Even though the Korean television and film industries have been around for more than 50 years, attention to their magnificent productions has exploded in recent decades, particularly in the United States. This resulted in the parasites’ historic victory at the 2020 Academy Awards and among Korean actresses. At the 2021 Oscars, Youn Yuh Jung earned the Minari Award for Best Supporting Actress. Saeguks or historical K-dramas are excellent alternatives to the typical rom-com. This is because they elevate the plot with political tension and additional high-stakes conflicts, in addition to having a captivating love story at its core. Are you prepared to gorge on historical K-dramas? These 25 movies are all currently available on Netflix.
My Only Love Song
In this Netflix original series, Gong Seung-Yeon plays Soo-Jung, an egotistical and self-centered actress from the present day who unintentionally enters a time vortex and becomes trapped in the Goryeo era in the sixth century. She meets On-dal (Lee Jong-hyun) there, a man who is also vain yet has compassion for the weak. Soo-Jung tries to settle into her new life while looking for a route home, and while doing so, she encounters several famous personalities from Korean history. Compared to the other dramas on this list, this one leans a little more toward fantasy, but it earns extra marks for presenting ancient society via a contemporary lens.
Even though this drama is historically based, it is the most up-to-date on the list. The drama, which is set in the late 1800s, focuses on the period right before Japan annexed Korea. Eugene Choi (Lee Byung-hun), a former slave who was born in Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, immigrated to the United States as a child and eventually went on to join the Marine Corps. Choi is given a task to complete in Joseon, where he subsequently develops feelings for Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri), a soldier in the Righteous Army, a citizen militia created to repel the Japanese invasion. In addition to recounting the compelling story of Choi’s struggle for Korea’s independence, Mr. Sunshine features numerous love triangles for viewers to experience.
Moon Embracing The Sun
The young romance between Crown Princess Heo Yeon-woo and former noblewoman and Crown Prince Lee Hwon (Yeo Jin-Goo) is the first scene in this drama (Kim Yoo-Jung). Those who are royally betrothed rarely fall in love, therefore their union is very precious. Yeon-Woo is a member of a respectable family that unscrupulous government officials view as a threat. The ministers planned for Yeon-Woo to be killed by a shaman’s curse as a result. The shaman who cast the curse nevertheless decided to save Yeon-life. Woo’s Yeon-Woo was raised far from the palace as Wol, the shaman’s apprentice, after realizing Yeon-Woo had lost her memories as a result of her enchantment.
Years later, Yoon Bo-Kyung (Kim Min-Seo), the daughter of Yoon Dae-Hyung (Kim Soo-Hyun), was forcibly wedded to Lee Hwon (Kim Soo-Hyun), now the king (Kim Eung-Soo). One of the ministers that helped plan the former Crown Princess’s demise was Yoon Dae-Hyung. The now-adult Wol (Han Ga-In) was once appointed a shaman and sent to the king’s court. When Lee Hwon realizes how much Wol resembles his first love, his emotions are awakened.
Reasons to watch it is Moon Embracing the Sun, which first aired more than ten years ago, is still in our opinion one of the best historical K-dramas. It contains many turns and twists, which make each episode interesting. Its major arc of “love triumphs above all” has a pleasant conclusion as well.
My Sassy Girl
Gyeon-woo (Joo Won), a scholar in the Joseon Dynasty, is given a task by the king to teach his feisty daughter, Princess Hye-Myung. This drama, which is based on a 2001 film of the same name, follows Gyeon-woo (Oh Yeon-seo). Gyeon-woo unknowingly finds himself becoming a stronger defender as a result of learning that the princess is the subject of a plan. When one considers that this performance is a dramatization of a book based on a genuine story, the plot becomes even more bizarre. My Sassy Girl is a fantastic, lighthearted love series that brings as much comedy as it does drama, similar to 100 Days of My Prince.
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Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung
A strong and courageous female protagonist is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air in the patriarchal Joseon Dynasty era. Goo The monarch opens up the job to men and women, and Hae-ryung (Shin Se-Kyung), a self-sufficient and well-read single lady, becomes one of the first female historians in the country. While battling institutionalized sexism and royal politics, Hae-ryung and the other two female historians must continuously demonstrate their worth and competence to do their jobs. Prince Dowon (Cha Eun-woo), a compassionate and gentle man who secretly writes romantic novels and longs to see life outside the palace gates, eventually appoints Hae-ryung to be his historian. The amusing love drama Rookie Historian hits all the right notes while presenting a viewpoint that is infrequently addressed in the historical genre.
