44 K-Dramas Like Tempted That You Should Not Miss

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K-Dramas Like Tempted (Credits: Netflix, Canva)

Starring Woo Do Hwan, Park So Young, Kim Min Jae, and Moon Ga Young in the main roles, this romantic melodrama about youth and friendship is one of the most popular series among K-drama fans. Adopted from the French Novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, this Korean drama follows three rich friends who have had each other’s back since childhood. 

When one of them starts to fall for a poor girl from the same school, and because of a few family issues, the three friends seem to distance themselves from each other. How the three of them, along with the female lead, cope with their friendship as well as other relationships in life, forms the core of the story.

This K-drama is more famous internationally than in South Korea. Though initially receiving some criticism for going too fast, due to which the audience couldn’t be emotionally invested, this series is still loved by many for its amazing portrayal of friendship and unrequited or restricted love angle. No matter what, this drama is worth a watch if you’re diving into the K-drama industry.

If you’ve loved Tempted, The Great Seducer, here are some similar dramas that you’d like.

1. Nevertheless

From having the same setting to having similar problematic male leads and a naive female lead, Nevertheless is quite a famous drama that is quite similar to Tempted. We follow the story of Nabi, the female lead, who doesn’t believe in love anymore and vows never to believe in destiny or anything. She is easily pulled into a relationship of friends-with-benefits by the charming male lead but ends up developing feelings for him.

Nevertheless (Credit: Netflix)

The male lead, however, isn’t clear with his feelings as he doesn’t want a relationship and plays around with her, hurting her in the process. With a side lesbian couple, who are the only reason to keep a few audiences completing the whole drama, this show has managed to still gain a lot of fame despite the problematic characters.

This may be because the fact that the first half is so realistic and pulls the viewers in with ease, while the second half doesn’t hold the same momentum. However, we can’t deny that this series has a lot of fan base as well as many re-watchers because of how it makes your heart flutter due to the sexual tension between the main leads.

  • Director: Kim Ga Ram
  • Cast: Han So Hee, Song Kang
  • Number of episodes: 10
  • Where to watch: Netflix

2. SKY Castle

Though it doesn’t have a romantic plot, this K-drama is quite similar to Tempted due to being set around high schoolers and their parents who want to get them admitted into the most Elite universities in South Korea. The name itself is representative of the three top most elite universities, Seoul University, Korea University, and Yonsei University.

SKY Castle
SKY Castle (Credit: Netflix)

Dealing with how serious the education system in Korea is, leading a lot of students to take their life from the stress and how the elite class has materialistic desires and only cares about status rather than their family or children, this drama is one of the most famous series in Korea, remaining in popularity since its release and even until today.

In the drama, we follow the lives of these elite housewives who go to all ends to get their famous husbands more fame and make their kids maintain their prestige by making sure they get into the top universities, even going to extreme lengths to do so. SKY Castle is a hit to showcase the brutal reality of how students are treated as a means to obtain social status and how social status is the only thing that matters in society for someone to respect you.

  • Director: Jo Hyun Tak
  • Cast: Yum Jang Ah, Lee Tae Ran, Yoon Se An
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Netflix

3. Boys Over Flowers

This drama is quite similar to Tempted, being one of the most famous K-dramas that are said to have started a Korean wave across the world and even been translated into various languages. It is one of the must-watches even today, still famous with the fans and relevant to the day.

We follow the lives of four rich brats who take everything in life for granted and don’t care about other people from the unprivileged parts of society. Then, there is the female lead who gets into their elite school thanks to a scholarship. Her life at school is quite bad as no one treats her well because of her status, and late she is even bullied by these four friends.

Boys over flowers
Boys Over Flowers (Credits: Youtube)

We explore the similar themes of romance, friendship, and restricted love in Boys Over Flowers. The hatred starts to turn into romance, even breaking friendships because two boys fall in love with the same girl. Known to have one of the saddest second main lead stories, this drama is a lot of people’s first drama and is still widely loved by many fan’s comfort drama.

  • Director: Jeon Ki Sang
  • Cast: Koo Hye Sun, Lee Min Ho
  • Number of episodes: 25
  • Where to watch: Netflix

4. The Heirs

Following the same routine high school trope of privileged kids falling for a poor girl, this drama does follow the same path but is a little different. It is a little more mature than other dramas we’ve spoken about so far, yet cliche. Many fans have a love-hate relationship with this show, finding it a little cringe but not being able to let go of it.

The heirs
The Heirs (Credits: Netflix)

We follow the story of rich kids who are about to take over their family business. The male lead, who goes to the West to do so, falls for a poor girl despite having a fiance. His friend, who now turned against him, takes the opportunity of this situation and poses him with various difficulties where he has to choose between love and family.

What was surprising was in the end, the viewers started rooting for the antagonist due to the back story and started understanding his motives. Known as one of the most addictive dramas that take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, this series is still recommended for new K-drama fans.

  • Director: Kang Shin Hyo
  • Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Won Bin
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Netflix

5. Secret Garden

One of the most loved dramas of the early 2000s, every K-drama fan at a point had a crazy obsession with Secret Garden. Even new fans today love and appreciate it a lot, labeling this as their ‘comfort drama.’ While most dramas followed the same storyline and seemed to be remakes of each other, this drama had a new element that surprised the audience and hooked them right in.

Secret Garden
Secret Garden (Credits: Asian Wiki)

Despite following the typical trope of rich man-poor woman, the main leads in this drama swap bodies suddenly and have to deal with the consequences that follow. Receiving a great response from the audience for its unique story and amazing execution, as well as acting, this series was a super hit and a must-watch until today.

