Korean series Extraordinary Attorney Woo and The Glory charmed viewers on Netflix. Not familiar? If you love The Good Doctor and Revenge, give the new shows a try. Here are some other K-dramas you might like.
This article has been updated to include The Glory. Extraordinary Attorney Woo was a huge hit in Korea — even BTS members broke out lead character Woo Young Woo’s (Park Eun Bin) bestie greeting. But the charming show about an autistic savant with a passion for the law also captivated viewers around the world. Add the constantly evolving relationships at a prestigious law firm in Seoul, an abundance of whale facts, and an unexpected family twist, you’ve got the makings of a hit K-drama.
If you’re new to Korean TV shows or have only seen Squid Game, Extraordinary Attorney Woo embodies a lot of familiar tropes: a sad family backstory, the contrast between those who have wealth and those who do not, a central chaste romance and colorful, winsome, off-lead characters, or found-family friend group.
Although Squid Game’s worldwide success earned it a second season order from Netflix, many successful K-dramas don’t get one, so you may want to explore several options if you’re interested in the genre. If you’re new to Korean series or are looking for something new, here are 10 shows to try based on your current viewing habits.
Why: If the story of Shaun Murphy, a brilliant young doctor with autism (in a remake of a Korean series, as it happens), stimulates your feel-good nerve center, then the show about Woo Young Woo, a brilliant young attorney with autism, may do the same for you. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: As viewers of Revenge know well, watching a heroine play the long game makes for a great thriller. Legendary drama writer Kim Eun-sook (Goblin, Mr. Sunshine, Secret Garden, Descendants of the Sun) takes a darker turn with the story of Dong-eun, a poor student horrifically bullied in high school by a group of girls, who becomes the architect of an elaborate, psychologically complex plan for vengeance. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: Both shows deal with teenagers exploring the depths of first love (and the disparities of wealth). If you rooted for Marianne and Connell through their college years, you’ll do the same for Na Hee-do, an aspiring high school fencing champion, and Baek Yi-jin, the scion of a wealthy family whose fortune changed overnight during the 1998 IMF crisis. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: Like Virgin River, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a story about starting over in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Hye-jin, a dentist with a closet full of expensive shoes, ditches Seoul for a small seaside town where there’s more to the local characters than she initially expects, as well as unexpected romance. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: Like David Simon’s examination of Baltimore’s corrupt institutions, two cops — separated by 25 years in this fantasy police procedural — work to expose the larger forces behind some of the country’s most famous crimes, communicating through a time-bending walkie talkie — like Frequency’s time-bending ham radio. Where to watch it:Netflix or Viki
Why: If Grey’s taught us anything, it’s that viewers love surgeons with complicated personal lives. When they’re not snacking in the doctors’ lounge, this group of elite doctors unwinds at a weekly band practice. The heartfelt bond between these longtime friends will get you through the harrowing life and death calls they have to make. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: Like the women in The Morning Show, the female executives at Korea’s top web portals wield an enormous amount of power in shaping the national conversation, while maneuvering politics within their own companies. Added bonus: one of fiction’s most compelling bosses. Where to watch it: Netflix or Viki
Why: If you love the struggles of nerdy developers at a tech incubator, then Start-Up should be next in your queue. Throw in a love triangle, a remarkable grandmother and a rivalry between sisters, and you’ll find yourself craving corn dogs. Trust us. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: The machinations of a Congressman and his powerful wife manipulating their way to the presidency — sound familiar? Add the revenge mission of a fit fugitive mercenary (played by Ji Chang-wook), a hidden daughter, and a global surveillance system, and you’ll find yourself smashing the “next episode” button. The Bond-worthy stunts and fight sequences — artfully choreographed, rarely using guns — steal the show. Where to watch it:Netflix or Viki
Why: While crossing centuries may seem like an impossible barrier to one’s true love, the Korean DMZ throws up its own challenges. After a South Korean fashion mogul accidentally lands in North Korea, her struggle to get home becomes complicated by a dashing soldier. “CLOY” is the show many current K-drama fans cite as the gateway into their obsession. Come for the romance between Hyun Bin and his now-wife Son Yejin, but stay for the scene-stealing North Korean village women and soldiers. Where to watch it:Netflix
Why: Like Sutton Foster’s Liza hiding a secret from her publishing colleagues, Park Min-young plays Sung Deok Mi, a talented art curator with something to hide. As a hardcore Kpop fangirl, she operates a popular fan cafe. Also like Liza, she sports a killer wardrobe. Where to watch it:Prime Video, Netflix, Viki