The Popularity of Korean Dramas and Original Korean Series of Netflix
Korean dramas have been very popular in the west over the past few years and many fans around the world are enjoying the fascinating storylines and great acting that Korean drama has offer. If you are one of the fans who spends your free time binge-watching Korean dramas and crying over them, you must be familiar with the television networks that broadcast them, such as KBS, SBS, MBC, cable network like tvN, OCN, JTBC, and so on. Due to their popularity, the well-known streaming service Netflix has put many Korean dramas in their library.
For those who don’t know, Netflix is a streaming service that allows their members to watch TV shows, movies, documentaries, and more on thousands of internet-connected devices without having to watch a single commercial. Netflix is also known to make their own original series from each country, which can be reached by many of their subscribers across the world. One of their original series is from Korea.
In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you the list of Korean dramas on Netflix original series you’re going to want to binge-watch. The genres vary from action to romantic comedy. So, stay tuned!
The first on the list is Kingdom, a sageuk drama that many people have said is a mix of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Can you imagine a kingdom full of zombies walking around? What an interesting premise! Kingdom is written by screenwriter Kim Eun-hee, whose previous work is tvN’s hit drama Signal, and is directed by Kim Seong-hoon, who is known for directing movies like How the Lack of Love Affects Two Men (2006) and A Hard Day (2014). It is the first original Korean series that Netflix has done, was released on January 25, 2019.
Set in the medieval Joseon period of Korea, it tells the tale of Crown Prince Yi-Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), who becomes involved in a coup/political conspiracy and is compelled to embark on a mission to explore the spread of a mysterious undead plague that has afflicted the present emperor and the southern provinces of the country. The tale begins with a billboard written in Korean, claiming that Joseon’s king is dead and that the crown prince should be crowned as the new king instantly. The king is known to be seriously ill within the palace, however, and has been handled secretly for the previous 10 days. No one, not even the crown prince himself, was allowed to visit the king.
The crown prince sneaks out late at night to visit his father, desiring to know the truth. But instead of his own dad, he met the silhouette of a beastly monster. Accompanied by the doctor Seo-Bi (Bae Doo-na), the enigmatic Yeong-Shin (Kim Sung-kyu), and his private guard Moo-Young (Kim Sang-ho), Prince Yi-Chang must stop the plague from advancing to his hometown of Hanyang (present-day Seoul) while addressing Minister Cho-ho’s sinister coup d’état.
The series received positive reviews and was renewed for a second season to be aired in 2020. Fans across the world are loving it, too!
[PRINCE KUMAR]: Awesome! After Stranger Things I have binge watched the entire season in just one day. Its story is very well written.
[James Albers]: This show is amazing. I have never imagined a period piece set in a modernizing Korea that features an undead contagion would be possible, but indeed it is.
[Mun Yuen Chooi]: This is definitely a non-linear zombie story with many twists at the least expected places. The writers really put in effort to surprise their audiences, not via loud and explosive noise but in story development.
I'm late to the party, but everyone should watch #Kingdom on Netflix. The pacing is good, the cinematography is gorgeous and it's a unique take on the zombie genre, which can become stale. Would recommend 10/10. pic.twitter.com/OHhlMdqsQp
— ✨Birdie✨ (@birdiehexx) August 17, 2019
What are you waiting for? Go watch Kingdom on Netflix, now!
The second series on the list is Love Alarm, a romantic comedy starring our lovely Kim So-hyun, Song Kang, and Jung Ga-ram. The drama is based on the webtoon with the same name, by Chon Kye-young. The series was premiered on August 22, 2019, on Netflix.
The storyline is quite simple, like a typical rom-com drama. Love Alarm revolves around the tale of a disruptive technology that allows users to find love through an implementation that notifies them of a romantic feeling in the vicinity of a 10-meter radius. Kim So-hyun played as Kim Jo-jo, a bright and happy young girl, despite the painful history of her family. Kim Jo-jo has lived with the family of an aunt since the death of her parents. It’s not simple for Kim Jo-Jo to live there. She’s not downloading the Joalarm app.
Meanwhile, at the same high school where Kim Jo-jo attends, Hwang Sun-o (Song Kang) is a popular male student. He’s the son of a wealthy family, but his parents don’t love him. The same high school is also attended by his best friend, Lee Hye-young (Jung Ga-ram). Hwang Sun-o notices that he and Lee Hye-young love Kim Jo-jo. Hwang Sun-o wants to know if he really likes her, so he kisses her.
Wow, makes your heart ponder, right? This is a perfect story for younger audiences who crave high school romance, love triangles, and a bit of comedy. If you’re a fan of Kim So-hyun and want to watch her as a goody-goody high school girl with two cute boys fighting over her, Love Alarm is for you!
Go watch Love Alarm on Netflix, now!
My First First Love
The third on the list is My First First Love, a romantic coming of age drama. The series is a reboot of OnStyle’s 2015 drama My First Time, and comes from the same producer. Jung Hyun-jung, the author of the latter, is credited as the series creator. The first season was released on April 18, 2019, and the second season was released on July 26, 2019. This drama starred young actors and actresses such as the beautiful DIA’s Jung Chae-yeon, Ji Soo, and B1A4’s Jung Jin-young. Such eye candy, don’t you think?
