Even with a wealth of streaming services it can be easy to find yourself at a loss for what to binge next. But seeing as the fall season is filled with reruns and unusual pickups anyway, it’s the perfect time to try something new and the wonderful world of K-dramas is the perfect place to start. With multiple streaming services hosting a multitude of brilliant Korean programming, we’ve curated a list of 12 shows to start with from three core genres. Whatever you feel like watching as the leaves turn golden, this selection will see you through.
Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Feel like you could do with some mystical therapy? Well, then pop into this Netflix K-drama, which centers on Wol-Ju (Hwang Jung-Eum), the proprietor of a magical bar. Ssanggab Cart Bar only appears late at night on the rooftop of a building. But if you find your way in then you can heal your wounds and talk your problems away with both the living and the dead. This Webtoon comic-turned-TV show is one of the most popular recent K-dramas. Mystic Pop-up Bar is a hopeful and kind show about grieving, trauma, and coming to terms with your past.
You can watch Mystic Pop-up Bar on Netflix now!
Strong Woman Do Bong-soon
Everyone needs a strong woman in their life. Luckily for those who know Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young), she was gifted with superstrength from birth. When wealthy game programmer and heir Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik) needs a bodyguard, the pair meet and spark an unusual friendship. Nothing like the sensible law enforcement officer she’s loved all of her life, Guk-doo (Ji Soo), Min-hyuk is a rebellious force who encourages her to use her powers to solve a series of mysterious kidnappings that Bong-soon has a personal connection to.
You can watch Strong Woman Do Bong-soon on Rakuten Viki now!
A Korean Odyssey
Reimagining the classic Chinese story Journey to the West, this fantastical comedy pits the Monkey King (Lee Seung-gi) against a young woman (Oh Yeon-seo) who once helped him escape his celestial prison. As a punishment for her unintentional crime, the girl has become Samjang, a demonic delicacy. Tied together by fate and toyed with by the gods, the pair has to work together to find a solution for their earthly and heavenly problems. But in a Twilight-style twist there’s nothing that the Monkey King wants to do more than eat Samjang himself.
You can watch A Korean Odyssey on Netflix now!
Mirror of the Witch
Magical worlds, powerful witches, and deadly curses—Mirror of the Witch has them all. Its true appeal is its badass female lead, though. The princess Yeon-hee (Kim Sae-ron) has been raised in isolation due to one of the aforementioned curses. She’s on a quest to rid her and her loved ones of the spell that has defined her life. She’s not alone, though, as Yeon-hee is joined by Heo Jun (Yoon Shi-yoon), the young son of a slave. The two are brought together by fate and are soon on a dangerous and magical journey to change their lives forever.
You can watch Mirror of the Witch on Rakuten Viki now!
Meow, the Secret Boy
Based on the popular Webtoon, this delightful series centers around a young woman, Kim Sol-ah (Shin Ye-eun), who dreams of becoming a professional cartoonist. Her life is complex enough as an aspiring artist, but when she takes in a magical cat things get a whole lot stranger. See, this is a cat who can turn into a human boy Hong-jo (Kim Myung-soo). Of course the pair quickly fall into an unexpected and romantic relationship. Quirky, cute, and about a woman who makes comics? What more could you want from your new fave fantasy romance?
You can watch Meow, the Secret Boy on Rakuten Viki now!
My Shy Boss
When Chae Ro-woon (Park Hye-soo) gets a new job with the powerful and fearsome CEO Eun Hwan-ki (Yeon Woo-jin), she has an ulterior motive. A dark secret and quest for vengeance drives her, becoming more complex the closer she gets to her boss. Playing on the classic enemies-to-lovers trope, My Shy Boss is an entertaining and twist-filled series as both characters come to terms with their true selves and the impact of the trauma they’ve shared.
You can watch My Shy Boss on Netflix now!
Cinderella and Four Knights
Inverting the classic harem trend established in Shoujo anime, Cinderella and the Four Knights is a true wish fulfillment story. Eun Ha-won (Parasite’s Park So-dam) is our fairytale hero, a cynical young woman under the thumb of her abusive stepmother and her daughter. Her life consists of grinding work in order to pay her way through college, but she’s given the chance of a lifetime when she impresses a businessman with her no-bull attitude. He offers her a job in exchange for her college tuition and a life of stability. All she has to do is reform his devilishly handsome and badly behaved grandsons. Thrust into a life of riches and fancy mansions, Ha-won has to do her best to keep the boys in check and try not to fall in love with all three.
You can watch Cinderella and Four Knights on Netflix now!
This class war romance sees a poor and streetwise young woman, Baek Joon (Kang So-ra), fall for the heir to the massive corporation that ruined her family’s lives. As they embark on their unexpected relationship together, Joon forces Byun Hyuk (Choi Si-won) to see the damage that his family has done and the pair team up to take down the corrupt forces at play. If you like to see billionaires ruined by hot young lovers, Revolutionary Love will sate your appetite.
You can watch Revolutionary Love on Netflix now!
Flower of Evil
Baek Hee-sung (Lee Joon-gi) is the perfect husband, his wife is a trailblazing police detective, and the pair share a beautiful daughter. Hee-sung is hiding a secret, though: he’s a killer with a dark past and will do anything to protect it. With the fate of Hannibal still in the balance, Flower of Evil is a perfect replacement. Though it isn’t nearly as gory as Bryan Fuller’s stellar serial killer series, it’s full of intrigue, murders, and a central relationship that will have you hooked.
“When night falls on the city, shadows and spirits come alive in this horror anthology series centered on urban legends.” Anthology horror is more popular than ever right now with every streamer getting in on the action. But this Korean entry comes with a twist. Each of Goedam’s creepy episodes is under ten minutes long. Based around local folklore, this is an atmospheric and chilling collection of short films.
You can watch Goedam on Netflix now!
A Grim Reaper (Song Seung-heon) gets caught up in solving a series of murders that distracts him from his mission in this unusual procedural. The Reaper is dedicated to his role as a bridge between the living and the dead, but when he takes on the body of a dead detective he becomes obsessed with a cold case. Soon he becomes romantically entangled with a mortal, Kang Ha-ram (Go Ara), who can see how people die. Dark and thrilling, this interesting setup pays off with a huge conspiracy and great chemistry between the two leads.
You can watch Black on Netflix now!
Fantasy-thrillers are big business and Train is a mind-bending example. After the woman he loves is killed, Detective Seo Do-won (Yoon Shi-yoon) finds himself able to traverse realities. Flitting between two timelines—one where his love is still alive and he has to protect her, and the other where he’s hunting her killer—this is a timey-wimey crime drama with bite. After all, who wouldn’t want a partner who’d travel through time to save us?
You can watch Train on Rakuten Viki now!
Featured Image: Rakuten Viki