23 Korean Dramas Of 2019 You Definitely Have To Watch

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To all our K-Drama fans, here are 23 Korean Dramas of 2019 totally worth binge-watching over the weekends!

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1. SKY Castle

Sky Castle
(AsianWiki)

SKY Castle isn’t some Nat Geo show about skies or ancient castles. It is in fact, one of the highest-rated dramas in Korean cable television history, and the drama follows the lives of rich families residing in a luxurious residential area called “Sky Castle” as they attempt to outdo each other in all aspects, be it career or academics. The infamous Korean culture of the rich paying for after-school classes and even exam coordinators for their children is much talked about in the story. And as the drama progresses on, you’ll witness how the mothers of these households will really stop at nothing to make sure their husbands and children are at the top. If you’re a fan of makjang dramas, this is for you!

Psst, did you also know that the SKY in the drama’s name is an acronym for Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University – The top three universities in South Korea?

Cast: Yum Jung-ah, Lee Tae-ran, Yoon Se-ah, Oh Na-ra, Kim Seo-hyung

Episodes: 20 + a special episode

Available on: Netflix, Viu

 

2. Her Private Life

Her Private Life
(Amino Apps)

Dubbed as one of the dramas all fangirls can relate to, Her Private Life follows the story of a chief art curator, who is also a “professional” fangirl who is a fansite manager of a popular idol. She mistakenly gets involved in a scandal with her idol and who comes to her rescue? Well, you got it right – her boss at work of course! What started out as a fake love story slowly develops into a sweet relationship, as the drama progresses on. If you’re a fan of romantic comedies, this drama definitely hits all the right notes!

Cast: Park Min-young, Kim Jae-wook, Ahn Bo-hyun, Jung Jae-won

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

3. Arthdal Chronicles

Arthdal Chronicles
(The Korean Herald)

Also known as the Korean version of Game of Thrones (and a much more PG13 one), Arthdal Chronicles follows the story of the people of the ancient city of Arthdal as they contend with power struggles and vie for power as they build a new society. This drama stars Descendants of the Sun Song Joong Ki and Kim Ji Won, so if you’re fans of these two fantastic actors, you’ll have to catch this drama!

Cast: Jang Dong-gun, Song Joong-ki, Kim Ji-won, Kim Ok-vin

Episodes: 18

Available on: Viu

 

4. Hotel del Luna

Hotel del Luna
(Soompi)

Making waves all around the internet, Hotel del Luna stars Korea’s OG Nation Little Sister, IU, and new hot favourite actor, Yeo Jin Goo. Written by the famed Hong Sisters, it is about the two protagonists and their hotel. But here’s the twist. The hotel caters only to… the supernatural ghosts.

Cast: Lee Ji-eun (IU), Yeo Jin-goo

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu

 

5. Love Alarm

Love Alarm
(KdramaDaily)

A romantic comedy based off a webtoon of the same name by Chon Kye-young. The drama follows the story of three young people and their lives after a world-changing app called Love Alarm is released. When the app is turned on, users will be notified if anybody within a 10m radius has romantic feelings for them based on the user’s heart. And of course, like all good Korean dramas, the two male leads will fall for the same female lead and the infamous K-drama love triangle is formed.

Psst, to all Love Alarm fans, we heard that Netflix is releasing Love Alarm Season 2. 

Cast: Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, Song Kang

Episodes: 8

Available on: Netflix, Viu 

 

6. Angel’s Last Mission: Love

Angel’s Last Mission: Love
(mk.co.kr)

The name of the drama literally tells you the main gist already – A (handsome) angel, albeit a little naughty and mischievous, has to find love for a human who does not believe in love. And of course, the drama also follows the sure-win K-drama storyline of a non-human being in forbidden love with a human (A Korean Odyssey anyone?) and sure enough, the angel soon falls in love with the human girl as the drama develops. K-pop fans, you’ll want to watch this because INFINITE’s L (aka Kim Myung Soo) is acting as the angel

Cast: Shin Hye-sun, Kim Myung-soo, Lee Dong-gun, Kim Bo-mi, Do Ji-won, Kim In-kwon

Episodes: 32

Available on: Viu 

 

7. Doctor John

Doctor John
(Soompi)

Finally, another medical drama worth watching! If you liked Doctors, you’ll definitely appreciate Doctor John, especially with the focused yet unique storyline. The drama follows the story of a doctor of anesthesiology, who is a genius at work, but extremely arrogant, and a resident of anesthesiology, who works at the same hospital. One day, people start getting admitted to the hospital with mysterious acute or chronic pain, and both doctors have to work together to find the causes of their pain. 

