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12 Great South Korean Dramas You Can Stream Right Now

Sae-Byeok in Squid Game.
(Image credit: Netflix)

While there are plenty of great shows to watch from the United States, from fantasy series like The Witcher, to the classic cop shows like NCIS, sometimes, I like to travel outside of my home country to explore some of the best shows that other locales have to offer. While there are plenty of awesome international shows to watch on Netflix, I decided to take a deeper look into South Korean media - and boy, do they have some amazing shows. 

From mega-hits like Squid Game, to smaller shows like Law School, there are so many great South Korean TV dramas that you can stream right now. If you’re looking for something new, check out these intriguing picks. 

An example of the gore in Kingdom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kingdom (Netflix) 

In this horror series on Netflix, Kingdom follows the journey of a crowned prince as he sets off on a crazy journey to investigate the source of a mysterious plague that is rippling through South Korea, causing people to turn into monsters similar to zombies. 

Look, as someone who grew up watching The Walking Dead, this show is the perfect combination of the gore of shows like that, mixed in with some exceptionally amazing set pieces, design, costumes, and so much more. The fact that this story is also set several hundreds of years ago makes it so much better and so entertaining, and the action scenes will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. 

Stream Kingdom on Netflix. 

Some of the main characters in Sky Castle.

(Image credit: JTBC)

Sky Castle (Viki) 

In this popular South Korean drama, Sky Castle follows the lives of four women who live in the luxurious Sky Castle neighborhood. Consistently, they try to make their husbands more successful, and raise their children like princes and princesses, all at the cost of not only their own happiness, but of their family’s as well. 

Watching this sort of reminded me of Desperate Housewives, except in South Korea. The drama will be enough to make you keep watching, and the cast all work together very well, creating memorable scenes that will resonate with you, or make you gasp at the television in shock.

Stream Sky Castle on Viki. 

Vincenzo in Vincenzo.

(Image credit: tvN)

Vincenzo (Netflix) 

Vincenzo follows the story of Park Joo-hyung, who was adopted by an Italian family. Soon after, he joins the mafia, becomes a lawyer, and ends up becoming the leader’s right-hand man. 

If you want a classic mafia/mob story, this is certainly your go-to. Not only does the lead, played by Song Joong-Ki, perform his role very well from the beginning, there’s just something about the action that really captures my interest. It’s also such an interesting premise as well, with this South Korean kid getting adopted into an Italian family and then joining the Italian mafia? You can’t tell me that it doesn't at least peak your interest a bit. 

Stream Vincenzo on Netflix. 

Some of the main characters in Law School.

(Image credit: JTBC)

Law School (Netflix)

Moving onto another series, Law School follows the story of when a grim incident occurs at a prestigious university. Because of this, the law is put to the test by a law professor and his students, wanting to solve the case before they get accused of it as well. 

If you were a fan of How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, Law School is the perfect choice for you. It has a lot of the same dramatic moments, and really interesting characters throughout it’s episodes. Plus, the main star, Kim Myung-min, is amazing in his role as a prosecutor-turned-professor, and really helps to make his character's backstory especially intriguing. 

Stream Law School on Netflix. 

The two main characters in 100 Days, My Prince.

(Image credit: tvN)

100 Days, My Prince (Viki)

I told you, there’s something for everyone here, and 100 Days, My Prince is the romantic comedy you all need to watch. This tells the story of two noble people, Lee Yul and Yoon Yi-seo, who meet and end up falling in love, but while they are learning to love each other, there’s betrayal behind the scenes, and schemes coming from close family members. 

I know, this almost sounds like something out of Romeo and Juliet, and trust me, 100 Days, My Prince is actually a really entertaining show with so much love and a lot of great comedy. 

The love between Yul and Yi-seo really takes the cake, however, helping to turn this show into an exciting historical piece. There are plenty of twists and turns that will make anyone want to keep watching, so it’s certainly worth the time. 

Stream 100 Days, My Prince on Viki. 

One of the main characters of Navillera.

(Image credit: tvN)

In Navillera, we follow the story of Shim Deok-chul, a 70-year-old retired mailman who decides after years of debating and pushing it off that he is going to pursue his lifelong passion of learning ballet, which doesn’t please his family, and causes worlds of trouble. 

This, hands down, is one of my favorites on this list, for one specific reason - Deok-chul is one of those characters you will want to root for, and I rooted for him a lot. His commitment to wanting to pursue his dream and become a ballet dancer, despite his family and the world telling him no, is so inspiring that it made me tear up a little bit. It’s certainly a series that will make you smile or cry - but in a good way. 

Stream Navillera on Netflix. 

