South Korean drama, or K-drama, dates back to the 1960’s, but the modern conception of the deurama format (12-24 episodes per show) started somewhere in the 90’s and does not have a lot in common with television series produced in the western parts of the world. Indeed, it is something else. Most shows are kitschy to say the least. The style is defined by colorful and soft images, questionable screenplay, corny comedy and a way of acting that resembles Western soap operas. The dramas are usually produced with one director and one writer, and are broadcasted on two consecutive nights three times a week. Needless to say, K-Drama differs from the American and European ways of making television. The genre is popular worldwide though and the amount to choose from is huge. In North-America, Netflix included some K-Drama shows in its selection and online streaming sites like Hulu and DramaFever attract a vast audience. In terms of quality drama however, a decent K-Drama show is hard to find. Most shows don’t come near the quality of Western shows. Mostly, the shows don’t even try. As mentioned before, K-Drama has it’s own standard and obviously does not try to rival with channels like HBO and AMC. A couple of shows are worth a try, though. They may not be as interesting as South-Korean cinema is, but it might a refreshing experience for those who are in search for something completely different.
2017 releases - most anticipated titles to watch
Saimdang, the Herstory (26-1-2017 )Through the discovery of the diary of Shin Saimdang, a historical Korean figure, a Korean art history unravels the mystery behind a famous painting.
|Starring||Yeong-ae Lee, Seung-heon Song & Yoon Ah Oh|
Best South Korean TV series on Netflix or DVD in 2017 & 2016Best South Korean TV series out on DVD, Bluray or VOD (Netflix, Amazon).
- Punch (Since 15-12-2014 , Season: 1 - Seoul Broadcasting System) A fairly complicated story about political powerplay in the Department of Justice in South Korea. A prosecutor who worked his way up as a chief of the anticorrupition investigation team, learns that he has a brain tumor and does not have a lot of time left. He chooses to clean his slate and does so by politically attacking a corrupt Public Prosecutor.
- Pinocchio (Since 12-11-2014 , Season: 1 - Seoul Broadcasting System) The first episode of Pinocchio starts with the introduction of the 'Pinocchio syndrome' trough a girl that hiccups whenever she tells a lie. Then, an explosion in a factory leads to an extensive media coverage and then is sensationalized when a body's appears to be missing. The show centers around the missing body (which is still full of life) and a mother and daughter, who unknowingly stumble across the missed person.
|Starring||Rae-won Kim, Ah-jung Kim & Jae-hyeon Jo|
|Similar tv shows||Minyeo-neun goerowo, Kilmi,Hilmi|
|Themes||justice, drama, fantasy,|
|Buy/stream it||Amazon / Netflix|
|Starring||Jong-Suk Lee, Shin-Hye Park & Hie-bong Byeon|
|Similar tv shows||Siti hyunteo|
|Buy/stream it||Amazon / Netflix|
Korea South country statistics
|Familiar faces||Jong-Suk Lee, Shin-Hye Park & Hie-bong Byeon|
|Trending shows||Kill me, Heal me, She was pretty & Pinocchio|
29 South Korean TV series scheduled for release this year.
Korea is a very productive country when it comes to television with more than 100 titles a year. And the number is gradually growing each year.