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Getting Into the World of K-dramas: Top K-dramas Every Beginner Must Watch

Pop Culture

March 05, 2023

Over the past couple of years, Korean dramas (K-dramas) have become extremely popular internationally, especially among teenagers and young adults. In 2022, statistics showed over 60% of Netflix users watched Korean-related titles. Korean content has effortlessly reached the Top 10 Chart in over 90 countries.

In 2021, the Netflix K-drama Squid Game had over 1.65 billion watch hours in the first 28 days, and it charted as the most-watched Netflix release in history. Numerous challenges sprung up due to Squid Game, and it became a Halloween costume staple.

TikTok has dramatically increased the K-drama watching interest, especially with its talented editing community. With the blow-up and surge in interest in K-dramas, it's easy to be lost on where to start as a K-drama beginner. With that, here are the top K-dramas every beginner must watch.

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The Penthouse: War in Life

  • Number of Seasons: 3
  • Total Number of Episodes: 48
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Mystery, Crime, Romance, Thriller

This award-winning 3-season 2020 K-drama is a good place to start as a beginner, as it has a mix of multiple genres: action, romance, thriller, crime, mystery, and drama. The K-drama explores the life of the people at Hera Palace and how far powerful people go to continue to stay at the top and ensure their children succeed. With its numerous plot twists and shocking reveals, it's definitely a must-watch for all beginners.

@penthousewar_inlife a fake world #penthouse #penthouseedit #fyp #xyzbca #penthousewarinlife ♬ original sound - penha

Business Proposal

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 12
  • Genres: Romance, Comedy

Business Proposal is a romantic comedy that shows the life of a girl who goes on a blind date to replace and disguise her friend, only to later find out her date is the CEO of the company she works for. The business proposal is a lighthearted comical show, perfect for rom-com lovers.

Twenty Five Twenty One

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama

Twenty-Five Twenty-One is a romance K-Drama which came out last year, about a fencer who does all she can to prove herself and her ambitions. She eventually meets a young man keen on improving his life and becoming better. This K-Drama has gotten multiple positive reviews from viewers all over social media.

@aileow lovers #twentyfivetwentyone #twentyfivetwentyoneedit #naheedo #baekyijin #kdrama #kdramaedit #viral #fyp ♬ som original - ju

Suspicious Partner

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 20
  • Genres: Legal, Mystery, Romance, Comedy

This K-drama is for law, mystery, romance, and comedy lovers. When an intern begins working for a prosecutor, she must clear her name after being framed and suspected of murdering her ex-boyfriend. Filled with romance, mystery, and comedy, Suspicious Partner is a good start for a beginner.

@imyuyut thats what happens to cheaters i guess #suspiciouspartner #kdrama #kdramaedit #fyp #xyzbca #viral ♬ Kill Bill - SZA

True Beauty

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama

True Beauty is a Rom-com that was released in 2020 and based on a webtoon comic. The storyline shows a girl who was intensely bullied for being 'ugly,' but her entire life changes when she changes schools and learns to do makeup.

Itaewon Class

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Drama, Romance

Itaewon Class is a very modern-feel K-drama, which shows the busy life of Seoul, and how an ex-convict paves his way towards reaching his ambitions. The plot line shows how ambition, revenge, and greed fuel people's desires to get to the top. K-drama is one of the most liberal and open-minded K-dramas in today's time.

@h2skq He's like a proud dad of her😭❤️ #itaewonclass #itaewonclassdrama #parksaeroyi #mahyeonyi #parkseojoon #leejooyoung #kdrama #fyp #foryoupage ♬ mockingbird - 🫡

My Name

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 8
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller

If you love action and crime genres, you'll love My Name. The storyline explores a girl who gets revenge for the death of her gangster father. Although it's a short K-drama, it's definitely one to keep you engaged throughout the show.

@ahchuu03 Don’t need nobody #myname #mynamekdrama #mynameedit #mynamekdramaedit #hansohee #hansoheeedit #hansoheemyname #yoonjiwoo #yoonjiwooedit #yoonjiwoomyname #fyp #kdrama #kdramaedit #fypシ #fypage ♬ original sound - ☆★☆

Vincenzo

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 20
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Drama, Comedy, Romance

Vincenzo is another K-drama with multiple genres, so it's a must-watch for every beginner. It explores the life of a Korean-Italian connoisseur who works with the mafia but is also double-sided as a lawyer to the public. When a conflict goes down amongst his mafia group, he flees Italy to return to South Korea and start afresh, intending to retrieve hidden assets he'd stored.

