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Underrated K-Dramas

This is a list of Korean dramas that I feel didn't get enough attention for whatever reason. Not in any special order. Take a look yourself and see what you think. Enjoy!

Missing: the Other Side

A village holds spirits of missing, deceased people. A search to find the missing bodies and discover the truth behind their disappearance occurs.

Kim Wook (Ko Soo) is a smooth talker and a good-looking man. He commits fraud to make a living. One day, he happens to arrive at Duon Village, where the missing dead gather. He soon faces numerous mysteries. Jang Pan-Seok (Heo Jun-Ho) is a mysterious figure. He secretly looks for missing people. He is the connection between Duon Village and the outside world. He becomes a fraud partner with Kim Wook and he solves cases.

Lee Jong-A (Ahn So-Hee) is Kim Wook's supporter. She is a white hat hacker out to gain social justice. She works as a law-ranking public officer at a community center as her day job. Shin Joon-Ho (Ha-Joon) is an elite detective. One month prior to his wedding with Choi Yeo-Na (Seo Eun-Su), his fiancé disappeared. To find her, he applies for the missing person squad.

The story here was very good and the paranormal elements done very well. Completely fascinating. I'm hoping for a season 2.

My Unfamiliar Family

Is blood thicker than water? Kim Eun Hee, is about to find out. She is the middle child in a family that is slowly starting to drift apart. Her older sister is a former patent attorney, and her younger brother is a sensitive soul. And although her father is hard-working, he is often distant – an attitude that has her mother poised to begin a new chapter in her life. While she pines for intimacy, Kim Eun Hee keeps her feelings hidden from her family. Instead, she prefers to confide in her close male college friend Park Chan Hyuk – a man who has become more like a brother to her than any of her real siblings. And it is to him that she turns for love advice as she looks to return to the dating scene after a long absence. But what happens when events take a turn? Could the family pull together in time to weather the storm? And when the going gets tough, will it be Kim Eun Hee’s family or her friends who step up to the plate? Stars Han Ye-ri, Kim Ji-suk, Jung Jin-young, and Won Mi-kyung.

A portrait of a dysfunctional family that does not communicate well with one another but because of parental crisis come to understand each other and more about themselves.


Hi Bye Mama

Cha Yu-Ri (Kim Tae-Hee) has been a ghost since she died 5 years ago. She left behind her husband Jo Kang-Hwa and their child. To become a human again, Cha Yu-Ri carries out a reincarnation project for 49 days.

Meanwhile, Jo Kang-Hwa (Lee Kyu-Hyung) works as a chest surgeon. He was loving, but, after his wife died, his personality changed. After 5 years, his wife Cha Yu-Ri reappears in front of him.

What to say about this drama? You will need to have lots tissues to get through it. There are moments of laughter and layers to this story. It's a really a beautiful drama. Just be prepared to get emotional...

Melo is My Nature

Im Jin-Joo (Chun Woo-Hee), Lee Eun-Jung (Jeon Yeo-Bin) and Hwang Han-Joo (Han Ji-Eun) are best friends and they are all 30-years-old.

Im Jin-Joo is a drama series writer. She has emotional ups and downs. Her personality is a bit unique. Even though she is a drama series writer, she tries to write her scripts with a literary style. She also makes conversation with a luxurious bag in a shop window.

Lee Eun-Jung is a documentary director. She has enjoyed documentaries since she was a child. She runs her own production company and she is the only staff member in the company. One of her documentaries becomes an unexpected hit.

Hwang Han-Joo is head of a marketing team for a drama series production company. She is a single mother. Hwang Han-Joo struggles to balance her work and raising a kid.

Melo is My Nature aka Be Melodramatic is a wonderful story of female friendships and the support and love shared. Also an excellent drama for depicting the progression of a drama script from the writing process to getting it produced.  

Catch the Ghost

“Catch the Ghost” tells the story of a police squad that guards the subway and tries to hunt down an infamous serial killer known as “The Ghost.” Moon Geun Young plays passionate rookie officer Yoo Ryung, and Kim Seon Ho plays her by-the-book boss Go Ji Seok.

This drama was a good mix of comedy and drama. It was a good mystery. And it also showcased the difficult role of caregivers, the burden of responsibility and the emotional and physical toll. It was very well done. 

Clean with Passion for Now

Jang Sun-Gyeol has mysophobia (fear of germs) and runs a cleaning company. He meets Gil O-Sol. She has a bright personality and she does not mind getting dirty. With the help of Gil O-Sol, Jang Sun-Gyeol faces his mysophobia and also falls in love with Gil O-Sol. This is based on a web comic Ildan Ddeugeobge Chungsohara. Stars Yoon Gyun-SangKim You-Jung, and Song Jae-Rim.