Crash Landing on You
The love tale between a North Korean soldier and a South Korean heiress in the Korean drama Crash Landing on You is arguably the most watched Korean drama on Netflix to date. Young, stunning, and extremely wealthy Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) makes the weekend decision to go paragliding. She is swept up in a cyclone and flies over North Korea before landing. Se-ri, who is attempting to avoid being apprehended by North Korea, is guarded and concealed by Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin). The two can’t resist their growing affections for one another even as Jeong-hyeok tries to aid Se-ri and bring her back to South Korea. In the perfect Romeo and Juliet, Jeong-hyeok and Se-ri have incredible chemistry, which isn’t surprising given that they began dating after filming the drama. As the archetypal Korean rom-com series, Crash Landing on You is unquestionably a fantastic series to introduce you to the subgenre.
My Country: The New Age
My Country: The New Age is set right before the Joseon Dynasty, during the transition from the preceding Goryeo Dynasty, whereas the dramas described above all take place within this era. The drama chronicles the story of two friends, Seo Hwi (Yang Se-jong) and Nam Seon-ho (Woo Do-hwan), who became adversaries because of their divergent viewpoints. Unlike most Korean dramas, the drama focuses more on friendship than romance. The drama-filled program also has a ton of action scenes, including some of the most convincing sword fights ever seen on Korean television. The acting in the play is excellent, and it’s simple to become emotionally immersed in this compelling story.
Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung is a historical romantic comedy that manages to address some extremely serious issues. It revolves around the titular character Goo Hae-ryung (Shin Se-Kyung), a noblewoman who becomes among the first four women historians of the Joseon Dynasty. At age 26, Hae-ryung is still single and actively promotes women’s worldwide independence of thought and action. She already questions the strict gender roles of the era. She quickly meets Yi Rim, also known as Prince Dowon (Cha Eun-woo), the heir apparent whose actual love is writing romance novels under a pen name. The show continues to explore and confront historical issues of Catholic intolerance, repression, and sexism through the romance between the two main characters and their journey. Despite its historical context, Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung is a humorous and genuinely romantic television series.
100 Days My Prince
K-Pop lovers are in for a treat because Do Kyung-soo, often known as D.O. from the immensely popular Korean boy band EXO, is a star of this historical drama. Lee Yul, played by D.O., is a prince from the Joseon Dynasty who experiences amnesia after being the target of a failed assassination. He is taken care of by Hong-shim, a young peasant girl (Nam Ji-Hyun). The prince creates a new persona for himself and gets caught up in Hong-marital shim’s problems as a result. This program tells an engrossing tale while successfully blending comedy and drama.
Tale Of Nokdu
With his family, Jeon Nok-du (Jang Dong-Yoon) has spent his entire life evading capture. His family is attacked one day. He follows one of their attackers in the hope of discovering who is following them after all these years. One of them is seen leaving a village reserved just for bereaved women. He poses as a lady to learn the truth. There he meets trainee gisaeng (courtesan) Dong Dong-Ju (Kim So-Hyun), who wishes for a better future for herself. When Dong-Ju learns Nok-secret, du’s their odd friendship begins.
Reasons to watch it is A strong female protagonist who pursues her goals? Check. A whimsical yet genuinely developed male protagonist who is attractive when clothed in both men’s clothing and hanbok (traditional Korean clothing)? Check. This drama boasts an engaging lead pair as well as a compelling story that will keep you watching from beginning to end.
How would folks respond if enormous demons began torturing and killing people in the streets while openly “condemning people to hell” in front of everyone? Badly! extremely terribly Have you read the human race’s history? Hellbound, Netflix’s other ponderous and terrifying 2021 story of religion gone bad, would go well with Midnight Mass because both films are dark, harsh explorations of faith and contagious social frenzy. Hellbound, directed by Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, is a slower, more somber film than his Korean zombie hit, but it exhibits the same talent for leveraging genre narrative to pose uncomfortable questions about nature of humanity without flinching.
Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth
Park Seo-Jun and Park Hyung Sik are the main characters in Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, the drama that gave rise to the Wooga Squad’s strong relationship. Choi Woo-Shik and BTS Taehyung, also known as V, also make important appearances. Go Ara, Seo Ye-Ji, Do Ji-Han, and others are also present. It centers on the tale of talented young male warriors who lived under the Silla dynasty. you should watch it because The drama’s coming-of-age narrative will keep you interested even if the ensemble cast isn’t enough to grab your attention. It features narrative threads about following your passion, finding love, and achieving your aspirations set against a stunning historical backdrop that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.