Cast: Ji Sung, Lee Se-Young, Lee Kyu-hyung, Hwang Hee

Episodes: 32

Available on: Viu 

 

8. Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung

Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung
(Dramabeans)

This drama is filled with treats for your eyes and we mean, serious treats. Starring pretty Shin Se-Kyung and handsome Cha Eun-woo, the story is set in the early 19th century in Korea and it talks about how female historians are generally looked down upon during that period of time. Of course, being a K-drama, it wouldn’t be just about that. The female historian gets involved with a handsome prince and yes, love will surely follow.

Cast: Shin Se-kyung, Cha Eun-woo

Episodes: 40

Available on: Netflix, Viu 

 

9. Abyss

Abyss
(AsianWiki)

If you’re a fan of sci-fi with a little bit of rom-com, this is the drama for you. Following the story of two people who get resurrected into a different body after their separate deaths due to a mysterious bead called – Abyss, the drama slowly reveals the hows and whys behind this phenomenon as well as the love story between the two leads. The drama also stars cute Park Bo-young, so if you’re a fan of this actress, you’ll want to support her! 

Cast: Park Bo-young, Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-jae

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix, Viu 

 

10. My First First Love

My First First Love
(MIDb)

Termed as a “healing” drama, the story follows the lives of five friends who live together after a series of events that led them to leave their home for different reasons. We don’t know about you, but Ji Soo as one of the leads, and also the aesthetically pleasing poster is enough to make us save it on our playlist on Netflix. 

Cast: Ji Soo, Jung Chae-yeon, Jung Jin-young, Choi Ri, Kang Tae-oh 

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix, Viu

 

11. Romance Is A Bonus Book

Romance Is A Bonus Book
(A Koala’s Playground)

If you enjoyed 2018’s Something in the Rain, you might enjoy Romance Is A Bonus Book too. The drama talks about the relationship between a young, hardworking man who works as an editor-in-chief at a publishing company and an unemployed divorcee who works as a temporary worker at the same publishing company. Throughout the drama, personal and professional challenges are thrown their way, but it is only through these ordeals that they realise their true feelings for each other.

Cast: Lee Na-young, Lee Jong-suk, Jung Yoo-jin, Wi Ha-joon 

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix, Viu  

 

12. Kingdom

Kingdom
(Pinterest)

The Walking Dead anyone? If you absolutely adore watching zombie films, Kingdom is for you. It is unlike any other drama on this list and the drama is set in Korea’s Joseon period. It starts off with the mysterious “death” of the king of Joseon but as the drama develops, you’ll see that a (un)deadly plague had fallen upon the southern regions and the King’s palace. But all these seem to be part of the evil plan of the Minister and his daughter, who so happens to be the current empress. Or, is it something far more sinister?

To all Kingdom fans, rejoice! Season 2 has been announced and it will air on Netflix in 2020!

Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doona, Kim Sung-kyu

Episodes: 6

Available on: Netflix

 

13. So I Married An Anti-Fan

So I Married An Anti-Fan
(AsianWiki)

To all our K-pop fans readers, this is one drama you’ll probably want to watch. It follows the life of a K-pop star and a magazine reporter, who is also his anti-fan, who somehow managed to live together. Of course, because of the proximity principle, these two will also inevitably fall in love. Who doesn’t want that right?! 

Cast: Choi Tae-joon, Choi Soo-young

Episodes: TBC

 

14. The Man Who Became King

The Man Who Became King
(Soompi)

Also known as The Crowned Clown, the drama follows the story of the King of Joseon and a clown who looks almost identical to each other. When the state of Joseon is in a state of disorder due to (d-uh) power struggle and uprisings, a clown is brought in to the palace to take the place of the king and protect the real king. As the story slowly develops, the fake king is not just afraid that his identity will be compromised, but he also slowly finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Queen.

Cast: Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung, Lee Se-young 

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu 

 

15. Touch Your Heart

Touch Your Heart
(Pinterest)

If you loved the relationship between the Grim Reaper and jovial Sunny in Goblin, you’ll definitely need to watch this. Starring both Lee Dong-wook and Yoo In-na, the drama follows the story of a once top-ranking actress whose career declines after a scandal and a hardworking but extremely proficient lawyer. To land herself a role in a drama, the actress has to work as a lawyer’s secretary for a few months and lo and behold, she works for the said lawyer. Both of them are not happy about the situation but have to accept it.

