No matter what kind of Korean drama - medical, action or even horror - that you watch, there’s sure to be some element of romance involved. K-drama screenwriters do an expert job of weaving just the right amount of romance with other scenes to keep both the romantics and the plot lovers interested!
So if you want to watch a K-drama with romance, you don’t really need to pick, as any K-drama will have love. The question is: is the drama cringy or not, does it have a sad ending (no spoilers!) and, most importantly, do the main leads have a lot of chemistry?
Without further ado, here’s the top five K-dramas that you must watch if you want to feel love and excitement!
#1 Crash Landing on You (2019-2020)
The story takes off in the first episode, when Yoon Se-ri, a South Korean heiress, through an extraordinary mishap finds herself in the off-limits boundary of North Korea. There she meets a North Korean Army officer, Ri Jeong-hyuk. These two characters develop an unlikely friendship that inevitably turns into love.
In CLOY, we’re also given a glimpse into the somewhat mysterious life of the North Korean people and are able to see the contrast of both countries. You might find yourself bonding with the hilarious supporting characters, from both sides, that only draw you in more to this series.
Starring Son Ye-Jin as Yoon Se-ri and Hyun Bin as Ri Jeong-hyuk, the chemistry between these actors will have you swooning and hoping for a second season! Grab those tissues… you've been warned!
#2 Descendants of the Sun (2016)
Speaking of chemistry, Descendants of the Sun, has it in spades. In this love story you have a Korean Special Forces captain,Yoo Si-jin and a surgeon, Dr. Kang Mo-yeon, who initially meet in the emergency room of a South Korean hospital.
Unfortunately, due to the demanding obligations both have to their jobs, they find themselves drifting apart before they're even able to delve into a serious relationship. Ultimately, they reunite in a war torn country, where they can't deny their deep feelings for each other. From their first encounter, you are viscerally aware of their attraction for one another.
Descendants stars Song Joong-ki as Captain Yoo Shi-jin of the Alpha Team (aka Big Boss) and Song Hye-kyo as Professor Kang Mo-yeon (aka Beauty). If you find yourself shipping SongSong and were saddened by their real life break up, just hit play and watch their love unfold once again!
#3 Goblin (2016)
Any K-drama list would not be complete without Goblin, a fantasy romance which recorded a record number of viewers on South Korean national television. Goblin tells the story of a cursed goblin who needs a bride to end his eternal suffering. Unfortunately, once he meets his bride he realises that he wants to stay with her instead.
Featuring Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-Eun) and Kim Shin (Gong Yoo), Goblin would be perfect for those who like a lot of action and heart-wrenching storylines.
#4 Reply 1988 (2015)
Set in 1988 Korea, Reply 1988 sounds outdated and something the older generations would watch at first, but it’s actually a heartwarming coming of age/romance film, featuring Duk-seon, a typical Korean girl in the 1988’s. She has a triangle-shaped bowl haircut with full on bangs, questionable self-done makeup and a likable personality.
Back in the 1988s, especially in South Korea, people were very close with their neighbors. Duk-seon was no exception, having several inseparable male childhood friends. However, once they grew up they started liking each other, which is where things got complicated.
If you like love triangles, crushes and unrequited love with a retro twist, you’ll love this drama. Even if you can’t relate to life in the 1988’s, this film will make you think that you were born in the wrong generation with famous actors Hyeri, Park Bo-Gum, and Ryu Jeon Yeol amongst the cast.
#5 Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (2016)
If you’ve ever dreamt of a relationship with your crush at school, this drama will be your favorite. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo follows the story of Kim Bok-Joo, an aspiring weightlifter. Life on campus seems to be fairly normal, until Jung Joon-hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk, her forgotten *handsome* childhood friend) comes around. They meet together at Hanseul University, a sports university of sorts.
Although at first this seems like a typical romance drama, it really isn’t. Packed with humour and plot twists, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo will leave you feeling good inside. We don’t recommend starting this drama before you have your exams or an important deadline at work due, as you’ll start binging the entire series in a week or two.
Books for K-Drama Enthusiasts
If you're interested in learning more about K-Dramas, want to keep notes on your faves or learn some Korean phrases commonly used in K-Dramas and even K-Pop, the following books are a great choice:
Although, we highly recommend and are partial to our chosen top 5 romantic K-Dramas, we are completely open to new suggestions and would love to hear what your favorites are. Please comment below and tell us which dramas we may have missed and what you love about them (and of course avoid spoilers if possible).