With undoubtedly stressful times like these, everybody needs something to soothe your soul; and what better way to do so than by watching some wholesome, heartwarming Korean dramas? We’ve compiled a list of some moving Korean dramas from recent years that will let you (safely) break your heart and patch it up again. The best part? All of these dramas are available to watch on (USA) Netflix!
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Hometown Cha Cha Cha
This 2015 drama provides viewers with a nostalgic look back at Korea in the 1980s through the lives of five families and their five teenage kids living in a small neighborhood in Seoul. Reply 1988 follows Sung Deok Sun (Lee Hye Ri), a middle child from a poor family with a low ranking in school; Kim Jung Hwan (Ryu Jun Yeol), a soccer player who focuses on his sport above all else; Sung Sun Woo (Ko Gyung Pyo), a perfect student, student council president and a caring soln; Ryu Dong Ryong (Lee Dong Hwi), a geek with a high EQ and low IQ, who worries about being able to go to college; and Choi Taek (Park Bo Gum), a genius baduk player who dropped out of school to go professional.
Since its release, viewers have laughed, cried, and smiled at this group of friends’ adventures as they navigate life and gain experiences that change who they are.
Age of Youth / Hello, My Twenties!
Age of Youth (2016) is a slice-of-life story about five girls who live together in a sharehouse called "Belle Epoque", and how they connect over the growing pains in their youth. This upbeat and heartwarming drama follows Yoon Jin Myung (Han Ye Ri), a workaholic and student who suffers from lack of sleep; Jung Ye Eun (Han Seung Yeon), is devoted to her boyfriend, she is clear about what she likes or not; Song Ji Won (Park Eun Bin), a bright and bubbly party girl with a penchant for drinking; Kang Yi Na (Ryu Hwa Young), a girl popular due to her beautiful appearance; and newcomer Yoo Eun Jae (Park Hye Soo), who has a deep-seated trauma from her past. Together, the girls face relatable modern-day issues of dating, self-image, and interpersonal relationships.
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
This 2020 drama features the story of Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun) and his autistic older brother Moon Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se), who frequently move from town to town since Sang-tae witnessed their mother's murder. Gang-Tae works as a caretaker in a psychiatric ward at every place they settle in; and it is at one of these wards where Gang-tae meets Ko Moon-young (Seo Yea-ji), a children’s book writer who is rumored to have antisocial personality disorder. When Gang-tae and Sang-tae move back to their hometown, Gang-tae forms a romantic connection with Moon-young, leading to all three characters slowly uncovering long-buried secrets and healing each other’s emotional wounds. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is known for showing audiences exactly that, and has been the recipient of praise for its focus on mental health and healing from trauma.
Move To Heaven
The most recently released drama in this list, Move To Heaven (2021) is inspired by the essay "Things Left Behind" by Kim Sae-byul, a former “trauma cleaner”, someone responsible for cleaning up crime scenes. The drama follows Geu-ru (Tang Jun-sang), who has Asperger syndrome, and his ex-convict uncle Sang-gu (Lee Je-hoon); who meet for the first time after the sudden death of Geu-ru's father. After becoming Geu-ru’s new guardian, Sang-gu joins his nephew to help run the family trauma cleaning company “Move to Heaven.” Throughout the series, Geu-ru and Sang-gu uncover the untold stories of the deceased whilst also dealing with their painful family history and the traumatic incident that landed Sang-gu in jail. Despite being a new release, Move To Heaven has been praised for its showcasing of the heartfelt journey of Geu-ru, Sang-gu, as the two help families heal from their trauma whilst also resolving their own.
Have you seen any of these dramas? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to see what else Korean entertainment has to offer? Check out our blog:
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