Much to my dismay, I am one of the few people I know who truly loves K-dramas. (I mean, I would even say I’m unhealthily obsessed, but, hey, we’re all human, right?) One of my best friends, who likes everything I like, hasn’t given K-dramas a try yet, so I wanted to compile a list of the most easily accessible K-dramas on Netflix. I seriously had the hardest time narrowing down this list because Netflix has really upped their K-drama game. But here is what I would recommend to all the K-drama deniers out there who are on the lookout for a good love story.
If there’s one drama on this list that I would recommend the most, it would be Start-Up. This story is SO good. It’s funny, romantic, exciting, the acting is incredible, and it deals with confidence, identity, and family issues. Dal Mi always had dreams to be an entrepreneur and follow in her father’s footsteps. When she gets a fantastic opportunity to work for a start-up with someone who she believes is her first love, she thinks it’s a dream come true. Along the way, she faces lies, betrayal, and hardships she could never have expected. Start-Up is a very drama, and there’s good reason it is so well-loved. There’s family drama, corporate backstabbings, and a love triangle that actually made me cry. It’s perfect for anyone new to the world of K-dramas.
2. Romance is a Bonus Book
As someone who works in book publishing, I may be slightly biased, but I loved the plot for this K-drama. This story follows Kang Dan Yi, who was once a copywriter but quit her job to get married and raise a family. Many years after her wedding, she is divorced and struggling to find work, having spent so much time unemployed. However, in a desperate attempt to find a job, she lies about her background and begins to work as a temporary worker in none other than her best friend, Cha Eun Ho’s company. Cha Eun Ho is a handsome writer and book editor, but as he becomes more involved in Kang Dan Yi’s life, the two start to fall further and further in love. I think this is a story that anyone can relate to. We have all gone through similar struggles in our lives, whether to find work, fall in love, or pick ourselves back up after a life-altering moment making Romance is a Bonus Book a great choice for a K-drama newcomer.
3. My First First Love
I feel like not many people talk about this drama anymore, but I think it’s perfect for any beginner-K-drama-watchers. At its core, this story follows Yun Tae-O and his friends who suddenly move into his house. They must learn to coexist while battling the many challenges life throws their way. Since there are multiple characters with different storylines, I think there is something for everyone in this show. Each character makes missteps and stumbles along the way but you grow to really become invested and come to care about each of them in the end. My First First Love would be a great place to start for anyone looking to venture into the world of romantic K-dramas.
4. Because This is My First Life
The average K-drama beginner is going to absolutely love this heartwarming show. Nam Se Hee is a money-conscious young man in his thirties who has chosen not to get married and instead chooses to spend his money on buying a house—only now he’s house-poor. Trying to find someone to rent a room in his house, he meets the homeless Yoon Ji Ho, who appears to be the perfect housemate. But when people start to question why an unmarried man and woman live together, the pair decides to get contractually married for two years. It’s supposed to be purely a business arrangement between tenant and landlord, but things quickly progress, and let me tell you, the romance that follows is so, so cute. Because This is My First Life is such a refreshing look at the financial and marital pressures young people face today.
There is something so heartwarming and special about DoDoSolSolLaLaSol. The themes are also enough to melt your heart. Goo Ra Ra is a naive rich girl who dreams of being a pianist. When her doting father suddenly passes away, she is left at the altar with nothing. She gets into an accident with Sun Woo Joon, who takes care of her while she’s in the hospital. Whether it is the naivety of our main character or the cool exterior of our male lead, something about it just works so well. With Ra Ra’s naive personality, she slowly starts to break down Woo Joon’s tough exterior. It is truly such a wonderful experience to get to watch these two fall in love. Seeing Ra Ra’s growth throughout the show as she experiences so many hardships after living such a carefree life is truly remarkable. I highly recommend this K-drama to everyone! It also doesn’t hurt that the cast is very good-looking.
6. Touch Your Heart
Touch Your Heart is the perfect rom-com. Oh Yoon Seo is a beautiful actress who starts working at a law firm to prepare for her next role as a lawyer. She begins to work for Kwon Jung Rok, a stoic, by-the-book lawyer who doesn’t quite understand Yoon Seo’s bubbly, perky personality. Watching these two coexist in the same office is genuinely hilarious. Since Yoon Seo has such a different personality from Jung Rok, she can bring a different perspective to cases that Jung Rok soon relies heavily on. Their teamwork and, of course, their relationship is so refreshing. They’re complete opposites, and that makes the whole show (and how they communicate) a fun and hilarious journey that anyone will love.
7. Something in the Rain
This is definitely the most melodramatic of the dramas on this list, but I had to include it. The whole vibe and atmosphere of this show make me want to watch this on a rainy weekend. Yoon Jin Ah is a woman in her thirties who is continuously dumped by man after man, much to the dismay of her conservative mother, who thinks it’s time for her daughter to settle down. When Jin Ah reconnects with her brother’s best friend, Joon Hee, she feels a connection she never felt with any other man before. This drama is PERFECT for anyone who enjoys a forbidden love. Our main couple has to hide their relationship and sneak around. But it also touches on darker themes like society’s expectations for young Koreans and how sometimes you have to risk it all for love. For anyone who likes something more emotional, Something in the Rain is the one they should start with.