From robots to radio lovers, 2018 has been a dynamic year for K-Drama releases. We’re counting down some of the must-see Korean dramas based on fan favourites and award-winning titles:take a look!

10. The Korean Odyssey (화유기)

hwayugi korean drama

Just scraping it in at the end of December 2017, running until March 2018, The Korean Odyssey (화유기) is a tale that every fantasy lover is sure to get hooked on.

The Korean Odyssey tells the story of Jeon Seon-Mi, a girl that can talk to the dead, who made the mistake of releasing a demon, Son Oh-Gong, from his confines when she was just a little girl. Jeon Seon Mi finds herself in all sorts of danger later in life, which leads her back to meeting Oh-Gong again amidst his feud with powerful rival demon, Ma Wang. As both demons hunt to collect the true light of the world, Jeon Seon-Mi is tangled in troubles of her own, ones that Oh-Gong is sworn to protect her from when she calls his name.

You should watch this drama if:

This series is a must watch for anyone looking for a dark twist to their usual drama addiction. If in 2017, you found yourself drawn to dramas with mermaids (The Legend of the Blue Sea), goblins (Goblin: The Lonely and Great God) and grim reapers (The Universe’s Star), then The Korean Odyssey will surely quench your thirst for all things supernatural.

Moreso, The Korean Odyssey broke records for the most watched TvN drama in its time slot. It faced controversy for glitches during the broadcast of episode 2, but still remained highly regarded during its run.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramago (Inside Korea)


9. I’m Not A Robot (로봇이 아니야)

im not a robot korean drama

Kicking off the android trend for 2018, I’m Not A Robot follows a dramatic plot line filled with comical near misses, dramatic turns and heartwarming romance. In a bid to manage his life threatening allergy of humans, chaebol Min-Kyu (Yoo Seung-Ho) assists the help of Aji 3, an android modelled in the shape of its creator’s ex girlfriend, Jin-A (Chae Soo-Bin). When Aji 3 malfunctions, creator Baek-Gyun begs for Jin-A’s help for a generous share of the funds. Jin-A is then roped into acting as a robot in place of Aji 3, and things grow complicated when Min-Kyu and Jin-A find themselves feeling some very real, very human emotions.

You should watch this drama if:

If you’re a fan of sci-fi that doesn’t go too heavy handed into the logistics of robotics and AI, this drama is for you. The series is a palate cleanser from the typical drama tricks and traits, but still relies on love triangles, cliff hangers and nail-biting reveals to drive the story. Chae Soo-Bin also plays a great lead alongside Yoo Seung-Ho, who both show some sizzling chemistry on screen.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


8. Suits (슈츠)

suits korean drama

Created in the image of the American series of the same name, Suits follows lawyer Choi Kyung-Seo (Jang Dong-Gun), a legendary figure in his field, and his new apprentice Go Yun-Woo (Park Hyun-Sik). With Go Yun-Woo’s photogenic memory, he makes a reliable asset to the team, a pair that goes beyond simply defending clients and writing reports.

These two handsome protagonists in business suits break down the barriers that surround cold, harsh lawyer stereotypes, bringing the audience a tale of suspense, mystery, action and romance.

You should watch this if:

If you’re a nut for the original seven year running US series, then the Korean version is a worthy addition to your list. This Korean makeover of the series had even the original cast excited, with Gabriel Macht tweeting out and wishing the new cast all the best in telling the Suits story. However, Suits is not to be confused as just a simple remake, as it holds the same dramatic storytelling techniques that lovers of Korean dramas can truly appreciate.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


7. Where Stars Land (여우각시별)

where stars land drama

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your local airport? Although Where Stars Land may be an exaggerated retelling, this drama follows the lives of employees at South Korea’s famous Incheon Airport, a place many of us have visited during our time abroad. Lee Soo-Yeon (Lee Je-Hoon) is a member of the General Planning division, and is a little standoffish when it comes to getting to know the team, which in “K-Drama language” means there’s more to his character than meets the eye. He is drawn to Han Yeo-Reum (Chae Soo-Bin), a first year member of the Passenger Services team, who strives to be a perfectionist despite all her clumsy mistakes. Soo-Yeon’s stoic facade and Yeo-Reom’s butterfingers makes for an interesting couple to watch develop on screen.

