Korean Dramas You Should Definitely Watch On Netflix Right Now

Last year, "Squid Game" was everywhere. The show was a huge hit with U.S. audiences and inspired everything from Halloween costumes to a real-life YouTube recreation of the deadly games from the series. "Squid Game" may have been some people's first foray into Korean dramas (also known as K-dramas), but it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the genre.

K-dramas are television series created in South Korea that focus on interpersonal relationships and often have odd twists within their storylines that keep them unpredictable and binge-worthy. Music is also a big part of the genre. Original soundtracks from shows can skyrocket a song in popularity, and some Korean pop stars like Lee Jung-shin from CNBLUE and Jun of U-KISS have starred in K-dramas, allowing the shows to capitalize on their fanbase.

With their quirky humor, heart-breaking moments, and stunning visuals, K-dramas have been growing in popularity in the U.S. over the past few years — so much so that last year Netflix partnered with popular South Korean studios and invested nearly $500 million to produce new content! If you're looking to dive into the deep end of the K-drama pool but don't know where to start, check out these 12 fantastic titles on Netflix. We'll start with romance, check out some fantasy, jump into horror, and end with some awesome thrillers that will keep you coming back for more.

Business Proposal

Imagine going on a blind date only to meet the head of your company! In the romantic comedy, "Business Proposal," Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong) has agreed to pretend to be Jin Young-seo (Seol In-ah) and sabotage her unwanted date. Having pulled this stunt multiple times in the past, Ha-ri thinks it'll be business as usual, but when Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop), the CEO of her company shows up for the date, things get complicated.

Pressured by his grandfather to find a wife as soon as possible, Tae-moo isn't exactly thrilled to be dating, so he quickly forms a plan to marry the first woman he goes on a blind date with. Caught between doing her best to help her friend and trying not to get fired, Shin Ha-ri performs some ridiculous social acrobatics to keep Tae-moo in the dark about her identity. Adding to the drama is the fact that Young-seo has fallen head over heels in love with Tae-moo's secretary Sung-hoon (Kim Min-kyu), and in trying to get his attention, accidentally reveals who she is. 

With deceptions layered upon even more deceptions, the characters of "Business Proposal" are caught in a convoluted and hilarious web of lies. Overall the series is light, fun, and full of sweet moments.

Romance is a Bonus Book

"Romance is a Bonus Book" is a show full of big feels. The main character, Kang Dan Yi (Lee Na-young), is a recently divorced mother trying to get back on her feet. She used to be a top-notch marking professional, but she left her career to raise a family. Now on her own, Dan Yi needs a job, but most places won't hire her because she's been out of work for so long. In an attempt to find a job, she lies on an application and gets hired as a temporary worker at the publishing company where her childhood friend Cha Eun Ho (Lee Jong-suk) is the chief editor.

The show is like a cozy cup of tea, presenting the heartwarming stories of strong friendships, newfound love, and forgiveness. The main cast is mostly made up of the staff from the publishing company, and throughout the show, you get to see them produce a book from start to finish. As they struggle to balance trying to make a profit with bringing the writer's vision to life, you can see how much passion they put into their work.

If you need a charming show, without a big bad villain or over-the-top humor, that'll leave you feeling like everything is going to be okay, then check out "Romance is a Bonus Book".

Hotel del Luna

Many fairy tales have a dark side, and the Korean fantasy series "Hotel del Luna" doesn't shy away from that. The show is a romance, a comedy, a horror story, and a crime drama all in one.

"Hotel del Luna's" story follows Jang Man-wol (Lee Ji-eun), caretaker of a supernatural hotel that serves as a place where ghosts can come to terms with their unfinished business. Throughout the hotel's history, ghosts have served as the staff, but they always need a living human to interact with the real world. Through some spiritual manipulation, Man-wol meets a dying man who doesn't want his son to grow up alone. They make a deal that she will let him live a longer life in exchange for his son, Gu Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo), coming to work for her in 20 years. Despite his father's best efforts to keep him safe from the haunted hotel, Chan-sung eventually gets pressed into becoming the manager of Hotel del Luna.