The Crowned Clown
In this drama, Yeo Jin-Goo portrays both King Lee Hun and the clown Ha Sun. Numerous uprisings in Joseon were sparked by King Lee Hun’s terrible governance. To escape being assassinated, his advisors discovered a lookalike in Ha Sun, who made a living as a clown for the general public while growing up. Ha Sun, who temporarily fills in for Lee Hun, proves to be a better choice for the throne thanks to his concern for the populace. However, he is concerned that someone might learn about his secret. He also develops feelings for Queen Yoo So-Woon, Lee Hun’s wife (Lee Se-Young). Yeo Jin-Goo is an expert in historical K-dramas despite his advanced age. In this dual part, he once again displays his acting talent. In addition to his performance, the exciting storyline and touching scenes make this a fantastic movie to see.
Queen For Seven Days
This drama, which is loosely based on the true story of Lady Shin and Prince Jinsung in the 1500s, stars Yeon Woo-Jin as Crown Prince Lee Yeok and Park Min Young as Lady Shin Chae-Kyung (eventually the eponymous Queen Dangyeong) (later King Joongjong). Before the Crown Prince was crowned king, the pair were married. However, Queen Dangyeong was demoted and driven out of the palace seven days after they ascended to the throne. Given the drama’s very interesting title, it would be cheating to offer you the specifics. However, we promise that this won’t let you down, particularly when it comes to the political issues and plot twists that each episode presents.
Itaewon Class is a drama set in the hipster, extremely well-liked neighborhood of Seoul called Itaewon and is the first drama on this list centered on a webcomic (but don’t worry, there will be more) (think Soho or the East Village in Manhattan). Park Seo-Joon portrays Park Sae-Ro-Yi, the proprietor of the upcoming DanBam restaurant in Itaewon. Sae-Ro-Yi was expelled from high school for assaulting a wealthy student named Jang Geun-won (Ahn Bo-Hyun), whose father is the CEO of the influential Jangga Group. This sets off a chain of occurrences that result in the passing of Sae-Ro-father Yi and a seven-year plan for retaliation. Itaewon Class is a very well-liked drama both in South Korea and abroad that portrays the many realities of young adults nowadays. Additionally, Lee Joo-portrayal young’s of a transgender character in a mainstream Korean drama marks a significant shift in the traditionally conservative nation’s viewpoints.
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency
A blacksmith named Lee Soo (Seo Ji-Hoon) falls in love with Gae-Ddong (Gong Seung-Yeon). Young woman Gae-Ddong is intelligent and devoted to finding her long-lost brother. Lee Soo hires the Flower Crew Matchmaking Agency, which is made up of Ma Hoon (Kim Min-Jae), Do Joon (Byeong Woo-Seok), and Ko Young-So, to marry Gae-Ddong (Park Ji-Hoon). Lee Soo abruptly vanishes on his wedding day, giving the crew more work than they were contracted to perform. It’s amusing from beginning to end, and each of the characters is endearing in their way. We won’t give away the specifics, but the series expertly conveys its main theme—the importance of our decisions—throughout.
All of Us Are Dead
The zombie horror series All of Us Are Dead is based on Joo Dong-webcomic geun’s Now at Our School and follows high school students who become embroiled in a virus outbreak. The kids at a South Korean high school are forced to fend for themselves and cut off from the outside world when an accident causes a zombie virus to be released there. The pupils must rely on one another and whatever resources they can find to survive in this dangerous circumstance because they have no supplies and no way to get assistance. Despite being largely a horror thriller, the program also touches on a variety of social themes. Since its January 2022 debut, the gory, dramatic, and masterfully made Netflix series All of Us Are Dead has quickly risen to the top of the list of most watched programs.
The King’s Affection
In this gender-bending K-drama, actress Park Eun-Bin plays King Lee Hwi and Dam-Yi simultaneously. When they were younger, Dam-Yi was requested to fill in for Crown Prince Lee Hwi due to their similar appearances. They were unaware that the reason for their resemblance is because they are twins who were separated at birth. After all, their father, the then-king, thought twins were a bad omen. The real Lee Hwi was murdered one day. Lee Hwi was asked to be replaced by Dam-Yi. Dam-Yi was brought up as a man to conceal the identity of the prince and her actual self. She currently reigns as king of Joseon. She was given the honor of having the lovely scholar Jung Ji-Un (Ro Woon) as one of her mentors and instructors. Dam-first Yi’s love was Jung Ji-Un, who also happened to be the brother’s murderer. Despite having a more somber tone than other historical K-dramas, this saeguk nevertheless offers a fair balance of touching and humorous moments that help to balance the entire plot. Park Eun-Bin gave outstanding performances as Lee Hwi and Dam-Yi, which further supports the notion that this is an absolute must-watch.