The story keeps you hooked until the very end, and the execution is so good that the audience cries and laughs with the characters, empathizing with them. Nothing in this drama is over the top and unnecessary, fitting perfectly in every place possible. Quite similar to Tempted, if you’ve liked Tempted, you will love this drama. 

  • Director: Shin Woo Chul
  • Cast: Ha Ji Won, Hyun Bin
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Viki

Also Read: Best Sibling Relationships in K-dramas

6. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Moon Lovers follows not friendship but the rivalry of brothers who aren’t just fighting for the throne but also the female lead. A twenty-first-century woman is transported back into the Joseon era and tries her best to come back to the present timeline, but not only does she fail to do so, but she also develops feelings for a prince there.

She later falls in love with another prince- the most feared one. How she manages to deal with the situation and the politics between the royal family forms the basic plot line. Like in Tempted, we see relationships and bonds being broken due to a person loving someone they shouldn’t. What infuriates the viewers the most is that the female lead doesn’t end up with either brother she falls in love with.

Moon Lovers
Moon Lover: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Credits: Mubi)

The acting and execution were pretty good but could get quite messy at times and confuse the audience. It takes a few watches to completely get a hold of what’s happened and why it did. Moon Lovers is still considered a fan-favorite to this day, with most people going back to rewatch it for the intense emotions and drama it carried. 

  • Director: Kim Kyu Tae
  • Cast: Lee Joon Gi, Lee Ji Eun, Kang Haneul
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Viki

7. Eve

Dealing with the chaebols, or the elite rich in South Korea, this melodrama follows the divorce of the female lead to seek to find out who killed her parents when she was a young girl. The daughter of a genius scientist who had lost her family in her teens, and her thirst for vengeance is what we follow in this drama.

Through the divorce, she hopes to bring the family of her soon-to-be ex-husband, who is the reason for the demise of her family. Whether she really can achieve this revenge or even if she does, whether it would be worth it until the end forms the central plot of the story. Most shows dealing with revenge show the protagonist being consumed by revenge and not feeling satisfied in the end. To find out whether this drama follows the same plot line or not makes it worth watching.

The female lead being a femme fatale who cares about nothing but getting her revenge and going to psychopathic extents to do so, was a wonderful part as so many viewers loved her playing a similar role in her previous drama. It’s okay not to be okay. 

  • Director: Park Bong Seop
  • Cast: Seo Yea Ji, Park Byung Eun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

8. Twenty-Five, Twenty-One

Today a lot of technology has made communicating easy. But in the late 1990s, people had pagers and computers. For someone to make friends online was a big thing and started in that era. In this drama, we follow the story of an aspiring fencer who even joins the same school as her role model.

Though they start on really bad terms, they grow fond of each other when they find out they’ve been online friends all along. Both end up liking the same guy, who doesn’t like one of them back, but despite this, their friendship stays intact. However, neither of the main leads could confess due to a few circumstances.

However, they do meet years later at the Olympics, the female lead, who has now achieved her dream of becoming a fencer, and the male lead- who came to cover her game. Twenty-five Twenty-one does not have so much melodrama but instead is a light-hearted romance that will make you feel warm from the inside. This drama is a must-watch for everyone, irrespective of whether they are rom-com fans or not.

  • Director: Jung Ji Hyun
  • Cast: Kim Tae Ri, Nam Joo Hyeok
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

9. Extraordinary You

If you’ve ever read a manhwa or watched a drama, there would have been times that you wished you were teleported into the drama. Extraordinary You is exactly that. We follow the female lead, who was transported into the world of a webcomic but as a side character. 

extraordinary you
Extraordinary You (Credits: Netflix)

But she does not want to be just a side character, so she goes her way to change things and create her own story. However, her actions have a heavy price that she should pay. She is content when she knows what to do to get her own stage time but soon regrets it because she knows she messed up big time.

The high school love stories will leave you feeling as if you were a teenager again, having the first relationship of your life. Unlike other cliche dramas, this one is unique and one that was never made before. The message is to convey that we have the power to do what we want in our life. All we need is the courage to control it.

  • Director: Kang Sang Hyeop
  • Cast: Kim Hye Yoon, Rowoon
  • Number of episodes: 32
  • Where to watch: Viki

10. Reply 1998

The best and classic K-drama of all time which deals with friendship and teenage love that grows into adulthood, has the most accurate depiction of real-life scenarios, and has won a huge fan base not just in Korea but worldwide. Reply 1998 is a one-of-a-kind drama following the lives of 5 teenagers from the same neighborhood.

Reply 1998
Reply 1998 (Credit: Viki)

We explore various themes, such as coping with family issues and missing out on school life because of a few circumstances. The love triangle between the three main leads breaks your heart at times, wishing the second main lead got the girl instead-but. In the end, you will be content with what has happened.

The side couples are also really great, having and overcoming their difficulties as they also deal with their parents and careers, leading to a few heartbreaking moments. Reply 1998 is a widely loved K-drama and is recommended to a lot of new fans, making it to the list of most people’s all-time favorites.

  • Director: Shin Won Ho
  • Cast: Lee Hye Ri, Park Bo Gum
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Netflix

Also Read: Best Romantic Dramas on Netflix

11. True Beauty

True Beauty follows the high school romance and a love triangle, making us fall in love not just with the main leads but also with the supporting character. Adopted from the web series of the same name, this was one of the most anticipated dramas of 2021, living up to people’s expectations with its plotline and amazing characters.

