With the popularity of Netflix around the world and with the new explosion given to K-dramas on the platform, fans are able to watch the Korean shows they love from anywhere in the world. Gone is the time when fans waited for days in order to get English subtitles for their favourite shows.
With Netflix providing subtitles for K-dramas, not only in English but in many other local languages, the turnout of fans who streams Korean shows on the platform has increased tenfold over the last few years.
Knowing full well that the K-drama genre is a moneymaking factor all thanks to the boost Korean Entertainment saw during the pandemic, Netflix has started producing original Korean content for fans to watch.
Whether dramas, variety programs, dating shows, or original movies, Netflix has dived into everything fans love. These recent shows have been loved by fans globally however, while shows like Narco-Saints and Money Heist Korea – Joint Economic Area are both Netflix originals, they have been excluded from this list as they were only recently released.
Here are our Top 10 picks for the best Netflix Original K-dramas.
The 10-episode courtroom drama Juvenile Justice sends the message that society is also responsible for juvenile acts of crime. The Netflix original narrates the story of a renowned judge Shim Eun-seok.
She has a cold and distant personality and is famous for disliking juvenile culprits. She becomes a newly appointed judge of a juvenile court in the Yeon-hwa District where she breaks the ongoing customs and starts administering her own ways of punishing the juvenile offenders.
Eun-seok has to balance her aversion to juvenile criminals and her firm beliefs in justice. Throughout the course of the show, she tackles complex cases with even more complex culprits.
The Sound of Magic
The six-episode mini-series Sound of Magic starring Ji Chang-wook, Choi Sung-eun, and Hwang In-yeop is a fantasy musical drama that revolves around the life of Yoon Ah-yi. Ah-yi is a poor student who has lost her faith in magic, unlike her childhood self who was passional about being a magician.
She wishes to grow up soon so as to avoid the various troubles in life. She meets Ri-eul, a magician who has quite contrasting beliefs to hers. After attending magic lessons with Ri-eul, Ah-yi’s life gradually changes and she starts believing in magic again.
The 2019 romance drama starring Netflix’s ‘it boy’ Song Kang is the first Korean show to be picked up by the streaming giant. The show Love Alarm has a total of 14 episodes over its two seasons and revolves around the story of a technologically advanced world that enables users to discover their soulmates through an application.
The Love Alarm app notifies someone that the person who loves them is within a 10-meter radius of turning on.
Kim Jo-jo is a young girl who lives her life like Cinderella under the wing of her mean aunt. She meets Hwang Sun-oh who falls in love with her and comes from a well-to-do family.
Jo-jo decides to end things with Sun-oh after a tragic accident. After the accident, she learns that Sun-oh’s childhood friend and domestic worker Lee Hye-yeong also has romantic feelings for her. She is torn between choosing Sun-oh and Hye-yeong as the application starts getting a reboot.
Extracurricular is centred around four high school students who start committing crimes in order to earn money. The 10-episode K-drama follows the journey of these four students and the unpredictable dangers they face as a result of their crimes.
After a model high school student gets dragged into a world of serious crimes, he finds that his cover is about to blow when a classmate takes an interest in his secret. The show follows these high school students who are tangled in a series of conflicts that challenge human values and morality.
The show features Kim Dong-hee as a model student turned criminal Ji-soo as well as Jung Da-bin playing Min-hee, the school bully who is caught up in Ji-soo’s crime.
The Silent Sea
The Silent Sea is set in the near future when planet Earth is suffering from extreme desertification, a team of space explorers are on a perilous 24-hour mission to the moon. The goal is to retrieve samples from an abandoned research facility.
Captain Yun-jae is a soldier for the space agency who is joined by Lieutenant Ryu Tae-seok and a band of soldiers. The team is attacked by a violent superhuman girl on the space station, one who has insane immunity to the extreme conditions on the moon.
Meanwhile, the team also has to deal with the fact that some of its members may have ulterior motives that lead to betrayal.
When a calm, quiet and tenacious soldier Jun-ho is noticed by Sergeant Beom-gu, he is transferred to the D.P. (Deserter Pursuit) team. The mission of this team is to catch deserters and Jun-ho works with Beom-gu alongside Corporal Han Ho-yeol on the team.
The show also narrates the story of a young private soldier’s assignment that reveals the painful reality endured by each enlistee during his mandatory military enlistment. The show is gearing up to release a second season which will be released soon.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Sweet Home tells the story of Cha Hyun-soo who is orphaned after an extreme and unexpected family tragedy. Hyun-soo moves into a new apartment complex but soon there is an alien invasion in the town where monsters start taking over the world and killing people.
Similar to a zombie apocalypse, the monster has a way to turn people into monsters too. The inhabitants of the apartment complex now have one sole goal and that is to stop the monsters that are lurking everywhere outside from getting inside. Sweet Home was also announced to have a sequel that will be released in 2022.
The short Netflix original My Name, tells the story of Ji-woo who is orphaned after her father is killed right outside her house. With her sole mission being to avenge her deceased, Ji-woo seeks to infiltrate the police department by becoming a police officer.
She seeks the help of Choi Mu-jin, a drug lord. Through her journey as a police officer, Ji-woo discovered the truth behind her father’s death and now has a new goal in life after she suffers another personal loss.
All Of Us Are Dead
Set in the background of a school, All of Us Are Dead shows the aftermath of a failed science experiment. The local high school is overrun with zombies, and the trapped students struggle to survive.
With no food or water, and communication cut off by the government, they must use the equipment around the school to protect themselves in the midst of a battleground or they will become part of the infected.
Netflix recently announced a sequel for the show which will soon be released.
The show which turned into a global phenomenon, Squid Game is also returning for a second season where Sung Gi-hun, an indebted gambler, lives with his elderly mother. With him being in dire need of money, Gi-hun is invited to join a game show that promises to pay him 45 billion won as a reward.
Gi-hun joins 455 other contestants to play a series of children’s games for a chance at a large cash prize. With the other contestants also being in the same financial situation as Gi-hun there is a lot at stake for them all.
Things soon turn sour after the first game itself which reveals that the children’s games have a unique twist to them.
So there we have it, our 10 Netflix Original K-dramas for you to watch next.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!