Those who are into Korean TV shows know that you can’t stop at just one. They’re melodramatic, wildly inventive and full of characters you want to root for. If you’re wondering where to start, take a look at our picks.

‘Chocolate’

Chocolate follows Lee Kang, a neurosurgeon, who once dreamed of becoming a chef, and a young woman called Moon Cha Young. Inspired by Lee’s cooking, which she tasted a long time ago, Moon Cha Young becomes a chef. It’s a sweet, nostalgic tale of food and love.
Director and writer: Lee Kyung-hee
Cast: Yoon Kye-sang, Ha Ji-won, Jang Seung-jo, Teo Yoo, Min Jin-woong
Episodes: 16 (2019-2020)

‘Crash Landing On You’

South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri, in a freak paragliding accident, is forced to crash-land in North Korea. She runs into a man from the North Korean army named Ri Jung-hyuk. She falls in love with him while he helps her hide and run away.
Director: Lee Jeong-hyo
Writer: Park Ji-eun
Cast: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Kim Jung-hyun, Seo Ji-hye
Episodes: 16 (2019-present)

‘Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung’

In this historical drama set in the nineteenth century, a rebellious young noble lady tries to break the gender barrier to become a historian. She has a tough fight since it’s a male-dominated field.
Creator: Sohn Hyung-suk
Directors: Kang Il-soo, Han Hyun-hee
Writers: Kim Ho-soo
Cast: Shin Se-kyung, Cha Eun-woo

‘One Spring Night’

Librarian Lee Jeong-In is in a comfortable relationship with her long-term banker boyfriend. It’s when she meets Yu Ji-Ho, a pharmacist and single dad, that she realises what she’s missing in love.
Director: Ahn Pan-seok
Writer: Kim Eun
Cast: Han Ji-min, Jung Hae-in, Kim Jun-han
Episodes: 32 (2019)

‘Abyss’

Go Se Yeon, a beautiful prosecutor, dies in an accident. Cha Min, the plain-looking heir to Korea’s top cosmetics company, dies in an accident too. Both are revived by supernatural forces in different bodies. They meet, fall in love and find out that they were friends in their past lives.
Director: Yoo Je-won
Writer: Moon Soo-yeon
Cast: Park Bo-young, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-jae
Episodes: 16 (2019)

‘Coffee Prince’

Han-gyeol, a smart fellow who reluctantly takes over his family’s cafe business, gets involved in the gourmet coffee business. He meets a tomboyish woman, who he mistakes for a man. Finding her attractive, he begins to question his own sexuality.
Director: Lee Yoon-jung
Writer: Lee Jung-ah, Jang Hyun-joo
Cast: Yoon Eun-hye, Gong Yoo, Lee Sun-kyun, Chae Jung-an
Episodes: 17 (2007)

‘Moon Embracing the Sun’

This historical, fantasy drama hinges on a fictional king and a shaman. This love is a secret affair, and they’re continuously tested by competitive political powers in the royal court.
Director: Kim Do-hoon, Lee Seong-jun
Writer: Jin Soo-wan
Cast: Kim Soo-hyun, Han Ga-in, Jung Il-woo, Kim Min-seo
Episodes: 20 (2012)

‘Something in the Rain’

Something in the Rain (pictured above) follows Yoon Jin-ah, a single girl in her 30s and living with her parents. She ends a long-term relationship and starts falling for someone younger than her.
Director: Ahn Pan-seok
Writer: Kim Eun
Cast: Son Ye-jin, Jung Hae-in
Episodes: 16 (2018)

‘Doctor Romantic’

Boo Yong-joo, a genius surgeon was one of the topmost doctors in Seoul’s best hospital. After a traumatic incident, he changes his name and retreats to a small hospital. There he mentors two young interns, who go on to great doctors.
Director: Yoo In-shik
Writer: Kang Eun-kyung
Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Yoo Yeon-seok, Seo Hyun-jin
Episodes: 20 (2016-2017)

‘Mr Sunshine’

Set in the early 1900s in Hanseong (the former name for Seoul), the story unfolds among activists fighting for Korea’s independence. It centres on a young boy who is born a slave. He escapes to the US and goes on to become a United States Marine Corps officer. He returns to Hanseong during the US expedition to Korea, and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter who is part of the Righteous Army, a militia fighting for independence. At the same time, he gets involved in the fight for Hanseong’s independence.
Creator: Jinnie Choi
Director: Lee Eung-bok
Writer: Kim Eun-sook
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung, Byun Yo-han

‘The Last Empress’

Set in a modern-day monarchy, The Last Empress follows Oh Sunny (Jang Na-ra), a musical actress who marries Emperor Lee Hyuk (Shin Sung-rok), the emperor of the Korean empire.
Creator: Park Young-soo
Director: Joo Dong-min
Cast: Jang Na-ra, Choi Jin-hyuk, Shin Sung-rok, Lee Elijah
Episodes: 26 (2018)

‘Memories of Alhambra’

Investment company CEO Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) travels to Granada, Spain to meet a groundbreaking augmented reality game creator. Once there, he meets Jung Hee-joo (Park Shin-hye), a hostel owner, and the two get entangled in mysteries related to the game. The show is said to be inspired by the popular game Pokémon Go.
Creator: Jinnie Choi
Director: Ahn Gil-ho
Cast: Hyun Bin, Park Shin-hye, Park Chan-yeol
Episodes: 16 (2018)

‘My Holo Love’

Han So-yeon (Ko Sung-hee) leads a reclusive life due to her Prosopagnosia. However, things take a romantic turn when she forms a connection with AI program Holo, whose appearance is based on his developer, Go Nan-do (Yoon Hyun-min).
Directors: Lee Sang-yeop, Yoon Jong-ho
Cast: Ko Sung-hee, Yoon Hyun-min, Choi Yeo-jin, Lee Jung-eun
Episodes: 12 (2020)

‘My Only Love Song’

Top actress Soo-jung (Gong Seung-yeon) time travels to sixth century Korean kingdom Goguryeo in a magical van, where she meets On-dal (Lee Jong-hyun).
Director: Min Doo-sik
Cast: Gong Seung-yeon, Lee Jong-hyun, Lee Yong-jik
Episodes: 20 (2017)

‘Cinderella and the Four Knights’

Eun Ha-won (Park So-dam) is hired by billionaire Kang Jon-du (Kim Yong-gun) to live with his three puerile grandsons and smarten them up. She finds herself caught in a love quadrangle as feelings develop between them.
Directors: Kwon Hyuk-chan, Lee Min-woo
Cast: Park So-dam, Jung II-woo, Ahn Jae-hyun, Lee Jung-shin, Choi Min
Episodes: 16 (2016)

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