KajoPicks: 10 South Korean romantic melodramas to watch
It is easy to identify whether a South Korean drama belongs to the romantic melodrama category by looking at the official poster.
It would have the two main characters looking off in two different directions with somber and melancholy expressions.
A melodrama commonly features one sad event after another and the characters’ emotions are often exaggerated.
If this genre is your cup of tea, here are 10 South Korean romantic melodramas you need to watch:
1.Autumn in My Heart (2000)
A list of Korean melodramas to watch is incomplete without Autumn in My Heart (2000).
It is a story about two girls being switched at birth by mistake. One grows up to have a happy life with loving parents and a brother while the other by a single parent in poverty.
When the truth comes out after a traffic accident, the two girls are already in their teenage years.
Both parents decide to switch the girls back to their biological families.
After being separated for 10 years, the girls are reunited as adults.
What happens when the loving brother suddenly falls in love with the woman who was once raised as his sister?
Like any Korean melodramas, one of the main characters is struck with a deadly sickness and the never-ending conflicts begin.
This drama is a classic responsible for kicking off the careers of many big names in Korean entertainment we know now such as Song Hye-kyo, Moon Geun-young, Won Bin and Song Seung-heon.
2.That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013)
Speaking of Song Hye-kyo, she plays the role of a blind heiress in the Korean romantic melodrama That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013).
It is based on the Japanese drama I Don’t Need Love, Summer (2002) which was also adapted into Korean film Love Me Not (2006).
The story is about Oh Soo (Jo In-sung), an orphan who becomes a gambler, conman and playboy.
His latest scam target is Oh Young (Song Hye-kyo), a blind heiress who lives alone.
Oh Soo pretends to be Oh Young’s long lost brother in order pay his debt.
The duo who thought that they were used to being alone, eventually find love and comfort in each other.
3.A Thousand Days’ Promise (2011)
Lee Seo-yeon (Soo Ae) is having an affair with engaged architect Park Ji-hyung (Kim Rae-won).
After finding out that Ji-hyung has finalised his wedding date, Seo-yeon breaks up with him.
At the same time, Seo-yeon is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s.
When Ji-hyung finds out about it, he cancels his engagement two days before the wedding despite opposition from his parents.
Seo-yeon is reluctant to accept Ji-hyung back to her side but eventually caves in.
The drama continues with the couple trying to live the best of their lives while dealing with Seo-yeon’s illness.
4.Crazy Love (2013)
Yoon Mi-so (Parjk Sun-young) is an orphan who is adopted at the age of 7.
As an adult, Mi-so finds love in a rich man named Lee Min-jae (Heo Tae-hee) and eventually marries him.
They have a daughter named Hae-ram. The only drawback in her almost perfect life is her mother in-law who always gives her a hard time.
Then, Han Na-young (Kim Youn-ju) comes into their lives, ruining Mi-so’s life.
After being divorced by Min-jae, Mi-so finds love again in Seo Kyung-soo (Go Se-won).
But there is a problem, Kyung-soo is stuck in an unhappy marriage.
Will they find happiness together in the end?
5.The Innocent Man (2012)
Before Song Joong-ki played charismatic roles like in Descendant of the Sun and Vicenzo, he starred in a melodrama series The Innocent Man (2012).
His character Kang Ma-ru is a smart but poor medical student. His girlfriend Jae-hee dumps him for a rich CEO.
Six years later, he is no longer the nice guy but an arrogant bartender/gigolo.
Ma-ru decides to take revenge on his ex after his sister is rushed to the hospital because of Jae-hee.
In order to do so, he approaches rich heiress Eun-gi as part of his revenge plan.
While plotting for his revenge, Ma-ru finds himself falling in love with Eun-gi.
6.Come and Hug Me (2018)
All Korean romantic melodramas have one thing in common; out of the world conflict between two lovers.
In this drama Yoon Na-moo (Jang Ki-yong) and Gil Nak-won (Jin Ki-joo) are any two young lovebirds out there.
Everything seems to be normal at first until Na-moo’s serial killer father kills Nak-won’s parents.
The two reunite again as adults with Na-moo now being a police detective and Nak-won suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after her parents’ deaths.
7.Beyond the Clouds (2014)
Jung Se-ro (Yoon Kye-sang) is the son of a petty criminal and a conman.
Despite that, he still wants to live an honest life and enter the civil service.
Everything changes when a robbery takes place in a jewel exhibition.
His father dies and Se-ro himself is accused of murder of another man.
After spending five years in jail, Se-ro takes up a new identity and becomes a conman like his late father.
Then he meets Han Young-won (Han Ji-hye), a heiress who is still in love with her dead fiance.
After spending some time, they both fall in love with each other.
In a classic K-drama plot twist, the man Se-ro was accused of killing had been Young-won’s fiance.
8.Uncontrollably Fond (2016)
Starring Kim Woo-bin and Bae Suzy, this Korean romantic melodrama follows two lovers from their teenage years into adulthood.
Shin Joon-young (Woo-bin) and No Eul (Suzy) were very much in love when they were young.
However, circumstances led them to go separate ways.
When they meet again as adults, both of them have changed. Joon-young is now a top celebrity while Noh Eul becomes a documentary producer.
Noh Eul is tasked to film Joon-young’s documentary and the former lovers are now forced to work together.
9.The Wind Blows (2019)
Speaking about lovers’ reunion, here is a story of a second chance romance when a divorced couple rekindles their love.
Kwon Do-hoon (Kam Woo-sung) divorced his wife Lee Soo-jin (Kim Ha-neul) after he learned that he had Alzheimer’s.
Korean romantic melodramas sure love illnesses like Alzheimer’s.
Five years later, the couple reunites.
Soo-jin belatedly finds out the reason behind her divorce but this time, she decides to stay by Do-hoon’s side.
10.When My Love Blooms (2020)
Han Jae-hyun (Yoo Ji-tae) is a man in his 40s. He is handsome, ambitious, and a successful man who works for vice-president of Hyung Sung Corporation.
In secret, he is plotting against the company for framing his father which led to his suicide.
One day, Jae-hyun comes across Yoon Ji-soo (Lee Bo-young) for the first time in many years.
She was his first love when they were still in university.
What changes would Ji-soo bring into Jae-hyun’s life now that they have reunited?
The drama also stars Park Jin-young and Jeon So-nee who play younger Jae-hyun and Ji-soo respectively.