10 K-dramas For Beginners | TheReviewGeek Recommends

kdrama beginners

10 K-dramas For Beginners

Whenever one enters any genre or industry, there are some faces and tropes that immediately stand out. For K-dramas, there are some household names that everyone knows like actors Lee Min-ho, Song Joong-ki, Park Seo-joon and actresses Shin Hye-sun, Song Hye-ko, Park Min-young. As for the stories, they are usually fluffy rom-coms, slapstick comedy, grand sageuks or absolutely gory action dramas.

But if you have never watched a K-drama and are not sure what to begin with, we’ve got you on that front. We’ve made a list of some of the most beloved K-dramas, varying in genres and popular actors, immersed in Korean pop culture so that you can begin your binge-watch session.

Well, here is a list of 10 K-dramas for beginners to get started with.

legend of the blue sea

The Legend of the Blue Sea

If you are not sure where to begin, The Legend of the Blue Sea is not a bad choice to be the first K-drama to see. Featuring iconic names such as Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun, they star as the conman Heo Joon-jae and the naive mermaid Shim Cheong respectively.

After Shim Cheong becomes a homeless human, she accidentally clashes with Heo Joon-jae who decides to help her out with the hope of stealing her glittering and rare jade bracelet. However, unbeknownst to both of them, they share a mysterious past.

whats wrong with secretary kim

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim

Office rom-coms are a must in every language and country. So, for K-dramas, the one show that has pretty much set the blueprint for office romances is What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim. Lee Yeong-joon is a narcissistic, self-obsessed, snobby elite who knows he is handsome and has women falling for him left, right and centre.

So, of course, he cannot fathom why suddenly his secretary without whom he cannot function suddenly decides to quit. As he tries to fix whatever wrong he may have done, Secretary Kim who absolutely cannot stand him starts developing feelings she shouldn’t.


Guardian: The Lonely and Great God

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God aka Goblin is possibly one of the few K-dramas to have been critically praised by almost everyone who has seen it. A mix of rom-com and angst, it starts off with a 900-year-old goblin who is tasked with looking after souls in danger, clashing with the grim reaper, keeping his great, great, great-something nephew in line and looking for his bride who will be his salvation.

The only way he can leave the world and find peace is when he finds the woman who can see the sword stuck in him and pulls it out. But in no universe had he expected it to be a chirpy, immature college student who keeps addressing him as an uncle.

Descendants of the Sun

This romantic melodrama follows the on-and-off relationship of Si-jin, a special ops officer who cannot reveal his profession and Mo-yeon, a doctor who keeps clashing with her colleagues as they soar thanks to their connections. On top of it, Si-jin and Mo-yeon cannot seem to find common ground as she hates killing while he believes in killing to protect innocent lives.

They finally part ways as he is assigned to the war-torn Uruk. But when she is sent to the same base as a medical volunteer, their reunion brings back buried feelings.

Boys Over Flowers

Boys Over Flowers

Like any early 2000s rom-com movie, there are bound to be jokes and tropes that may not have aged well. And while Boys Over Flowers does fall into that category it is worth noting that overall, it is a sweet and light-hearted story to watch when you are bored. Geum Jan-di is a sweet but working-class student who accidentally clashes with the F4, the four elite boys of her school whom everyone fawns over.

Annoyed by her apathy, Jun-pyo, one of the F4 decides to bully her but she stands her ground and even kicks him at one point. Further intrigued by her, he starts teasing her and pulling pranks and unknowingly starts falling for her.

Squid Game

Squid Game

This K-drama became the most-watched Netflix show of its time and a global phenomenon and for good reason. Squid Game is a fast-paced thrilling story full of unique characters in an exciting and deranged setting who are forced to show their true colours.

Around 400 people who are financially struggling are roped in to play life-and-death games with the winner getting 45 billion won. With each passing level, the stakes increase and those who had initially allied for a better chance at survival start betraying each other.



While Netflix’s original K-dramas are on a whole another level, no one should forget their very first show, Kingdom which is a zombie apocalypse set in the Joseon period of ancient Korea. When the king mysteriously becomes a zombie, his physician is infected and accidentally starts an outbreak in his clinic.

