Unveiling Hidden Gems: Underrated Korean Shows You Need to Watch

Unveiling Hidden Gems: Underrated Korean Shows You Need to Watch


In the gigantic and diverse landscape of Korean drama industry, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered by viewers hungry for unique storytelling, compelling characters, and fresh perspectives. While popular K-dramas often steal the spotlight, there are numerous underrated Korean shows that deserve attention for their exceptional narratives, brilliant performances, and the ability to touch the hearts of audiences. In this blog post, we will go on a journey into the world of underrated Korean shows that you may have missed but are certainly worth your time and attention.

1. Misaeng: Incomplete Life (2014)

Misaeng: Incomplete Life


"Misaeng: Incomplete Life" stands out as a compelling portrayal of the harsh realities of the corporate world. Based on the webcomic by Yoon Tae-ho, the series follows the life of Jang Geu-rae (Im Siwan), a young man with a less-than-ideal background who secures an internship at a major trading company. As he navigates the challenges of office politics and corporate culture, viewers witness the growth of a strong character facing hardships. The show's authenticity and raw depiction of the struggles within the workplace make it a must-watch for anyone seeking a realistic portrayal of corporate life.

2. Navillera (2021)



"Navillera," a gem that might have slipped under the radar for some viewers, exemplifies this mastery with its heartwarming tale of pursuing dreams, friendship, and the boundless possibilities that life holds. "Navillera" follows the life of Sim Deok-chul (played by Park In-hwan), a 70-year-old retiree who decides to pursue his lifelong dream of learning ballet. His decision, inspired by the desire to fulfill an unfulfilled promise to himself, challenges societal expectations and showcases that it is never too late to chase one's dreams. As Deok-chul embarks on his ballet journey, he crosses paths with Lee Chae-rok (played by Song Kang), a talented but struggling young ballet dancer facing his own set of challenges. The unlikely friendship that blossoms between the two forms the emotional core of "Navillera." The series gently weaves the narrative around the pursuit of passion and the transformative power of embracing one's dreams, regardless of age or societal norms, showing that you can make your dreams come true at any age.

3. Signal (2016)



For fans of crime and mystery dramas, "Signal" is a hidden treasure that combines elements of science fiction with mesmerizing storytelling. The series follows detectives from different time periods who communicate through a mysterious walkie-talkie, solving cold cases and changing the course of history. With its mind-bending plot, intense suspense, and brilliant performances by its cast, "Signal" has earned critical acclaim but remains underrated compared to other crime dramas. Dive into the enigmatic world of "Signal" for an exhilarating ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

4. Six Flying Dragons (2015-2016)

Six Flying Dragons


While historical dramas are a staple in Korean television, "Six Flying Dragons" stands out for its epic scenario and complex storytelling. Set during the Goryeo Dynasty, the series chronicles the rise of six individuals who played crucial roles in shaping the nation's history. With its well-developed characters, political intrigue, and stunning cinematography, "Six Flying Dragons" offers a captivating blend of history and fiction. Despite its brilliance, the drama often flies under the radar, making it a hidden gem for those seeking a historical epic with depth and complexity.

5. Stranger (2017-2020)



"Stranger," also known as "Forest of Secrets," is a crime thriller that challenges the conservative norms of the genre. Instead of focusing solely on action and suspense, the series look into the details of the legal system and the pursuit of justice. Hwang Si-mok, a prosecutor with a unique condition that inhibits his ability to feel emotions, becomes entangled in a complex web of corruption and power struggles. The meticulous storytelling and exceptional performances by its cast, including Cho Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na, elevate "Stranger" to a level of sophistication that is often overlooked in the crime thriller genre.

6. Kingdom (2019-2020)



"Kingdom" combines historical drama with the horror genre, creating a unique and thrilling viewing experience. Set in Korea's medieval Joseon period, the series follows a prince investigating a mysterious plague that turns people into undead creatures. With its high production values, engaging plot, and intense action sequences, "Kingdom" offers a fresh take on both historical dramas and zombie stories. Despite its success, "Kingdom" remains somewhat underrated compared to other international hits, making it a hidden gem for those who appreciate a blend of history and the supernatural.