The main character of Sweet Home.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Sweet Home (Netflix) 

Did someone say more terrifying creatures? Because that’s what the horror series Sweet Home can give you. This Netflix original series is about Cha Hyun-soo, who lives in an apartment building with the other residents when suddenly, monsters begin to attack and try to wipe out humanity. The building residents shield themselves from within, trying to somehow keep themselves alive, and find a way out of this hell. 

Sweet Home is so much freaking fun. I binged all the episodes in a day because it not only provides an excellent storyline, some really cool and scary-looking monsters, and great set pieces, but the relationships between the residents that slowly form over the episodes makes you want to root for them to get out and survive, despite everything else in the world wanting their lives to end. It’s a story about humanity in the worst of times. 

There are also some great supernatural moments as well, but I won’t get into too much detail - go watch it for yourself. Definitely one of the best Netflix shows

Stream Sweet Home on Netflix. 

Some of the main characters of Strangers From Hell.

(Image credit: OCN)

Strangers From Hell (Netflix)

Strangers From Hell (otherwise known as Hell is Other People) tells the story of a young man who moves to Seoul, South Korea after landing a great internship. Looking for a place to stay, he ends up moving into a cheap dormitory to save on money. However, when he moves in, strange occurrences start to happen around his studio, and with his suspicious neighbors. 

If you’re looking for a fun supernatural series with plenty of jumpscares, Strangers from Hell is certainly one of the better ones on this list. As someone who loves to watch some of the best horror films out there, or rewatch the Halloween franchise just for fun, Strangers from Hell has all the elements of a great horror film, with compelling characters, crazy moments, and so much more. 

Stream Strangers from Hell on Netflix. 

Two of the main characters in The Heirs.

(Image credit: SBS TV)

The Heirs (Viki)

In The Heirs, we follow a group of high school students, born into privilege and wealth, as they prepare to take on their family's business empires, showing their difficulties, personal problems, and the scandals they face on an everyday basis. 

If you were a fan of the CW show, Gossip Girl, or a fan of the Netflix original, Elite, this South Korean drama is perfect. As someone who is most certainly not a part of the wealthy lifestyle so many of these characters experience, it’s entertaining as all heck to see some of their scandals, as well as the moments where there is genuine growth in characters who have gone through some serious moments. The relationships are also fun to watch develop as well, creating a great dynamic between the pursuit of love and the duty of business. 

Stream The Heirs on Viki.

The two main characters in The Legend of the Blue Sea.

(Image credit: SBS TV)

Legend of the Blue Sea (Hulu)

The fantasy series, Legend of the Blue Sea, focuses on the love story between Shim-Cheong, a mermaid and Heo Joon-jae, a witty con-artist, following their journey from strangers to lovers, showing everything in-between. 

When I first saw the premise of this show, I thought it was really just going to be another remake of The Little Mermaid, but oh boy was I wrong. Legend of the Blue Sea demonstrates a compelling and believable love story, from its origins to its end, mixed in with a journey into the past, showing that these two were always meant to be together regardless of what time period they were in. It’s honestly such a great love story and one more people should watch. 

Stream Legend of the Blue Sea on Hulu. 

Some of the main characters in Chief of Staff.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Chief Of Staff (Netflix)

In this Netflix original series, Chief of Staff follows the story of politicians, and their aids who are trying to help them climb the political ladder, ending up in controversies, scandals, affairs and so much more. 

If you were into shows like House of Cards, this is the perfect way to continue that obsession. With a talented cast, a great story, and plenty of moments that will make your mouth drop in shock, Chief of Staff is a great political series that feels real and will entertain you even if you aren’t into politics. 

Stream Chief of Staff on Netflix. 

The contestants in Squid Game.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Squid Game (Netflix)

Last but certainly not least, we take a look at Squid Game. This Netflix original series follows several contestants as they enter themselves into a game of some sort to win a cash prize to repay their debts. However, things take a deadly turn very quickly, leading many to question whether a life in poverty is better because of risking their lives for this sum of money. 

Squid Game exploded on Netflix the moment it premiered, gaining hype off of social media and only growing in viewership since then. While Season 2 hasn’t been confirmed yet, with the cliffhanger the show leaves you on, I’d be surprised if it isn’t. With characters that you’ll cry over losing, bloody terrifying children’s games with a murderous twist, and a story that’s genuinely suspenseful, Squid Game is one of the best South Korean shows on Netflix, and one of the best shows on Netflix overall.

Stream Squid Game on Netflix. 

Now you can see that there are so many awesome choices to pick from in whatever genre you prefer. If you end up watching one of these awesome shows, you better check the 2021 fall TV schedule and see if there might be another season coming out soon. God knows I hope Squid Game gets that Season 2, as well.

Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!