Historical Dramas

Alphabetical order...

The reasons, why I would recommend each drama, differ widely and it naturally depends on personal preferences of a viewer as well, what aspects are attractive and which flaws can be overlooked.  These are just the dramas that have characters and plot lines, that provide joy and/or value of different kinds to me (more so, than other dramas).

kpun Apr 19, 2023
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  • A Dream of Splendor

    1. A Dream of Splendor

    Chinese Drama - 2022, 40 episodes


    The characters feel natural and alive, even though they are still idealised/stylised  versions of people, its more subtle, than in most other historical dramas.

  • Hold On, My Lady

    2. Hold On, My Lady

    Chinese Drama - 2021, 12 episodes


    Seeing the FL (Yakisa) being a kind and brave leader, who treats her helper (David Ren) like a friend instead of an underling, as well as having a SFL, who is kind and supportive, felt so refreshing. 

    It does not always need to be a grand setting with an epic storyline, to make good entertainment.

  • Iljimae

    3. Iljimae

    Korean Drama - 2008, 20 episodes


    There is action, a bit of romance and the struggle for justice. Can't say if I like this version more, or The Return of Illjimae, since they are different in how they are telling the story and succeed in their own way.

  • Inspiring Generation

    4. Inspiring Generation

    Korean Drama - 2014, 24 episodes


    This drama has a lot of fighting, as well as interesting and engaging characters with intriguing backstories.

  • Moon Embracing the Sun

    5. Moon Embracing the Sun

    Korean Drama - 2012, 20 episodes


    Very much suffering and sadness, but it was worth it for me.

  • My Sassy Princess

    6. My Sassy Princess

    Chinese Drama - 2022, 22 episodes


    In the first episodes, I did not connect with the characters, but somehow that suddenly changed and I enjoyed the progression of the story more than expected. Its surely not epic or deep, but still entertaining to watch.

  • Nirvana in Fire

    7. Nirvana in Fire

    Chinese Drama - 2015, 54 episodes


    What can I say, its just the best for me. Every drama has its flaws, but its really difficult to notice them with this amazing story and well written characters.

  • Pledge of Allegiance

    8. Pledge of Allegiance

    Chinese Drama - 2023, 24 episodes


    Dark but also funny at times, this drama is packed with suspense, action and emotional scenes between characters, that are original and interesting.

  • Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People

    9. Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People

    Korean Drama - 2017, 30 episodes


    An entertaining watch, with dramatic action, likeable and lively characters and of course some romance.

  • Ripe Town

    10. Ripe Town

    Chinese Drama - 2023, 12 episodes


    A murder mystery set in a small town with interesting characters. Over the course of the story dark secrets come to light and the tragic happenings from the past continue to cause more death. The main character is not only tasked with a tricky case, but also has to be wary of the motives and ambitions of his superiors. So its fortunate, that he is smart and has some capable friends around.

  • Rising Feather

    11. Rising Feather

    Chinese Drama - 2023, 30 episodes


    Once an innocent sweet young lady, Qing Que has now turned into a determined and seductive avenging angel to get back at those, who hurt her family and herself, but also to prevent harm from the country. Boldly, she risks her life and well-being, as she enters the mansion of the malignant prime minister as a concubine, stepping from one perilous situation into the next. 

    This could have been a typical, flat and trope-filled mini-drama, but I found it to be written and produced with more care than most, so that there was no boring moment for me, when watching it. I especially appreciate, that the characters feel like people (people that have goals, feelings and weaknesses and make mistakes) and the second female lead has motivations, that make sense and gets her own little story line. 

    Would recommend this for people, who are interested in the lover/enemies trope, a love/hate relationship, more passionate relationships than the average cdrama, a male main character, that can not be confused with a teenager, or a darker kind of romance with tension and thrills.

  • Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace

    12. Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace

    Chinese Drama - 2018, 87 episodes


    A lot of intrigues, schemes and hidden agendas of course, with all the different personalities of the ladies in the harem. Although, I can not find much romance in such a place, there are still many situation, over which one can sympathise with the characters and the settings/costumes/requisites overall look great.

  • Shine or Go Crazy

    13. Shine or Go Crazy

    Korean Drama - 2015, 24 episodes


    With a main hero being a bit different from the usual types, but still very righteous and capable and lots of lovable and interesting characters, as well as a story that is able to balance lighthearted, comedic moments with tragic and serious scenes, this drama is very entertaining, but also touching for me.

  • Siege in Fog

    14. Siege in Fog

    Chinese Drama - 2018, 50 episodes


    If one can bear a little toxicity or a tragic misunderstanding between the main couple, I would recommend this drama for the twisted plot and tensed atmosphere.

  • Story of Yanxi Palace

    15. Story of Yanxi Palace

    Chinese Drama - 2018, 70 episodes


    In this palace/harem-drama, its not the queen or a concubine, who is the main character from the beginning of the drama, instead its an inventive and strong-willed young woman, who enters the palace as a maid. The plot combines the usual shenanigans at the palace with a personal detective/revenge storyline and one can also find some romance.

  • The Bridal Mask

    16. The Bridal Mask

    Korean Drama - 2012, 28 episodes


    Even though the violence at some parts was difficult to watch, there were many touching moments, that made it totally worth it for me. I would not recommend it for the romance part, but more for the deep friendship and the strong characters, that struggle with the brutal historical situation, they have to fight in for survival and justice.

  • The Killer Is Also Romantic

    17. The Killer Is Also Romantic

    Chinese Drama - 2022, 18 episodes


    This one sits on the edge of historical and fantasy-dramas, with its over the top and comedic tone, but the mix of likable characters, paying with tropes and fast-paced plot, as well as the overall visuals of the sets and costumes, make for an entertaining watch.

  • The Legendary Life of Queen Lau

    18. The Legendary Life of Queen Lau

    Chinese Drama - 2022, 36 episodes


    Actually, this is an anti-historic drama, but if one has watched a lot of historical drama, it can be entertaining and interesting to see a drama, that kind of makes fun of the many tropes and expected plot lines of the majority in this genre. The comedic and sweet characters also lead to a very different experience, than other historical dramas provide.

  • The Return of Iljimae

    19. The Return of Iljimae

    Korean Drama - 2009, 24 episodes


    There is action, a bit of romance and the struggle for justice. Can't say if I like this version more, or Illjimae, since they are different in how they are telling the story and succeed in their own way.

  • The Sword and the Brocade

    20. The Sword and the Brocade

    Chinese Drama - 2021, 45 episodes


    I grew to really like many of the characters in this story and the sets and costumes are well presented. The tone is mostly serious, but lighthearted moments are not missing from this drama.