5 Binge-Worthy Korean Dramas to Watch While Staying Home
Ride out yet another wave of staying home and staying safe with these Korean dramas that are either currently showing or have just concluded—each of them compelling and binge-worthy escapes from real life. Here, we present three reasons why you simply need to catch these five new and popular shows.
1/5 Beyond Evil
It just won Best Drama at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards.
It also garnered a Best Actor trophy for its lead, Shin Ha-kyun. It may have flown under the radar of some K-drama fans, as it’s a moody thriller and not your usual easy-to-watch, light-hearted romance, but there’s a good reason it took home the big prize at Baeksang. Don’t miss it.
There is some eye candy in it.
Yeo Jin-goo and Lee Do-hyun, who both romanced IU in Hotel Del Luna, reunite in this drama about two men—a police sergeant (played by Shin Ha-kyun) and an elite detective (Yeo Jin-goo)—who team up to catch a serial killer, while breaking the law and discovering their own dark sides in the process. Lee Do-hyun plays Shin’s character in his younger years.
The plot is tight and the acting is stellar.
Not all K-dramas are made equal, and we’ve all watched those with paper-thin plots and laughable acting—and not in a good way. Beyond Evil is not one of these. It’s received rave reviews for the chemistry between the two leads and their solid acting chops, as well as its masterful plotting and riveting storyline. If you need a break from cheesy romances, this is it.
Watch it on Viu.
2/5 Law School
It’s a K-drama set in a law school, so you know the plot won’t be lightweight.
Set in the prestigious Hankuk University Law School, it’s full of witty lines, brilliant students (and actors) and a gripping murder mystery.
Kim Bum is in it.
Last seen as a trouble-making fox spirit in The Tale of the Nine-Tailed (who we think stole many scenes from lead actor Lee Dong-wook), Kim always brings the charm. Then, there’s Ryu Hye-young, the scene-stealing sister in Reply 1988, who plays a first-year law student with an inferiority complex because of her poor background.
Expect lots of twists and turns, and some laughs.
Everyone has some sort of secret, and the law cases are riveting. There are also plenty of comedic moments, and maybe even a little romance.
Watch it on Netflix.
3/5 Doom At Your Service
Catch Park Bo-young in a rare, “serious” role.
The princess of cutesy roles (see Strong Girl Bong-soon) ditches her comedic doll image to play a more tragic character—a woman named Tak Dong-kyung, who finds out she has only three months left to live and wishes for the world to be doomed, like her. Is Park still watchable without her wide-eyed expressions and ditsy persona? Very much so, yes.
For Seo In-guk.
The pixie-faced good-looker plays Myul Mang, a powerful messenger between gods and humans, who is tired of his fate and decides to fulfil Dong-kyung's wish to end the world. As expected, he is extremely suave and cool in this role.
For the heart-fluttering moments.
What’s an end-of-the-world drama without a generous dose of romance? Does the handsome other-worldly creature sweep the poor human off her feet? At which point will they kiss? This drama just started airing in early May, so we are still waiting with bated breath.
Watch it on Viu.
Related: The Best New Korean Dramas to Watch in 2021
4/5 Youth of May
It’s a romance with substance and style.
The drama is set in 1980, against the backdrop of the Gwangju Uprising (in which over 600 people died, following a student demonstration that turned violent). Expect lots of historical and political references, along with dreamy-cool retro ’80s sets.
Check out rising stars Lee Do-hyun and Go Min-si’s chemistry.
They play a medical student and a nurse who get caught up in the uprising, as well as in their own passionate love affair. The two actors previously played brother and sister in Sweet Home, but bring the romance in this new drama.
For all the longing looks, missed chances and emotional scenes.
Sometimes you just need a good serving of melodrama and tears. This show hits the spot.
Watch it on Viu.
5/5 Sell Your Haunted House
A real estate broker who’s also an exorcist clearing ghosts out from buildings? Intriguing.
The exorcist in question is played by veteran actress Jang Na-ra, who’s always charming and watchable. That her character has a weakness for fried chicken just adds that much more flavour to the show.
It’s a fun romp with lashings of supernatural thrills.
If full-on horror makes you way too nervous, maybe this K-drama with equal parts comedy and creepy characters will be your cup of tea. Jang’s character teams up with a con man who turns out to be a psychic, played by CNBLUE’s Jung Yong-hwa.
There’s more than meets the eye.
As the dynamic ghost-busting duo encounter and help spirits along the way, social issues—such as about corporate greed, real-estate woes and ageing—are brought up. Also, there are the backstories of the two protagonists, who are unexpectedly connected by a shared past.
Watch it on Viu.
Related: 11 Korean Dramas With the Highest Ratings in 2021: Which Haven’t You Watched?