The rest of the show deals with Chan-sung learning how to help ghosts in a compassionate way, the staff dealing with their regrets, and the unlocking of Man-wol's heart. The show is breathtakingly beautiful with its gorgeous sets, costumes, and fantasy elements, but when it deals with some of the ghosts "Hotel del Luna," can be downright creepy. The genre-bending nature of the show and its unpredictable elements make it a refreshing watch with an ending that is as satisfying as it is heart-wrenching.

The Sound of Magic

"The Sound of Magic" is a short series based on a webtoon called "Annarasumanara" (which is a magical word similar to "abracadabra"). The series tells the fantastical story of Yoon Ah-yi (Choi Sung-eun), a student who struggles financially to support herself and her sister. She manages to find a part-time job, but on her walk home from her first day, the wind rips the money she earned out of her hand and blows it into a defunct carnival where the mysterious magician Ri-Eul (Ji Chang-Wook) picks it up. He asks her a question that will be repeated throughout the series: "Do you believe in magic?" In fear, she runs from him, but throughout the series, the magician finds ways to help Ah-yi with her problems and fosters her ability to find magic in the world once again.

One thing that sets it apart from other K-dramas is that "The Sound of Magic" is a musical. Oftentimes, when the magician is doing something fantastical like bringing carousel horses to life, the characters will break out into song. The mixture of fantasy with reality will leave you wondering just what is real and what is in a character's head.

"The Sound of Magic" does have an ominous undercurrent, as people begin to go missing and the mystery of who Ri-Eel is starts to unravel. Is he a real magician or something more sinister? You'll have to watch to find out.

The Bride of Habaek

Loosely based on Korean mythology, "The Bride of Habaek" is a modern fairy tale about the water god, Ha-baek (Nam Joo Hyuk), who has come to Earth to retrieve magic stones so that he can claim the throne of the divine realm. He enlists the help of a psychiatrist named Yoon So-ah (Shin Se-kyung), whose family was cursed to serve the water god for generations. At first, So-ah thinks Ha-baek is mentally unstable, but over time, she comes to believe and does what she can to help. Things aren't easy though, as other gods of the divine realms are also living on Earth and have some bones to pick with Ha-baek. Everything also gets complicated once Ha-baek starts having feelings for So-ah.

There are many delightfully silly moments in the show as the haughty Ha-baek tries to understand the human world with the assistance of his goofy servant from the divine realm, Nam Soo-ri (Park Kyu-seon). The series is full of love triangles, goofy moments, fickle gods, and drop-dead gorgeous wigs. While the plot may not be anything new, if you're just looking for some extra-cheesy fun to go along with some eye candy, then "The Bride of Habaek" is perfect for you.

The School Nurse Files

"The School Nurse Files" is an absurdist fever dream about the adventures of Ahn Eun-young (Jung Yu-mi), a school nurse who was recently appointed to a new high school and is sensitive to otherworldly forces. In the show, human desires can coalesce into jelly-like creatures that only Eun-young can see. Wielding her plastic sword and BB gun, Eun-young fights the jellies that become powerful and dangerous. The jellies have bizarre effects on the students and Eun-young is troubled by the fact that the problem seems to be getting worse. She teams up with a teacher, Hong In-pyo (Nam Joo-hyuk), who can emit a strange energy field that protects him from the jellies. Together, they are determined to unlock the mysteries surrounding their school.

Only 6 episodes long, the show is a quick watch, but it does an amazing job with what little time it has. There are a couple of emotional storylines, but with its dark humor and trippy visuals, "The School Nurse Files" stays light and whimsical in a wonderful way.

All of Us Are Dead

Not all K-dramas are romantic comedies. "All of Us Are Dead" is a tense and brutal horror series that tells the story of a zombie plague that descends upon the city of Hyosan. Created by a science teacher in an effort to protect his son from bullying, the virus infects a student and quickly spreads throughout Hyosan High School. The speed at which humans transform into blood-thirsty zombies is quite terrifying, and worse still, some retain their ability to think and are imbued with super strength and regenerative abilities. These super zombies are called "halfbies" because the virus can go dormant in them, letting them pass as human even under medical scrutiny.

