I’m looking for k-drama recommendations. What is your favorite drama? Something that is a borderline masterpiece, at least to you.
I like a lot of different genres though I cannot take the guys costumes from the Joseon Era seriously (but if it’s a great show don’t let that stop you from recommending it). Sad moments are okay but I don’t like sad endings. (I won’t watch My Love From Another Star.)
P.S. If the male lead has ridiculous behavior warn me, it’s not enough to ruin the drama but it makes it some much less enjoyable especially when I don’t know before hand. (Secret Garden and Boys Over Flowers where like that for me.)
All of these have a happy ending and have at some point caused me to stop whatever I was doing in my life, gluing me to the screen and made me rethink certain things. None are period dramas, and although some have comical characters, they all have depth.
Misaeang. I won’t say anything about Misaeng. Misaeng is Misaeng, it’s mythical, you just have to trust us and watch it. Enough said! It’s Okay That’s Love. Excellent writing, an unusual theme (mental illness), treated with great compassion and humanism, and a very sweet love story. The scene where the lead says goodbye to the young student giving him shoes was just wow! Another Oh Hae Hyung. Excellent writing, especially the male lead role, great chemistry among the leads and a satisfying ending. Romantic Doctor Kim - Really awesome study on professional and personal ethics, with a cute love story too. The only thing I didn’t like was the insistence on showing freak accident victims, open wounds etc. Half of it I had to watch with the screen scrolled down, just to see the subtitles (although most of the time that’s where the gore was) Ms Temper and Nam Jung Gi (except for the slapstick parts, which thankfully were just a few) Very good acting by a seasoned actor, and very interesting social commentary about the work culture in Korea. The whole story is the evolution of a decent but mediocre office worker, how meeting an exigent boss makes him discover feelings of self-worth, of dignity etc. Sometimes you want to cry of happiness when watching. Chief Kim. No love lines, and I adored it for that, because it didn’t need one. Exceptional acting by most of the leading cast, with the adorable and magnificent Namgoong Min on the top. Very interesting plot. Discovery of Love. The evolution of the two leads is very interesting. The series starts with a breakup, and none of the two have done anything wrong, still they have a long way to go until they discover what really happened and what they can learn of it. My Love from the Star So romantic, and it HAS a happy ending, the happiest possible, who told you it hasn’t? Memory Don’t be influenced by the synopsis. The drama is sad at times, but the ending IS happy more than sad, only if you see it you will understand. And you cannot miss this great, great actor in one of his very best roles. You’ll be happy you watched it. Five Children Again, very well-written and well-acted. About families coming together, about divorcees or widowers finding love again and the reaction of everybody around them. One of the very few 52-episode dramas that I’ve watched. I Need Romance 3. Lovable series, the relationship between the two leads was just adorable. Jewel in the Palace a.k.a. Dae Jang Geum One of the very best but it’s in historical costumes Pinocchio. Not only a deliciously romantic love story, but a very strong social commentary about the world of the media and how reporters can break the life of an individual and a family. Other important themes as well. Main leads are excellent actors. Madame Antoine. The male lead is arrogant and cold but he’s not at all ridiculous nor abusive and over-the top as in Boys over Flowers. The female lead is wonderfully strong, even when in love, she never becomes an idiot - this must be a first. My Wife Is Having an Affair This Week Incredible acting by the male lead, and a very nuanced explorationi of what happens after a betrayal. I really liked that one (and don’t worry about the ending) Queen In Hyun’s Man Not a masterpiece but VERY enjoyable and with a wonderful ending. Half of it is historical and half not, because it’s time travel and the two leads’ chemistry is something else. Solomon’s Perjury - Excellent mystery-school drama-social commentary. Serious and raising some really important issues. Young cast delivers splendidly W - A true masterpiece for the first 8 episodes, it became so-so in the second half, disappointing us all - but still well-worth-watching. Tomorrow with you. The two leads were adorable together, and the concept was interesting. A couple of episodes before the end the plot loopholes started becoming huge, though. The ending was a happy one, but a little flat.
There are other very good ones in my list but they have sad endings, so I’m just putting them here as a post scriptum:
Oh My Ghostess
Goblin (good ending, but only partially so)
Romantic Doctor Kim - Hands down the best K-Drama I’ve ever watched (Possibly the best Medical Drama, Korean or otherwise). Doctor Kim is quite rude but HE IS NOT the male lead. The story simply revolves around him. The main lead is actualy kinda relatable.
Chief Kim - I second what @irmar said and I’d like to add that it was probably the only recent “Comedy” that was funny all the way to the end. #Pirarucu
Voice - Exceptional Police Drama. Very fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
all of these dramas what a list! oh, I know there’s more, from historical, to mysteries, romance, even sci-fi. the writers are fantastic, just where did they get those ideas to write these stories??!! still, I compliment the writers here, they are great,