The drama tells the story of five youths with the concept of first love and their messy encounters. Yoon Tae-oh (Ji Soo) is a university student whose friends— a school drop-out, a runaway family friend, and a long-time childhood friend — decide to move into his house suddenly because of their own individual reasons. Now they all have to learn to live and love together. Tae-oh, Song-yi (Jung Chae-yeon), Do-hyun (Jin-young), Ga-yin (Choi Ri) and Hoon (Kang Tae-oh) are the five friends. Since childhood, Tae-oh and Song-yi have been friends. Do-hyun is a friend of Tae-oh. Song-yi and Do-hyun have feelings for each other.
The storyline is light and will make your heart warm with the love and friendship from each characters.
My First First Love has received many positive reviews, for example:
[nandini raizada]: My First First Love is a refreshing take on young adult relationships, with realism at its core and minimal exaggeration. It beautifully depicts the maturation of friendship and the realization of one’s feelings. Each character has a unique personality and perspective and the way they help each other in tackling issues is worth a watch.
[Hannah M]: I have found it hard to stick to a drama recently, however this one instantly gripped my attention, I truly enjoyed it. I hope there is a third season ❤
[Fuhlow An]: This is very heartwarming. I’m euphoric that Tae-O and Song-i finally outgrew their “friendzone” relationship. The friendships created along the way were incredible, too.
So, are you Team Tae-oh or Team Do-hyun for winning Song-yi’s love? Go watch My First First Love on Netflix now if you haven’t already!
Designated Survivor: 60 Days
The fourth on the list is Designated Survivor: 60 Days, a political/crime drama based on the American TV series with the same name by David Guggenheim. The drama stars Ji Jin-hee, Heo Joon-ho, Kang Han-na, Lee Joon-hyuk and Bae Jong-ok. From July 1 to August 20, 2019, the series was broadcast on tvN and Netflix.
Designated Survivor: 60 Days has a complicated yet interesting storyline that will make you sit on the edge of your seat while watching. The Minister of the Environment, Park Mu-jin (Ji Jin-hee), has very low ambition as a politician. One day, during an official assembly at the construction of the National Assembly, there is an explosion which kills many top officials, including the President. Park Mu-jin became a reluctant acting President for sixty days, as the highest-ranking government officer left alive. He grows as a national leader in pursuit of those responsible for the explosion.
The 16 episodes of the drama were always packed with suspense and action. Always a thrill to look forward to what will happen in the next episode!
The last episode of Designated Survivor: 60 Days, which was broadcast on 20 August, averaged 6.2% and peaked at 7.9% viewership, setting a fresh record for the drama. The drama achieved an average of 3% among the target ages of 20 to 49 on tvN and peaked at 4.3, scattered both on cable and on public displays.
Many positive reviews were given on this drama, for example:
[Hermione Ginger]: I am blown away with this drama. The storyline is far from cliche and the casts are perfect. Every part of this drama is well executed.
[Finn Meiklejon]: I love this show! It is fantastic and way better than the American version
[Oliver Chiwawana]: What a freaking good series, the drama, the suspense and boy is it good. So far loving it better than the American version.
Careful, Americans, the Koreans with their amazing dramas are coming your way! Designated Survivor: 60 Days is ready to stream on Netflix, go watch it!
Chief of Staff
The fifth on the list is Chief of Staff, another political drama which also aired on JTBC. The drama stars senior actor Lee Jung-jae, Shin Min-ah, Lee Elijah, Kim Dong-jun, Jung Jin-young, Kim Kap-soo, Jung Woong-in, and Im Won-hee. JTBC broadcast for the first season from June 14 to July 13, 2019. In November 2019, the second season is planned for premiere.
Chief of Staff is a story about politicians and their aides trying to climb the political ladder. Jang Tae-joon (Lee Jung-jae) graduated and worked as a detective at the Korean National Police University. He wanted to gain more power and decided to work at the National Assembly. Now, he’s a four-time lawmaker’s chief assistant. He has excellent intuition, a determination that is cold-blooded, and a strong desire to win. He was allowed to put his legislator in the party representative’s position, but Jang Tae-joon’s aspirations are greater.
Meanwhile, Kang Sun-young (Shin Min-ah) is a lawmaker from the first year who has been elected by proportional representation and is a spokesman for her party. She worked as a lawyer and hosted a television program on current affairs before becoming a lawmaker.
With only 10 episodes, Chief of Staff is a superb, fast-paced political drama and an eye-opener about what goes on behind the scenes in the offices of lawmakers. If you’re furious with the ending, you can relax, the second season is coming in November!
There has been a lot of praise and good reviews for Chief of Staff, for example:
[Christina Dumitriu]: A very compelling drama! I strongly recommend it. It blows your mind with the fast intrigue, dialogue, and action behind the scene of a congress assembly
[Mary Glatts]: This series is always presenting the new dilemma of the day. Acting is great and the intrigue is worth watching
[Maita Ordonez]: Reminded me of Shonda Rhimes’ TV series, Scandal, and House of Cards! 🙌🏼 Great K Drama series!!
It’s safe to say that Chief of Staff is a Korean version of House of Cards mixed with Scandal just like one of the reviewers said. So many good political dramas have come from Korea lately, this one, for sure, you don’t want to miss, so go watch Chief of Staff on Netflix!