10 Favorite Korean Dramas
I’m a huge fan of action adventure - martial-arts films, in particularly those depicting the Joseon, Quing Dynasty era. Sadly these types of movies or films are never shown on our local tv networks. In addition, the type of movies produced by Hollywood over the past few years can easily be classified substandard: repetitive, poor acting, poor scripts, and simply not believable. As a result, I began looking for sites where I could watch martial arts movies for free, and fortunately my search lead to a new discovery, Korean drama. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Below is a synopsis of 10 Favorite Korean Dramas listed in no order of preference or rating. If you’re new to Korean Dramas or have never watched these before, I believe you will find them enjoyable. The list comprises romance, action adventure with a mixture of comedy making some of the scenes quiet entertaining. As mentioned, these dramas are captivating, entertaining, life changing, educational; and overall enjoyable. You will most likely watch some over and over again. You can watch Korean dramas free on Hulu, Dramafever and Vicki.
Korean dramas are appealing and addictive for several reasons. Many depict everyday situations; there’s always the morals of the story which pricks at the conscience and the way we interact with people, the acting is out of this world superb, that one cannot help being captivated by the incredible and almost unbelievable level of talented actors and actresses; just about every line, gesture, or scene speaks believable; leaving you wanting more, the culture and language is unique and constantly arouses one’s interest. Most of the dramas will leave you laughing so much, you may end up in stitches or crying that you might think you’re crazy. And oh! ...the guys are just too handsome..
Lee Min Ho in this thrilling fantasy action series is Choi Yeong, a highly skilled, intuitive captain of an elite band of warriors in 1300 Korea. Main cast includes Kim Hee-seon (Yoo Eun-soo), Lee Phil (Jan Bin), Seon Hoon (Cheon Eum-ja), Ryoo Deok-hwan (King Gongmin). As they escort the king and queen to safety, a showdown of action ensues at a tavern. The queen is wounded and needs special treatment.
The captain travels to the 21st
century in search of a healer with god-given connections to save the queen. He ends up at a Cosmetic Surgery Expo and finds a doctor who he believes is capable of healing the queen. She doesn’t believe his story, refuses to leaves with him. Against much opposition he drags her off.. back to the 1300 era. Interesting developments take place as the king returns to the palace and a mirage of threats by power-hungry fanatics take place….brilliant performance by the entire cast in particularly, Lee Ming Ho who not only stole the show but outdid himselft. As the people in the Jamaica says “ damn you’re pretty like money” As much as I love this movie one major flaw is the pair up with Lee Min Ho & Kim Hee-Seon, I don’t believe she was suited for the role or the compatibility existed. Moreover, her constant babbling was supposedly depicted as the demeanor of the 21st century woman, it was a turn off…..otherwise, excellent.
A Thousand Days Promise
Leading roles portrayed by Kim Rae Won & Lee Seo Yeon. This film is romantic melodrama about a writer editor and her brother abandoned by their mother and raised by an aunt and her husband through very tough times.
While visiting a gallery, she runs into a friend of her cousin’s Park Ji Hyung (Kim Rae) He’s presently engaged to Noh Hyang Gi (Jung Yoo Mi). The two had previously met several years before, but this time a strong bond and complicated relationship ensues as he's torn between remaining loyal to family and the woman he’s engaged or his love for a woman who he adores and is losing her memory……Stellar performance by Kim Rae Won and the cast.
What more is there to say about Lee Min Ho who plays the leading role as Lee Yoon-seong and Park Min-yeong as Kim Na-na his love interest. The story is about a group of secret agents who abandoned and killed on a mission. One of whom is Lee Yoon-seong’s father.
The entire crew murdered except his father’s best friend who survives, and vows to avenge the death of his friend and colleagues. To carry out his plan he kidnapped his best friend’s son, (Lee Yoon-seong) who was a few month old and raise him as his own, in the mean time master-minded a plan that both with take revenge. The plot thickens and story develops with lots of twists. Again, a remarkable performance by Lee Min Ho.
On the top of my list of favorite actors and actresses are Go Eun Sung (played by Han Hyo Joo) and Lee Seung Gi (Hwan) play leading roles in this romantic drama. Go Eun Sung and her autistic brother’s life of wealth and ease suddenly plunges into disaster as she returns from her studies in America. She lives with her stepmother and step sister, whom she had never bonded with or had a close relationship.
Her father tragically (supposedly) passes away. She and her autistic brother driven out of the home. A life of poverty follows and losing her brother adds to the pain. As a street vendor she one day rushes to the aid of (Jang Sook Ja) who fell ill and lost her memory. She brought her to her little shack to recover. Unknowingly Jang Sook Ja is the CEO of a major food corporation and the grandmother of Hwan whom she had previously crossed paths when their luggage switched at the airport. The grandmother moved by her kindness and with whom she has now developed a close bond, pressures her to move in with the rest of the family and promised to help find her brother. She moved in, the drama continues and the romance develops….Can’t say enough about this series.
Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Byeong Hun), Jin Sa Woo (Jung Joon Ho) and Choi Seung Hee take the leading roles in this action adventure espionage series. Lee Byeong Hun and Jung Joon Ho are best friends who join the NSS a government intelligence organization. Lee Byeong Hung meets Choi Seung Hee while enrolled in a class at the University. She’s an analyst and undercover agent for the NSS.