The female lead sure does stand out, along with the second male lead- who we wish was the main lead instead. Most audiences think that she should have ended up with Seo Jun, the second main lead, instead of the first because of how well he treats her. We are left as heartbroken as Seo Jun, seeing him in pain. Though criticized for being too monotonous in his role and not displaying too many emotions as the character demanded, Cha Eunwoo also did quite great.

Read:   The Real Deal Has Come! Episode 17: Release Date, Spoilers & How To Watch

This series also talks about bullying and how teenagers deal with insecurities about their looks and body. The series was relatable to an extent and quite fun to watch, getting us quite excited for the next season. 

  • Director: Kim Sang Hyeop
  • Cast: Moon Ga Young, Cha Eun Woo, Hwang In Yeop
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

12. School 2013

Two Korean language teachers help the school that is ranked as the lowest due to its academic scores to rise high again. In this process, they have to deal with various kinds of students, bullying, and even their differences. All the episodes deal with a new issue, which ultimately gets resolved while showing the power of friendship.

School 2013
School 2013 (Credit: Viki)

Though having a similar concept, no episode is repeated, and unique stories and challenges are put forward. Usually, when we see two main leads of the opposite gender, we are quite sure that a romance will ensue between them at some point, but in this drama, it doesn’t. The main characters are just hard-working individuals who come together to help this school and its students resolve their issues.

With phenomenal action and amazing execution, this drama is one of the easiest watches, not even making you realize that you’re binging it. You will feel various emotions throughout, laughing and crying with the characters and wishing you could turn back time just to experience this drama once again.

  • Director: LeeMin Hong, Lee Eung Bok
  • Cast: Jang Nara, Choi Daniel, Lee Jong Suk, Kim Won Bin
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

13. 18 Again

This drama doesn’t need a review or a synopsis to be recommended. Even if you go in with zero knowledge about the story, actors, or genre, you are sure to enjoy it until the last bit. One of the most famous K-dramas in recent years, 18 Again, is such a show that you can watch it again and again without feeling bored.

18 again
18 again (Credits: Netflix)

A couple who are struggling in their relationship is about to take a divorce when the husband finds himself transformed into his 18-year-old self. How he tries to cope with the situation and still takes care of his family in every way he can forms the core of the story.

Previously a neglectful father and husband, now, when he’s transformed, he does his best to find out more about his kids and help them in various aspects of their life, all while trying to fix their family.

With great OSTs, professional acting that will for sure make you cry, and perfect execution, this drama is a must-watch for anyone as it also teaches a lot of lessons about family and its importance and how if you neglect anything if your life, you will regret it later.

  • Director: Ha Byung Hoon
  • Cast: Kim Haneul, Yoon Sang Hyun, Lee Do Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

14. Moorim School

When two rich brats attend a fantasy school, Moorim Institute, because of a girl they like and accidentally cause the barrier around the school to be broken, they should help with resolving the mysterious issues happening on their arrival too. Both of them hate each other at first but eventually understand the other’s issues and become close friends.

Moorim School
Moorim School (Credit: Viki)

They are now given the responsibility of restoring the peace in the school for it to run smoothly. However, the fact that they are in love with the same girl as well as their competitiveness to become the best students, cause them to grow apart. How they deal with all these complicated situations forms the base of the story.

The school is focused more on the physical capabilities of a person than their academic qualities, teaching compassion, honesty, and every other essential value. The school helps the students discover their true selves. With addicting music and an even more amazing cast, Moorim School is a really good watch that will get hooked to it instantly

  • Director: Lee So Yon
  • Cast: Lee Hyun Woo, Seo Yea Ji
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

15. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

This story deals with a lot of psychological trauma between the main characters. The male lead lives with his autistic brother and has to constantly moves town. While he’s working as a psychiatric caregiver, he meets a children’s book author with an anti-social personality which is our female lead.

However, their pasts overlap, and they are forced to move into the city of their childhoods, which holds a lot of painful and traumatic memories for them. How they overcome their trauma and reveal it layer by layer to each other forms the core of the story. This story is heart-touching to many people as it displays various kinds of challenges, like the way autistic people are treated by child abuse.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay is one of those dramas that will reach the deepest part of your heart. As you watch it, you form an emotional connection to the characters and the story, which will cause you to get attached and feel their emotions through the screen. With great execution and amazing acting, It’s Okay Not To Be Okay is a drama different from the others that you will probably never come across in your life.

  • Director: Park Shin Woo
  • Cast: Kim So Hyun, Seo Yea Ji
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

Also Read: K-dramas for new fans

16. Love Alarm

Today, using a dating app isn’t something new. But what if the dating app had a feature to tell that someone within a 10-meter radius liked you? The app can also show you how many people like you; however, the details of your admirers are kept a secret.

Love alarm
Love Alarm (Credits: Netflix)

Adapted from a webtoon with the same name, Love Alarm is set in a world where a dating app allows you to do more than just match with people you like. The female lead, typically like most female leads in most dramas, is poor and is liked by a rich brat from a wealthy family. However, it’s not just one person that likes her.

When the male lead’s friend kisses her to see if the male lead is in love, new feelings start to bloom, and before we know it, the female lead is stuck in a classic love triangle. Though not appreciated by many for its faulty characters and boring execution, Love Alarm also has its fair share of fans, even receiving a sequel coz it was a hit. The genre might be a little different, but this drama, which revolves around restricted love and friendship and is similar to quite The Tempted, is surely worth a try.

  • Director: Lee Na Jung
  • Cast: Kim So Hyun, Jung Ga Ram, Song Kang
  • Number of episodes: 14
  • Where to watch: Netflix

17. My Love From The Star

The love story between a controversial celebrity and an alien is sure an interesting one. My Love from the Star follows the story of an alien who landed on Earth centuries ago and is only three months away from returning to his homeland. But exactly at that time, the female lead, who is a celebrity, shows up in his life, and he even ends up being her manager.

