So what do I think are the 10 best Korean dramas of all time? I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for quite awhile, and I finally got it all together. With so many amazing dramas out there, it can be really hard to choose your favorites.
But I have a pretty solid list of dramas that have a special place in my heart. They are what I consider the best of the best. This is my completely subjective opinion on these dramas based on my own enjoyment. So here we go!
10. Shopping King Louie
Plot: A rich man wakes up in Seoul homeless with amnesia where he meets a sweet country girl who takes him in, and the two work together to discover who he is while having to survive the city.
Shopping King Louie is everything I love in a drama and so much more. It is the definition of a fantastic romantic comedy. The romance, the humor, the fun, the characters, and the heartfelt story all work together to create perfection in my book.
I laughed so much, and every single episode had me grinning from ear to ear and enjoying these funny and lovable characters and the crazy situation they had found themselves. The drama was also overflowing with so many heartwarming moments.
Louie and Bok Sil were one of the best drama couples I’ve seen. They warmed my heart and made me smile so many times. All I have are fond memories when thinking about Shopping King Louie. For me, it was kdrama perfection, and I loved it to pieces. (Shopping King Louie Review)
9. King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo
Plot: A young man must overcome hardships to become a baker and inherit the company that is rightfully his.
I’m one of those people that really enjoys makjang (crazy and over the top plot points). Because of that, King of Baking is one of my favorite dramas. There are affairs, birth secrets, jealousy, murder, and one disaster after another befalls our poor hero, Tak Gu.
I loved all of the drama and the complicated relationships of our characters. But in the midst of the craziness, there are a lot of life lessons and words of wisdom as well as the endearing and positive spirit that is Tak Gu.
King of Baking features possibly my all time favorite love square, and I frequently doubted who I wanted to end up with who. But my favorite relationship was the love-hate bromance between Tak Gu and Ma Jun. Ma Jun lives to hurt Tak Gu and wants no part of him. But Tak Gu has such a pure heart, and all he sees is his brother and friend. Most of their relationship is on the hate side, but man those moments where they really connect are priceless.
King of Baking is quite the ride, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. But if you like makjang, King of Baking is one the most well done I have seen. With interesting and complex characters, it really is unforgettable. (King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Review)
Plot: A man whose life was devastated by corrupt reporters seeks to reveal their true motives by becoming one himself.
Pinocchio checks all of the boxes for a top drama for me. It has that nice mix of a beautifully woven story along with comedy, romance, and drama that all come together. I love this writer because of their well-rounded and emotionally engaging stories. A great soundtrack also sets a wonderful tone for the drama.
Dal Po and In Ha are one of my favorite drama couples, and all of the acting is intense and wonderful throughout. I smiled so much and truly felt for these characters. I was never bored once with this gem of a drama and have enjoyed it multiple times. I consider Pinocchio a must see kdrama. (Pinocchio Review)
7. Boys Over Flowers
Plot: Four rich, handsome guys rule the school, but their world is turned upside down by a spunky transfer student who steals their hearts.
Next we have the classic Boys Over Flowers. Most people will never forget the famous F4, played by Lee Min Ho, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum, and Kim Joon. People tend to love or hate this drama. I happen to be in the love camp. I saw it very early in my kdrama viewing, and honestly, that’s probably the best time to see it. Admittedly, it’s full of teen angst with many misunderstandings and a whole lot of relationship drama.
Our main couple of Joon Pyo and Jan Di fight, make up, then fight and make up over and over. There are constant obstacles in their way, many of their own making. But for me and many people, it’s all presented in a way that is oddly addicting and just plain fun.
With fast pacing that leads right from one over the top scenario to another, it’s hard not to get swept up in all of the drama. Boys Over Flowers was a ton of fun, and it will definitely always have a special place in my heart. (Boys Over Flowers Review)
6. Rooftop Prince
Plot: A time travel romance about a prince from the past who meets the love of his life in present day Seoul.
Oh how I loved Rooftop Prince! It’s that great mix of romantic comedy and melodrama that I love. There’s a lot of fun to be had as we watch our four Joseson era guys adapt to life in modern day Seoul. I laughed a lot with this one.
This is also a drama that just gets better as it goes along. What starts out as mostly fun, turns into a very dramatic and intense drama. The story was just so good, and I was completely invested in the characters. The romance hit all of the right spots for me too. Everything just came together to make this a truly wonderful drama.
5. Bridal Mask (Gaksital)
Plot: An epic story of a masked man fighting to free Koreans during the Japanese occupation in the 1930’s.
