My Top 5 Best Korean Drama on Netflix

12:40 PM

I’m that type of person who disliked Korean pop culture for just a single and simple reason, inconvenience. That may sound irrational but the fact was, I cannot understand the language and everyone looked the same to me. I found it overwhelming and too much of a bother. However, after considering how it influenced everyone around me, it made me decide to take a step forward and give it a try. Then everything changed and suddenly this all became a new addiction.

Yes, I somehow blame my friends for pulling me down the rabbit hole with them.

Back in December of 2019, Korean Dramas or KDramas were (re)introduced to me persistently by a colleague so I could relate to the conversation every time we go out and about. But KDramas have never been a stranger since I watched a couple of series when it was first introduced on Philippine television a few years ago.

I can still remember the Coffee Prince adaptation back in 2012 in GMA 7 and Full House back in 2009. In fact, I was a big fan of Rain.

Also, it was easy to fall in love with them since they were dubbed in Tagalog. The storytelling was nice and not the usual plotlines you see on Pinoy tv dramas which I found very refreshing. Actually, they still are even up to the present time but not in tagalized version anymore.

The Korean Drama or KDrama has it all to surely take you in for a ride. Good thing that we have Netflix now aside from VIU, they're now more available to a global audience.

Compared to others, I only have watched a short list of KDramas but I'd like to share my Top 5 favorites. God knows how many times I have watched them because they're just that good. My rating is based on storyline, how actors played their roles, personal impact and entertainment value.

I am not a film or a drama critic, I just wanna share why I picked them for my recommended list of Best Kdramas that I watched and am hoping that you might want to watch them too.

Rank: Top 5

Title: The Good Manager

Actors: Namgoong Min, Lee Jun Ho

Netflix Summary: The former accountant of a gangster becomes a manager at a corrupt company and experiences a change of heart when tasked with embezzling a fortune.

Thoughts: The Good Manager was an absolute joy to watch but I have to be honest, I was having a hard time on the first 40 minutes of the first episode. It's was too dragging and almost unbearable to watch. Good thing that the tone of the story changes on the last 20 minutes and I was hooked until the end.

I find it refreshing for a drama not to see any romance building up between characters since it revolves around friendship and helping each other get better and this is something that easily goes unnoticed due the gripping scenes that are well-directed and well-portrayed on every episode.

Despite the characters giving us some obvious hints on how the story will run, the plot ends up being unpredictable and somehow satisfying. The Min and Jun Ho tandem is cringeworthy and at the same time hilarious.

DinDin singing the OST entitled Must Be The Money is just so pop and fits the drama perfectly.

Rank: Top 4

Title: Guardian: The Lonely and Great God

Actors: Gong Yoo, Kim Go Eun, Lee Dong Wook

Netflix Summary: In his quest for a bride to break his immortality curse, a 939-year-old guardian of souls meets a grim reaper and a sprightly student with a tragic past.

Thoughts: Best known as Goblin, this is quite a warm drama, not too emotional but still leaves quite an impact. Both of the male leads did a great job portraying their characters and playing off each other's strengths. Their banters are to watch out for. Although I often find some of Go Eun solo scenes dragging and emotionless. Also it could have been better if they gave Yook Sung Jae more screen time after being possessed by the evil spirit — it would have given off a stronger conflict in the story.

Nevertheless, all the characters were thought out well and the CGIs were beautiful.

The storytelling of this drama just flows like a river by revealing the past very smoothly. Every episode is well-directed and amazingly detailed. Despite the aforementioned points, I believe this drama is too amazing and it would be an insult if I pull it down to a lower rank.

Rank: Top 3

Title: Itaewon Class

Actors: Park Seo Joon, Kim Da Mi

Netflix Summary: An ex-con and his friends fight to make their ambitious dream of having a street bar a reality.

Thoughts: Right from the get go, you know this is a binge worthy drama. It falls short on my top rank though because I still have a lot of unanswered questions. Nonetheless, this drama is very special as it emphasizes the lead's journey and highlights the importance of working hard in achieving one's goal.

