Top Korean dramas on Netflix that you should not miss

Best Korean web-series or movies on Netflix

Korean culture had been progressively gaining global recognition even before Parasite became a worldwide success and won practically every major film award, including the top honours at the Oscars in 2020. You may have heard of the boy band BTS as part of this Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu. Maybe Michelin-starred restaurants like Cote and Atomix have given you a taste for high-end Korean cuisine. Or perhaps you have a shelf full of Korean beauty items for your nightly 10-step skincare routine?

Korean television dramas are an essential part of the cultural fabric, even if they don’t have the same critical heft as the country’s cinematic output—and several of the best are available on Netflix.

Twenty Five Twenty One

A lovely, nostalgic coming-of-age tale set across a decade is the latest romantic comedy that everyone can’t stop talking about (or watching). Beginning in the late 1990s, Twenty Five Twenty One depicts how the Asian financial crisis affects the lives (and eventual love story) of its central protagonists, high school fencing prodigy Hee-do (Mister Sunshine’s Kim Tae-ri) and erstwhile chaebol scion Yi-jin (Start-Nam Up’s Joo-hyuk).

Twenty-Nine

Sort of a Sex and the City with a tinge of melancholy, Thirty-Nine follows three best friends as they deal with life, love, career, and loss while on the precipice of entering their forties. The trio consists of successful dermatologist Mi-jo (Crash Landing on You’s Son Ye-jin), acting coach Chan-young (Jeon Mi-do), and department store cosmetics manager Joo-hee (Kim Ji-hyun).

Our Beloved Summer

When they were teenagers, two former lovers were the subject of a documentary series set at their high school. Their relationship didn’t last but the documentary, of course, did. Ten years later, it goes viral and producers want a sequel, forcing the ex-couple–who had sworn to never see each other again—to reconnect and grapple with their feelings, their past, and how much they have grown.

All Of Us Are Dead

The zombie horror premise gets a coming-of-age twist in All of Us Are Dead thanks to its high school setting. A science experiment gone horribly wrong leads to an outbreak and leaves students trapped on campus to fend for themselves. Season 1 dropped in January and swiftly made it onto Netflix’s Global Top 10 list, earning praise for its allegories to things both global (Covid) and specific to Korean society (the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster, intense academic stress). Good news for fans: a second season is in the works.

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