Meanwhile, the queen uses it as a chance to frame Crown Prince Lee and take the power for her and her son. Lee must team up with his trusted advisors and the survivors from the clinic to stop the outbreak and clear his name.

Mr. Queen

It is no exaggeration that Mr. Queen may be one of the best shows to come out during the pandemic. It has everything from time travelling and secret identities to conspiracies and enemies to lovers’ trope. After a womanizer has an accident, he wakes up to see that he has time travelled to the Joseon era.

If that wasn’t bad, he is stuck in the body of that time’s queen. While he tries to survive and find a way back home, he must also handle all the mess the queen is in including dealing with her husband, the king who wants to kill her.

Crash Landing On You

The arrogant heiress Yoon Se-ri gets a reality check when one day while paragliding she crosses the country’s border and ends up in North Korea. Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok refuses to believe it is an accident and is hell-bent on arresting her but changes his mind and decides to help her. But unable to go back the way she came, he needs to hide her in his home. And as luck would have it, his rival Cho Cheol-gang decides to find some dirt on him and destroy him.


After the Korean consigliere Vicenzo Cassano is chased out of Italy, he returns to Seoul and decides to live a peaceful life with the help of a ton of gold that he had helped a dead Chinese criminal hide in the basement of a plaza.

However, when he reaches the location, he is stunned to find that the plaza is in the midst of a legal battle as Babel Group has illegally seized it, its occupants keep bothering him as they learn he is a lawyer and he cannot find any alone time to take out the gold as the plaza’s temple is built right over the hidden room.

Read More: 10 Korean Movies For Beginners | TheReviewGeek Recommends

So there we have it, our list of 10 K-dramas for beginners.

With so many amazing K-dramas being made year after year, it is no surprise that there are many iconic ones that did not make this short list. If you have any favourites we missed, let us know in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “10 K-dramas For Beginners | TheReviewGeek Recommends”

  1. The two greatest I’ve seen with fabulous plot lines, character development, and depth are:
    1.) My Mister (don’t let the title fool you).
    2.) Mr. Sunshine (definitely don’t let the title fool you!)

  2. South Korean dramas.are the best.. ♥️♥️♥️
    Thank you all whom Make it possible for us ,. to dream and makes is feel romantic and keep dreaming. About how special a woman can be with the one.♥️♥️♥️

  3. Excellent list. Also some fine series added in the comments. I’ve been enjoying K-Drama over 10 years and prefer both their series and movies to all others. They are my happy place.

  4. hey @Peggy Farbotko, while romantic k-dramas do seem to take most of the spotlight, there are several life lesson shows as well that are equally amazing and unique; some of my personal favourites being – d.p., hospital playlist, move to heaven, tomorrow, extraordinary attorney woo…

  5. New to K Dramas but have not seen a bad one yet. Prefer ones that romance takes the backseat, while a life lesson is the driver. Well written scripts.

  6. Romance is a bonus book with Lee jong suk and Lee na young.
    A piece of your mind
    The smile has left you eyes

    Kill me heal me
    School 2017
    SCHOOL 2013

  7. Legend of blu sea,vencenzo,whats wrong with scectory kim,love to hate u,inherited, my love from star,alchemy of soul,business purposel,are my most favorite k dramas

  8. There are so many good ones, with excellent acting. I would add Hospital Playlist and Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

  9. My Love fom Another Star, It’s Okay to Be Not Okay, Backstreet Rookie, If You Wish Upon Me, Healer, The Empress Ki, Warrior Baek Dong Soo, Taxi DrIver, Itaewon Class, The Uncanny Counter, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, and many more.

  10. Something in the Rain,why isn’t on the list Iris,Mr.Sunshine,Liberation Notes,Iowan, my favorites.

  11. Eternal Monarch, Hometown Cha Cha, Her Private Life, My Secret Romance, Business Proposal, The Kings Afection, The Moon Embracing the Sun, The Heirs, Memories of Alhambra, Queen, Love & War, and so so many more good KDramas. Not enough room to list them all.

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