You’re finally finished with all your homework and ready to enjoy the rest of your night, but you’re trapped inside your room. You don’t have enough energy to play video games or call any of your friends. All you want to do is relax and watch TV. You don’t have enough time for a whole movie, but you want to watch something just as entertaining. That’s when Korean dramas come to the rescue.
International dramas are trending, and they are perfect for quarantine. Whether it be Japanese dramas, Chinese dramas, telenovelas, Korean dramas or shows from any other country, people turn to dramas for a quick story. I like Korean dramas for their engaging, serial storytelling. Let me introduce you to a few of my favorites.
1. Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)
In “Kill Me, Heal Me,” the main character is Cha Do-hyun, a man with dissociative identity disorder. Do-hyun is seeking help, but he has to keep it a secret from his family because he is a businessman — revealing his disorder might injure his family’s name.
When Do-hyun goes to study overseas, he seeks help from a doctor named Suk Ho-pil. Do-hyun returns to Korea and finds Suk Ho-pil, who introduces him to Oh Ri-jin — a female pupil that one of Do-hyun’s stronger personalities seems to like. Ri-jin decides to secretly help Do-hyun and moves in with him. While she is treating him, she meets all six of his other personalities and learns a secret about their shared past.
2. Cinderella and the Four Knights (2016)
Much like many Korean dramas, “Cinderella and the Four Knights” tells you exactly what’s coming right in the title. The drama starts by explaining the life of Eun Ha-won, the main character. She works with her dad, helping him deliver fried chicken. Meanwhile, all the “knights” grew up rich and act however they please. One of the knights, Kang Hyun-min, is a party animal, and when he is out with his friends, he accepts a challenge to take the first girl who walks into the club to his dad’s second wedding.
The first girl happens to be Eun Ha-won, and Hyun-min immediately takes back his word. But after he sees how Ha-won deals with a rude customer, he changes his mind, thinking that it’ll be entertaining. After a full makeover, they get to the wedding, but Hyun-min is disrespectful and stubborn, so Ha-won steps in and teaches him a lesson.
Seeing her skills, Chairman Kang Jong-du — the knights’ grandfather — decides to hire her as their caretaker. The only catch is that she cannot have a romantic relationship with any of the knights, as she is of lower status.
She moves into their mansion and meets the rest of the knights, eventually learning that each one has their own charismatic personality that showcases their individual kindness.
3. Memories of the Alhambra (2018)
What if virtual reality became our actual reality? In “Memories of the Alhambra” the creator of a groundbreaking augmented reality game suddenly goes missing. Two rivals, Yoo Jin-woo, the CEO of an investment company, and Jung Hee-joo, the owner of a hostel, enter the game in hopes of finding the other first. They both become caught up in strange incidents, and soon, the line between reality and fiction begins to blur.
4. Itaewon Class (2020)
Sae Ro-yi hasn’t had the easiest life. When he was in high school, he was expelled for punching Jang Geun-won, the son of a CEO, for bullying a classmate. To make matter’s worse, Geun-won also ends up driving drunk and kills Sae Ro-yi’s dad.
Enraged, Sae Ro-yi beats up Geun Won and is later sentenced to three years in prison. While there, he takes the time to meditate and learn patience and kindness. He’s released three years later and finds that everything has changed.
During this beloved, highly-rated drama that focuses on the themes of forgiveness and persistence, Sae Ro-yi faces some unimaginable hardships, but with the love and support of friends both old and new, he eventually reaches the top.