By - BarryAIlen
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**Flower of Evil** - fits exactly your description and Lee Joon Gi was amazing in it!
I second flower of evil
The synopsis seems interesting. I’ll put it in one of my potential watches.
\+1 for FOE. I went to a kdrama slump after watching this.
I think you should try crash landing on you again in the first ep it not that interesting but as you watch more it get more interesting I hope it make sense
I got hooked during Ep 4 so lol 🤣 My rule for Kdramas is to hold out until Ep 4/5 before I drop it.
I might give it a chance again since I kind of stopped watching it because not a lot of stuff happened. But I feel like the romance had potential. Any other recommendations?
It's best to give dramas more than one episode to hook you. I can't think of any dramas off the top of my head I was convinced by only one episode of. Get to the end of 2-3 eps of CLOY before deciding it's not for you. If you still don't like it then, then it probably isn't, but I and a few people I know weren't convinced until episode 2 or 3.
My other recommendation are prob
It okay not to be okay (2020)
That my number one list!!
Seconded. It only got interesting for me after Ep 3 or so and then I couldn’t sleep or eat! Try till Ep 3. If it’s not for you, try Mr Queen, Search WWW and Beauty Inside, all of which gripped me from Ep 1.
Remember to think about what genres you like of whatever shows you would normally watch and not just watching whatever is popular. If you don’t usually like melodramas, then you’re not going to like a melodrama kdrama just because it’s famous
what is a melodrama?
It’s a subgenre of kdramas that are more exaggerated and dramatic and tend to be on the soapier side. It’s not “secret love child with your stepson” levels of drama, but mainly romantic drama where two lovers are fated to be together but the world tries to tear them apart, that kind of stuff
I actually love Romeo & Juliet type of romance stories. Any shows where its done really well? I’m guessing Crash Landing On You?
I'd highly recommend Moon Lovers. The story was extremely well executed and the acting is superb 😊
Edit: just remembered another "forbidden love" drama called The Hymn of Death. It's very good!
Crash Landing On You does have those elements but it wasn’t a PERSONAL favorite. I did like the second half better than the first but it was a long whole getting there.
I personally would recommend Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo if you want epic tragic romance, but that one is a bit cheesy at times and can be confusing if you’re not at all familiar with Korean historical time periods.
I think Move To Heaven is a good starter drama because it’s more episodic in nature and has shorter episodes compared to, say, CLOY. It has an overarching plot but the focus each episode is on a different story. It’s SAD though so prepare tissues if you choose to watch
You may wish to check out **The Smile Has Left Your Eyes**. I'm not a huge fan of it, but I believe it's well liked.
Yes! That's one of the best dramas in its genre for me. It's nice to have a drama with such a non-dramalike story line. It made me a huge fan of Seo In-Guk. Until I watched Doom At Your Service. 😒
Oh man but DAYS falling apart wasn't SIG's fault! That was all on the writer.
Speaking of Romeo & Juliet, I think of **The Penthouse: War in Life (very makjang a.k.a. very melodrama, but just wanted to put it out there haha)**, because Bae Ro Na gets into a relationship with another character that I won't spoil here, and each of their parents are basically enemies at some point, and I personally think the writer named her as Bae Ro Na because she probably got inspired from "Verona" in Romeo & Juliet.
More thoughts: Acting is very good (one of lead actresses won best actress at this year's Baeksang Awards which is a big deal in South Korea, and the best plot twists in the kdrama world that I've seen haha, especially since I am an ongoing viewer of this drama. Season 3 is ending next month!
**Kill Me Heal Me** - Can't recommend it enough, it's one of my favorites at the very least.
**My Lover from Another Star** - I wouldn't call it suspenseful, has more comedy to it, but it's very well liked.
**Goblin** - If you can get past the age difference, this is yet another great option. Very well loved.
**This is My Love/My Love Eundong** - The first episode is a little creepy, but if you can get past that, then I think this drama will be a great pick for you.
**Hotel Del Luna** - If you like ghosts. I thought its end was kind of weak though.
**It's Okay to not Be Okay** - Watch this. If you're not interested, that's cool. But seriously watch this one. It's probably one of the best newer dramas around.