Cast: Yoo In-na, Lee Dong-wook, Lee Sang-woo, Son Sung-yoon

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu 

 

16. Dazzling

Dazzling
(Kpopmap)

Another drama that delves into the realm of time travel, Dazzling is about a young, hardworking lady, who hopes to become an announcer one day. However, before she’s able to achieve that dream, she suddenly becomes a 70-year-old woman, who has the special ability to manipulate time. The drama also includes a young man who wants to become a reporter, and is extremely hard working as well. However, he now lives his life hopelessly and lethargically. Both characters meet each other and a series of events follow. 

Cast: Han Ji-min, Kim Hye-ja, Nam Joo-hyuk, Son Ho-jun

Episodes: 12

Available on: Viu

 

17. The Last Empress

The Last Empress
(AsianWiki)

The drama was initially slated for 48 episodes but was extended by four episodes due to its popularity. Set in a hypothetical constitutional monarchy in modern Korea in 2018, the drama follows the life of an aspiring musical actress who became an overnight Cinderella by marrying into the Korean Empire family. As she contends herself with palace life, the new queen searched for true love and happiness. But of course, this is a drama, and being the lead actress, she is eventually entangled in a string of unfortunate events that include the murder of the emperor’s grandmother.

Cast: Jang Na-ra, Choi Jin-hyuk, Shin Sung-rok, Lee Elijah, Shin Eun-kyung

Episodes: 52

Available on: Viu

 

18. He Is Psychometric

He Is Psychometric
(Amino Apps)

Psychometry is the claimed ability to read a person or object’s past through physical contact. And as the drama puts it, this drama follows the story of a man who has this ability after losing his parents in a fire. With this ability, he helps the special investigation unit take bad people down, together with his foster guardian who works as a prosecutor, and a smart young woman.

Cast: Park Jin-young, Shin Ye-eun, Kim Kwon, Kim Da-som

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu 

 

19. Voice 3

Voice 3
(GoldPoster)

Voice 3 follows the events in Voice 2 and stars the two main leads in the latter show too. Similar to the first two seasons of the same name, the drama is about how the 112 Emergency Call Unit, named Golden Time Team, help to solve crimes within the Golden Time period. In the latest instalment, the team is tasked to fight against an international evil cartel involved in the internet’s Dark Web.

Cast: Lee Ha-na, Lee Jin-wook

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu 

 

20. Designated Survivor: 60 Days

Designated Survivor: 60 Days
(AsianWiki)

Based on the American television series of the same name, Designated Survivor: 60 Days, follows the story of the Minister of Environment who has little ambition as a politician, and how he was inevitably forced to become the acting president for 60 days, following an unexpected explosion during an official gathering at the National Assembly building, that killed many of the high-ranking government officials, including the President. As the story develops, the acting President chases after the people responsible for the explosion and also grows as a national leader.

Cast: Ji Jin-hee, Heo Joon-ho, Kang Han-na, Lee Joon-hyuk, Bae Jong-ok

Episodes: 16

Available on: Netflix, Viu

 

21. My Fellow Citizens! 

My Fellow Citizens! 
(Amino Apps)

Starring suave and handsome Choi Si-won, this is one drama a lot of K-pop fans will not want to miss. The drama is basically all about con-artists and it follows a skilled fraudster who gets involved in a whole series of unexpected incidents, including marrying a police officer, and even running to become a member of the National Assembly. Talk about the perfect con-job eh?

Cast: Choi Si-won, Lee Yoo-young, Kim Min-jung 

Episodes: 36

Available on: Viu

 

22. Absolute Boyfriend

Absolute Boyfriend
(Sbscene)

It does seem like a fruitful year for young actor Yeo Jin-goo because here’s yet another drama that stars this up and rising actor. Like what the name suggests, this drama follows the life of a special effects makeup artist who was initially dating a popular actor, until he grew tired of the relationship and decide to end it. Fortunately for our main lead actress, a humanoid robot appears in her life and an accidental kiss activates the robot, who takes her as his girlfriend. As the drama slowly develops, the actor tries to win his ex-girlfriend back through devious means and the robot eventually becomes the Absolute Boyfriend.

Cast: Yeo Jin-goo, Bang Min-ah, Hong Jong-hyun 

Episodes: 40

Available on: Viu

 

23. Beautiful World

Beautiful World
(Kdramapal)

Starring Nam Da-reum, an up and rising star, this drama touches on issues such as school violence. It might not be very applicable to most of us but it is still an eye-opening drama that shows the drastic effects of such horrifying acts and how families will have to cope with these issues. The drama tells the story of a happy family who has their happiness disrupted after their son becomes a victim of school violence. As the story develops, the family tries their best to bring justice. 

Cast: Park Hee-soon, Choo Ja-hyun, Oh Man-seok, Cho Yeo-jeong, Nam Da-reum, Kim Hwan-hee

Episodes: 16

Available on: Viu


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