We learn about the mental illness of mysophobia and its effects on a person's life. There was plenty of comedy because you have a character suffering from this condition falling in love with someone who is messy in their habits. Resolution of grief is also part of this story. The chemistry of the actors, especially the leads, is phenomenal. 

The Package

Yoon So-So (Lee Yeon-Hee) works as a travel guide in France. She leads a group of tourists on a package tour. The travelers all have their own stories. San Ma-Roo (Jung Yong-Hwa) joined the tour after being dumped by his girlfriend. Kim Gyung-Jae (Choi Woo-Sik) has been dating for the past 10 years. A mysterious man (Yoon Park) seems to follow Yoon So-So. Jung Yeon-Sung (Ryu Seung-Soo) joined the package tour with a partner, but he will not reveal what kind of relationship they are in. Han So-Ran (Ha Shi-Eun) is a web designer and agonizes over staying single or marriage. Oh Gab-Soo (Jeong Gyu-Su) is extremely stubborn. Han Book-Ja (Lee Ji-Hyeon) spent most of her life taking care of her husband. Na Hyun (Park Yoo-Na) is a woman whom other people cannot guess her age. They all do not want to become involved in each other's personal lives, but, while they travel together, they become closer and develop relationships.

If this drama doesn't make you want to visit France I don't know what would. Beautiful scenery and wonderful stories about the people who joined this tour. This was CN Blue's Jung Yong-Hwa's last drama before he went into military service. Definitely worth a watch. 2017.

Welcome to Waikiki aka Laughter in Waikiki

Kang Dong-Goo (Kim Jung-Hyun) dreams of becoming a movie director, but he is cynical due to bad luck. Cheon Joon-Ki (Lee Yi-Kyung) wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become an actor, but he is now just a minor actor. Bong-Doo-Sik (Son Seung-Won) came to Seoul to become a scenario writer, but things have not been easy for him.

These 3 men run the guest house Waikiki in Itaewon, South Korea. Their guest house is facing bankruptcy and then a mysterious baby and single mother appear at Waikiki.

I'm a sucker for slapstick so of course I did nothing but laugh through this. It was consistently funny and the baby was a wonderful actress besides be adorable.

Feel Good to Die

Lee Roo-Da (Baek Jin-Hee) tries to reform her boss Baek Jin-Sang (Kang Ji-Hwan) to become a better person and a better boss.

Baek Jin-Sang is Lee Roo-Da’s boss and he works as a team leader of a company. The team members, including Lee Roo-Da, do not like him at all. He is mean and arrogant to the employees. He always believes he is right. On the night of November 7th, Lee Roo-Da has a dream of her boss being hit by a truck. The next morning she wakes up and finds that it is still November 7th.

Of course there are comparisons to Ground Hog Day here. This is an entertaining workplace story featuring the evolution of a manager becoming a better boss and person. It bums me that Kang Ji-Hwan went and screwed up his career with a scandal. I've enjoyed his acting in the past and will miss seeing him in future dramas.

Queen of Mystery

Yoo Seol-Ok liked mystery novels and wanted to become a detective, but she gave up her dream after marrying. Now, she is a housewife with a husband who works as a prosecutor. She meets Ha Wan-Seung. He is a passionate detective and they decide to collaborate to solve cases. Choi Gang-Hee and Kwon Sang-Woo star.

If you are a lover of mysteries and comedy, you will appreciate this drama. The lead characters were billed as Korea's Holmes and Watson. They have really good chemistry. Also Choi Gang-hee's middle-aged housewife evolving and realizing her own worth and independence is wonderful to watch.

Heart to Heart

Cha Hong-Do (Choi Gang-Hee) suffers from social phobia and has a problem with severe blushing. She does have a strong sense of curiosity and learns from books and the internet. One day, Cha Hong-Do's grandmother dies. Her grandmother was her only contact to the outside world. Cha Hong-Do then begins doing housework as a maid, but disguises herself as an elderly woman. Through an incident, she meets a psychiatrist, Ko Yi-Seok (Chun Jung-Myung).

Interesting story and well-acted.

Because This is My First Life

Because This is My First Life

A house-poor man and homeless woman become housemates in a drama that examines the institution of marriage and the problems that young people face today.

Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) is a single man in his early 30’s. He has chosen to not marry. He owns his home, but he owes a lot on his mortgage. Meanwhile, Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) is a single woman in her early 30’s. She does not own a home and envies those that do. She has given up on dating due to her financial struggles. Yoon Ji Ho begins to live at Nam Se Hee’s house. They become housemates.

Another great drama that depicts female friendships. Male friendships are also included. The chemistry of all the actors involved is wonderful. Also noted for avoiding some of the more annoying tropes found in k-dramas.