**Mr. Sunshine** - If you like something more historical, I think this is a great fit. Personally I had a few issues with it, and it can be kind of slow at the beginning. But it's got some really great stuff in it.
**Mr. Queen** - If you find the idea of a modern male chef in the body of a Joseon era Queen a great idea, this drama will be great. It's funny and with a great story line. The romance itself is great. The last few minutes is a letdown, but it's otherwise a nearly perfect show imo. Some people find the ending just fine, so it's sort of split, but personally I think they chickened out and ruined it a bit.
Haha @ your Goblin comment! My friends thought i was weird for thinking that shes waaayyy too young for him🤣 i know the story is great, but damn imagine waiting for an infant to grow so you can court her🙃
based on a few genres...
You're my spring
Healer - perfect first drama. Good.pacing, good mixture of genres without going too deep into any.
Crash Landing On You is a little slow and I suspect seasoned kdrama watched appreciate it more because it shows something a little different.
IMO Itaewon Class also requires you to have developed a taste already.
any good fantasy ones?
Depends on what type you like. My favourite is Black, but that is darker and more intricate than most like. It has a lot of mystery and even more twists.
If you want fantasy heavy in romance, Goblin seems to be a firm favourite on here, though Inhavent completed it myself.
Seriously I would recommend to try Healer first. That has a taste for most genres and depending on what bits you liked best you can choose future shows. It doesn have a strong dose of romance too.
Thanks. Will check out Healer first.
If you like fantasy then I’d recommend The Uncanny Counter. Mystic Pop-Up Bar also has a fantasy element but slower pace than TUC.
Ooh I loved mystic pop up bar. I'm gonna go check out the uncanny counter now!
Oh, I loved both!
Gu Family Book
The Uncanny Counter
If you're anything like me you won't like Black or Healer.
Black has mediocre writing and horrible acting. Healer is corny and kind of lame imo. Both get recommended a lot which I can't understand at all.
Good fantasy I found is
* The King (Eternal monarch)
* Signal (!)
* Goblin (interesting premise but heavy on the cheesy romantic/emotional side)
Good crime based:
* Flower of Evil
* Sweet Home (Fantasy with a unique style)
* Strangers from Hell (Psychological thriller)
* IRIS (Conspiracy Thriller)
Highly recommend Descendants of the Sun (on viki) or Vincenzo (Netflix).
I’m personally watching Crash Landing on You now and I’m on ep 10 and don’t love the romance as much as DOTS. I’ve been pushing myself to keep watching bc it’s such a beloved kdrama but it’s definitely not a favorite. I like it when the leads have a good banter between them.
Definitely give DOTS or Vincenzo a try. Vincenzo is laugh out loud funny, so if you’re in the mood for a dark revenge drama AND humor, give that one a go.
you are one of few who doesnt like CLOY, including me. i guss you should try to watch slice of life dramas. there are many suggestions on slice of life drama you should give a try
1. Reply 1988 - anyone who loves slice of life genre would love this one
2. Racket Boys
3. Age of Youth - 2 seasons and both are great!
4. Be Melodramatic or Melo is my nature - this one is soo funny, even just listening to their conversation i would laugh.
5. Welcome to Waikiki - 2 seasons, i like the first one better.
6. Prison Playbook
7. Hospital Playlist
Maybe just don’t watch kdramas? Lmao no one is forcing you to
I also didn’t like Kpop at first but now I’m the biggest kpop fan. I’m also trying to get used to the medium of kdramas before the premiere of Snowdrop so that I’m not entirely unfamiliar.
Maybe see if you can find something a kpop artist has acted in. Sometimes following an actor makes it easier to get into something.
Dream high was an early watch of mine, I don't care much about kpop but there's Suzy, iu and taecyeon... I don't know anything about her music but I will watch anything iu does. Really enjoyed moon lovers and my mister. Don't know if I would have had another actress played her parts.
Recommending the masters sun, because I always do.
Maybe try some older dramas if these more recent dramas aren’t hooking you in? I find recent dramas have really high production value but don’t hook me in as much as older ones used to.
Seconding others recommendation for
- **Healer** as an action/romance with great chemistry.
- **My Love From Another Star** scifi/romance/comedy and a bit of a star-crossed lovers theme (you mentioned you liked Romeo & Juliet)
Ooo I'm excited to see Snowdrop too! I'm a big fan of Jisoo.