Love In The Moonlight/Moonlight Drawn By The Clouds
The protagonist of Love In The Moonlight is Hong Sam-Nom (Kim Yoo-Jung), a woman who has been forced by her mother to live as a man since she was a little child. She was hired as a eunuch trainee at the Inner Court thanks to her wit and guile, where she made friends with a cheeky young man (Park Bo-Gum), who turned out to be Crown Prince Lee Hyeomyeong. Their friendship develops into love. Sam-Nom begins to realize that her relationship with the Crown Prince is much more complicated than it initially appears as her history begins to catch up with her. One of the many positive aspects of this drama is the amazing chemistry between Park Bo-Gum and Kim Yoo-Jung. It was pure genius how the tale flawlessly transitioned from comic to dramatic throughout its 16-episode run, with its surprising turns and the method in which each character’s secrets were revealed. Even if you watch this drama more than once, we won’t hold it against you.
There is no doubt that you have heard of this one; in fact, there is a high probability that it is the program that got you here! Squid Game, a Netflix original from 2021, made a rapid ascent to the top of the streaming service’s most-watched rankings and quickly gained popularity on social media and at water coolers. With a superb cast and a smart twist on well-known genre cliches, it’s understandably popular and makes for an unstoppable binge-watch. The nine-episode series follows 456 debt-ridden competitors as they compete in a series of fatal children’s games in hopes of winning a life-changing windfall. Squid Game is sometimes a bit of a dreary bummer, but that’s somewhat of the idea in a series that explores the dangers of economic excess and the people it leaves behind. It’s action-packed, horror-tinged, and interwoven with deep human drama. It also never forgets to weave these issues into its constantly captivating thrills, just like all great genre allegories should.
Memories of the Alhambra
You science fiction enthusiasts, take note! The movie is about Jung Se-Joo, a maker of augmented reality video games who develops a compulsive virtual world. The drama starts when Jung finds a fatal glitch in the game and tries to patch it. In this reality, gamers can don a special high-tech lens to find weapons and fight in the real world. The plot has a romance component.
Record of Youth
Coming-of-age dramas, or any story focusing on a group of young adults finding their place in the world, are one genre of series that South Korean television excels at. The cast of Record of Youth features none other than Park So-dam, who many will recognize from her part as Kim Ki-Jung in Parasite, the daughter of the con artists who pose as an art teacher. This makes Record of Youth a fantastic choice for novice K-Drama lovers. Three young people, two models, and a make-up artist, who work in Korea’s contemporary fashion industry are the main characters of Record of Youth. The plot of the show is similar to that of other Korean romantic dramas, but the actors in the cast elevate the show and give viewers characters they want to remain with.
A group of students and instructors at the Hankuk University Law School are the subject of the more recent Netflix series Law School. When a law professor is found murdered and professor Yang Jong-Hoon (Kim Myung-min), a former prosecutor, is accused of the crime, the other characters band together to find out the truth and establish Professor Yang’s innocence. Given that the Korean drama centers on law students who put their education to the test to aid their professor, there are some similarities between Law School and How to Get Away with Murder. Several smaller narratives are also being developed at the same time, such as a possible link between the murdered professor and a top student named Han Joon-hwi (Kim Bum).
As a Korean man who was reared in Italy as a member of a mafia family after being adopted as a youngster by an Italian family in Vincenzo, Song Joong-ki plays the role. The man’s biological son makes an effort to kill Vincenzo after the man’s adoptive father passes away, which forces Vincenzo to go back to Seoul, South Korea, where he has a cache of gold stashed under a dilapidated apartment building. Vincenzo must destroy the structure to easily access the gold, and there is a neighborhood there that lives there. When the Babel Group, a dishonest corporation, illegally takes over the structure, Vincenzo teams up with Hong Cha-young, a gifted and determined lawyer played by Jeon Yeo-bin, who wants to bring down the corporation for personal reasons. Vincenzo is a must-watch show that combines action, drama, and romance.
The Silent Sea
The Silent Sea is a space-based sci-fi horror series that follows a crew as they explore an old research facility where a disaster happened. The team heads into unknown dread as they enter Balhae station with the mission to recover valuable samples that may help create more water, a resource that is crucial and expensive now and in the future. You can immediately tell it’s going to be fantastic because Bae Doona and Gong Yoo are headlining this cast. The Silent Sea is completely binge-worthy, with its disclosures and betrayals dispersed liberally throughout a dystopian plot. It is full of riddles and turns.