My love form another star
My Love from Another Star (Credits: Viki)

He hates her at first, but when he realizes that she’s the reincarnation of his first love, new feelings start to grow between them. This will pose challenges for him to leave Earth, so how will he overcome them, and what choice will he make? To know this, you should check out the drama.

One of the most loved dramas in the K-drama fandom, this show has fans not just in Korea but all around the earth. This is one of the dramas that have every piece in its perfect place, from the charismatic actors, the evil villain, and even the engaging plot line that kept the audiences at the edge of their seats with each episode. 

  • Director: Jang Tae Yoo
  • Cast: Jun Ji Hyun, Kim So Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 21
  • Where to watch: Viki

18. Fight For My Way

Everyone has some or the other dream. But having a dream isn’t everything. Even if you have the potential to achieve the dream, many more factors pose threats for you to achieve that dream. We cannot deny the fact that it’s easier for privileged people to dream and achieve those dreams than for people who lack resources.

Fight For My Way
Fight For My Way (Credit: Viki)

Fight for my way is one such drama in which the main characters try to achieve a dream that they hardly even qualify for. Will their efforts be fruitful, or before they can make it to the finish line, will the race have finished already? While they try their best to achieve their dreams, they also have to deal with personal relationships and growing feelings for friends in the same group. If dreaming itself is a huge privilege for them, will they even get to love?

This drama has a lot of lessons about life and shows them in the most realistic way possible. The failures are shown, as well as the success. All aspects of life are showcased without any sugarcoating. Though the drama might be a hard pill to swallow, it provides a sort of solace that you’re not alone.

  • Director: Lee Na Jeong
  • Cast: Park Seo Joon, Kim Ji Won
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

19. The Glory

Everyone has both good memories and bad memories of their high school life. Some people’s bad memories are just scoring low on a test, while others have to deal with extreme bullying. The Glory is the story of a lady who was bullied severely when she was in high school, and now she seeks revenge.

She meets everyone and vows to pay them back in the same way. Though gruesome, her getting her revenge also provides satisfaction to us. With spectacular acting that will give you chills, this drama is one of the best K-dramas ever. Normally in revenge stories, we see the protagonist start to regret everything after they get their revenge. They despise themselves for turning into someone so cruel, but in this drama, there is no such feeling because revenge is justice.

One of the most bone-chilling thrillers, this drama, based on real incidents, has become famous worldwide and loved by many. The Glory is a must-watch for everyone, irrespective of what genre they like. 

  • Director: Ahn Gil Ho
  • Cast: Song Hye Kyo, Lee Do Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

20. Secret Love Affair

This drama makes everyone who reads about it quite curious about what would happen. We follow the story of a piano genius who is a delivery man. On one delivery, he plays the piano in a music hall and is noticed by an elite art director. She vows to provide him with all professional piano lessons so he can become even better.

But some controversy starts as they start growing feelings for each other. The pianist is the one who confesses first, causing the female lead to rejecting his advance, but she can’t refuse her feelings that grow for his masculine charm. An affair is born that they must keep hidden because if it’s revealed, both their lives will get quite messy. How they do this while also having feelings for each other forms the main plot of the drama.

Secret Love Affair
Secret Love Affair (Credit: Viki)

The passion of the characters was portrayed perfectly by the actors, and the direction, as well as cinematography, just elevated the show even more. Though it might be quite controversial, this drama is a must-watch for everyone as it shows that this is also a possibility that could happen, and it’s no one’s fault.

  • Director: Ahn Pan Seok
  • Cast: Yoo Ah In, Kim Hee Ae
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

Also Read: Best Dramas of Song Hye Kyo

21. What Happened in Bali?

We follow the story of the female lead, who is a tour guide in Bali. One day, she comes across three people who seem to be in a love triangle. Two of them come from very rich families and are engaged, but the bride is in love with another poor man. However, the male lead still likes his fiance and follows her to Bali to discover the hidden relationship.

what happened in bali
What happened in Bali (Credits: Viki)

When the female lead goes back to Korea, she has no choice but to work for the male lead due to her bad financial situation. This only complicates the love triangle even more, and they are left to deal with a huge mess that they’d made because they are greedy for materialistic things. The drama has a lot of angst and only a few humorous moments as it deals with money and how people revolve around it.

We see the brutal truth of human nature and the extent people go to just for a few materialistic things. The drama is quite engaging with both the plot line as well as the execution, and despite having so many episodes, it makes sure that the audience is completely invested in it the whole time.

  • Director: Choi Moon Suk
  • Cast: Seo Ji Sub, Park Ye Jin, Ha Ji Won
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Viki

22. Dream High

Six students from a high school dream of being K-pop idols. Though their dreams are the same, their background is different, and that may pose a challenge for a few of them to achieve their dreams. How they deal with situations and the development of their personality, all while training to become K-pop idols, is what we explore in the story.

Dream High
Dream High (Credits: Netflix)

We also see them fall for each other and develop relationships like any other teenager of their age. Though the plot may seem generic, the story keeps moving forward and is at the right place, neither too slow nor too fast, which makes it an enjoyable watch. There are a lot of twists, but they are quite realistic, which also helps in making the story as relatable as possible to the audience.

Read:   35 War Korean Dramas To Watch: Awe Inspiring Action Series

It is much more than a routine school drama and is quite good in almost every aspect, including the addictive music, amazing acting, and wonderful execution. More preferred than its later sequel, Dream High is not as famous as other dramas despite living up to the same standards. It is a new plot that will get everyone hooked.