The Sound of Magic

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 6
  • Genres: Musical, Fantasy, Drama

The Sound of Magic is a musical and fantasy drama that shows the life of an academically competent orphan who has to take care of herself and her younger sister. Having no idea where her parents are and not having a lot of money, she has to overwork herself to pay off some debts, to the point she must 'grow older' and act bigger than her age. This all changes when she meets a mysterious magician in an abandoned amusement park who helps her find balance and happiness despite her hectic life.

With just 6 episodes, this is an amazing K-drama for any beginner. It stars popular Korean actor Ji Chang-Wook.

It’s Okay Not to be Okay

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romance

Starring Korean actors Seo Yea-ji and Kim Soo-Hyun, It's Okay Not to be Okay is a dramatic, romantic comedy that explores mental health and how unhealed childhood traumas can creep up on you as you get older and become an adult.

@suzycoree i'll always protect her #itsokaytonotbeokay #komunyeong #seoyeji #seoyeaji #kdrama #fyp ♬ original sound - binho

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Legal, Drama, Comedy, Romance

This 2022 Kdrama is a legal drama that shows the life and struggles of an autistic female lawyer. Although brilliant and talented, she gets discriminated against and underestimated because she's on the autism spectrum and struggles with Asperger's syndrome (making it difficult to socially interact with others). Extraordinary Attorney Woo has an extraordinarily unique and thoughtful storyline, which is fantastic for new K-drama watchers.

@koje94_ #extraordinaryattorneywoo #kdrama #kdramaedit #parkeunbin#wooyoungwoo #joohyunyoung #geurami #woototheyoungtothewoo #edits #edit #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound - koje

Flower of Evil

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Romance

Flower of Evil is an excellent Kdrama for thriller lovers. This plot line explores the life of a sociopath who is the son of a serial killer, changes his identity, and lives a double life to marry a police officer. Mixed with crime, romance, and thriller, it's a great start as a beginner to get you longing and anticipating what's coming next.

@jiminsroti them. #jiminsroti #flowerofevil #dohyunsoo #kdramas #kdramaedit #flowerofevildrama #flowerofeviledit #flowerofevilkdrama #fyp #leejoongi #baekeunha #baekheesung ♬ original sound - Jiminsroti°

Squid Game

Number of Seasons: 1 Total Number of Episodes: 9 Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller, Horror, Drama,

If you have yet to watch it, Squid Game, which gained massive popularity two years ago, is centered around a covert competition where 456 individuals burdened with significant financial debt must engage in children's games to compete for a substantial cash prize. The catch is whoever loses the game eventually has to die. This thriller action drama is still a fantastic first for beginner K-drama watchers.

Hometown Cha Cha Cha

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romance

Hometown Cha Cha Cha is one of the best romcom K-Drama for beginners who want to avoid getting into the stress and massive plot twists of K-Drama. This series is based on a dentist who moves to the seaside after losing her job in the city. She meets the handyman (who was referred to as the village head), but they have multiple altercations. Hometown Cha Cha Cha is quite a humorous K-drama, and it has many amazing actors.

@loveofkdramaa i miss them <3 #kdrama #edits #hometownchachacha #kimseonho #shinminah #kimseonhoedit #kdramas #kdramaedit ♬ original sound - hyungjoo

Law School

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 16
  • Genres: Mystery, Legal, Comedy, Romance

If you're a fan of law shows and law academia vibes, you would love law school. This K-drama shows the life of law school students. When a renowned professor dies on campus, it completely alters the school's prestige, causing multiple people on campus to become suspects.

@staelight yangcrates to the rescue #lawschool #lawschoolkdrama #yangcrates ♬ KAWAII - _ryuuus

Healer

  • Number of Seasons: 1
  • Total Number of Episodes: 20
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance

Healer is a relatively older K-drama that came out in 2014. This action romcom is about a failing online reporter who falls for a criminal night messenger called Healer. Although it's an older K-drama, it's good to start and add to your watch list.

@luvinyuss When he smell her >> #healer #jichangwook #parkminyoung #seojunghoo #chaeyoungshin #kdrama #fyp #fypシ #fy #explore #edit ♬ original sound - inyoup <3

K-dramas are extremely interesting, and as a beginner, it's easy to get swept away when so many new categories and shows keep springing up each month. Welcome to the world of K-drama. Try out these and find out which ones you'll end up loving!

@suzycoree i love kdramas so much bro #kdrama #fyp ♬ original sound - binho

Oluwafeolami Awe-Joseph
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Writer since Dec, 2022 · 5 published articles

Feolami is an expressive and creative writer. She enjoys writing, reading, speaking and inventing. She hopes to use her writing to inspire people.

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