12 Best Korean Dramas that Showcase K-Pop Stars | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Everyone loves a multi-talented celebrity and it is no secret that a majority of Korean actors can sing. However, with the popularisation of the K-drama genre, there is an influx of talent from the K-pop idol world as many stars have appeared in popular Korean dramas.

These idol actors have a huge following, which brings in more viewers to the shows that they star in. Oftentimes, the idols also lend their voices to the OST (Original Soundtracks) of the K-dramas serving as a bonus for fans.

If you are someone who enjoys the acting-singing duality of popular K-pop stars, here are 12 Korean dramas starring K-pop idols that you will enjoy. To keep the list hierarchy-free, we have arranged it alphabetically according to the K-drama titles.

100 Days My Prince (2018)

Some of the very popular idol actors are members of the popular boy group EXO. One of the few actors from the group is D.O. also known as Do Kyung-soo who gained a lot of popularity all thanks to his humble appearance as the crown prince in the tvN K-drama 100 Days My Prince. 

The 16-episode drama with 2 special episodes narrates the story of Lee Yul, the crown Prince of Joseon. Yul is a perfectionist whose cold and demanding demeanour masks his deep-rooted loneliness. The Crown Prince ended up passing a law stating that Korean citizens of marriageable age must wed before the age of 28.

In a failed suicide attempt, Lee Yul ends up experiencing temporary amnesia under the care of Hong Shim and her family. Hong Shin is a strong, intelligent woman who supports herself and her father. However, she remains the oldest unmarried woman in her village and must marry or face punishment from officials all thanks to Yul’s new law.

Anna (2022)

Starring Bae Suzy, an idol who has cemented her name as an actress in the South Korean Entertainment industry, the K-drama Anna wowed fans as it showed Suzy’s acting prowess as a strong female lead. Over the years, Suzy has appeared in many popular shows like Uncontrollably Fond, Start-Up, Dream High and more. 

Coupang Play’s Anna narrates the story of Yoo-mi, a woman who ends up living someone else’s life after she tells a small lie.  tells a small lie and ends up living someone else’s life. Meanwhile, Hyun-joo, a woman who lives her life holding herself above everyone, has a tense relationship with Yoo-mi that gets further complicated because of Yoo-mi’s lie.

A Good Day To Be A Dog (2023)

Another loved actor in the present day is Astro’s Cha Eun-woo who is all set to show his newfound acting prowess in the upcoming Disney+ drama Wonderful World. Fans of Eunwoo saw him in popular shows like True Beauty, My ID is Gangnam Beauty and Prime Video’s Island. However, A Good Day To Be A Dog saw Eunwoo as the actor fans had been yearning for.

The show narrates the story of a woman named Hae-na whose family has been cursed for generations. Due to the curse, Hae-na turns into a dog after she ends up kissing her colleague Seo-won on a drunken night. The curse is triggered every midnight and she has to stay in dog form for the next six hours.

The only way to break Hae-na’s curse is by having Seo-won kiss her when she is in dog form. However, to complicate matters, Seo-won has a severe phobia of dogs due to a bullying incident he had suffered many years ago.

A Shoulder To Cry On (2023)

One K-pop group that was in the news in the year 2022 is the rookie boy group, Omega X. However, the controversy also somehow contributed to the popularity of the BL K-drama, A Shoulder To Cry On which featured Kim Je-han and Shin Ye-chan, two of the bandmates as the main leads.

The show narrates the story of two high schoolers who start as enemies due to a misunderstanding. Da-yeol, an archer on the high school archery team, is resting in the nurse’s office one day when he hears two boys scrambling on the bed nearby. When he suddenly pulls the curtain that separates his bed from the next, Da-yeol is shocked to see two boys lying on top of each other.

The mysterious boy accuses Da-yeol of tackling him which brings him in trouble with the school nurse. With Da-yeol being punished for no fault of his own, he gets into a feud with the mysterious boy.

The Fabulous (2022)

SHINee’s Minho (Choi Min-ho) has cemented his name as a dependable idol actor since the year 2012. Minho’s first main-lead appearance after his military enlistment is the 2022 Netflix original – The Fabulous. The show narrates the story of friendship and highlights the dark reality of the fashion industry. 

The Fabulous follows the lives of four friends who have devoted their lives to the fashion industry and struggle to survive there. Ji Woo-min is a freelance photographer. He is good-looking and competent at his job but lacks passion in his professional as well as his personal life.

On the contrary, his friend Pyo Ji-eun has dreamed of working in the fashion field for years. She now works as the section chief of a luxury brand promotion agency. While she struggles to survive in the fashion field, she maintains herself with a bright personality and positive energy.

He is Psychometric (2019)

Park Jin-young also known as GOT7’s Jinyoung made his acting debut in 2012 with the popular drama Dream High Season 2. Over the years, Jinyoung has made a name for himself as an actor with shows like The Devil Judge, and Yumi’s Cells as well as films like A Christmas Carol and Yaksha: Ruthless Operations

However, one underrated drama starring GOT7’s Jinyoung is the 2019 drama tvN He is Psychometric. The show follows the story of Lee Ahn, a young boy who acquires the power of psychometry after losing his parents in a building fire. Now, as an adult, Lee Ahn uses his ability to read a person or an object’s past through physical contact and tries to take down criminals. 

