Arts, Culture & Lifestyle

8 Korean dramas and reality shows to watch (or rewatch) right now

From our all-time favourites to our latest obsessions and short web series, here's what you can watch on Netflix, Viu, YouTube and more.
Reading time 9 minutes
Courtesy of JTBC

We have talked about social media entertainment and Netflix shows you ought to watch, and here comes another list to keep you entertained during the extended Malaysia Movement Control Order (MCO) – K-drama and reality shows.

That's right, there's nothing more binge-worthy than Korean productions (as they top the trending section of most streaming sites and apps).

And here, we round up our favourites that you can binge over (both new and old) on various platforms – from dramas like Hospital Playlist and Itaewon Class to, I Live Alone, Mapo Hipster and Fun-Staurant.

Scroll down to see what's on our K-list now:

KNOWING BROS.

Also known as Men On A Mission (아는 형님; @jtbcbros), this reality TV variety show hosted by six hilarious comedians with Kang Ho Dong on the helm will leave you completely ROFL at all times.

The best thing about this show? They play host to the biggest Korean celebrities in a classroom-like setting where they play a series of games, challenges and Q&A sessions for you to learn more about the stars and their latest projects.

From boy bands like GOT7, EXO and BTS to actors and actresses like Park Shin Hye and  Lee Seung Gi; and girl groups like Blackpink, Mamamoo and Red Velvet, the list goes on!

And they are available in a few different streaming platforms like Netflix and Viu (though we prefer Viu as they are more up-to-date with the latest episodes).

 

Where to watch: Netflix and Viu.

ITAEWON CLASS

A major hit K-drama of 2020 starring Park Seo Joon, Kim Da Mi, Ahn Bo Hyun, Yoo Jae Myung and Kwon Nara, Itaewon Class (이태원 클라쓰; @danbam.official) is not your regular rom-com drama everyone expects from the K-genre.

Instead, it focuses on Park Saeroyi (Park Seo Joon) as he starts his own F&B business venture in the iconic neighbourhood of Itaewon and struggles through obstacles to have his ultimate revenge against an F&B mogul Jang Dae Hee who had wronged him in the past.

Based on a popular Korean webtoon comic, this unexpected gem was all the buzz online as it highlights many social and ethical issues happening in South Korea.

 

Where to watch: Netflix.

GOBLIN

A classic and icon among romantic-fantasy K-drama, Goblin is what we think as the gateway for K-drama addiction of this era starring power class actors like Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun (the current female lead of The King: Eternal Monarch).

Focusing on the story of star-crossed lovers, one immortal (Gong Yoo) and the other mortal but destined to kill him and free him from thousand-year suffering (Kim Go Eun), the movie packs tear-jerking, laugh-inducing and feel-good romantic moments that will keep you craving for more.

 

Where to watch: Netflix and iFlix.

I LIVE ALONE

As we enter the "god-knows-how-many" phases of social distancing and staying at home, the K-reality show I Live Alone is the perfect companion to, well, those who stay alone during these trying times.

Starring a celebrity cast of Park Narae, Lee Siwon, Kian84, Sung Hoon, Hwasa and more, the show documents the daily lives of Korean celebs and have the cast do a watch-along commentary filled with comedic moments.

The show will also have weekly A-list celebrity special guests like Korean supermodel Han Hye Jin, K-Pop idol Tae Yang of Big Bang, actor Jung Ryeo Won and more. Definitely one to keep you entertained and elevated at home.

They also have a new YouTube channel featuring behind-the-scene clips and highlights of the show weekly, most notably the "30-minutes Before" mini-series of backstage skits.

 

Where to watch: Viu.

MAPO HIPSTER

A fashion-centred spin-off of the popular K-variety show A Journey To The West, produced and starring by Na Young Seok PD, this 10-episode YouTube series has been the centre of all fashion attention in Korea.

Starring K-Pop artists Song Minho/MINO of Winner and P.O of Block B, the duo takes on fashion styling challenges to win the ultimate title Mapo Hipster (based on the hip and budding fashion neighbourhood of Mapo in Seoul).

Featuring some of the hottest fashion trends and designers, from Dior and Chanel to Maison Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Juun J. and JW Anderson, this series will spark joy and your desire to shop! Plus there are also episodes where they did affordable fashion styling with Zara and COS - definitely, something made for all shoppers high and low!

 

Where to watch: YouTube.

HOSPITAL PLAYLIST

Love your Grey's Anatomy binge? Why not meet the Korean counterpart now with Hospital Playlist (슬기로운 의사생활) - a medical/slice-of-life drama that tells the story of trial, tribulations, family and love life of 5 stellar doctors.

Centred around Yulje Medical Center, the five doctors (played by Jun Kyung Ho, Yoo Yeon Seok, Jeun Mi Do, Jo Jung Suk and Kim Da Myung) traverses through plenty of gut-wrenching moments that most can relate to on a personal level (personally team L'Officiel has been glued to Netflix because of this) and to give it a twist, these five doctors are also part of their own self-made music band within the storyline.

At the end of the episode, you will be rewarded with a short performance scene where the doctors sing their own drama's OST, which also reflects the lessons they learn within that episode.

 

Where to watch: Netflix.

THE KING: ETERNAL MONARCH

A top trending Netflix series right now, which also marks actor Lee Min Ho's comeback to the small screen post-military service, The King: Eternal Monarch can be considered as one of the most anticipated K-drama releases of 2020.

Written by the same author of hit series like Goblin and Descendants of the Sun, The King is a new chronicle is set in parallel universes where the characters have their alter-personas in a different space-time. It tells a tale about identity and asking one question: "Will you give up on the person you are becoming and trade that life with another ‘you’?" (and we have an interview exclusive with Min Ho and the cast for your viewing pleasure).

 

Where to watch: Netflix.

STARS' TOP RECIPE AT FUN-STAURANT

We all love good food and if MCO has spurred us into doing anything -- cooking is definitely one of the top skills we picked up and that is what Star's Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant is all about -- cooking delicious meals with simple methods.

Headlined by top comedienne Lee Young-Ja, Korea's top host Lee Hyung Kyu, actor Jung Il Woo and more, the show highlights a cast of celebrities on their journey to create healthy, delicious and easy meals that are fit for convenience stores -- where different themes and challenges are given periodically.

The winning celebrity of each challenge will also have their dish recreated and sold in selected convenience stores nationwide in South Korea where proceeds will benefit a chosen charity to help children suffering from malnutrition.

Good food, inspiring recipes and a philanthropic cause, what reason is there not to watch this?

 

Where to watch: YouTube.

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