Korean Dramas and Movies
Korean Drama List (recommended)
In order of a Korean Culture education:
Sweet 18- Really good for showing a basic list of Korean tensions between old and newer ways. Well-acted, entertaining and very educational. It covers things like Korean family structure old traditions, and also covers newer traditions and industrialization.
Dae Jang Geum- A long historical drama that shows various aspects of the Joseon Era. It covers from medical practices, the kitchen and palace structure as well as what it was like to live outside of the palace. Highly recommended for the older audience.
Goong- Covers traditions of the Joseon era in a more modern time. Don’t confuse with Goong S. It is good for showing more traditions of Korea and the warmth of the family and it shows this better than most. Has a manhwa with a different plot that’s currently being translated.
Bad Family- A warm family drama that covers the structure of the Korean family and has a lot of sweet scenes, also lightly covers adoption without getting making a big deal of it. Very sweet drama.
Jumong- Three Kingdoms era drama with a strong female and male lead.
My Name is Kim Sam Soon- covers the “ajumma” and the 30-something generation’s dealing with Love.
Ballad of Seodong- A really good drama about inventions, though not historically accurate as the ondol was invented far before the time of Seodong (in pre-era) it does cover several technologies and keeps the tension going by covering all three kingdoms and covers the salve trade during that time without flinching or softening it.
My Sassy Girl Chun Hyang- Really good for covering a modern era and seeing a twist on an old tale. You might need to watch Winter Sonata (the end) and I’m Sorry I Love you (beginning) and Full House to get some of the jokes, but those are more K-drama education.
Strong female lead with a younger male love interest, but covers office life very well.
For the portrayal of a town outside of Seoul and a really perfect drama overall.
9 Ends 3 Outs- Another drama for the 30-40-somethings and shows a lot of good stuff about how the workplace in an office building runs as well as how books, etc are handled.
I Really, Really Like You- a really good cover of more modern Korean foods and treatment of food. Also good for showing someone who is from outside of Seoul without a Melodrama. Slow, but sweet.
Any Hong Sister Drama after this is a good finish… from Hong Gil Dong (which has a really sad ending), to My Girlfriend is a 9-tailed Fox to My Girl, these will show various aspects of Korea very well.
General K-drama List:
Dong Yi (for the palace life portrayal and for how Buddhism and Confucianism integrate into every day life)
Secret Garden- For behind the movie type of stuff. Learn about Korean production teams a little more.
Hyena- for a portrayal of Korean views on sex. NOT for younger viewers. 19+
Capital Scandal for life during the Japanese occupation.
Hwang Jini for the life of a Gisaeng (The drama, not the movie)
Alone in Love For parents dealing with a lost child, sweet and unfolding.
Full House (Just for the three Bears Song)
Il Mare for the artistic ability and Korean views on how time travel and timelines work. (Park your, But that’s a paradox” at the door. This isn’t Back to the Future…
My Boyfriend is Type B for a discussion of blood types.
The King and the Clown for covering views on gays.
Romance Zero- Good for the variety of Korean culture tidbits, a sweet story too.