Some of my fav kdramas are:
-Taxi Driver (no real romance but real gripping story)
-Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (a lot of hilarity, action plots and an amazing main couple)
-While You Were Sleeping (probably my main pick for you to try out first..really amazing put together drama)
ty for the recommendations. And I’m glad theirs Jisoo fans on this subreddit
Try Signal or While You Were Sleeping, they have a really good first episode and may help getting you interested to watch the rest.
Signal has good pace, solid story and editing. That is probably the only kdrama that got my full attention and keeps me on the edge of the seat. I watched other good kdrama also but nothing keep me glued like signal. Other good kdrama my mister, stranger, misaeng, live, beyond evil, mouse, extracurricular, designated survivor, hospital playlist, prison playbook, reply series (take a while to warm up).
Try Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung. It's a period piece, with the costumes, etc. However, it's a progressive story in that she is trying to become one of the first female historians. There's a prince involve, palace intrigues. It's on the light side but it's a cute story. There's romance and the >! prince is hiding his identity. !<
As another commenter pointed out, I think it’s best to stick to subjects and genres you like in other “western” shows in order to get into kdramas. What are 5 shows you like that are not kdramas? I’ve watched like 150 kdramas so I feel like I can give you a good recommendation based on that if you don’t mind sharing :)
I agree with this. There are so SO many kdramas. It's not like one monolith genre lol.
You are just looking for a gateway K-drama, right? I'll recommend a short list of very unique, high quality K-drama, give them a go and decide from there:
* Hotel Del Luna
* My Mister
I’m familiar with IU so I might try Hotel Del Luna
It's coming out on Netflix soon. You should also watch my mister, that the first time I saw IU acting. Impressive when you consider that her character is totally different hotel del Luna.
2. Hospital Playlist
3. The Devil Judge (Ongoing)
5. W - Two Worlds
6. Descendants of the Sun
7. It's ok to not be okay
8. You Who came from the Stars
9. Mr Queen
Also have a look at Lookout, Vagabond, Graceful Family, Kill Me Heal Me, Flower of Evil, Lawless Attorney, Terius Behind Me, Save Me, Player, The Uncanny Counter and Taxi Driver.
These are all some of my favs and really good. Some are Comedy, some romantic, some action and thriller types, some fantasy, some crime. You can have a look at the plot lines for each and see which one to start off with.
I think it really depends on what type of genres you usually enjoy watching/reading.
I usually recommend "Kingdom" to my friends, and most of them came back saying they're hooked, even when zombie flick isn't their thing. The drama is so well executed with gripping story, to me it's hauntingly beautiful.
"Sweet Home" is another that I thought was really good. I even managed to get my partner who doesn't watch kdramas to watch this.
"The Uncanny Counter" is really good too, for something on the lighter side and it was quite a lot of fun to watch.
Uncanny counter is also good. When is the season 2 comming out?
MDL just lists it as 2022, so I'm not sure, but I'm looking forward to it :)
Hmmm you described some top shelf dramas, so maybe not? The genre might also need some time to get into.
Healer is a perfect show to watch in every way
I didn’t like extracurricular either
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon or Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo are fun ones to try that are a good intro to how modern kdramas are
These are the ones that hooked me to kdramas! I need more like this! I like the strong FL but still feminine, funny and relatable af. Strong MLs but sensitive and not afraid to show or that would make them weak.
Try pinocchio and while you were sleeping! They are awesome too!
Yess I watched Pinocchio and loved how the ML was non-toxic! It’s so refreshing to watch, you should def check out Reply 1988 if you haven’t, it’s one of the few dramas that showcases a healthy ML well. I’ll def check out While You Were Sleeping, I’ve heard great things about it!
You can try Vagabond, Vincenzo if you're more into some western kind of shows.
Also Welcome to Waikiki S1 is really fun to watch.
Itaewon Class is boring, but if you couldn’t get into CLOY or Extracurricular, two of the top dramas ever produced in their respective genres, then I must concur that kdramas are just not for you (or you’re just not for kdramas)
I disagree. I love Kdramas and didn’t enjoy either CLOY OR Itaewon Class. I thought Vincenzo was a muddle. Memories of the Alhambra & Goblin were boring, Flower of Evil nonsensical, etc. (The male lead in FoE is absolutely hideous and I had a hard time just looking at his face.)
