Shows to consume based on what you usually like to watch

Crash landing on youwas my gateway to Korean drama.

The Netflix story of a South Korean heiress who accidentally gets caught in North Korea and the military officer who risks everything to help her has me hooked. The chemistry of the main actors was undeniable (Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin got married in real life after the show) and loved how the secondary characters felt like fully realized people instead of background props. It was also culturally fascinating to see how South Koreans described life in North Korea.

After binging “Crash Landing”, I quickly dug into Netflix’s “more like this” suggestions. I found myself watching so many K-dramas that I had to create a separate profile to keep them from completely overtaking the one I share with my husband. I have ventured onto other platforms including Hulu and Youtube as well as foreign streamers such as Kocowa and Rakuten Viki.

I am one of a growing number of non-Korean speakers who are addicted to Korean entertainment. Streamers have been capitalizing on the Korean Wave (Hallyu) for years, but recent hits like “Squid Game” attracted massive new audiences and served as K-dramas gateways. You can gauge audience interest as juggernauts like Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon continue to add Korean titles. Disney has recovered “Snowdrop”, a buzzing melodrama starring Black Rose‘s Jisoo, and Netflix announced a Korean version of its Spanish series, “Money Heist: Korea – Common Economic Space(with “Squid Games” star Park Hae-soo as Berlin), slated for June 24.

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Like Bong Joon Ho, director of “Parasite” said during his 2020 Golden Globes acceptance speech, “Once you overcome the one-inch-high caption barrier, you’ll discover so many more amazing movies.” This also applies to TV shows.

To help you discover a whole new world of entertainment, we’ve put together a list of K-dramas and movies to suit all tastes:

Cop Buddy Drama Fans: “Midnight Runners” (2017)

If you liked the ribs and broken bones provided by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys,” then you’ll love Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul in this movie. Park and Kang play two students who couldn’t be more different – ​​one rich and smart, the other poor and strong – at the Korean National Police University. After a rocky start, the two become friends and, while on leave from college, witness the kidnapping of a woman. They’re forced to take the investigation into their own hands, which leads to a turnaround that you won’t see coming. The action is great and there’s a villain that will have your skin crawling as soon as he appears on screen.

Where to watch: Rakuten Viki; rent or buy on Amazon.

Also try: “Police University” on Rakuten Viki.

Fake-to-True Romance Fans: “Business Proposal” (2022)

This recent anime series centers on food researcher Shin Ha-ri (Kim Se-jeong). She agrees to take her best friend’s place on a blind date arranged by her friend’s wealthy father, and plans to act so blatantly that there would be no way the man want another date. But it’s a romantic comedy, so things don’t go as planned and Kang Tae-moo (Ahn Hyo-seop) ends up being promoted to CEO of her company. The two accept a relationship contract to cheat on her grandfather, who wants Tae-moo to get married, but that falls apart as real feelings start to grow.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: “Her Private Life” on Netflix and Rakuten Viki.

Zombie Fans: “Kingdom” (2019)

“Kingdom” was one of the first Korean original series to premiere on Netflix, in 2019. It follows a crown prince of the Joseon dynasty who finds himself fighting two battles to the death: one against political rivals and another. another against a mysterious plague that resurrects people as flesh-eating monsters. Ju Ji-Hoon stars as Crown Prince Lee Chang, who, along with a motley crew including a doctor, a mysterious warrior, and a personal guard, uses 17th-century weapons like swords and arrows to battle the undead. The series will leave you wondering which is worse, hordes of zombies or political schemers.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: “Train to Busan” on Rakuten Viki.

Lovers of cult and bloodthirsty thrillers: “Hellbound” (2021)

This series is set in a world where certain people are told their exact time of death and are sent to their unholy final destination by giant demons in broad daylight. As video and news of the phenomenon spreads rapidly across the globe, it gives rise to religious fanatics, media frenzy and moral judgement. It’s a wild, bloody ride that will have your heart racing from opening scene to closing credits. Released shortly after “Squid Game,” this thriller was among the most popular Netflix K-dramas of the past year.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: ‘Strangers from Hell’ on Netflix.

Space Adventure Fans: ‘The Silent Sea’ (2021)

In the not-too-distant future, Earth’s water supply is rapidly disappearing and humanity is fighting for survival. The government sends astrobiologist Song Ji-an (Bae Doo-na) to an abandoned moon station to retrieve a mysterious substance. Ji-an’s sister died there years earlier and she wants answers, so she agrees to go to the moon with a team led by Captain Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo). But the mission seems doomed, as the crew is plagued by mechanical problems and the seeds of mistrust.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: “Space Sweepers” on Netflix.

Historical Drama Fans: “The Red Sleeve” (2021)

A royal falling in love with a commoner is a tale as old as time, but this series manages to keep the story fresh and exciting. As crown prince, Yi San (Lee Jun-ho) falls in love with the beautiful and intelligent court lady Seong Deok-im (Lee Se-young). Despite her growing feelings for the king, Deok-im refuses to give up her happy life and relative freedom for a golden cage. At its core, “The Red Sleeve” is a love story, but as the characters struggle with loyalty, duty and identity, it becomes a poignant exploration of the human spirit.

Where to watch: Rakuten Viki.

Also try: “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth” on Kocowa and Rakuten Viki.

Serious Military Show Fans: ‘DP’ (2021)

Instead of a war zone, the action in this unsettling series takes place inside modern-day Korea. The battles are not with a foreign invader, but against men who have fled their mandatory Korean military service. Enlisted Ahn Jun-Ho (Jung Hae-in) is enlisted in the special deserter pursuit unit, and he is happy to escape the bullying in his barracks. This feeling does not last, as he soon discovers that some of the men he pursues have suffered atrocities at the hands of their superiors within the military. He tackles his mission and the ending will leave you with a knot in your stomach.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: “Descendants of the Sun” on Hulu.

Alternate Universe Plot Fans: ‘W’ (2016)

Oh Yeon-joo (Han Hyo-joo) is the daughter of famous webtoon author and illustrator “W. Her father mysteriously disappears, and in her search she is drawn into the world he created. In the parallel world, Yeon-joo meets the webtoon’s main character, Kang Chul (Lee Jong-suk), a self-made millionaire whose life’s pursuit is to find the villain who murdered his family.

Where to watch: Rakuten Viki.

Also try: “The King: Eternal Monarch” on Netflix.

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Underdog Fans: ‘Start-Up’ (2020)

Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) is an aspiring entrepreneur who lands a spot at the ultra-competitive business incubator called Sandbox. She teams up with math whiz Nam Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk) to develop artificial intelligence technology and turn it into a viable tech company. As if navigating a tech world filled with investors, inventors, and imposters wasn’t hard enough, Dal-mi finds herself in a love triangle with Do-san and Han Ji-pyeong (Kim Seon-ho). , a shark in a large corporate capital firm who has a history with Dal-mi.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Also try: “Itaewon Class” on Netflix.

Lovers of love stories with unexpected endings: ‘Yumi’s Cells’ (2021)

It’s one of the first K-dramas to combine live action and animation, and if you start watching with an open mind, you’ll thank yourself in the end. Yumi is an ordinary worker who is unlucky in love. Her story is told from her perspective as well as that of her cells – animated versions of hunger, reason, emotion…imagine Pixar’s “Inside Out” for adults. After a long-term relationship ends in heartbreak, Yumi’s (Kim Go-eun) love cell slips into a coma. That is, until Yumi meets handsome game developer Goo Woong (Ahn Bo-hyun). Season 2 is set to premiere in June.

Where to watch: Rakuten Viki.

Also try: “Nevertheless” on Netflix.

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