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Who doesn’t enjoy romance? Providing you’re not the recipient of several divorces, the truth is that most of us have a little soft spot for that sweet thing called love.
And in the land of Korean Dramas, there is no exception. With seemingly more romantic shows available to stream than there are days in a year, you’d be hard pressed to find a show that completely cuts out intimacy. With those shows in question ranging from heartwarming all the way to catastrophic, I’ve taken the pleasure of recommending five of my personal favourite K-Dramas centred all-around affection.
There will not be any major spoilers in this article, just a short summary of what each show entails, so don’t feel threatened that I’ll let a key plot twist or story arch in any of these shows slip.
'What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?'
Plot Summary: Resident narcissistic Lee Young Joon, the Vice President of a company run by his family, is about as self-absorbed as it gets. Thinking highly of himself at all times and refusing to accommodate those around him, he’s a boss near-impossible to impress.
By his side is secretary Kim Mi So, the only person he seemingly trusts, and his secretary of nine years. However, when Mi So resigns to focus on herself, it leads to a hilarious quest to her heart from none another than everyone’s favourite arrogant lead, Lee Young Joon.
My Thoughts: For me, this is about as good as a romantic comedy gets. It strikes the right balance between heartwarming and cringeworthy, and the chemistry between the two leads is tangible. Park Seo Joon is near-flawless in his role, and the comedy aspect of the show, particularly in scenes including the other workers, is fantastic. The story is fairly fast-paced and engaging, making it a superb choice to binge this Valentine’s Day.
Plot Summary: Seo Jung Hoo is Healer, a night-courier who will do anything for his clients—except murder. One case links him with Kim Moon Ho, a famous reporter, as well as Chae Young Shin, a failing tabloid writer who has dreams of being just like the aforementioned Moon Ho. Together, the three uncover mysteries of a shared past, and fight to rectify the wrongs of decades gone by.
My Thoughts: This is a slightly risky choice, as the main premise of the plot is hardly romantic. Yes, love does have a big part to play in the show, but I always thought of this drama as more of a thriller. With that being said, if you’re into plot twists, nail-biting climaxes, and brilliant character development, all alongside a healthy dose of tremendous acting, then look no further. Healer has everything you could wish for in a show, and is the best choice should you be looking for something with a bit more action than the rest of the shows on this list.
Plot Summary: A woman who has seemingly everything meets a man who appears to have the opposite: Nothing. However, fate brings them together, and despite the initial scare that the two have nothing in common, a smile-inducing love story ensues.
My Thoughts: I’ve recently finished this show, so it’s still fresh in my mind. One thing to note is how good the character development is here, with the two leads finding their chemistry together before pursuing a relationship, as opposed to the cliché route of hopelessly falling into each other’s arms. It’s a show you need to have patience with when watching, but you’ll be rewarded, don’t worry. It has a gripping soundtrack, too, so if you’re a fan of a fairytale story with the perfect OST, it may be Encounter that you choose to watch come February 14th.
Plot Summary: Goblin is immortal. A once unbeatable general, he hopes to finally find a bride who can pull the sword from his chest. After searching for 900 years (seriously, it takes 900 years for you to find one person? I think that’s a you problem), he meets Ji Eun Tak, the person who can summon him and, ultimately, become said bride.
My Thoughts: The Goblin hype train has long been in service. I can’t go on any forum without it being recommended in some capacity, and it’s clear that it’s a favourite amongst a vast audience. For those who haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s a fantastic tale of love, and it has some fantastic moments of comic relief, too. The bromance between Goblin and Reaper is brilliant, and the overall quality of the show never waivers. Everything from the cinematography to the scriptwriting is near-perfect, and it’s one of very few shows that I’d definitely go back and rewatch. Worth more than just a casual viewing, this phenomenon is something you must check out sooner rather than later.
'Go Back Couple'
Plot Summary: Choi Ban Do and Ma Jin Joo are an unhappy couple. Marrying very much still in their younger days, the two now hate the sight of the other at the tender of age of 38, regretting tying the knot at such an early phase in their life.
Thanks to some time travelling, the two manage to turn back the clock all the way back to being 20-year-old university students who have met for the first time. This time around, they make different choices, affecting both family and friends.
My Thoughts: Honestly, I was sceptical of watching this at first. The premise isn’t exactly cutting edge, and I was afraid the show would fall into tired clichés and lazy character tropes. With that being said, it has a terrifyingly good balance of tear-jerking moments mixed with comedy clever enough to make anyone laugh, and a plot that will have you hooked. The narration aspect of the show is clever, and the story is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. If you’re looking for something more than just a cookie-cutter romance, this is the show for you.
And there you have it. Far from a comprehensive list, I hope this article can give you a little insight into just a few of the shows you can watch this Valentine’s Day if you’re in search of something a little different from your typical Hugh Grant flick. I hope you enjoyed the article.