10 Best South Korean Romance TV Series of the 21st Century (So Far)

Due to their compelling plots and strong (though occasionally predictable) plot twists, K-dramas and K-movies have become a global phenomenon and popular culture since the 2000s. However, with excellent projects like parasite or Squid Gamethe South Korean film industry has just recently piqued the curiosity of the globe.

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Thus, people are searching for any available film genre in the South Korean database to binge on, and romance particular ranks top. The diversity of Korean screenplay is precisely what attracts new audiences. Hence, here is the list of top 10 romantic K-dramas that fans should visit this weekend.


‘Crash Landing on You’ (2019 – 2020)

Crash Landing on You revolves around the love story between a South Korean female tycoon Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye-jin) and Ri Jung Hyuk (Hyun Bin), a North Korean military officer. After a paragliding mishap, Se Ri crashes on the North Korean border and runs into Captain Ri Jung Hyuk, who admits her as his fiancée to protect her because of the political tension between the two regions.

Crash Landing on You, which is not quite a straightforward melodrama, deftly weaves dramatic elements like the political tensions between South and North Korea with the competitive rivalry between the tycoons. The movie also features a lot of amusing and memorable moments that help to relieve the tension and purposefully shatter the stereotype of the Korean love drama.

‘Descendants of the Sun’ (2016)

Descendants of the Sun focuses on the love story between Dr. kang (Song Hye Kyo) and Captain Yoo (Song Joong-Kic), who are stationed together in the war-torn territory of Uruk. The film’s main theme is the patriot of people like Dr. Kang and Captain Yoo who willingly accept the disadvantages, hardships, and equally profound loss to continue to be devoted to the country.

The story’s seemingly uninteresting subject was dramatically and creatively told. Moreover, the filmmakers expertly blend the romantic and perilous elements which make the message naturally sink into the audiences’ hearts without feeling forced or lectured. The series is also more realistic and approachable because of its quick pace and lack of drawn-out, unnecessary intimate scenes.

‘It’s Okay, That’s Love’ (2014)

It’s Okay, That’s Love revolves around the love story between Jang Jae-Yeol (Jo In-Sung), a mystery novel bestselling author and a radio DJ, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Ji Hae-soo (Kong Hyo Jin), a psychiatrist with a negative attitude towards love and relationships.

The series not only shows the romanticism of modern young people, but it also portrays society’s psychological condition, which is a very prevalent issue in a subtle and creative way. Noh Hee Kyung, the film’s screenwriter, has done a fantastic job of controlling the narrative and engrossing the audience with every snappy dialogue and the tiniest details. Additionally, the leading couple’s incredible chemistry also adds to the series’ realism and authenticity.

‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ (2016 – 2017)

Legend of the Blue Sea revolves around the relationship between the last mermaid Shim Chung (Jeon Ji Hyun) and a genius con artist Heo Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho). Moreover, Shim Chung previously had a relationship with Kim Dam Ryung, a Joseon aristocrat who resembles Joon Jae identically.

Utilizing the picturesque setting, natural lighting, and camera angles, director Jin Hyuk gives the movie additional romance, charm as well as tension when needed. Additionally, fans are given a modern yet mythical eternal love by the leading cast’s exceptional and natural acting abilities and by the sharp and innovative writing.

‘Goblin’ (2016 – 2017)

16 episodes of goblin revolve around the love story between the elf Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) and a 19-year-old girl Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun). Kim Shin was a decorated Goryeo Dynasty general who was slain by the young king after being accused of betraying him and given the curse of immortality. The Goblin’s bride is the only person that can aid to end his immortality.

Because of the in-depth character psychology and the exploration of difficult contemporary themes, goblin is regarded as one of the best TV series about eternal love. Additionally, each footage is meticulously polished and cared for, which completes the picture and gives viewers a sense of being a part of the narrative.

‘Full House’ (2004)

Full House follows Han Ji Eun (Song Hye Kyo), an orphan girl who lives alone in a large house that her father had designed until her awful closest friends sold it without her permission. Ji Eun decides to apply to be a pop singer, Lee Young Jae’s (Bi Rain) housemaid in order to reclaim the house which now belongs to Young Jae himself.

Audiences cannot help but giggle the entire time because of the film’s many amusing yet touching moments. Fans ought to visit this South Korean gem from the early 2000s due to the clever and rational screenplay, the amazing on-screen chemistry between the leading pair, and the stunning mansion created especially for the movie.

‘Princess Hours’ (2006)

Princess Hours is set in a different version of the twenty-first century when Korea has kept its monarchy and imperial family since 1945. It focuses on the life of Korea’s Crown Prince Lee Shin (Ju Ji-Hoon) and his wife Chae-kyeong (Yoon Eun Hye).

With romantic and passionate young love as well as humorous moments, Princess Hours instantly hooks viewers from the very first showing moment. Additionally, despite being young and inexperienced, the ensemble makes up for these flaws with charm and excellent on-screen chemistry, which paradoxically serves to remind viewers of how uncomfortable young adults are in reality.

‘Endless Love Franchise’ (2000 – 2006)

A collection of four Korean drama series produced by KBS from 2000 to 2006 under the direction of Yoon Seok-ho is mostly known as Endless Love. It was divided into four stand-alone series, each of which is titled after a season of the year and has its own storylines, actors, and characters. Endless Love includes Autumn in My Heart (2000), Winter Sonata (2002), Summer Scent (2003), and Spring Waltz (2006).

Fans can easily be captivated by the story because each series is painstakingly scripted, produced, and polished with its own seasonal atmosphere. Even though they are all separate series, the Endless Love Franchise’s central theme is still love, and each series expertly and sensitively conveys that notion.

‘Stairway to Heaven’ (2003 – 2004)

Stairway to Heaven is a tearful love story of a young couple Han Jung Seo (Choi Ji Woo) and Cha Song Joo (Kwon Sang Woo). Jung Seo’s life was a series of misfortunes with her father remarried, being mistreated by her stepmother, and having to part with her childhood friend. Happiness seemed within her reach when Song Joo returned, but she was hit by a car and lost her memory on the way to the airport to pick him up.

Stairway to Heaven doesn’t sound like a clichĂ© but instead beautifully captures the beauty of life and how delicate love is, even though the series follows a fairly traditional South Korean drama motif with one being critically ill. Additionally, the show features many melancholy and depressing scenes that are handled delicately and carefully, and can nevertheless make viewers cry.

‘My Girl’ (2005)

My Girl follows Joo Yoo Rin (Lee Da Hae), a charming con man with a remarkable capacity for deception who is hired by Seol Gong Chan (Lee Dong Wook), a cool and responsible businessman, to pose as his cousin. When the two begin to develop feelings for one another, things become more complicated.

The show was written by the well-known Hong sisters, who have also penned numerous popular Korean Dramas such as Hotel Del Luna and Master’s Sunthus, My Girl features their distinctively quirky, hilarious dialogue and plot. Regarding the romance, it’s an example of how opposites attract that is timeless and not outdated thanks to the Hong sisters’ writing, which keeps viewers’ eyes glued to the screen the entire time.

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