In mainstream media, Korean dramas are portrayed as, or rather mistaken for, always being lovey-dovey, cheesy, and hopelessly romantic. To be fair, the most popular ones have great romantic content with glamorous and exciting storylines. However, not all of them are about love or have happy endings. Korean TV shows may be called dramas, but they have many genres, including thriller, action, sageuk (historical/period), law, crime, fantasy etc. The prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards held earlier this year has showcased the versatility and unprecedented growth of the Korean Film and TV Show Industry. If you are a newbie to Korean drama and looking for something worth watching, here are five k-dramas that will keep you glued to your screen.

1. Mouse

When a series of similar gruesome murders has the whole country gripped in fear, suspicions arise that these must be the work of a psychopath. To get to the bottom of these baffling and sickening cases, police officer Jeong Ba-Reum teams up with detective Go Moo-Chi. Unbeknownst to them, both are haunted by a tragic past that is somehow
intermingled with each other and the current going-ons. Will they allow their past to catch up with them? Do serial killers deserve forgiveness? Watch Mouse to find out.

2. Sky Castle

Can the rich always win? Honour, prestige and success are the only things that matter to the residents of Sky Castle. Most of them come from wealthy families of doctors and law professors and have one common goal: their children must fight their way to enter prestigious universities. On the surface, the luxurious residential area seems like everyone’s dream place to be. But when one of the residents commits suicide, something does not feel right. Sky Castle is a satirical comic drama that describes the worldly desires and privileges of the upper class. It approaches the topic of mental health and the pressures of the Korean social hierarchy. A subversive show, but a thought-provoking one to begin with if you are interested to know more about Korean culture.

3. Kingdom

When rumors about the King of Joseon’s illness start to spread, the Crown Prince finds himself in the middle of a political conspiracy. To make matters worse, a mysterious plague that resurrects the dead suddenly hits the nation. Torn between his struggle for survival and his duty to save the people, the Prince begins a lonely and bloody adventure. If you are an avid thriller fan, this show will keep you up all night!

4. Save Me


With a spine-chilling thriller storyline, Save Me is a must-watch when it comes to suspense-filled dramas. When a family moves to a new suburban area, they hope to start anew. But in a world of shamans, charismatic villains, and cult members, a series of events break out, leading the family to encounter strange people. Upon the first meeting, the family is sucked into a controversial religious organization by a false image of hope and religion. In an attempt to escape, the family’s daughter looks out for help. Will she be saved? There is only one way to find out. Watch Save Me now to see what happens!

5. The World of the Married

Ji Sun-Woo has everything a woman can ask for. An impressive career in the medical field, a house in an affluent neighborhood, and last but not least, a perfect husband… or so she thought. Everything in her life turned out the way she expected it to be until she found out about a huge secret. A secret that everyone seems to be aware of except her. In just a matter of hours, Sun-Woo’s whole life suddenly turns upside down. Will she get through it? The World of the Married is a family drama about love, lust, and betrayal where dirty secrets are revealed, and a thirst for revenge drives everyone.

Are you a K-drama fan? Please share your favorite Korean dramas with us in the comments section!