From celebrated groups like BTS and BLACKPINK to award-winning movies like Parasite, South Korea knows what it’s doing when it comes to popular culture and entertainment. Netflix has increased focus on the Korean dramas or K-Dramas genre and has invested heavily to ensure its viewers access highly popular TV shows. With that said, here are four must-watch Korean dramas available on Netflix right now.
Kingdom is a Netflix original series with two seasons and a confirmed third one on the way set in the Joseon era. The show centers on Crown Prince Lee Chang, who finds himself with the task of exposing his power-hungry wicked stepmother and her father, who aim to get their hands on the throne.
As the Crown Prince’s stepmom and her father plot how they can seize their opportunity, the king is left desolate after he is stricken with a flesh-eating illness that soon spreads to the rest of the kingdom. Kingdom combines The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to deliver a powerful story about a young boy who has to save his people and his throne.
Stranger has not one but two seasons, with the sophomore season concluding its storyline in October 2020. The show has been on the air since 2017, and fans can’t wait for it to be renewed for another season.
Stranger follows Hwang Si-mok, who loses his sense of empathy and social skills after undergoing surgery to correct his hypersensitivity to selective sound frequencies. He teams up with Police Lieutenant Han Yeo-jin to investigate a murder.
As they go along, they realize that their efforts keep getting thwarted by a major corruption conspiracy between a private conglomerate and the Prosecutor’s Office. Stranger was so good that it landed a spot on the New York Times list of the best TV shows of 2017.
‘It’s Okay To Not be Okay’
It’s never easy for people with mental health issues to speak up about it. The subject is especially hardly mentioned and is considered taboo in Korea. The conversation about mental health, however, takes center stage in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay.
The story follows a popular children’s book author who, although part of her job description is to write happy narratives for children, has an antisocial personality disorder that hampers her daily life. She meets a psychiatric ward caregiver whose emotional intelligence is through the roof.
He, however, is busy taking care of his autistic older brother. The story is the typical girl-meets-boy one, but in this one, both lead characters experience healing while proving that mental health is best handled with some help.
Park Seo-Joon has proven he can excel in whichever role he is given. He transitioned easily from playing the wealthy businessman Lee Young-Joon in What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim to portraying a poor kid with a dream in Itaewon Class.
This underdog tale follows Park Sae-ro-yi, who gets expelled for getting into a fight with a school bully whose father happens to be the wealthy owner of the Janggi Group conglomerate. To make matters worse, he loses his father in a car accident caused by the bully.
Park Sae-ro-yi hunts down the bully and nearly beats him to death, a move that gets him thrown in prison for three years. After his release, Park Sae-ro-yi vows to take down the Janggi Group for ruining his life by opening a bar in Itaewon and wants to turn it into a franchise.
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