  • Director: Lee Eung Bok, Kim Seong Yoon
  • Cast: Bae Suzy, Kim Soo Hyun, Ok Taecyeon
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

23. Uncontrollably Fond

With the story of separated childhood sweethearts, this drama is a typical K-drama rom-com that will leave the audience swooning over the main couple and wishing they could have such an amazing relationship. The main leads who were separated as children have led quite drastically different lives, one being provided everything he needs while the other has to work hard for every single thing.

Uncontrollably Fond
Uncontrollably Fond (Credits: Youtube)

Now, they are well-established in their careers as an actor and a documentary producer. At first, they meet to shoot for a project and have a hard time getting along with each other, but eventually, they can’t deny their growing feelings. This series is the typical melodrama. Though some characters might be one-dimensional, the drama is filled with heartbreaking moments that will leave most audience in tears.

With an engaging plot that would be most preferred by melodrama fans, this drama is a pretty decent watch with its amazing plot and good execution, and the actors also play an important role in trying their best to portray all the characters in the best way possible. 

  • Director: Park Hyun Suk, Cha Young-Hoon
  • Cast: Kim Won Bin, Bae Suzy
  • Number of episodes: 20
  • Where to watch: Viki

24. To the Beautiful You

I’m pretty sure everyone has crushes in their teenage years that they went to scary extremes for, sometimes even stalking them. But the female lead in, To The Beautiful You takes it a notch up with her crush as she transfers into the all-boys school he attends, disguised as a guy.

This, of course, causes the male lead to have a huge confusion about his sexual orientation as he finds himself falling for the female lead, who is under the disguise of a guy. This adaptation of the Japanese manga Hana Kimi did do justice in portraying it the best way they could, among all other similar adaptations.

Focusing on the romantic aspects as well as not damaging the original story too much, this drama successfully managed to please both manga fans and the K-drama audience.

To the Beautiful You
To the Beautiful You (Credit: Viki)

One other major aspect that stood out the most was the professional cinematography that left everyone in complete awe. This did add a lot to the story as it highlighted everything that needed to be done while keeping subtle hints in the background. 

  • Director: Jeon Ki Sang
  • Cast: Lee Min Ho, Sulli
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

25. Sweet Revenge

A common thing that we see in most K-dramas or even any series is bullying. This drama, too, starts with the female lead, who is an outcast and is bullied by her classmates. But there is a twist. One day, she discovers a notebook that will allow her to take revenge on who’s ever name she writes it in.

Despite being a repetitive plot, this drama is a light-hearted watch that will still entertain you easily. It’s short, cute, and precise and gets to the point without much delay or exaggeration. The characters are great at first, and even the character development is good, which helps the story a lot.

Sweet Revenge
Sweet Revenge (Credits: Amazon Prime Video)

The plot itself is quite great, and the execution is also perfect, as it keeps the audience engaged the whole time. This is a series that you can finish quite easily and quickly, as it doesn’t have unnecessary drama or very long episodes. Sweet Revenge is not at all tense at any point, mostly having light-hearted characters, and makes a great casual watch on a weekend.

  • Director: Seo Won Tae
  • Cast: Kim Hyang Gi, Cha Eun Woo
  • Number of episodes: 11
  • Where to watch: Viki

Also Read: Binge-worthy K-dramas

26. At a Distance, Spring is Green

This drama deals with three friends with completely different personalities that get close. One is a rich kid who just got into university and met the other friend on a project who only cares about acquiring credits to establish a better feature. Though having opposite personalities, they eventually grow a liking towards each other, after which the third friend joins them.

They get through university together, facing all the problems and rising above them in the end. This webtoon-adapted drama would have done even better with a little more character development and a more engaging plot. People sometimes might click off the drama as it may be too slow in its progression, but it’s a light-hearted watch if you’re bored and have nothing to do.

The acting is pretty decent, and the music was good, too, though it doesn’t stand out much as it is quite forgettable. It might not be a drama that you would want to watch again and again, but it’s quite great to watch it for the first time and feel new emotions along with the versatile group of friends.

  • Director: Kim Jung Hyun
  • Cast: Park Ji Hoon, Kang Min Ah
  • Number of episodes: 12
  • Where to watch: Viki

27. Orange Marmalade

Orange Marmalade is a fantasy drama and consists of a world where vampires and humans exist together. The female lead has just moved towns and tries to settle down quietly, but a certain guy’s scent seems to intrigue her. Though the vampires don’t depend on blood in this drama, she can’t seem to resist the said guy.

Orange Marmalade
Orange Marmalade (Credits: Youtube)

The male lead, who is the most popular guy in the school, is initially scared of her but is still curious, causing him to follow her around to know more, which only would be a bad idea because now, it will be more difficult for her to control herself around him. The drama features a lot of cliches like high school romance, fantasy, inhumane creatures, etc. It is quite appreciated for talking about issues like bullying, discrimination, and friendship.

Most people, though finding themselves bored at the cringe drama, still return to the next episode to know what happens to satiate their curiosity. It is described as a love-hate drama in the K-drama community, but it is worth a watch for its unique plot line and characters. 

  • Director: Lee Hyung Min
  • Cast: Yeo Jin Goo, Kim Seol Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 12
  • Where to watch: Viki

28. The King: Eternal Monarch

This fantasy drama talks about parallel worlds and a person who can travel between them. The male lead is a King of the kingdom of Corea, in one universe, and wants to travel to the other world, where the country is a democratic nation, to catch the assassin of his father. When he does so, he isn’t able to control his teleportation properly and has to figure out why he keeps going back and forth without his will.