Epic is the only word that I feel really sums up the masterpiece that is Bridal Mask. This drama is truly spectacular, and I have yet to come across another one quite like it. It is unique, complex, intense, and has some phenomenal acting.
Joo Won gives a completely captivating and engaging performance, and Park Ki Woong compliments him perfectly for a complicated bromance that is like none other. It’s my very favorite bromance ever, but this bromance isn’t the feel good kind. It is completely strained, and there are some crazy intense moments between these two. I was completely on the edge of my seat so many times.
Bridal Mask was simply breathtaking. The story is grand. The relationships were so complex. And the acting by both Joo Won and Park Ki Woong was beyond words. I have never seen another drama like Bridal Mask or seen such a complicated and intense relationship as was Kang To’s and Shunji’s. Bridal Mask is epic and moving and should not be missed. (Bridal Mask Review)
4. Flower Boy Next Door
Plot: A girl who suffers from agoraphobia has her quiet world turned upside when her neighbor’s energetic and outgoing brother comes into her life like a whirlwind.
I love absolutely everything about Flower Boy Next Door and have nothing negative to say. For me, Flower Boy Next Door combines all of the elements I love about kdramas. The drama quickly pulled me in with such endearing characters and a heartwarming story. It is also filled with so many hilarious moments.
I thought the chemistry between Dok Mi and Enrique was tangible. All of their interactions were so meaningful on multiple levels. At times, they are simply able to share in the simple joys of life. But when forced to face some difficult truths about themselves, they are able to support each other through the hurt and pain. Such an amazing relationship on so many levels.
We deal with some difficult issues and get to watch one girl’s journey to healing aided by her friends around her. We also get an amazing romance that just warms my heart each time I see it. Flower Boy Next Door is perfection in my book. (Flower Boy Next Door Review)
3. Kill Me, Heal Me
Plot: A man struggling with Multiple Personality Disorder brings us smiles and breaks our hearts on his journey to recovery with the help of a special woman.
Kill Me, Heal Me is simply an amazing drama. Ji Sung’s portrayal of a man struggling with Multiple Personality Disorder was so engaging, and he really brought to life each distinct personality. I was so touched by his struggle, yet I was still able to connect with each personality and see their importance.
The drama includes some wonderful comedy to lighten the mood surrounding his illness. I felt that the comedy was used appropriately and further enabled the audience to connect with his character on many levels.
I was completely invested in this drama on an emotional level. I couldn’t wait to see what Cha Do Hyeon’s personalities would do and how he would clean up after them. I was intrigued by his missing memory and loved watching it unfold. And his relationship with Oh Ri Jin was hilarious yet absolutely tender and romantic. I shed some serious tears over this drama. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to give it a chance! (Kill Me, Heal Me Review)
2. I Miss You
Plot: A man searches for his first love who tragically disappeared when they were teenagers.
I Miss You is one of those dramas that I connected with immediately, and it just got better and better as it went. This melodrama has plenty of tears and plenty of angst in each episode. And I loved it!
The love story between Jung Woo and Soo Yeon completely captivated me. They are absolutely adorable as teenagers and have fantastic chemistry as adults. Their encounters are filled with so much tension and longing.
Also, one of my favorite things about this drama is the love triangle. Harry has a major presence in Soo Yeon’s life, and he is one of those villains you love to hate. The dynamic between these three is intense, and the actors were all amazing in their roles. Melodrama perfection. (I Miss You Review)
And my favorite drama of all time is…
1. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
Plot: Comedy and cute abounds when a Gumiho (magical creature) falls in love with an immature human.
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is my golden drama. It is my absolute favorite drama above all others. I was immediately hooked and fell deeper and deeper in love with it as the drama progressed.
Lee Seung Gi is wonderful as the irresponsible boy who grows into a man that would do anything for the woman he loves. Shin Min Ah is also about as adorable as you can get as Gu Mi Ho. She has such a captivating innocence and wonder to her. Both actors completely nailed their roles.
The comedy and cuteness abounds in this drama. Dae Woong and Mi Ho’s interactions are hilarious. And the romance that takes place really tugged at my heart. It starts out filled with innocence, but it progresses into a rich and full relationship because of what they have to go through together. I loved absolutely everything about it. My heart belongs completely to My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Review)
So there you have it. The dramas I consider the best of the best. There are some really fantastic dramas that just missed the cut, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. It’s really fascinating looking back over all the dramas I have completed. I have so much love for so many of them, but there are always those that just stand out from the rest.
And that’s what these dramas did for me. These are the dramas that gave me some amazing memories, touched my heart, and I can still enjoy them to this day. I think that’s really what makes a drama truly special.
So what are your all time favorite kdramas?
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