K-dramas, or Korean dramas, refer to television series produced in South Korea. They have gained significant popularity internationally due to their unique storytelling, engaging plots, and high production values. K-dramas cover a wide range of genres, including romance, historical, fantasy, comedy, thriller, and more.
In the realm of Korean dramas, the energetic pulse of Seoul's Hongdae district takes center stage, breathing life into narratives that transcend the screen. If you're a k-drama connoisseur seeking a unique blend of trendy urban vibes and compelling storytelling, you're in for a treat. Get ready to be swept away by the energy, creativity, and compelling narratives that make these shows our top Korean drama picks.
Cheese in the Trap" (치즈 인 더 트랩)
This drama, based on a webtoon of the same name, features scenes set in Hongdae. It revolves around the relationships and experiences of college students, and the main characters are students at a university in Seoul. The story revolves around Hong Seol (played by Kim Go-eun), a hardworking college student from a humble background, and Yoo Jung (played by Park Hae-jin), a seemingly perfect and wealthy student with a mysterious personality. As Seol becomes entangled with Yoo Jung and his circle of friends, she begins to uncover the complexities and secrets behind his facade. The drama explores themes of friendship, trust, and the challenges of university life.
Heartstrings" (넌 내게 반했어)
While not entirely set in Hongdae, "Heartstrings" does feature scenes in this lively neighborhood. "Heartstrings" is a romantic comedy that unfolds within the backdrop of a performing arts university. Lee Shin (played by Jung Yong-hwa) is a talented guitarist and vocalist who is known for his cold and indifferent demeanor. He crosses paths with Lee Gyu-won (played by Park Shin-hye), a traditional music major with a passion for the gayageum, a traditional Korean instrument. As their worlds collide, the drama explores their journey of love, music, and personal growth.
Age of Youth
"Age of Youth" (청춘시대), also known as "Hello, My Twenties!" is a South Korean television series that aired in 2016. The drama was well-received for its realistic portrayal of the lives, friendships, and challenges faced by a group of young women living together in a shared house. "Age of Youth" follows the lives of five university students who share a house called Belle Epoque.
The Liar and His Lover
"The Liar and His Lover" is a South Korean television series that aired in 2017. The drama is based on a Japanese manga called "Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru" by Kotomi Aoki. The Korean adaptation stars Lee Hyun-woo and Joy (Park Soo-young of Red Velvet) in the lead roles. The story revolves around Kang Han-kyul (played by Lee Hyun-woo), a genius songwriter and producer who becomes disillusioned with the music industry. He encounters Yoon So-rim (played by Joy), a high school student with a beautiful voice but no formal training. Han-kyul discovers So-rim's talent and they start working together in the world of music. The drama explores themes of love, passion, and the challenges of the entertainment industry.
Clean with Passion for Now
"Clean with Passion for Now" is a South Korean television series that aired in 2018-2019. It's based on the popular webcomic "Ildan Ddeugeobge Chungsohara" by Aaengo. The drama stars Kim Yoo-jung, Yoon Kyun-sang, and Song Jae-rim in the lead roles. he story revolves around Gil Oh-sol (played by Kim Yoo-jung), a young woman who works as a part-time cleaner. She meets Jang Seon-kyul (played by Yoon Kyun-sang), the CEO of a cleaning company with an extreme aversion to germs and a unique personality.
The Best Hit (최고의 한방)
"The Best Hit" (최고의 한방), also known as "Hit the Top," is a South Korean television series that aired in 2017. It's a romantic comedy and coming-of-age drama that combines elements of time travel and music. The series was well-received for its humor, unique premise, and the performances of the cast.
It follows the story of Yoo Hyun-jae (played by Yoon Shi-yoon), a popular idol from the 1990s who mysteriously time-travels to the year 2017. In the present day, he encounters Lee Ji-hoon (played by Kim Min-jae), a young aspiring musician who dreams of making it big in the K-pop industry. The drama explores the challenges of the entertainment industry, the pursuit of dreams, and the impact of time travel on the characters' lives.
Go Back Couple (고백부부)
Go Back Couple is a South Korean television series that aired in 2017. Also known as "Confession Couple," this drama is a mix of romance, comedy, and fantasy. It received positive reviews for its unique premise and heartfelt storytelling. The story revolves around a married couple, Choi Ban-do (played by Son Ho-jun) and Ma Jin-joo (played by Jang Na-ra), who find themselves transported back in time to their college days. The couple, on the brink of divorce in the present, gets a second chance to reevaluate their relationship by reliving their past. As they navigate the challenges of their younger selves and encounter familiar faces from their college days, they discover the importance of love, commitment, and understanding in a marriage.
Get ready to be captivated by the Seoulful stories that unfold in these must-watch series. Whether you're a fan of romance, music, or the visual arts, these dramas offer a kaleidoscopic view of Hongdae's magnetic charm. Add them to your watchlist, and let the cinematic magic of Seoul's trendiest district transport you into a world where every story is as unique as the heartbeat of Hongdae itself. Your binge-worthy journey awaits!