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by HealerDoge on June 18, 2017
29.1K 105

My Top 5 K-Dramas for Beginners!

So, you've exhausted the sea of western entertainment and stumbled upon my article on starting out with watching Asian Dramas - Good for you. 

In this article, I will address some of the dramas I personally think is best suited for new or inexperienced viewers. Just as a short disclaimer, I do not discriminate or mean any harm to foreign cultures, but merely account for the differences between cultures. This is my personal list and my opinions I express through the article. 

Without boasting too much, I would like to say that I have had my fair share of Asian Dramas, with 96 completed series to 52 movies, ranging from countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, South Korean and China. I've been around quite a lot over the course of my Asian adventure - and I've enjoyed every step of the way. 

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Asian culture has a high expectancy of being very different from your current culture, especially if you're not part of their culture or live in a region that's geographically close. So, you can expect to adapt. But for the purpose of this article, I have collected my list of Asian Dramas that share a likeliness with the western culture.

Of course, this list will be SPOILER FREE - Wouldn't ruin it for you :) 

This list is in a random order. I've linked every drama so with one click you can access them and watch their trailers on this site.

Just sit back, relax and enjoy some drama. 

So, without further ado, let's get right into the exciting part! Here my top 5 list of good dramas for beginners!

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Number #1 -  Descendants of the Sun (2016) 

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This drama scores 10/10 on my list... and for a good reason. 

Genre: Action,  Comedy,  Medical,  Melodrama,  Military,  Romance

MDL Score: 8.8

Country: South Korea

Episodes: 1 Season 16 Episodes

Duration per episode: 60 minutes

Network: KBS2

This drama has everything from a brilliant plot to an amazing pacing regarding the storyline. Descendants of the sun take both the sides of the soldiers as well as the doctors. It's an amazing bridge that takes foothold it both bases of saving and taking lives. The main couple, seen in the picture above, is played by the brilliant Song Joong Ki and beautiful Song Hye Kyo, who you wouldn't know because you're new, but will come to love. 

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The secondary couple is just as amazing - and funny.

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The story is about Yoo Shi Jin. He's the captain of the Korean army special force - yes, he's a badass. He meets Kang Mo Yeon, who's a doctor. To no one's surprise, they meet at a hospital. Although they share a few dirty looks, they begin dating as Shi Jin's charms are too cute to deny. 

But, they break up due to the fact that their job is getting in the way of their personal lives. I guess being in the special force, having to deal with being picked up by a helicopter at the hospital just before a movie date, kind of ruins the fun, huh? 

Yeah, the special force is badass - and they know it too. 

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Well, it's not the end. As Doctor Mo Yeon refused the sexual advances of the hospital's chairman, which is understandingly when you size him up with Shi Jin. To teach her a lesson, she's assigned to lead a medical team in Urk, where there's a fictional war brewing. There, amidst the bullets and bombs, Shi Jin and Mo Yeon meet again. Will the new beginning have a different end? 

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What to expect from this drama: 

You'll have the complete pack of an action/romance series that'll leave you with laughs and tears. The combination of action and romance, complete with the medical themes, are breathtakingly beautiful in terms of delivering a final product of high quality. This is a must watch. 

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... And you'll come to love these two: 

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Number #2 - Healer (2014) 

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Genre: Action,  Comedy,  Drama,  Mystery,  Romance,  Thriller

MDL Score: 8.9

Country: South Korea

Episodes: 1 Season 20 Episodes

Duration per episode: 1 hour 5 minutes 

Network: KBS2

This Drama also takes a 10/10 according to my personal scores. 

Ah, this takes me back. I've seen a few Asian dramas before seeing this series in the past, but this one was the one for me. It made me sign my deal with the devil to give up my social life in return of spending all my hours watching this drama. Yes, let me tell you this, it's very addicting. You have been warned. 

Boy, don't let me get started on this drama. My two best pointers are the romance and action - Yes, I'm a sucker for romance. It's combined, thoroughly worked out, amazingly portrayed and executed professionally. The plot is amazing and leaves you with both twists and turns throughout the lifespan of the series. 

The comedy is also worth mentioning. 

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I completely fell in love with the characters that made up this drama. I mean, just look at this: 

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How can you not relate to this? -pff, and people say movies are unrealistic. 

On to the more important matters. You want to know what it's about. Good for you that I'm here. 

The story is about this errand boy who's known as Healer. He's played by my favourite actor in South Korea, whom you'll see more to further down the list. It is, of course, the handsome Ji Chang Wook who plays the main male lead. In the story, Healer takes on any task for the right amount of money, as long as it doesn't involve murder - understandingly. He keeps his identity anonymous and off the grid, yet large organisations uses him as a tool to expand their businesses. 

One of his jobs involves the main female lead, who's played by Park Min Young, The main lead works as a second rate tabloid reporter, at a company that will take a great importance in the storyline during future events. 

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She starts taking an interest in Healer, which leads to them discovering their common past - Uh, secrets. 

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No, Ji Chang Wook, you're certainly not - you're goddamn perfect. 

What to expect from this drama: 

A fully worked out plot packed with action and romance. It's kind of like watching a spy movie with all of the high-tech spy equipment! The characters are well thought out and have a reason behind their behaviour, which is awesome when you catch it - and cute!

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Me when Healer ended (Future you, should you accept this drama): 

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Lucky for you, I've made this list you can come back to - you're welcome. 


Number #3 -  Strong Woman Do Dong Soon (2017) 

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Damn... Another 10/10 - where do I keep finding all these good dramas? 