While he does not know how to control his power yet, he meets Yoon Jae-in, a rookie cop who tries her best to hide her painful secrets. Lee Ahn and Jae-in team up with Prosecutor Kang Seong Mo who has been Ahn’s guardian after his parents’ death. The trio use the help of Detective Eun Ji-soo as they work on a complicated case while using Lee Ahn’s ability to find the culprit. 

Hotel del Luna

Hotel del Luna (2019)

IU also known as Lee Ji-eun is South Korea’s most-loved soloist and a famous for her talent as an actress. Ever since her acting debut in 2011 classic K-drama Dream High IU has been featured in many shows and movies. One of IU’s most notable performances is the 2019 drama, Hotel del Luna.

The show follows the story of Jang Man-wol, the CEO of Hotel del Luna. Man-wol made a big error many years ago which caused her to be stuck at Hotel del Luna. She is beautiful but fickle, suspicious and greedy. She meets Koo Chan-sung who used to work as the youngest assistant manager ever at a multinational hotel corporation.

Due to an unexpected case, he begins to work as a manager at Hotel del Luna. The hotel’s clientele consists of ghosts. Lee Do-hyun plays Go Chung-myung in the show who is a royal guard captain at the hotel and becomes a friend of Man-wol and Yeon-woo.

Hwarang: Poet, Warrior, Youth (2016)

Popular boy group BTS’ main vocalist V aka Kim Taehyung made his acting debut with the 2016 KBS drama Hwarang: Poet, Warrior, Youth. The show also stars another idol actor SHINee’s Minho and has many fans of BTS V hoping for him to make a comeback with more acting projects.

The period drama, Hwarang: Poet, Warrior, Youth is set in the Kingdom of Silla where a group of elite youth known as Hwarang would wield great influence over the people of the world. The show features a group of dashing, talented knights – named Moo Myung, Sam Maek-jong, Soo Ho, Ban Ryu, Yeo Wool and Han Sung.

This group of friends also have a maiden named Ah Ro and together these seven people could outsmart and outfight anyone as they pushed for justice in Seorabeol, the capital city of Silla. Among these six knights, one would become King Jin-heung of Silla and change the course of the dynasty’s history.

king the land

King The Land (2023)

One of 2023’s most popular romance dramas is the JTBC drama King The Land, which features not one but two very popular K-pop idols as the main leads. Starring Girls’ Generation’s Im Yoona and 2PM’s Lee Junho in the main roles, the show is a cliche romance that narrates the story of romance between a chaebol (conglomerate heir) Goo Won and a middle-class girl Cheon Sa-rang.

Goo Won, who cannot stand fake smiles is impressed with the sincerity in Sa-rang’s smile. Goo Won falls in love with Sa-rang, a mere waitstaff at The King Hotel’s VVIP Business Lounge – King of the Land, owned by Goo Won’s family. As Won wars with his half-sister for the inheritance of The King Hotel, Sa-rang uses her positive attitude to fight workplace prejudices that come her way.

Snowdrop (2021)

The JTBC drama of 2021 marks the debut of popular girl group Blackpink’s lead vocalist Kim Jisoo, Snowdrop revisits The June Democratic Struggle of 1987 that generated mass protests in South Korea. Due to the setting of the show, the K-drama was gripped with a lot of controversy, only for viewers to learn that the drama had no connection to real-life events.

Snowdrop follows the story of a bloody man named Soo-ho who jumps into a women’s university dormitory in Seoul. Young-ro is a female university student who falls in love with him at first sight when she goes on a group blind date. Young-ro takes care of Soo-ho despite the strict surveillance and dangerous situation.

However, Young Ro is shocked to learn his secret as Soo-ho tries to save his teammates so he can go back to his home country where his sibling awaits him.

So I Married an Anti-fan (2021)

The 2021 show based on the Chinese movie of the same name stars Girl’s Generation’s Choi Soo-young in the lead role. Aside from So I Married An Antifan, Soo-young has starred in several dramas like Run On, If You Wish Upon Me, Not Others and more.

The rom-com, So I Married An Antifan narrates the chaotic romance between idol star Hoo Joon and his anti-fan Geun-young who dedicates her life to destroying Hoo Joon after she believes to have lost her job because of the star.

After a series of events, Hoo Joon and Geun-young are forced to live together as part of a celebrity dating variety show. As the forced proximity unites the two, Geun-young realises that Hoo Joon is not half as bad as she thinks.

Tempted (2018)

Girl group Red Velvet’s Joy aka. Park Soo-young made her acting debut in the 2017 drama The Liar and His Lover. Following that, Joy has acted in other popular dramas like Once Upon A Small Town and The One and Only as of 2022. However, her most popular performance to date is the MBC TV show Tempted. 

The 2018 K-drama, Tempted: The Great Seducer narrates the story of rich and privileged twenty-somethings as it uncovers their true motives and reveals their depravity while playing a dark and dangerous game. Set on revenge, popular player Kwon Shi-hyun makes a bet with friends claiming that he can seduce Eun Tae-hee, a naive girl who believes those swayed by love are foolish. Due to the time they spend with Tae-hee, Shi-hyun starts reassessing his views on love.

So there we have it, our 12 K-dramas starring popular K-pop Stars.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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