K-Dramas to Binge over Holiday Break
Midterms and finals seasons are finally over, and the holiday break is here! Even for those of us stuck in the professional life, a few days of rest are imminent. During the grind of daily life, it’s quite difficult to find time to sit down and enjoy our entertainment, so take advantage of this free time at the end of the year to relax, unwind, and relish in these truly binge-worthy shows.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty
Arguably one of the best dramas to air in 2018, My ID is Gangnam Beauty features Im Soohyang and ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo as the main couple Kang Mirae and Do Kyungseok. The drama adaptation of a popular webtoon depicts the story of a young girl that struggled all her life with her looks, deciding to get plastic surgery to completely restructure her face before entering college in an attempt to begin fresh and live what she considers a “normal” life. In a surprising twist, former classmate Do Kyungseok joins the same department as her in college, making her fear that her secret will get out to the rest of her peers.
Throughout the story we see the important message of looking beyond outer beauty and not judging a person’s character based on their looks. It’s hard not to become totally sucked into the development of Mirae and Kyungseok’s relationship, from the time he protects her from a particularly pushy sunbae to later on when he begins to admire her for standing up for herself. Kyungseok is not a very emotionally expressive character, but as the drama goes on, subtle changes in his facial expressions towards Mirae become apparent and that adoration that starts to become known is absolutely addicting. If you need a feel-good drama with a lovely message, this drama will surely be one of your favorites!
Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds
While sitting and painstakingly waiting for the new episodes of Encounter, I found myself in need of a serious Park Bogum fix in between episode releases, which led me to his last lead role in historical production Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds. Travel back into the late Joseon era, to the story of the Lee family trying to maintain power amidst rebellion, outwardly from the Hong family and internally from the Kim family. Our favorite male actor plays crown prince Lee Yeong, a rather immature young man who is known for being unpredictable. Kim Yoojung plays our female lead Hong Raon, a woman who was raised to live as a man under the name Samnom and is eventually sold off to the government by some thugs and becomes a eunuch.
As the two have a few fateful encounters even before Raon’s induction into the eunuchs, the relationship between the two begins to blossom as Raon is the first person to treat the prince on the same level, as opposed to a revered being. Raon was originally unaware of his status as the crown prince and instead saw him as an equal. Yeong becomes confused as he develops feelings for his eunuch, and rumors run rampant among a divided palace that threaten his position. As the series unfolds, more twists and turns unveil themselves between the brawling families, as well as the forbidden romance blossoming between Yeong and Raon. The series does have a heavy amount of angst towards the later episodes, but the light and warm early episodes make for a drama that’s impossible to stop watching until the very end.
While You Were Sleeping
Get your needed Lee Jongsuk fix with the 2017 hit While You Were Sleeping! The story focuses around Jung Jaechan (Lee Jongsuk), Nam Hongjoo (Bae Suzy), and Han Wootak (Jung Haein). The three are tied together by a supernatural phenomenon that allows each of them to see the future in their dreams, with these dreams often tied to untimely deaths of one another. Hongjoo works as a reporter, Jaechan as a prosecutor, and Wootak as a police officer, so the trio is able to work together to prevent certain premonitions they each have.
The drama has an addicting edge to it brought on by the concerning premonitions and the nail-biting moments that proceed those premonitions coming true. As the story unfolds, it’s hard not to get sucked into the romance between Jaechan and Hongjoo as it advances. Plus, the love triangle isn’t nearly as unbearable as it often can become in other romance dramas, with Wootak’s character remaining the epitome of a gentlemen as he realizes the other two are building a relationship. In addition to the supernatural and crime elements, this drama also has its fair share of romantic, comedic, and suspenseful moments as well.
100 Days My Prince
Travel back to ancient Joseon with Nam Jihyun and EXO’s Do Kyungsoo! Kyunsoo plays crown prince Lee Yul, reluctant of his title as his father had taken the throne via a massive coup with the help of the vice premier. He believed that the girl he promised to marry had been killed in this coup, leaving him a cold and distant nobleman who resented his family and the government. He is unaware that the object of his affections, Yoon Yiseo, survived and has been living undercover by the name Hongshim in a nearby village since the coup.
Many years later during a huge and problematic drought, Yul is sent to perform a rain ritual in his father’s place. During the journey he is attacked by assassins and barely escapes with his life. Hongshim’s foster father finds him terribly wounded on the mountain and nurses him back to health, learning that he suffers from serious amnesia and doesn’t remember who he is. Before disappearing, Yul ordered every single person in the kingdom to get married, putting the perpetual bachelorette Hongshim in trouble. Her father convinces Yul that he is named Wondeuk, a man from the village who left previously to complete military service. Due to the order, Hongshim ends up marrying Wondeuk, with neither of the two knowing each other’s identity. The story unfolds as truths come to light and the two learn each other’s true identities while struggling through this arranged marriage.
Legend of the Blue Sea
Missing Lee Minho while he’s away completing his military dues? If so, jump back to Legend of the Blue Sea for a great story and your fix of the actor. Minho plays Heo Joonjae, the son of a rich businessman who branched off from his family after his parents divorced and now makes a living as a con-man (isn’t that charming?). His fate becomes entangled with mermaid Shim Cheong (Jun Jihyun), whom he ends up crossing paths with while on holiday in Spain. While he leaves her behind to return to Seoul, she swims her way across the globe and ends up wandering around in the same city looking for him.
The story is tied together with a parallel unfolding of this romance during the Joseon era, with the two counterparts being nobleman Kim Damryeong and mermaid Sehwa, who had saved the boy from drowning when he was young. The series continually jumps between the two times, showing parallel circumstances that become concerning as it appears their Joseon counterparts end up with a tragic fate. The drama contains elements of mystery, crime, comedy, and romance, all tied neatly together into an addicting story.
Whether you’re looking for a modern tale or a historical anecdote to get sucked into this holiday season, our recommendations are sure to cover any and all drama genres you could possibly want. Go forth and binge!