Genre: Action,  Comedy,  Investigation,  Romance,  Supernatural,  Thriller

MLD Score: 8.7

Country: South Korea

Episodes: 1 Season 16 Episodes

Duration per episode: 1 hour 10 minutes

Network: jTBC

This drama was a series I personally refrained from watching at first- boy did I just extend my suffering. This is a masterpiece. If a woman having the strength of thousands doesn't sound epic to you, then I don't know what does. 

You go, girl! 

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As you might have figured out, the story is about Do Bong Soon, played by Park Bo Young, who's stronger than a horse. She accidentally shows off her supernatural strength to the main male lead, played by Park Hyung Shik, which lands her a job as his bodyguard because he's being threatened by someone unknown. He finds himself disliking the police and wants to take matters into his own hands. 

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You can immediately feel the chemistry between them and the love triangle is one of the most entertaining I've watched in a long time - trust me, you'll find a lot of those here in Dramaland. 

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But, trouble in paradise eventually arrives. A series of kidnappings occur in her small neighbourhood and she must take up her strength to save her loved ones, however, with her strength comes a catch. She can't misuse it or she'll lose it. Will she be able to pull through? 

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What to expect from this drama: 

Comedy, action, and romance are the core themes of this drama. The pacing is good and while the storyline is more simple than the mentioned above, it executes it very well. The spin with the criminals and the police combined with the supernational elements might not be innovative and has been done before, but the final product of this series takes it to a new level. 

In conclusion, this is a very light-hearted drama that has a few darker undertones and delivers one hell of a drama!

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Number #4  The K2 (2016)

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The 10/10 just keeps comin'

Genre: Action,  Drama,  Political,  Psychological,  Romance,  Thriller

MDL Score: 8.2

Country: South Korea

Episodes: 1 Season 16 Episodes

Duration per episode: 60 minutes 

Network: TvN

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Oh, my god... Sorry got sidetracked. 

*Clears throat* 

Ha! You didn't escape him for long.Ji Chang Wook is back with a new masterpiece in 2016. In this series, he plays Kim Je Ha, who's a former soldier for hire, also known as K2. He becomes the bodyguard of Choi Yoo Jin, the wife of the presidential candidate. Ko An Na, or Anna who's played by Im Yoon Ah, is the secret daughter of the presidential candidate who was sent away since early childhood.  

Anna quickly catches Je Ha's attention with her rather... bizarre behaviour...

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... which draws them closer together. 

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She made Ramen while dancing, halleluja! - So cute tho.

This drama is very politically oriented, which takes the plot to a complicated level - in a good way. Mind games, manipulation, corruption - you name it, they have it. 

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This drama is definitely not lighthearted and carries heavy emotional scars and troublesome dilemmas. The character development was definitely present and as they grow on you, they grow as a person.

What to expect from this drama: 

I bet you're beginning to see a pattern. Action/romance is my forte. This Drama is no exception. It's a complete story that combines the best of the two genres. Like the rest of this list, the romance doesn't slow down the action and causes harm to the overall storyline, but becomes a vital part of it. Can't get too much into it as I don't want to ruin your experience! 

It's truly a beautiful story as well as a creative one. You can really tell that the script has been thoroughly planned out beforehand. The plot is definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a 10/10 - good job, KBS2. I salute you. 

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Number #5 -  Man to Man (2017) 

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My personal rating: 9.5 

Genres: Action,  Comedy,  Romance,  Thriller

MDL Score: 7.9

Country: South Korea

Episodes: 1 Season 16 Episodes

Duration per episode: 60 minutes

Network: jTBC

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Man to Man is a Drama that lingers fresh in my mind. It's my most recently completed drama... And boy did I have a blast! 

Kim Seol Woo, played by Park Hae Jin, is a man trained in special investigations, or NIS, and is a ghost agent. He excels in his job and uses every asset of his life, dedicating himself for the greater good of his country. Such things as love interests and marriage are only done for the mission. But when he meets the female lead, Cha Do Ha played by Kim Min Jung and the Korean actor Yeo Woon Gwang played by Park Sung Woong, his life gets turned around. Now the rules are different, maybe a different tactic should be issued? 

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The whole thing centers around the presidential election, however, state secrets, corruption etc. blurred the lines of right and wrong. The mind game is real with more secret agents than you signed up for - literally. 

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The story is fun, packed with action and, this shouldn't come as a surprise anymore, romance. 

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What to expect from this drama: 

I loved the story, which kept me at the edge of my seat the whole way through. It had me laughing and crying from both sad and touching moments. 

Also one of my favourite parts of this drama is that the bad guys aren't bad just because. They have a genuine reason behind their doing, and at the end I found myself hating none of them, which is a rare occurrence. All leading roles had strong personalities, which had character and guts. 

I really hope you'll give this drama a chance. It's really worth it! 


Honorable mentions: 

Goblin (2016) 

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My rating: 9.0

Genre: Comedy,  Friendship,  Melodrama,  Romance,  Supernatural

MDL Score: 9.0

Country: South Korea 

Episodes: 1 Season 16 Episodes 

Duration per episode: 1 hour 15 minutes 

Network: TvN

(Related Content)

Goblin Special: Every Moment of It Shined (Compilation) 

Goblin Special: The Summoning (Compilation)


Falling for Innocence (2015) 

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My rating: 9.0

Genres: Comedy,  Melodrama,  Romance

MDL Score: 8.4

Country: South Korea 

Episodes: 1 Season 16 

Episodes Duration per episode: 60 minutes 

Network: jTBC


I Hear Your Voice (2013) 

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My rating: 9.0

Genres: Drama,  Friendship,  Law,  Mystery,  Romance,  Supernatural,  Thriller

MDL Score: 8.8

Country: South Korea  

Episodes: 1 Season 18 

Episodes Duration per episode: 60 minutes  

Network: SBS

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