The 17 most addicting Korean shows on Netflix

Settle in for a serious bulimia.

1.

Squid game

Noh Juhan | Netflix

Starting with the obvious, if you’re one of the few people on the planet who hasn’t watched Squid game however, it is not too late to get on board. This is a group of people saddled with debt who find themselves caught in a deadly game in which they compete to earn millions at the risk of their lives. There’s a reason it has become Netflix’s most-watched show of all time: it’s completely addicting, full of twists and turns, stylized violence, dark humor, and emotionally brutal moments.

2.

Hell

Jung Jaegu | Netflix

With only six episodes, Hell is a short but intense ride through a truly hellish landscape, exploring what happens to humanity in some of the most extreme conditions. When “angels” start to appear and predict the time of death of people and condemn them to hell – predictions that turn out to be violently true – the world falls into chaos.

3.

Hotel del Luna

tvN

A romantic and quirky series about an immortal woman who runs a hotel that welcomes ghosts on the way to the afterlife, and the human man she encourages to work there. Alternately funny, mysterious and very sad, the series features magnificent costumes and sets and a wonderful cast.

4.

My name

Min Jeehee | Netflix

What could be more addicting than a good revenge plot? My name is about a young woman who longs for revenge after the murder of her father. To achieve her goal, she teams up with a powerful crime boss and goes undercover in the police force at his behest. It’s action packed that will put you on the edge of your seat.

5.

It’s good not to be well

tvN

A whimsical romance that feels like a dark modern fairy tale, about an author of struggling children’s books and an equally troubled guard who works in a psychiatric ward while caring for his disabled brother. Exploring themes of sanity and found family, it’s ultimately quite tender and sweet, and the lead roles have incredible chemistry.

6.

Extracurricular

Courtesy of Netflix

What do you get when a high school student turns to crime in order to pay for his studies? A totally bingeable drama, of course. Like so many of the best Korean shows, Extracurricular balances brutal moments with dark humor, and is full of so much tension you’ll have to remember to loosen up.

seven.

Sweet home

Courtesy of Netflix

Post-apocalyptic fun where a teenage boy who lives alone must team up with his neighbors to fight for survival as the people around them turn into monsters. The horror and action elements are strong, but what really makes you want to keep watching is the setting and the characters.

8.

Crash landing on you

Lim Hyoseon / Netflix

The premise of this show is a bit of a stretch, but once you get past that, it’s some heartfelt – and heart-wrenching – romance that you want to watch for hours on end. He follows a wealthy South Korean heiress and businesswoman who is caught in a paragliding tornado and ends up landing in North Korea, where she meets and falls in love with a soldier. It’s a scary love story, but there are also plenty of lighter moments to let you breathe.

9.

Signal

tvN

A police procedure with fantastic elements, Signal talks about a profiler who finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to communicate with the year 1989, and more precisely of a cop who helps him and his colleague to solve cold cases in exchange for their help in resolve its “current” cases. As with all timey-wimey stories, there are a lot of unintended consequences to their actions and a lot of twists and turns.

ten.

Romance is a bonus book

Kim Hobin / Netflix

A divorcee in her thirties trying to re-enter the workforce fakes her qualifications in order to get a lower-level job at the publishing house where her best friend works. It is a bit likeYounger, but better. It might not have the action of other shows, but this sweet romantic comedy is addicting because you just want to hang out with these characters and their world – and get to the point where they finally confess their feelings and / or kiss.

11.

Mr. Sun

Moon Hee / Netflix

Located in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Mr. Sun is about a poor Korean boy who runs away to the United States and becomes an army officer. Back home, he falls in love with an aristocrat and lets himself be drawn into international intrigues and the struggle for independence. The show is visually stunning, with excellent writing and performance.

12.

Oh my ghost

tvN

Part original romance, part mysterious murder, Oh my ghost is about a shy boss who is possessed by the mind of a horny ghost (yes, really) who falls in love with his boss. Cue a super weird love triangle that’s hilarious and heartbreaking at times. Another addictive element is the subplot around what happened to the ghost and his death.

13.

Foreigner

tvN

This show is longer for a Korean drama – two seasons of 32 episodes in total, but that’s a good thing because it’s the type of show you never tire of. It’s about a prosecutor who loses his empathy and social skills after surgery, who teams up with a police officer to solve a murder, leading them to uncover a corruption plot. It’s a captivating and well-drawn series.

14.

Because this is my first life

tvN

Another series for desperate romantics, this drama introduces the classic dating false trope as two platonic roommates actually marry in order to save money (for the sake of intrigue) and naturally begin to develop feelings on it. one for the other. It’s a little weird but very cute, and you will definitely be shipping the main pair.

15.

Vincenzo

Netflix

If you like a mafia story, Vincenzo is a must. He is a Korean who is adopted by an Italian family at a young age and becomes a mafia consigliere. After an assassination attempt, he flees to Korea, where he seeks to recover a hidden fortune while battling a corrupt business. The action is a wild ride, and the original cast of characters is a lot of fun.

16.

Kingdom

Juhan Noh / Netflix

Do you like zombie shows? What about period dramas? Why not the two of them? This is exactly what Kingdom is – set during the Joseon Dynasty, it follows a crown prince who faces a political conspiracy as well as a mysterious plague sweeping the land that appears to resurrect the dead. It’s a refreshing take, expertly blending different genre elements to create a gripping series.

17.

Boys above the flowers

KBS2

Boys above the flowers released in 2009 and frankly hasn’t aged particularly well, but it’s still completely addicting. If you turn your brain off for a bit, it’s hard to resist this class-K drama about a poor girl who gets noticed by four rich boys, one of whom in particular becomes obsessed with her. It’s the kind of all-consuming teenage love story that you walk away from yet want more.

Which K-dramas are you obsessed with?

About Shelley Hales

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