K-dramas have been extremely popular in India for a while now, and with good reason. They combine great storytelling with fantastic production value. While the romance genre has a following, Korean political series deserve attention too. Here’s a handy guide to some of the best political Korean shows on Netflix.
As a young boy, Eugene Choi (Lee Byung-hun) escapes slavery in Korea and flees to the United States, later becoming a US Marine Corps officer. He returns to Korea during a historical turning point and falls in love with the daughter of a nobleman.
Creator: Jinnie Choi
Director: Lee Eung-bok
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung, Byun Yo-han
Seasons: 1 (2018)
‘Designated Survivor: 60 Days’
During an official gathering at the National Assembly building, an explosion kills the South Korean president, along with several senior officials. Park Mu-jin (Ji Jin-hee), the Minister of Environment, is the highest-ranking officer left alive to lead the country. He becomes acting President for 60 days.
Director: Yoo Jong-sun
Cast: Ji Jin-hee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Heo Joon-ho, Kang Han-na, Bae Jong-ok
Seasons: 1 (2019)
Set during Korea’s Joseon dynasty, Kingdom (pictured above) features political unrest amidst a zombie plague gripping the nation. While the King himself is ill, it is upon the Crown Prince (Ju Ji-hoon) to save his people.
Director: Kim Seong-hun
Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doona, Kim Sang-ho, Kim Hye-jun
Seasons: 2 (2019, 2020)
‘The Lies Within’
After the sudden death of her father and her husband’s disappearance immediately after, a woman (Lee Min-ki) teams up with a detective to search for the truth.
Director: Lee Yoon-jung
Cast: Lee Min-ki, Lee Yoo-young, On Ju-wan, Lee Joon-hyuk
Seasons: 1 (2019)
‘Six Flying Dragons’
The series showcases the foundation of the Joseon dynasty in Korea, featuring the struggles and successes of its members.
Director: Shin Kyung-soo
Cast: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Myung-min, Shin Se-kyung, Chun Ho-jin
Seasons: 1 (2015)
‘The Royal Gambler’
Set during the Joseon dynasty, the show revolves around two princes, one of whom is unaware of his noble bloodline. Their fates clash when a nobleman devises a plot to suit his political intentions.
Director: Nam Geon
Cast: Jang Keun-suk, Yeo Jin-goo, Jeon Gwang-ryeol, Choi Min-soo
Seasons: 1 (2016)
‘Tree With Deep Roots’
In this period political drama based on the eponymous novel by Lee Jung-myung, King Sejong (Han Suk-kyu) is determined to create a writing system, the Korean alphabet Hangul, for commoners to use but faces numerous hurdles and dangerous enemies.
Director: Jang Tae-yoo
Cast: Han Suk-kyu, Jang Hyuk, Shin Sae-kyeong, Jeo No-min
Seasons: 1 (2011)
‘Chief of Staff’
The series is about an ambitious young man (Lee Jung-jae) who works at the National Assembly as a strategy aide for a cunning politician. His goal is to work in politics himself in order to tackle corruption. But to get to the top of the game, he cannot always play fair.
Director: Kwak Jung-hwan
Cast: Lee Jung-jae, Shin Mina, Lee Elijah, Kim Dong-jun
Seasons: 2 (2019)
In this thriller, an inexplicable plane crash kills 211 people, including Cha Dal-gun’s (Lee Seung-gi) nephew. Determined to learn the truth, he teams up with National Intelligence Service operative, Go Hae-ri (Bae Suzy). Together, they discover a web of corruption.
Director: Yoo In-sik
Cast: Lee Seung-gi, Bae Suzy, Shin Sung-rok, Kim Min-jong
Seasons: 1 (2019)
For more Korean dramas, see here.