Second to Last Love

It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love. Talented, bold, and beautiful. These are just some adjectives that describe Kang Min-joo, a charismatic director who has produced number of hit romance TV shows. Having dedicated her youth to her career, she has become a middle aged woman who’s gotten used to eating alone and drinking alone. However instead of feeling empty and bitter, she’s determined to enjoy her single life to the fullest and grow old in style. When she moves to Woori City to escape the air pollution of Seoul, she becomes a neighbor of Ko Sang-shik, who’s become a safety freak after losing his wife in an accident 15 years earlier. He is an epitome of responsibility who takes care not only of his daughter but his siblings and even residents of Woori city. His new neighbor Min-jung and her behaviors baffle him at first. However, as they get to know each other, the monotonous and serene life of Sang-shik starts to turn turbulent, hectic, and exciting. Stars Kim Hee-AeJi Jin-HeeKwak Si-Yang, and Kim Seul-Gi. This is a remake of the Japanese drama Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi.

This can be appreciated by the mature k-drama fans. It's low-key but charming. And as usual Kim Seul-gi brings her fantastic energy to yet another drama as a secondary character. Why don't they just give her lead in a regular drama. She always brings a spark to whatever production she is in.

One More Happy Ending

Han Mi-Mo (Jang Na-Ra), Baek Da-Jung (Yoo Da-In), Go Dong-Mi (Yoo In-Na) and Hong Ae-Ran (Seo In-Young) were once members of idol group “Angels.” Han Mi-Mo now works as a rep for a remarriage consulting business. She is also divorced. Her former bandmate Baek Da-Jung is also a rep at the same company. She married a rich man, but her marriage is on the rocks. Go Dong-Mi is now an elementary school teacher. She is single and feels lonely. Hong Ae-Ran is a representative for an internet shopping mall. The women are still friends. Song Soo-Hyuk (Jung Kyoung-Ho) is a reporter and a single father. He has a friend, Goo Hae-Joon (Kwon Yool), who is a doctor and single. Song Soo-Hyuk and Goo Hae-Joon become involved with the women.

A good older female friends story starring Jang Nara. Yoo In-Na is at her least glamorous in this drama. Conan O'Brien makes a cameo and speaks Korean. That in of itself is reason enough to give this one a look-see. 2016

Seonam Girls' High School Investigators

Five students are members of a private investigator club at Seonam Girls High School. The five students face problems like private education, abortion, bullying, suicide. They do their best to solve these problems. One of the first dramas in which Hyeri and Stephanie Lee were cast. Some of the stories they told were relatively risque for the time. 1914.

High End Crush

Choi Se-Hoon (Jung Il-Woo) is the successful CEO of a management company. He does an excellent job at his work and he is handsome. Choi Se-Hoon is also arrogant. Yoo Yi-Ryeong (Jin Se-Yun) has lived on a mountain alone, since her grandfather died. She doesn't have a desire for success or money. She is beautiful. One day, she comes to the city. She gets involved with Choi Se-Hoon due to top idol Min-Joo (Yoon Bo-Ra). Choi Se-Hoon wants to make a contract with Yoo Yi-Ryeong, but she turns him down. Even though Yoo Yi-Ryeong turns down his offer, Choi Se-Hoon does not give up. He becomes attracted to her. I'm a big Jung Il Woo fan so I really appreciated him in this web series from 2018.

Naeil's Cantabile

Yoo-Jin (Joo Won) is a university student majoring in piano. He has a world famous pianist father, exceptional music talent and attractive appearance, but his one weakness is that he can't ride in an airplane or boat due to a childhood trauma. Because of his phobia, Yoo-Jin is unable to travel to Europe to learn conducting even though he badly wants to become a conductor.

One day, Yoo-Jin gets drunk and falls asleep on the doorstep of Nae-Il (Shim Eun-Kyung). She lives next door to Yoo-Jin. The next morning, he wakes up and finds himself in a room full of trash and he sees Nae-Il. Nae-Il falls in love with him and follows him around. Nae-Il is also a piano major and takes lessons from Professor Ahn Gun-Sung (Namgung Yeon). Yoo-Jin is soon assigned to take lessons from Professor Ahn Gun-Sung as well. His arrogance has led him to take lessons from Professor Ahn Gun-Sung rather than Professor Do Gang-Jae (Lee Byung-Joon) who is renown for instructing many famous pianists. Professor Ahn Gun-Sung then assigns Yoo-Jin to perform a piano duet with Nae-Il. At first, Yoo-Jin insists that Nae-Il follows his instructions, but he soon changes and accepts her way to play the piano.

Yoo-Jin then hears that world-famous conductor Franz Stresemann (Baek Yoon-Sik) will be coming to his university. Yoo-Jin is ecstatic, because he can learn from Franz Stresemann without going to Europe. Yoo-Jin is unaware though that Franz Stresemann dislikes his father and his famous childhood musical instructor Vieira.

I couldn't find a good trailer so I included this music video. This is the first drama I ever saw Park Bo Gum in. Also you will recognize other faces who have gone on to become popular actors. You will love the music. Some fun stuff. 2014.