The female lead is a police officer in the other world and is the person to find him. She first thinks he’s from a drama company and tells him to stop acting, but when he can’t present an ID, she has to arrest him for illegal immigration. However, she soon learns that whatever the King told her was true and even teleports to Corea once. The growing romance between them complicates the plot further as she gets involved in his mess. 


This drama is loved by so many fans who confess that they can rewatch it several times without feeling bored. With phenomenal acting and mind-blowing execution, this drama is one of the most famous dramas produced in the K-drama industry and remains famous to this day.

  • Director: Baek Sang Hoon, Jung Ji Hyun, Yoo Je Won
  • Cast: Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

29. Hospital Playlist

Hospital Playlist follows the lives of five doctors who are single and covers most aspects of their professional and personal lives. Though it doesn’t have a serious love story that would break the group apart, it does have the big aspect of a friendship between the five of them.

This drama is one of my personal favorites and one of the most popular dramas that you can rewatch countless times and still not be bored. With an experienced cast that puts so much life into the characters and the fun storyline, this K-drama is sure to keep you engaged throughout both seasons. The friend group eventually has a couple too, when two of the friends start dating each other.

While being quite light-hearted, this drama tells us a lot of life lessons and shows a new perspective to doctors that we don’t see in other dramas. This medical drama though it might seem a little boring at the start, will pick up its pace for sure and keep the audience engaged. Even the sequel is a success and leaves the audience wanting more of this friend group. Hospital playlist is one drama that you will never regret watching, and mostly, you might also find yourself rewatching it again and again.

  • Director: Shin Won Ho
  • Cast: Jo Jong Suk, Jeon Mi Do, Yoo Yeon Seok
  • Number of episodes: 24
  • Where to watch: Netflix

30. Start-Up

Set in the made-up silicon valley of South Korea, we follow the story of two main leads who are trying to make it big in the IT industry. The female lead is aiming to be the next Steve Jobs. She doesn’t have a well-off background but is very passionate about her work. The male lead, who is a math genius, is running his work in loss and tries to woo her by pretending to be her pen pal and first love.

Start up
Start-Up (Credits: Netflix)

But a relationship on lies won’t last long, and it might hurt not just them personally but also their careers. How they deal with everything and also how the IT industry would be operating is what we deal with at the core of the story. The research about the business and IT sectors was done quite well, and the actors also portrayed the characters perfectly with ease, but after a point of time, the drama started feeling a little artificial and boring, so many confessed that they discontinued it for those reasons.

However, that doesn’t stop Start-Up from climbing the lost of the top dramas due to its phenomenal cast and good execution. The drama, for sure, deserves a watch before judging. Though the topics might be irrelevant for most viewers, the execution made it easy to make them understand at least the basics of everything so that they get a rough idea of what’s going on.

  • Director: Oh Choong Hwan
  • Cast: Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

Also Read: Best Dramas to Watch on Netflix

31. Cheese in the Trap

Another drama that is set in a university and around friends in the university is Cheese in the Trap. We see how the manipulative male lead, who know to get whatever he needs through various scheme, and the female lead, who is genuine and just wants to graduate. When he starts acting suspiciously kind towards her, our heroine knows that something is wrong though she can’t pinpoint it.

She lets her guard down once as feelings bloom between them, but she realizes it’s all a trap and can’t tell reality from acting, and neither can the male lead, who made everything up in the first place. We get into the complicated train of this relationship as we see them try to work everything out, only to be met with various other problems.

Cheese in the Trap
Cheese in the Trap (Credit: Viki)

Just when they think they’ve resolved one issue, they’re neck-deep in a couple more and hardly have any time to breathe. This webtoon-adapted drama suffered from so much mixed criticism for not being portrayed perfectly and overcomplicating things, due to which so many viewers were very confused.

  • Director: Lee Yoon Jung
  • Cast: Park Hae Jin, Kim Go Eun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

32. More Than Friends

As the title suggests, we are diving into the trope of friends to lovers. The main leads have been friends for over a decade, during which they have had crushes on each other, but some of the other misunderstandings stop them from confessing their feelings. When there is no misunderstanding, the timing is wrong.

Somehow, they keep their feelings inside themselves for a decade while also keeping in touch. However, they both know that if they don’t confess soon, they might never get a chance to confess, and it might be too late. But will fate again play around with them this time?

more than friends
More than friends (Credits: Youtube)

This drama, for sure, will keep you on the edge of your seat, and exactly when you think everything is going well and they are about to confess, something goes wrong, and you’re left to pull your hair out in frustration.

But the watch is worth it as we see the intense longing for each other. The other person does know they both have the same feeling, yet they can’t bring themselves to say it out. More Than Friends is a light-hearted drama that will keep you entertained for the weekend so that you don’t feel bored.

  • Director: Choi Sung Bom
  • Cast: Shin Ye Eun, Kim Dong Jun
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

33. My First First Love

Friends are usually allowed to show up at each other’s houses without permission. But what happens when four of your friends, all in different challenging situations, not only visit you but want to live with you from now on due to a few problems?

my first first love
My first love (Credits: Netflix)

This drama is all about five young friends who move in together and try to cohabitate with each other while some of them also deal with the feelings growing for the others. My First First Love shows us what friendships and relationships are actually like and how a person should be selfless in times like this. Though it has received a lot of mixed reactions from the audience, this drama is a unique one that you will hardly come across once again.