Soon after she meets Jung Joon Ho and both fall in love with her and is unaware that she is on a mission. Both join the NSS eventually he’s given an independent assignment to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea. The mission failed and he's abandoned by the NSS, framed and becomes the target of the NSS. He’s on the run and during this times discovers the secrets of the NSS which has been infiltrated by IRIS a secret power-hungry organization that will do any and everything have things their way. As the truth unfolds......and action and more action. Love Kim Hyun Joon performance and his killer smile......didn’t like the end though
Starring Seo Do Wong, (Yoo Jae Ha), Han Hyo Joo (Park Eun Young), Daniel henny (Phillip), and Lee So Yeon (Song Yi Na). The story is about a boy (Yoo Jae Ha) and a girl (Park Eun Young)ond of each other during their youth, and due a series of unfortunate circumstances became separated as she needed surgery. The money her mother saved for her surgery was stolen by the boy's father, and in the process of trying to recover the money her mother died.
While at the hospital the boy ran into a man, whose wife had been hospitalized for mental issues as a result of the loss of their son. Out of desperation and love for Park Eun Young. He (Yoo Jae Ha) became their son in exchange for payment of her surgery. The story unravels as she’s now a jewelry designer, and takes a trip to Austria where she runs into Daniel Henney (Phillip) the manager of Seo Do Young (Yoon Jae Ha) a brilliant and renowned pianist. Both began competing for her love.
Boys Before flowers
Talk about huge drama hit. This one takes the cake as the writers tackles many everyday complex issues that involve love, hate relationships, devotion socio-economic status, poverty, laughter, and money. Lead role performance again by non other than Lee Min Ho (Goo Joo Pyo) and main roles by Kim Hyun Joong (Ji Hoo), Kim Joon (Song Woo Bin), Hye Sun Koo (Geum Jan Di), and Kim bum (s Yi Jung). Geum Ja Di is an ordinary girl whose family owns a dry cleaning business and is struggling to make ends meet.
During one of her delivery trips near the prestigious Shinwah High School she saves a student from committing suicide as he was about to jump off the roof. She was then awarded a swimming scholarship to prestigious Shinwah High School. Like the other students she cannot but take notice of the beatle-like boys (without the music) who run the show, as result she does everything she can to avoid them, but could she?. The saga begins at school when Ja Di’s friend, Oh Min Ji accidentally spills ice cream on the shoes of the leader of the F4 group. The F4 group comprises 4 rich rotten boys, the leader being Lee Min Ho (Goo Joo Pyo) heir of the conglomerate Shinwah group. All hell breaks loose and interesting developments take place as Ja Di confronts the leader. What happens when they fall in love; sparks begin to fly, there is much opposition, and a love triangle ensues. This drama is addictive, entertaining and touches the heart in every way.
A Thousand Kisses
This drama tackles divorce, marriage, unfaithfulness, and socio-economic status, the age difference in relationships, love and forgiveness. Lead roles by Seo Yeong-hee ( Woo Joo-yeong) Ji Hyeon-woo (Jang Woo-bin) Ryoo Jin ( Jang Woo-jin) Kim So-eun (Woo Joo-mi). Woo Joo-yeong and Woo Joo-mi are two sisters raised by their grandmother after their grandmother banished her daughter in law from the home and their lives.
Their father dies of cancer. Their mother Cha Hwa-yeon (Yoo Ji-seon) eventually married a rich widower Lee Soon-Jae (Jang Byeon-doo) who has a son from his previous marriage Jang Woo-jin. Yoo Ji-seon daughter whom she initially doesn’t recognize meets Jang Woo-jin while jogging; they fell in love and decide to get married. Woo Joo-yeong whose marriage is on shaky grounds attends a soccer match with her son Goo Seong-hyeon (Park Chan-no) who’s a soccer fan. As the match ends and Chan-no tries to climb over the fence, he's approached by Jang Woo-bin. His mother Woo Joo-yeong also approaches, and from there a strong love affair begins with intertwined and forbidden relationships, secrets uncovered, relationships broken, hate and forgiveness. This is definitely a heart- wrenching emotional drama. Strong performances by everyone in particularly the lead actors and actresses.
Warrior Baek Dong-soo
An action adventure martial-arts series placed in the Joseon Dynasty era. Lead actors are Chi Chang-wook (Baek Dong-soo), Lee Seung-woo (Yeon- Woon). Baek Dong-soo’s father is tried for treason, and found guilty. While his mother was pregnant with him she died in labor.
During this time authorities were killing all male newborns with hope that he would not survive. Through a series of events he was hidden, survived the ordeal and returned to his caretaker. The story, however, unfolds as Baek Dong-soo and his childhood friend Yeon- Woon took separate paths. Both become highly skilled in the martial arts. Baek devoted his life to protecting the throne and Yeon-woon along with a stealthy group of assassins to controlling the nation. Lovers of martial arts will definitely enjoy this one.
The Kingdom of the Winds
An action adventure historical drama centered around the time nations were at war with the aim of ceasing territories to gain power. Leading roles played by Kim Hye Sung, Choi Jung Won, Kim Jae Wook, Jung Jin Young, Lee Jong Won, Park Gun Hyung and Oh Yoon Ah and filmed in Korea & China. The Goureyo royal household of King Yuri is constantly threatened by powerful king Daeso and the Biryu group of senators.
The fate of the throne and future of Gogureyo is at stake, when the empress gives birth to a son. He’s immediately declared a curse and a future threat to the throne and Gogureyo and sentenced to death. The king struggles with keeping the prince alive and putting him to death. Ultimately faked, his son death at a ceremony and his brother Hae-myung took the baby to a secret hiding where he's raised. He eventually returns to the palace, and after much rejection and trial he becomes king and conquerors the surrounding nations. There is not enough words to describe this series..... star- studded, action packed, well-written, filled with loyalty betrayal and romance, I cannot say enough about the script and talent.