While there are plenty of action sequences, "All of us are Dead" is a slow burn that allows the viewer time to get to know all of the characters. You learn about the little details of their lives while watching them fall in love, betray each other, find redemption, and mourn the dead.

The series is gory and bleak but also full of heart. It constantly builds up dread while weaving its plot around the shattered lives of the students as they explore just how far they are willing to go to survive. If you're looking for a horror series that has plenty of teen drama, then make sure to check out "All of us are Dead."


"Kingdom" is also a zombie series, but it has a historical setting. Set in the medieval Joseon Dynasty, the series explores a devastating and mysterious plague that spreads through Korea. The king is rumored to have died from smallpox, but Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) soon discovers a grisly secret that speaks to a disturbing conspiracy orchestrated by Chief State Councilor Lord Cho Hak-ju (Ryu Seung-ryong). All the while, a sickness is bringing the dead back to life as ravenous zombies.

As in "All of Us Are Dead," the zombie sickness in "Kingdom" transmits extremely quickly and creates hordes of undead who are fast and vicious killers, but those monsters do have a glaring weakness. They must sleep during the day. This fact gives the living time to form plans and try out different strategies to try to protect themselves.

Despite all its horrifying imagery, "Kingdom" is a beautiful show. The costume work and set design as well as the landscapes are gorgeous. As a period drama that deals with classism and the abuse of power — with a whole lotta undead thrown in for tension — "Kingdom" is a masterful execution of the zombie genre.

Sweet Home

Based on a webcomic of the same name, "Sweet Home" is a post-apocalyptic body horror nightmare set in an apartment building. The story starts with a disillusioned teenager named Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang). Having lost his parents in a tragic accident, Hyun-Su feels he has very little to live for. After moving into a small room in a rundown apartment complex, strange things begin to happen. People have started turning into monsters that reflect their inner turmoil. The residents of the building band together and barricade themselves to protect against the growing threat, but unfortunately for them, some creatures already stalk the halls.

Each monster in "Sweet Home" is a unique abomination that is as unsettling as it is pitiable. You get to know some of the characters before they turn into their flesh-warped alter egos, and it drives home the point that all people carry some pain that can become cancerous and make us do terrible things. The makeup and digital effects create very believable and repulsive creatures in contrast to the people they used to be.

"Sweet Home" does an amazing job of mixing classic K-drama plot twists and character development with visceral horror and a tiny bit of humor to give you a second to breathe. While Season 2 has yet to be confirmed, the first season is perfectly bingeable as is.


Adopted by an Italian Mafioso, Vincenzo (Song Joong-ki) is raised to be the perfect lawyer and consigliere to Don Fabio, head of the Cassano family. When Fabio dies, his biological son attempts to murder Vincenzo to secure his place as the new leader of the Cassanos. Vincenzo escapes to Korea and hatches a plan to recover one and a half tons of gold that he has hidden beneath the basement of Geumga Plaza. In his attempts to pull off the heist, Vincenzo inadvertently becomes the protector of the building and its inhabitants, who are being harassed by a nefarious corporation called Babel Group.

"Vincenzo" is a fun mix of drama, comedy, and violence. There are some awesome fight scenes that are fast, brutal, and exciting. On the other hand, the show gives us surreal moments such as a flock of pigeons saving the day or the steaming hot battle between Vincenzo and his showerhead. The story also introduces a bit of romantic tension between Vincenzo and Hong Cha-young (Jeon Yeo-been), the daughter of a lawyer who originally fought against Babel Group until his death. In the end, the show's main focus is its odd cast of characters. As you get to know all of the people that live in Geumga Plaza and uncover their secrets, their weirdness holds together to tell a heart-warming tale about underdogs triumphing over their adversaries and the friendships that form in the heat of battle.