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There are some themes and issues that aren’t completely resolved or even explored, but we are invested in the other aspects that we hardly even notice them. The drama is loved by most rom-com fans and even received a season 2 which left the fans delighted. With good execution and amazing portrayal of the characters, this drama also teaches us various lessons about adult life.

  • Director: Oh Jin Seok
  • Cast: Ji Soo, Jung Char Yeon
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

34. Sassy Go Go

Sassy Go Go or better known as Cheer Up!, is set in an elite school in South Korea with a seriously competitive environment and puts students against each other to compete and win. The leader of an outcast dance group and an academically brilliant student form an allyship to create a cheerleading team.

Though they have differences in the start, they grow out of it and become really good friends. We explore various issues that most teenagers face, like their first relationship and breakup, friendship, academic pressure, and even finding an identity before their adulthood.

sassy go go
Sassy go (Credits: Soompi)

This drama was one of the few dramas through which new K-drama fans got into the fandom and is loved by many even to this day despite the topics and issues addressed being a little outdated. It is said to have shown all aspects every 18-year-old went through in their time and has a huge fanbase. This is a dearly loved drama by most K-drama fanatics and can be watched numerous times without feeling bored. 

  • Director: Lee Eun Jin
  • Cast: Jung Eun Ji, Lee Won Keun 
  • Number of episodes: 12
  • Where to watch: Viki

35. Penthouse: War in Life

Dealing with the lives of the elite and their children, Penthouse is one of the most famous dramas produced by the K-drama industry, with even K-pop idols and various celebrities in Korea appreciating a lot. It is, for sure, an engaging series with a lot of drama that will get you hooked to it instantly.

From people being born into wealth and people trying to climb up the ladder, this series shows everything that goes behind the screens, like nepotism and bribery. Though the last season took the drama and twists to a scarily high level, it is an easily watchable drama that will leave you in awe at its numerous twists and amazing execution.

It is for sure that stereotypical soap opera kind of drama in which anyone can turn out to be anyone’s child, but it is extremely enjoyable because of the great actors and amazing story.

With a rivalry that is going on from two generations to fickle-minded people who change sides based on who is good to them, this drama will for sure leave you in awe as to how someone came up with such a unique concept. 

  • Director: Joo Dong Min
  • Cast: Lee Ji Ah, Kim So Yeon, Eugene
  • Number of episodes: 48
  • Where to watch: Viki

Also Read: Best Dramas on Viki

36. Law School

Having parallels to the famous series, How To Get Away With Murder, Law School deals with the students and professors in the most famous university in Korea, which makes them question the authenticity of law and justice. When a professor is found dead, the group must solve the mysterious murder.

It deals with friendships and how they are at stake when the friends are competing with each other. The drama, however, has no romance and has quite a serious ambiance overall. With phenomenal actors and an engaging storyline, the Law School gives you a reality check and makes you question the whole legal system.

Law School
Law School (Credit: Netflix)

But it is to be kept in mind that the series is completely fictional. That doesn’t stop it from getting hooked on it as you wish for more and more. The fan is still waiting for a sequel to this masterpiece, and it is already well known that the sequel, too if made, will be widely appreciated. 

  • Director: Kim Seok Yoon
  • Cast: Kim Myeong Min, Kim Bum
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

37. Green Mother’s Club

We are quite familiar with high school friends and college friends, but friends are made in unimaginable ways. In Green Mother’s Club, we follow the story of five women who become friends because their children attend the same elementary school. Each of them has their problems and issues, but the others are always there to support them through everything.

green mothers club
Green Mother’s Club (Credits: Netflix)

They interact more as their friendship only deepens, and no matter how many challenges life throws at them, they try their best to keep their valuable bond no matter what. The actors are great, and even the execution is done quite well. The only flaw this drama has is that the French dialogues of the characters who have supposedly lived in France are really bad.

They were not only unnecessary but also a little cringe to some viewers. The friendship also keeps fluctuating because, at times, some of them don’t get along. The drama had enough potential to explore various aspects like motherhood and the trauma and stereotypes associated with it. 

  • Director: Ra Ha Na
  • Cast: Lee Yo Won, Chu Ja Hyun, Kim Gyu Ri
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

38. High Class

High-Class talks about the women from the topmost section of society who struggle to stay in that position despite the challenges they face. We follow the story of a woman accused of murdering her husband, a single mom, former Miss. Korea, an ice hockey player who is now a teacher.

high class
High Class (Credits: Youtube)

The drama might be too long for some and even feel unnecessarily stretched out when it should’ve ended episodes ago, but this was the only way they could dig into every issue of the characters. It was full of surprises, and if put in a little more effort, it would have been a huge success, even reaching the level of Penthouse.

Though it is a pretty reasonable drama, a lot of audiences did not like it because they felt that sometimes, the acting felt too unnatural and unnecessarily exaggerated. There were a lot of plot holes, and rather than the protagonist resolving the situation, time seemed to just resolve it, and it was quite disappointing. It is a drama with a unique potential that couldn’t be explored properly. 

  • Director: Cho Byeong Gil
  • Cast: Cho Yeo Jeong, Kim Ji Soo, Kim Young Jae
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Viki

39. Prison Playbook

A baseball athlete who is arrested for beating up the guy who sexually abused his sister and how he adjusts to prison life forms the basic plot line. We see him reunite with his childhood best friend and watch their friendship come to life again as they have each other’s back no matter what.

We see how he adjusts to prison life and accepts it instead of going against it and getting into trouble. He is also taken advantage of because he is a celebrity and sometime gets pushed around. He easily adapts to life there, even guiding and getting close to his inmates. We see a friendship kind of bond form between them, and so many taboo topics like drug use and homosexuality be explored in the drama.