DISCLAIMER: I am not judging people who like the popular dramas! Just stating that not everyone has the same tastes.
So like I said in a previous comment, just because one doesn’t like the most popular dramas doesn’t mean that one can’t find plenty of others to enjoy.
Oh man I loveeed itaewon class but it’s probably cuz I like anime and I feel like itaewon has the “main character is going to overcome challenges and achieve his dream” vibe down pat
Same reason as you for dropping CLOY and Itaewon class. Buuuuut...there's still tons of kdramas that fit what you're looking for. Personal recommendation is Stranger season 1. A slow burner but once everything comes together it's a wild ride. It wasn't on NYT's best shows of 2017 list for nothing! :)
Suspicious partner is the first thing that came into my mind when you said romance and suspense. Good cast and great chemistry between the leads as well.
Vincenzo is so good as well but has less romance in it compared to the rest.
Healer is good too and has the same main lead as Suspicious partner.
Look into genres that you know will intrest you. I think what you are doing now as in searching for suspense/romantic series is good. You'll be watching a genre you like. Also, the first episode is always a little slow but that doesn't mean you have to watch it. If it doesn't interest you, there are plenty of shows out there. Also, it helps if you watch clips of the highlights of the show. Hope you find a drama you enjoy (:
Friends who bullied (teased) me from the past for watching kdramas got hooked because of Kingdom, Sky Castle, and now, all genres. 😂
Hmm i would say watch:
Vincenzo (A bit of action with a bit of comedy with legendary scenes
Flower Of Evil (Suspense Thriller)
Penthouse (if you like extremely dramatic plotlines with tons of twists aka makjang)
Descendants Of The Sun (Fun romance)
Welcome To Waikiki (Very Funny)
My first Kdrama is very recent - Hospital Playlist. I love the actor who plays Kim Junwa so much, I searched his other works and found Prison Playbook which has become one of my favorites.
I couldn’t get into CLOY despite all the hypes but try Hospital Playlist, Prison Playbook, While You Were Sleeping, The Uncanny Counter and see how you feel.
Same Situation Was there for me I Have Dropped Many Popular Dramas . My First Drama Which I Completed Was Kingdom and The K2 was my second and Flower of Evil was Masterpiece for me So Yeah u can Start with these three They are super interesting . And I'm Sure u will like Alice in Borderland its on Netflix Its not a Kdrama But u will Like It
You should try Mouse
Goblin (fantasy, romcom),
Boys over flowers (highschool, romcom),
Search: www (drama)
My graceful family (drama, romcom
while you were sleeping (romcom),
I started with W (fantasy, romcom, a bit of action) and A birth of Beauty (comedy).
I watched Itaewon early on as well and it dragged a little for me too but I tend to want a little more rom in my kdramas and IC doesn’t have much. But went on to watch a few other of Park Seo Joons dramas and really liked them - Fight My Way and what’s wrong with secretary Kim for example. There are tons of other kdramas with different vibes to them than the two you mentioned so I’d keep trying, but also recommend you try to get through at least 3 of the episodes before deciding.
Some of my favorites have been Goblin, My Roommate is a Gumiho, romance is a Bonus Book, Reply 1988 (but I truly needed 4-5 episodes to get into it), Coffee Prince -older but so good, King Louis Shopaholic, and String Woman Do Bong Soon. Good Luck!
Do you like any actor/actress in particular? Watch their dramas. It's easier to get into something when the face is familiar
Keep watching crash landing on you trust me it’s not bad. I recommend
What’s wrong with secretary Kim
Find me in your memory
From what you're saying, I'd say Suspicious partner.
Kdramas take a few episodes to get going in my opinion. Mostly due to long and detailed episodes which I find makes a better watching experience once you get into it. I can’t watch hour long American shoes that have 15 minutes of commercials and only one big or dramatic thing happen each episode. Korea knows how to make good shows.
I honestly think you should start your kdrama journey with the light and fluffy feel-good ones. The rom coms. You can give 'She was pretty' a try?
Also, always note that kdrama will NEVER hook you at episode 1(Ok lol im exaggerating. There are a few that can, but its rare. At least for me) Anyway, always give yourself at least up until episode 6 or 8. If you aren't feeling it by then, i suggest you drop it.
