We all love Korean drama series for their fantastic plots and characters.
While some might love them because of their favourite actors or actresses, other might be into them because of their gripping plots.
Since there are too many Korean drama series out there, we thought you might need some recommendations on which series to binge watch in one weekend.
This Kajo-list features some of the series that not only have great plots but deliver deeper messages through its stories.
Cross (16 episodes)
The medical scene has never looked darker than in this Korean drama series.
It tells the story of a young doctor plotting revenge against an illegal organ trader who murdered his father. This is because his father has a rare blood type thus making his organs valuable for organ transplants.
However, things are not as simple as tracking the bad guy down, injecting him with some dangerous medicine and leaving him to die. He soon finds out that the illegal organ trading business goes deeper, involving people that he did not expect.
While the revenge plot and near-death scenes are enough to leave you hyperventilating, Cross highlights illegal organ trading among the poverty ridden people.
Misty (16 episodes)
Misty is a combination of Scandal and Sherlock Holmes. This drama series features a strong, intelligent anchor woman thrown into a murder scandal involving her ex-boyfriend/lover. Having been charged with murder, her still-in-love-with-yet-distant lawyer husband defends her.
It has a brilliant plot that weaves in the main character’s scandalous affair with her work as a media person.
Superficially, Misty looks like a story of rekindling lost love. But it highlights the restriction on media freedom in uncovering stories to reveal the truth.
Black Knight: The Man Who Guards Me (20 episodes)
In Korean culture, a ‘black knight’ means a guy who takes a shot of alcohol on your behalf. But if you expect this series to be about binge-drinking, think again.
Black Knight is about a businessman (who seems to have way too much money to spend) reconciling with his childhood crush, a travel agent. Their love story spans over 200 years as they were also lovers in their past lives.
He set out to save a town from the brink of being destroyed to be developed into high-end apartments and stores with her help.
Set in modern Korea, this drama series takes on the issue of conserving old traditional buildings to preserve culture.
Mother (16 episodes)
I challenge anyone to watch this Korean drama series without shedding any tears!
Mother is an adaptation from a Japanese series of the same name. This Korean drama series tells how ornithologist Kang Soo Jin rescued a girl, Kim Hye Na, who was being abused by her mother and boyfriend. To cover her identity, she posed as the child’s mother.
While the story may be tear-jerking, it highlights the issue of domestic abuse against children. Hye Na’s on-point portrayal as an abused child captures the emotion of a defenseless child secretly pleading for help while at the same time putting up a brave front as she faces daily abuse from her mother and her boyfriend.
As a stranger, Soo Jin’s ability to recognise child abuse and take action is what society should do for abused children.
Bad Guys 2: City of Evil (16 episodes)
The real reason why I get hooked on this series was because I really liked the first Bad Guy series. (*cough* Park Hae Jin)
So, naturally, I thought the second one should be as good, if not better.
With a team of originally seven people (then three), Bad Guys 2 explores the corruption of those in power. Among those involved are prosecutors, politicians, the police force, chaboels and gangsters.
Filled with well-choreographed fight scenes, this series is the definition of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
Revolutionary Love (16 episodes)
Don’t be deceived by the title. Revolutionary Love might sound like your typical sappy love story, but it actually explores the theme of employees and labour rights.
It features a sheltered chabeol heir who falls in love with a poor girl who has too many part-time jobs.
Through her and his reluctant – also poor -best friend, he soon realises his father’s unjust treatment of the employees. Soon, he begins to fight for the employees rights.
Anybody who has experience working for a company with bad policies and bosses can relate.
Witch’s Court (16 episodes)
Witch’s Court is a Korean drama series that I truly appreciate – it does not feature the typical optimistic and cheerful female lead.
The lead character is unique because she is the anti-hero type. Known to be devious, she eventually learns to be compassionate as she helps sexual victims.
It highlights victims of sexual crimes and how often they go unnoticed.