You should watch this if:

This drama is a top hit for many, but especially those who enjoy watching couples flourish and fall inbetween company walls. The series was originally gunning for 40 episodes, but ended at 32 for unknown reasons, which has led to complaints of a rushed ending and loose ends. However, it is a treat to see Soo-Yeon’s cold heart being melted for Yeo-Reum, enough to have viewers a little teary in key scenes toward the end.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


6. Radio Romance (라디오 로맨스)

radio romance drama

Romance sparked in the workplace is always an exciting watch, and it’s no different for the January to March running series Radio Romance featuring idol actor Yoon Doo-Joon and Kim So-Hyun. In this drama, Song Geu-Rim, an assistant writer for a radio show, faces the possibility of her show being cancelled when their DJ up and leaves Korea without notice. Geu-Rim is advised that if she recruits famous actor Ji Soo-Ho as their new radio jockey, she can keep the show afloat. The only problem is, Soo-Ho can’t work without a script, and Geu-Rim, despite her experience as an in-house script writer, isn’t the best when it comes to writing.

This leads to various ups and downs throughout the drama, including a few close calls, a trending back hug scene, and a blossoming relationship that’s sure to fill a few watching eyes with tears.

You should watch this if:

If you’re into a bit of slice of life, and want to have a look at what goes on behind a radio booth, then this drama is right up your alley. There are a few cliche moments here and there, but this drama really focuses on the trials and tribulations of keeping a small business alive, comparing it alongside the “golden life” of a celebrity, which humbles Yoon Doo-Joon’s character. If you like music, this drama has a stellar OST, including songs from NakJoon, NCT-U and Hae-Bin of gugudan.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


5. Are You Human Too? (너도 인간이니)

are you human too drama

The second drama to come from the android trend of 2018 is the tear-jerking action romance series starring Seo Kang-Joon, a reputable force in the acting industry.

Nam Shin, the son of a large conglomerate company, is taken from his mother, Oh Ro-Ra, at a young age. Ro-Ra, a brain scientist and AI specialist, recreates him in the form of an android to fill the void losing her son left behind. When Nam Shin falls into a coma, the company recruits the android to fill the roles that the real son left behind. As Nam Shin III tries to cover up the accident, the plot spirals into a place of no return, and thickens when more people start to discover that Nam Shin isn’t the same as he used to be.

You should watch this if:

If you’re a fan of sci-fi and action, as well as suspense and drama, this show will certainly make it on the list of your favourites. The story continuously tips and turns, which makes for an exciting series to get into. Seeing Seo Kang-Joon in action alongside Gong Seung Yeon’s performance is enough to have you riding the robot sci-fi trend that’s taken drama fans in 2018 by storm this year. It also has some good pacing, and a few shocking plot twists to boot.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


4. Marry Me Now (같이 살래요)

marry me now drama

Like most family focused dramas go, Marry Me Now (or “Shall We Live Together?” follows various love lines that make up a melting pot of different generations on the one screen. It mainly follows the family of Park Hyo-Seob (Yoo Dong-Geun), a widower who has devoted his life to raising his four children until his first love appears again, and Mr. Park falls hopelessly. At the same time, his eldest daughter Park Sun-Ha (Park Sun-Young) finds herself smitten for a much younger member of the company she manages, some news that her family finds hard to swallow. Park Yoo-Ha (Han Ji-Hye), the story’s main, is forced to keep her divorce a secret by her ex-husband’s chaebol family, and the blackmail leads her into some desperate job hunting at local hospitals to sustain herself. This secret weighs heavily on Yoo-Ha, which is the start of many tangling lies that eventually has her mixed up with the cranky internist, Jung Eun-Tae (Lee Sang-Woo), known as the hospital’s “Mad Dog”.

The stories cleverly intertwine within each other, which is what makes Marry Me Now the 11th Korea Drama Awards’ Grand Prize for 2018.