In addition, I really liked how it was set in a simple and familiar place like Itaewon that made me think about finding hope in our daily lives despite the circumstance if we persevere — less the revenge back story.

One thing I like most about this drama is how social issues like race, gender, education and whatnot are being carefully addressed. This drama has so much heart and is sensational, emotional, interesting, and most importantly, worthwhile.

All supporting characters did a great job and fit well together which is truly delightful to watch. Park Seo Joon's performance as lead was spectacular as he fully embodied the transformative character. No offense to Kang Ha Neul after playing a role on When The Camellia Blooms, but I think PSJ deserved the Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actor in TV 2020 more.

This webtoon drama is sincere and honest. And let's not forget the OST "Start Over" by Gaho recently won the New K-Wave OST Award at Soribada Music Awards 2020.

Rank: Top 2

Title: The Beauty Inside

Actors: Seo Hyun Jin, Lee Min Ki

Netflix Summary: The love story between a top actress and an airline director who each suffers an unusual phenomenon. He suffers from prosopagnosia, while every month she transforms into someone else for a week.

Thoughts: The Beauty Inside has a unique storyline and was far way better than I thought it would be. Each episode was well-thought-of to convey its message to the audience. There's just the right amount of romance, conflicts and twists. Despite being so good, this drama is still quite underrated.

I love how the people behind this drama put more meaning into every episode by resolving conflict with great timing instead of blowing things up. Considering that this is a star-studded drama since the lead changes to a different person, it makes the audience think more about their own lives and the influences that shaped them. It's truly relatable.

Additionally, I really enjoyed all the casts as they perfectly captured the essence of their characters. Nothing was forced and even the supporting roles shone.

I cried buckets. I laughed out loud. I fell in love. This is the drama I re-watched the most.

Rank: Top 1

Title: While You Were Sleeping

Actors: Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy, Jung Hae-In

Netflix Summary: A young woman has visions through her dreams of terrible things that will happen to people in the future. A prosecutor tries to prevent these dreams from happening in real life.

Thoughts: While You Were Sleeping is filled to the brim with suspense, fantasy, connection and warmth that I personally didn't expect because of its legal drama/thriller theme. One great point is... the storytelling tied up dreams in solving crimes flawlessly in a way that fulfills your expectation from start to end. There were few minimal setbacks, but the suspense on every episode will keep you wanting to watch more. There were times though that I have to pause for a moment because some scenes are just emotionally overwhelming for me, but that's not a bad thing.

The vibe of While You Were Sleeping is totally different from any other Kdramas I've watched and I find it really impressive to see the creative elements of connecting past and future events, character developments, and how they stitched up the story to provide a jaw-dropping ending.

As for the characters, I am neither a fan of Lee Jong Suk nor Bae Suzy but their chemistry complemented well on this drama. Not to mention Jung Hae-In's charm who played a great role as well. Surprisingly, all the characters are likable.

When looking at the musical score, Henry Lau's "It's You" is just so heartwarming. I have it on my Spotify playlist and I literally listen to the song every single day.

I don't want to spoil this to those who haven't watched it yet but I genuinely feel that While You Were Sleeping shouldn't be overlooked, it will surely surprise you.

There you have it!  As of writing this post, they're currently standing on the right rank of my Best Korean Drama recommendations. There's still a lot more for me to watch, but until then, I am confident with my list.

If you're wondering which KDramas didn't make it to the cut, here are the rest from rank 6 to 20. They're all great, but I believe my Top 5 were better, relatable, engaging and exemplary.

Rank 6: Fight For My Way

Rank 7: It's Okay Not To Be Okay

Rank 8: Descendants of the Son

Rank 9: Legend of the Blue Sea

Rank 10: Memories of Alhambra

Rank 11: Crash Landing On You

Rank 12: Hospital Playlist 1

Rank 13: Doctor Stranger

Rank 14: My Secret, Terrius

Rank 15: Oh My Ghost 

Rank 16: Wok of Love

Rank 17: Her Private Life

Rank 18: W (Two Worlds)

Rank 19: The King: Eternal Monarch

Rank 20: What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim

Let me know what are your favorite KDramas on the comment box below.

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