Writer: Rahma Kamila Khairunnisa | Illustrator: Safira Marini W. | Editor: Kinar Nisa
After months of quarantine to slow the spread of coronavirus, Korean dramas have become a major hit lately after a lot of people binge their way through the popular drama “Crash Landing On You” and “The World of Married”. People are talking about it all over social media and crazy over the interesting plot that keeps viewers craving for more. Are you looking for another Korean drama series to watch? Don’t worry because we’ve compiled a list of best 5 K-dramas to binge-watch while in quarantine to keep you sane and occupied. Check it out!
1. Its Okay, That’s Love (2014)
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Total Episode: 16
It’s Okay, That’s Love is a collaboration drama of famous producer and writer, Kim Kyu Tae and Noh Hee Kyung that successfully became one of the most popular dramas in 2014.
It’s Okay, That’s Love tells a complicated love story between a popular novelist and radio DJ, Jang Jae Yeol (played by Jo In Sung) and a psychiatrist, Ji Hae Soo (played by Gong Hyo Jin) who first met through a talk show. Fate found a way to bring them together again as roommates along with another psychiatrist and a Tourette syndrome patient. Jae Yeol and Hae Soo suffer from mental illness that is caused by trauma from their past. Throughout the drama, they go on a journey of interpreting life, finding love, and fighting their own fears. Both leads, Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin are beyond excellent in delivering the emotions of their character, portraying it in a natural yet believable way making it easy for the viewers to grasp the whole story. A great supporting cast such as Lee Kwang Soo, D.O. of EXO, and senior actor, Sung Dong-Il really enhance the authenticity of actors’ interactions during filming, making the drama even more charming and captivating.
What’s more interesting is that this drama has a nice balance between humor and seriousness regardless of the heavy topic about mental health problems. You’ll be surprised how this drama can change your perspective about people who are struggling with mental illness. Finally, make sure to prepare a box of tissues (or more) cause this drama will definitely make you cry your heart out.
2. Oh My Venus (2015)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Total Episode: 16
Oh My Venus is a very popular South Korean drama that aired in 2015. Starred by the famous actors Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub, this drama will bring you in a roller coaster of emotions that will make you hard to move on!
The drama starts with Kang Joo Eun (Shin Min Ah), who was once known as the most beautiful girl in her hometown, Daegu. While she succeeded in achieving her dreams as an attorney, she ended up gaining weight because of her unhealthy lifestyle. On her way back after a work trip to the US, Joo Eun accidentally meets with a celebrity personal trainer, Kim Young Ho (So Ji Sub) who then agrees to help her get back in shape. As they train together, Joo Eun and Young Ho eventually get closer and help heal each other’s wounds. Oh My Venus offers you a light yet heartwarming story that makes you want to rewatch it over and over again. Not to mention the undeniable chemistry between the leads that is so refreshing and will make you emotionally invested in this drama.
Through the storyline, this drama will teach you on how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle to avoid age-related diseases, perfect for those who are worried about eating too much during quarantine days! Not only that, the series also delivers a very important message that beauty comes from within by being healthy and positive. Like Kim Young Ho said, “don’t get sick, because being healthy is the sexiest.”
3. Prison Playbook (2017-2018)
Total Episode: 16
If you’re looking for a drama that will make you laugh, this one should be your top list! The show has everything you look for in K-drama: amazing story, unexpected plot twist, great cast and many moral lessons.
The drama focuses on South Korean superstar baseball pitcher, Kim Je Hyuk (Park Hae Soo) who was forced to serve a one-year prison sentence after got into a fight with someone who wanted to rape his sister. This drama focuses on Je Hyuk's life in prison and his interactions with other prisoners. Despite the dark prison setting, you’ll be surprised to see that the prisoner's life in the Prison Playbook is actually really fun. The most interesting part is the constant twist that will reveal the story behind each prisoner. You’ll see a bit of an emotional and heartwarming story behind Je Hyuk’s cellmates despite their endless jokes and tough appearances. To conclude, Prison Playbook will bring you the essence of community and brotherhood which is shown by how these cellmates treat one another like a family. Don’t hesitate to watch this drama because it will keep you hooked till the last episode!
4. Reply 1988 (2015-2016)
Genre: Family, Comedy, Romance
Total Episode: 20
Reply 1988 is the last drama of the Reply anthology series after Reply 1997 and Reply 1994 that was made by a collaboration between director Shin Won Ho and screenwriter Lee Woo Jung. This wholesome drama tackles every aspect of life including family, friendship, love, education, economics and politics which makes it totally different from the typical K-dramas. Although the drama premiered in 2015-2016, the storylines will bring you back to the year 1988 and will serve you this nostalgic feeling. It gives us a glimpse of life four decades ago when mobile phones were unheard of and people used walkman to listen to music.
The story revolves around the life of five families and five childhood friends in Ssangmun-dong, a small neighborhood in Seoul. Reply 1988 covers day-to-day conflicts between friends, parent-child, siblings, and neighbors as well as how they take care of each other. Awesome cast, nice soundtracks, and a heartwarming storyline are not the only reason why you should give this drama a shot! It has a realistic and funny approach in every scene which makes it very refreshing to watch. The highlight of this drama would be a love triangle between Deok Sun (Hyeri), Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol) and Choi Taek (Park Bo Gum). Who do you think will end up Deok Sun? Watch it now and decide are you #TeamTaek or #TeamJungPal!
5. Dr. Romance Kim 1 & 2 (2016, 2020)
Genre: Medical, Melodrama, Romance
- Season 1: 21
- Season 2: 16
Dr. Romantic or also known as “Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim” is a medical-themed K-drama that just released the second season in beginning of 2020. Unlike other medical drama, this drama doesn’t offer complicated storylines and cheesy scenarios that will make you lose interest halfway!
The series tells about a genius surgeon, Master Kim, who was once famous but then decided to work in a small hospital in the countryside after a traumatic incident. Both seasons have a similar plot that shows how Master Kim trains new young surgeons and helps them grow as a professional and honorable doctor. The medical cases in the drama were very interesting and operation procedures appeared very realistic that allow you to explore more about the medical world. It is also engaging to see the love story between the young surgeons that developed slowly throughout the episodes. Beware though, after watching this show you might regret your decision of NOT taking a pre-med degree!
Whether you're stressing out about school, feeling under the weather or overwhelmed by the current situation, we hope that our recommendation can keep you occupied during your quarantine at home. So, what are you waiting for? Get your popcorn ready and enjoy the K-drama!