7. My Mister (2018)

My Mister


"My Mister" is a touching and mature drama that explores the lives of three middle-aged siblings facing various challenges. IU delivers a standout performance as Lee Ji-an, a young woman with a difficult past who becomes entwined with a middle-aged man, played by Lee Sun-kyun. The series delicately tackles themes of improvement, friendship, and the impact of life's hardships on individuals. Its subtle yet powerful storytelling, coupled with exceptional character development and the its epic cast, makes "My Mister" a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed in the broader landscape of K-dramas. Given that it is a bit slow and dark, it surely cannot be everyone's cup of tea. However, My Mister is a captivating show guaranteed to surprise those who enjoy dramatic K-dramas.

8. Sell Your Haunted House (2021)

Sell Your Haunted House


If you are a fan of supernatural, a good dose of laughter, and a touch of heartwarming moments, "Sell Your Haunted House" is the hidden gem that deserves a prime spot on your watchlist. Released in 2021, this K-drama seamlessly blends the realms of horror, comedy, and drama, offering a unique and engaging viewing experience that stands out in the crowded landscape of Korean television. Jang Na-ra's portrayal of Ji-ah as a strong and realistic exorcist with a mysterious past adds depth to the character, while Jung Yong-hwa's charismatic performance as In-bum injects a perfect balance of humor and warmth. The drama beautifully weaves in emotional moments, exploring themes of forgiveness, redemption, and the human connection with the supernatural, giving you a hauntingly good time watching!

9. Kill It! (2019)

Kill It!


"Kill It" introduces the mysterious character Kim Soo-hyun, portrayed by Jang Ki-yong, who leads a double life as a veterinarian and a highly skilled assassin. The series explores the tension between his two identities as he navigates the challenges of concealing his dark past while attempting to live a normal life. The complicity of these dual aspects creates a sense of mystery and unpredictability, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. On the other hand, Do Hyun-Jin (Im Jin-ah) is an excellent but proud detective whose cold-hearted exterior hides her empathy towards victims and the painful past of losing her lover. As the drama unfolds the layers of its characters and their intertwined destinies, "Kill It" proves to be a captivating and unforgettable journey through the shadows of dual identities and the enduring power of human connection. If you are in search of a K-drama that exceeds expectations and keeps you hooked until the very end, "Kill It" deserves a spot on your watchlist.

10. Move to Heaven (2021)

Move to Heaven


"Move to Heaven" is a Korean drama that exceeds typical storytelling boundaries, offering a touching and heartfelt narrative that resonates with viewers on a deeply emotional level. In a landscape often dominated by romantic comedies and action-packed thrillers, this hidden gem stands out for its unique storyline, stellar performances, and its ability to tackle profound themes surrounding life, loss, and the human spirit. "Move to Heaven" takes place in a unique setting—an "unattended death" cleaning service, where the main characters, Geu-ru (played by Tang Joon-sang) and his guardian, Sang-gu (played by Lee Je-hoon), clean up the belongings and memories left behind by those who have passed away. This unusual premise sets the stage for a narrative that goes into the often-overlooked aspects of life and death. If you are fond of emotional dramas, Move to Heaven is going to be your favorite Korean drama ever!


As the world continues to embrace the captivating appeal of Korean entertainment, it is essential to explore beyond the mainstream and uncover the hidden gems that offer unique narratives and exceptional performances. From the harsh realities of corporate life in "Misaeng: Incomplete Life" to the touching charm of "Move to Heaven" and the elaborate storytelling of "Six Flying Dragons," each of these underrated Korean shows has something special to offer to you. So, if you are in search of fresh and captivating content, consider looking into these hidden gems and enrich your K-drama journey with stories that deserve more recognition. Happy watching!




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