You should watch this if:

If you’re a fan of subplots, then this drama hits the jackpot. It is a long running series (50 episodes long) that is more like an investment than a short stint, but if you prefer dramas that suck you in and give you ample chance to get attached to the characters, Marry Me Now is right up your alley. It is said it be slightly confusing at times, and viewers have a hard time getting to know all the plotlines fully, but most fanatics of the show have found themselves hooked after a few episodes in.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


3, My ID Is Gangnam Beauty (내 아이디는 강남미인)

my id is gangnam beauty drama

Despite the title, this drama doesn’t reveal the lives of the rich and wealthy Gangnam locals, but rather the youthful and beautiful Kang Mi-Rae (Park Joo-Mi). After a childhood of being bullied for her weight and appearance, Mi-Rae decides to transform her face through plastic surgery, earning her the name “Gangnam Beauty”. Starting fresh in her new college shoes, Mi-Rae is regarded as one of the most beautiful girls in her department. But when a blast from her past appears in the form of Do Kyeong-Seok (Cha Eun-Woo), an old classmate of hers, Mi-Rae comes to realise that no matter how much appearances change, the past never will.

You should watch this drama if:

My ID is Gangnam Beauty is for all those drama fans who love a coming of age story, but one told through the eyes of someone not as confident as college kids claim to be. It also has some slow-burning character development as Mi-Rae finds her feet, uses her voice, and becomes the self-confident woman she always dreamt of being. Alongside her journey comes with a side of learning to love who she is, which is a message that many drama watchers can find inspiration from.

Also, if you love dramas with a triangle romance relationships, then this one is definitely for you. That’s including a typical “arm grab/don’t go” scene as well.

How to watch it:

Dramagogo (Inside/Outside Korea)


2. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (김비서가 왜 그럴까)

whats wrong with secretary kim drama

Another dip into the lives of office workers in love, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is a drama documented closely after the webtoon of the same name. Park Seo-Joon plays another narcissistic vice-chairman type, Lee Young-Joon, who is renowned for being insufferable to work under thanks to how highly he stands on his own pedestal. When his patient, tolerant assistant, Kim Mi-So (Kim Min-Young) asks to step down to focus more on herself, Young-Joon makes it his prerogative to find out just what is wrong with Secretary Kim. Along the way, hilarity ensues as the two get tangled up in a corporate love affair, where Young-Joon starts to realise that you don’t really know what you have until it’s (almost) gone.

You should watch this drama if:

This drama is definitely one for the skinship lovers, and doesn’t skip over some steamy, lovey-dovey scenes between the two main leads, including a kiss in a closet. It’s also one for those who enjoy watching those “tsundere” types fall in love, and then become the vulnerable, romantic teddy bears we all know they are inside. Originally, loyal fans of the webtoon thought Park Seo-Joon wasn’t suited for the lead role, but he has since receiving overwhelming praise for his performance and good looks. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is a noteworthy addition to anyone’s drama faves.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Dramagogo (Inside Korea)


1. Mr Sunshine (미스터 션샤인)

mr sunshine drama

Korea may be relatively new to Netflix, however, the Netflix running melodramatic tale of Mr Sunshine is no rookie addition to the suggested list. Reigning as one of the top periodic dramas for 2018, Mr Sunshine takes a step back in time to show the complexities of the first US expeditions in South Korea (also known as 신미양요). Eugene Choi (Lee Byung-Hun), a Korean-born US Marine Corps soldier who fled to America as a young slave boy, returns to his motherland on official duties, only to be conflicted as he finds out that Korea is under threat of colonisation from foreign forces. Along the way, Eugene meets an aristocrat’s daughter (and secret patriarch who knows her way around a gun) Go Ae-Sin (Kim Tae-Ri), which makes his mission to prolong Joseon’s demise a mission to also protect those he holds close. Romantic, right?

You should watch this drama if:

If you like your dramas to be more like cinematic scale masterpieces, then Mr Sunshine should make it onto your top 2018 list. It is a visually beautiful mini-series that runs more like a well developed movie, and stops at no lengths to stun the audience into believing they’re reliving Korea in the late 1800s. So much so, that Mr Sunshine has been dubbed the series with “Hollywood-grade cinematography”. Like most historical dramas, it is also best to keep your tissues close, as this one is sure to get emotional.

Viewers may also find some comedic relief in the witty banter between Eugene, Gu Dong-Mae and Kim Hui-Song, who have a tendency to rile each other up at the best (and worst) of times.

How to watch it:

Viki (Outside Korea)

Netflix (Inside Korea, subscription needed)

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