in love with an A class boy. She liked him since the first year of high school.
Once, she decided to tell him she likes him but was rejected. So the story continues about the girl who keeps chasing after the boy she loves. (Source: AsianWiki)
59. Prosecutor Princess (2010)
Ma Hye Ri is a woman with an excellent memory and ability to focus, which allowed her to pass the bar exam with ease.
Despite her talents, she is more interested in being fashionable and dislikes hard work so she is far from being an ideal prosecutor and has doubts about her suitability for her job.
Through her conflicts with senior colleagues and struggles with difficult cases, however, Hye Ri gradually matures into a brilliant prosecutor with a sense of duty and justice. (Source: MyDramaList)
60. Fugitive: Plan B (2010)
During the Korean War, a vast amount of money disappeared. Now, some 60 years later, the money has reappeared, leading to a frantic chase across the globe.
Jin Yi is a seemingly innocent woman who has hidden motives for approaching Ji Woo. Her plans are complicated by an unexpected romance developing between them, as well as the numerous pursuers hot on their trail.
Kieko is a famous Japanese singer who also gets tangled up in a relationship with this man.
Little do they know that her father Hiroki, apart from being a businessman, is a powerful yakuza. In this love triangle, who will finally win the love of Ji Woo? (Source: MyDramaList)
As you see, there are a lot of best Korean drama series to binge watch this weekend. In fact, this post is just the part 1. There are more to go. Stay tuned for more updates and more Kdrama list.
If you want to get updated with this list, join my list and make sure you get the first email notification as soon as I publish a new blog post. Alright? Are we all set? I’m super stoked with the next list, my friend!
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