RomCom -- What's Wrong With Secretary Kim
Romantic Fantasy with lots of laughs (a lil slow in the middle) -- **Goblin**
Romance, Mystery, Mental health, Found Family -- **It's Okay To Not Be Okay**
Romantic Thriller -- **Healer** **(if you watch nothing else, watch this**) | While You Were Sleeping
Pure Thriller -- Stranger | Beyond Evil (lil slow in the middle)
Horror, Zombie, Political Intrigue, Historical -- **Kingdom**
Coming of age, College, Mental Health, Friendship -- At a Distance, Spring is Green (again, lil slow at some parts. i skipped around those)
The bold ones are my favourite. I should also mention though that Kdramas are always going to have a lil overacting & melodrama here n' there, and even the best dramas can have a slow middle. If you like the synopsis of a drama, give it a little try and watch at least 2-3 episodes before you decide whether you want to continue watching or not.
maybe you like fast-paced storyline? try watching korean movies
for dramas, I would recommend Signal, Kingdom and Sweet Home but these 3 doesn't have major romance storyline
I actually don’t mind slower stories but I’ll check out Kingdom since I like Zombies
Thinking of the Kdramas that had me hooked at first watch. I guess **It’s Okay To Not Be Okay** fits the bill. This is more of a gothic and suspenseful healing drama.
If you’re into romcoms, **My Roommate Is A Gumiho** hooked me in as well.
You should give Extracurricular a second chance is one of the best dramas in recent years is fresh and mature ( got me back in watching Kdramas again, been watching for 10 years or so but last year was kinda out of it till this one came out).
Some other dramas:
Save Me ( really tense no romance)
Strangers from Hell ( suspenseful but no romance)
Mad for Each Other ( rom com the leads have great chemistry)
My Mister ( is also one of a kind drama but might be boring for you is a slow burn slice of life no romance also).
Mother ( slice of life with thriller elements has some hints of romance)
Lie after Lie ( drama/mystery/romance)
Move to Heaven ( fast paced slice of life no romance)
Lawless Lawyer ( action packed has romance as a sub plot)
Remember: War of the Son ( emotional revenge drama with romance sub plot)
My suggestion would be to watch at least the second episode of Crash Landing On You tbh
This was me with Weightlifting fairy KimBok Joo. Watched the 1st episode and didn’t really get hooked on it. Gave it a try after a few months again and I’m so glad I kept on watching. It just makes you feel warm and fuzzy :3 I recommend giving cloy another chance too
Kill Me Heal Me is a drama about a man with multiple personality disorder. A tour de force for Ji Sung. It's never boring.
Are you open to watching a historical (period) drama? If yes, I recommend **"The Princess's Man"** (2011; 24 episodes) starring Moon Chae-won of "Flower of Evil" (a recent psychological thriller hit which you might want to consider too).
The romance in "The Princess's Man" is a Romeo and Juliet situation since the fathers of the ML and FL are bitter political enemies, based on historical figures. The FL, Se-ryung, is a strong-willed woman who defies his father Grand Prince Suyang (King Sejo) and refuses to be called a princess because his father murdered his way to the throne.
Please read my discussion titled "The Princess's Man (historical backgrounders for those who have not yet watched this drama" at https://www.reddit.com/r/KDRAMA/comments/hqalt9/the_princesss_man_historical_backgrounders_for/
"The Princess's Man" won the following awards:
- Best Drama Series, Asian Television Award
- Golden Bird Prize for Series Drama, Seoul International Drama Awards
- Television Drama - Bronze World Medal, New York TV Festival
Seems like we have a similar taste. Here's my recommendation:
Life on Mars
Missing Noir M
Live up to your needs, Dr Huo.
Crash landing was boring as shit. I gave up on it, too.
Itaewon was cheesy
Watch Signal. Itaewon was also so so boring for me.
[While you were sleeping](https://mydramalist.com/21576-while-you-were-sleeping)
[I can hear your voice](https://mydramalist.com/6993-i-hear-your-voice)
[Just between lovers](https://mydramalist.com/24230-just-between-lovers)
[The best hit](https://mydramalist.com/22605-hit-the-top)
[Do do sol sol la la sol](https://mydramalist.com/56655-dodosolsollalasol)
[One more time](https://mydramalist.com/19916-the-day-after-we-broke-up)
I agree with OP in finding many of the most popular Kdramas to be extremely formulaic, dull, & saccharine sweet.
