The holiday season is upon us and the air is filled with happiness and cheer. Regardless of whether you celebrate a holiday around this time of year or not, many people around the globe tend to get a little time off from their day-to-day hustle and bustle. For those who are stuck at home, here are some all-time favorite dramas to binge-watch this holiday break as you laze around. What better way to spend your holiday than this?
K-Dramas of Present
Nothing screams holiday break more than indulging in a heartwarming drama. Gear up for the hours spent in front of your TV, computer, or tablet with plenty of snacks and refreshments as you dive into the plethora of episodes.
Whether your preference is for a comedy, romance, or historical theme, there are plenty of great choices to pick from. Starting off with comedy, get ready to hold your sides from the laughter that will ensue. Following the plot of a gangster turned good boy will send you into non-stop laughter mode with Chief Kim.
If you are looking for a good drama to sweep you off of your feet, check out a modern twist on Korean folklore seen in Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. The drama stars Gong Yoo, Kim Goeun, and Lee Dongwook, showing them breaking through the barriers of love despite time and age. My Love From Another Star is another favorite with a sci-fi twist to your typical love story. Throw in a little mystery and suspense with the drama Mask as actors Soo Ae and Ju Jihoon will have you on the edge of your seats wondering if their love will last.
If history is your cup of tea, take a trip back in time with some fantastic historical dramas. Time travel with IU as she stars in the fabulous yet heart-wrenching drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo with Lee Joonki. If you are a fan of Lee Joonki, then Iljimae, which is a Joseon Dynasty Robin Hood tale, will be a treat! Another all-time favorite includes the story of the growing relationship between a group of boys who will one day become the ruling elite in Hwarang, which features actors Park Seojoon, Go Ara, Park Hyunsik, and BTS member Kim Taehyung.
Classics of the Past
Whether you were swept into K-Dramas by the Hallyu Wave or one day suddenly found yourself enjoying more and more Korean movies and TV shows, one cannot deny the gems of earlier K-Dramas. Starting off on this list is Secret Garden which aired in 2010 and starred the ever-talented Ha Jiwon and Hyun Bin, who is famous for his statement tracksuits that he sports throughout the drama.
Next up is one of the most lovable dramas of its time! Coffee Prince, which aired in 2007, follows Yoon Eunhye’s tomboyish character, Go Eunchan, as she secures a job as a barista at an all-male coffee shop to support her family. Eunchan’s secret, unbeknownst to the male lead character (played by actor Gong Yoo) who presumes that Go Eunchan is male, makes for a controversial story that tells of the struggle of a love regardless of gender.
Yoon Eunhye continued to play a variety of roles during this time, including one in Korea’s spin on a modern day Cinderella. Goong, also fondly known as Princess Hours, aired in 2006 and was widely popular and contributed greatly to the early Hallyu Wave along with Coffee Prince. Viewers will instantly fall in love with the cute teddy bear cut scenes which helped spur actors Ju Jihoon, Yoon Eunhye, Kim Jeonghoon, and Song Jihyo further into stardom.
It’s Okay, That’s Love
First up on this list is It's Okay, That's Love which aired in late 2014. As a medical romance melodrama, It’s Okay, That’s Love focuses on the complicated love between a famous writer, Jang Jaeyeol (Jo Insung), and psychiatrist, Ji Haesoo (Gong Hyojin). The plot dives into the paradigm of Jang Jaeyeol, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and his girlfriend Ji Haesoo, who suffers from her own inner fear and conflicting feelings about being in a relationship, as they navigate through their own personal demons to find and accept love. This drama phenomenally builds up and delves into the complexity of mental health in hand with romance to lighten up the heavy topic. Additionally, actors Sung Dongil, Lee Kwangsoo, and EXO’s Do Kyungsoo do an amazing job portraying their complex roles.
If you like It’s Okay, That’s Love then check out the 2015 drama Kill Me, Heal Me which twists a little bit of rom-com, mental health, and mystery together. Like It’s Okay, That’s Love, the drama Kill Me, Heal Me, which stars Ji Sung and Hwang Jungeum, delves into meanings and effects of mental disorders, such as dissociative identity disorder, childhood traumas, and abuse. With recent acknowledgement of Korea’s lack of mental illness awareness, these dramas may be people’s first look at starting to learn and understand a variety of mental illnesses. While deep and dark topics, these dramas are well written and are presented in a heartwarming way, balancing the dark with a dollop of hope, love, and support.
The last drama that must be mentioned is Winter Sonata which aired in 2002. Playing an influentially prominent role in the splash that the Hallyu Wave had across the globe, Winter Sonata is the ultimate tragic love story and tear-jerker. The drama tells the tale of two young lovers, Joonsang (played by Bae Yongjoon) and Yoojin (played by Choi Jiwoo), who were suddenly torn apart when Joonsang was injured in a car accident. While Yoojin believed Joonsang to be dead, Joonsang, who suffers from amnesia due to his accident, forgets all about his past. When faith brings them back together years later, Yoojin finds herself struggling to express her old love to someone who doesn’t even recognize her. Through the amazing cinematography and memorable locations, such as the iconic scenes shot at Nami Island, Winter Sonata swept the hearts of millions of people.