Prison Playbook
Prison Playbook (Credits: Netflix)

The side story is quite heartbreaking as we see that giving up on drugs without proper rehab is quite challenging, and most addicts don’t have a happy ending to their recovery. Prison Playbook is a must-watch drama that is unique in the plot, and the great actors only help the drama even more. It is an amazing watch and provides a new perspective on various list of topics.

  • Director: Jung Bo Hoon
  • Cast: Park Hae Soo, Jung Kyung Ho
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

40. Little Women

When a broke outcast has a mysterious friend in her office who leaves her a huge sum of money when she dies, our female lead has to deal with the issues that follow afterward—being the oldest of three sisters who has a huge responsibility; she does pretty embarrassing and humiliating things to be accepted but none work.

She is even abandoned by her sisters at a point in time and completely left alone in this lion’s den, but she manages to overcome challenges with the help of the male lead. Little Women is a wonderful drama that is a huge success and gained a wide fan base. Anyone will love this drama as it has everything a drama needs, from great actors to perfect execution and a progressive storyline.

This series will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you in awe at the number of twists it contains. It is quite similar to Tempted in both dramas, and we see how the money breaks various relationships and makes humans act in ways that we’ve never seen before.

  • Director: Kim Hee Won
  • Cast: Kim Go Eun, Wi Ha Joon
  • Number of episodes: 12
  • Where to watch: Netflix

Also Read: Where were Little Women filmed?

41. Crash Course in Romance

In most K-dramas, we only see love stories or romance between high school or college students. But Crash Course is Romance beats the taboos and stereotypes with its portrayal of the love story of a middle-aged couple, one who is a famous Math Instructor and the other, a single mother of a high school daughter who wants to join his Math Academy. The mother tries her best and does get her daughter into the academy but is shocked to realize that she and her tutor have had some bad blood previously. 

Despite the differences, we see them going from a bickering duo to a couple who has romantic feelings towards each other. But when society shuns them for their love, even calling the female lead a gold digger, we are made to question if they will ever last or not. This drama never loses its pace and keeps everyone hooked to it throughout the show.

Like Tempted, we see that because of restricted love, a few relationships are put under strain. We also realize that both main leads have a significant connection in the past that still has his branches today. Crash Course in Romance is one of the best K-dramas that you can watch, and so many fans even confess to having rewatched it a million times because it’s just so good.

  • Director: Yoo Je Won
  • Cast: Jeon Do Yeon, Jung Kyung Ho
  • Number of episodes: 16
  • Where to watch: Netflix

42. White Christmas

This mystery thriller drama deals with the immense pressure students are put through. We see an elite school where the students know nothing but to study and are constantly forced to do so to maintain their grades. When they are stuck in school with a teacher and a psychiatrist in the school over winter break, they are forced to spend eight days that way, from Christmas to New Year’s Eve.

The students stay back due to the mystery letters they are sent that inform them about their death which they discover is not a prank but the perfect plan of a killer among them. They have to doubt everyone, including themselves, as they try to make it out alive.

White Christmas
White Christmas (Credit: Viki)

This psychological thriller even has brilliant imagery, using the cold white winter days covered with snow to show the coldness of the situation. The plot is so intense that some viewers have to rewatch it several times to understand the layers it has hidden. It is one of the least-known dramas that is very good and worth a watch. White Christmas will surely leave you wondering how monstrous a human being can be.

  • Director: Kim Yong Soo
  • Cast: Kim Sang Kyung, Baek Sung Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 8
  • Where to watch: Viki

43. Graceful Friends

Friends last for years, and we don’t even notice it’s been so long since the friendship started. This series is about friends who are now in their 40s, happily married with children. They are living pretty good lives that they are satisfied with, but all the peace is destroyed when a murder takes place.

This will break a lot of relationships and put a strain on friendships, too, as the adults try to figure out what exactly is happening. This drama is quite underrated and unknown to many but has such a great plotline and execution that it will leave you in awe. This drama shows what happens when life takes everything away from your idea of a ‘perfect life.’

graceful friends
Graceful Friends (Credits: Asian Wiki)

It is almost like a reality check that says nothing lasts forever, and a time when you have to say farewell will come. It is a spine-thrilling series that also emphasizes the way we treat people for granted in our life. Though some characters might be unbearable to watch, Graceful Friends is a rare drama that will leave you with a new feeling you haven’t experienced before. 

  • Director: Song Hyun Wook
  • Cast: Yoo Jun Sang, Song Yoon Ha
  • Number of episodes: 17
  • Where to watch: Netflix

44. Extracurricular

We have known so many characters in K-dramas or any other fictional series that don’t have enough money to get through and do seriously scary things for money. Extracurriculars are similar to that. We follow the life of a student who can’t pay his fee and indirectly commits a crime to get the money.

However, the crime gets more serious than he thinks, and even his classmates get involved, causing too much complexity around their friendship and money. It talks about various issues, like high school students getting into prostitution to pay their bills, which sends chills down the viewers’ spines. The characters were portrayed that some people discontinued the series because they couldn’t bear to see the villain’s cruel antics.

The show is quite intense, making you feel like it’s almost real as you watch it. Extracurricular is a must-watch for anyone who is into the crime-thriller genre. This series is one of a kind and will give you a unique experience, leaving you with feeling intense emotions that make you think how phenomenal the whole experience was. 

  • Director: Jin Han Sae
  • Cast: Kim Dong Hee, Park Ju Hyun
  • Number of episodes: 10
  • Where to watch: Netflix

Also Read: K-dramas like Fated to Love You

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