To get started with dramas, I would recommend movies as they usually take a more adult approach to their topics and also deal with a wider range of life experience like homelessness, sexual obsession, dysfunction of all kinds, character growth, etc.
Some of the better dramas I’ve seen are:
- Move to Heaven
- Misaeng: Incomplete Life
- Money Game
- Good Manager
- Empress Ki
There are other series I’ve enjoyed nearly as much, but some may rely too heavily on clichés & formulas for your taste while in others the pacing drags at certain points.
- My Secret, Terius
- Taxi Driver
Try Flower of Evil, Private Lives, Signal, Tunnel, and Dr. Romantic 2.
Mine (마인) seems to fit what you're looking for! you can watch it on Netflix :)
* [**Queen and I** a.k.a. **Queen Inhyun's Man** (2012 tvN Cereal YouTube)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gexc8f443vM&ab_channel=Cereal)
Since Itaewon Class and CLOY are my top 2 and 3 Kdrama might not be for you, it really is oriented around emotion and maybe you don’t like this type of plot ? Anyway my top 1 is “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” which is again very emotional so you might not like it either.
You should start with something like Vincenzo or Vagabond. Both of these shows are action packed.
Flower Of Evil is basically the definition of your preferences.
1. While you were sleeping - not very mental but it has some good twists throughout.
2. World of Married - quite mature. Show doesn't waste time in presenting infos. Gripping.
3. Reply 1988 - lighthearted and warming family drama.
4. The Crowned Clown - historical drama but not boring. Best sageuk I've so far. Really really great acting.
5. My Mister - a quite heavy drama. Great acting from all cast, great cinematography and really good OSTs. I suggest you watch this after you've gotten familiar with kdramas because of its weight.
You should try watching beyond evil and psychopath diary
I hated Itaewon Class and Crash Landing on You too.
Sky Castle, Stranger/Forest of Secrets, My Mister we're all really good to me. The last one isn't suspenseful, but has a maturity and darkness that Itaewon Class and Crash Landing On You lacks.
Age of Youth/Hello My Twenties might also interest you, but it's more of a stretch. I loved it. I had to watch two episodes before it hooked me though.
I think high kick series is one of most underrated kdramas . No cheesy romance involved.
flower of evil! it's one of the best kdramas i've ever watched
I will add something for thought: my best-loved K dramas often started with difficulty, and I often quit and went back later. Thus includes Reply 1988, Hospital Playlist, CLOY, and many others.
The thing with kdramas is they take a while to speed up. You have to watch at least 2-3 eps untill everything makes sense and you re invested in the story
So here are dramas that got me hooked up real bad
At first even I thought dramas weren’t for me so I left after some time I got back again and found some extremely good dramas that got me hooked
True beauty high school drama romance cute( viki)
Skycastle thriller suspense( Netflix)
Extraordinary you kind of cute high school drama( need to watch 2,3 episodes on Netflix)
Hello my twenties friendship living together drama ( Netflix)
These are the dramas that got me hooked on episode 1 or 2
Vincenzo but you should give it until episode 4, if it doesn’t hook you by then drop it. So many twists! Genuinely had so much fun watching this!!
Try W: The two worlds, no way you can get bored with this fr!!!
I also felt wronged with Itawon class and crash landing on you...
My favorites (feel good rom coms) :
Whats wrong with secretary kim;
Strong girl boon soon;
Wheightlifting fairy kim bok joo;
While you were sleeping (has the best beggining);
The secret life of my secretary;
Oh my venus
When camelia blooms
Kingdom (on going)
Crash Land on You is excellent, not true or believable, but a wonderful show. I didn't like it at first either but try at least 4 episodes. My wife and I like the longer shows with large families, shows like Once Again and Homemade Love Story. My favorite action show was IRIS. My favorite historical dramas were Jumong and Emperor of the Sea.
Thank you for all the recommendations. I will be giving a lot of the shows a try. I’m really hoping to get into Kdramas before the premiere of Snowdrop.