10 Best Idol-Leading K-Dramas Based Solely On Plot
K-Dramas featuring your favorite idols are some of the best there are. But what if you’re just a little biased and only really like it because your fave is in it? What if you haven’t even considered a drama because you didn’t know who the lead was? Or didn’t know it existed at all because you’re not in the fandom? What if you just want to watch a good drama?
This list is full of K-Dramas that feature idols while also having an amazing and interesting plot! So whether you want to branch out, or just need something good to watch, this is the place to be!
A few things to note: This list does not include “idol dramas”, meaning dramas with an entire group in it such as EXO Next Door and Click Your Heart. This list also does not include dramas that are simultaneously commercials such as 7 First Kisses. Finally, by “idol-leading” we mean that the idol is in a major role, not just there as a guest.
1. True Beauty
This drama is about a high school girl Lim Ju Gyeong (Moon Ga Young), who rises in popularity after she masters the art of make-up. It tells her love story with the only boy that saw her without makeup, Lee Su Ho (ASTRO‘s Cha Eunwoo).
This drama is insanely popular right now and its plot is very fun and exciting. It also follows the current webtoon trend that is exploding in the industry.
2. Angel’s Last Mission: Love
Lee Yeon Seo (Shin Hye Sun) is a cynical prima ballerina, but after her parents’ deaths, she has to give up her dream and decides not to trust any of the greedy people around her. Kim Dan (INFINITE‘s L) is an optimistic angel who is always getting into trouble. In order to return to heaven, he is tasked with finding true love for the emotionally distant ballerina.
An interesting supernatural story featuring an angel, the plot is not often what K-Drama fans see.
Lee Shin (CNBLUE‘s Yonghwa) is a university student and the vocalist and guitarist of a band named “The Stupid”. He is a cold person who is uninterested in anything not related to music and has no plans for the future. Lee Kyu Won (Park Shin Hye) is an outgoing student who was born into a prestigious family and is majoring in traditional Korean instruments. She is forced to go a “The Stupid” concert because of her friends. There she saw Lee Shin performing live, and is immediately captivated by him.
Also features CNBLUE’s Minhyuk and former member of FTISLAND, Wonbin.
This drama has come to be known as one of the classics, and for good reason! Not many music-themed dramas are being made these days, but this is a great example of how to make it work.
4. Let’s Fight, Ghost!
A ghost of a high school girl and an exorcist college student with the ability to see and hear ghosts meet. The boy figured out he can touch and fight ghosts, so when he’s in need of a part-time job, he starts advertising as an exorcist for hire. One night, he goes out on a case and faces off with a schoolgirl ghost. During the fight, they accidentally kiss and sparks fly.
Features 2PM‘s Taecyeon.
Another show that has somewhat become a classic, who wouldn’t like a funny ghost story? The show’s unique plot and hilarious moment make it perfect for this list!
Queen Ji So (Kim Ji Soo) has been ruling the Kingdom of Silla since the King died, keeping her young son Sam Maek Jong (ZE:A‘s Hyungsik) hidden and safe from assassins. As Maek Jong comes of age, nobles, citizens, officials, and himself, have grown impatient for her to step down from the throne. In order to lessen the power of the nobles, Ji So creates an elite group, the Hwarang, that will cut the existing power systems, and protect Maek Jong and the throne. As the men bond and grow, they are unaware that the future king, Maek Jong is in their group, as well as, Kim Son Woo (Park Seo Joon), a commoner with a secret.
Also features SHINee‘s Minho and BTS‘s V.
Famously known for featuring a group of gorgeous actors, half of them are actually idols! Although it is a historical drama, the story is quite light-hearted and fun, perfect for those just starting to get into the historical genre.
6. Dream High
This story is about six students at Kirin Art High School who work hard to achieve their dreams of becoming music stars. Go Hye Mi (former Miss A‘s Suzy) is a student who majored in classical music but had to give it up to enter Kirin Art High School to pay off her father’s debt. However, she needs to get two other students to also come to the school in order for her to enroll. These two students are Song Sam Dong (Kim Soo Hyun), who lives in the countryside, and Jin Gook (2PM’s Taecyeon), who she met on the street.
Also features T-ARA‘s Eunjung, 2PM‘s Wooyoung, IU, J.Y. Park, and JOO.
Possibly one of the most famous classics on this list, Dream High is filled to the brim with idols and musicians. It is an interesting take on music-themed K-Dramas and includes the light-heartedness of youth.
7. Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Mystic Pop-Up Bar tells the story of a mysterious outdoor bar run by a prickly woman and an innocent part-timer who visit customers in their dreams to help resolve their problems.
Features BTOB‘s Sungjae, former 2EYES’s Daeun, and STAYC‘s Sieun.
A rather popular one, this other-worldly plot is extremely unique and fans just love seeing how they will fix all of the problems that come their way.
8. Extraordinary You
Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon) is a high school student from a wealthy family who suffers from a terminal heart condition. However, when Dan Oh realizes she is experiencing gaps in her memory, she realizes she is a side character in a webtoon and all of her actions are predetermined by the artist. She is now determined to find true love in her own plot-line and change the author’s plans for her by using a mysterious boy.
Features SF9‘s Rowoon and APRIL‘s Naeun.
This drama exploded in the community back in 2019. Its plot is so creative and fun. Who hasn’t thought about living in a manga/webtoon?
9. My First First Love
Yoon Tae Oh (Ji Soo)’s friends suddenly move into his house for their own personal reasons. Han Song Yee (DIA‘s Chaeyeon) and Tae Oh have been friends since they were three years old, Seo Do Hyun (former B1A4‘s Jinyoung) is an aspiring theater actor, Oh Ga Rin (Choi Ri) is an heiress to a rich family. When Song Yee meets Do Hyun, her and Tae Oh’s friendship is tested.
Also features former 5urprise‘s Kang Tae Oh.
This drama definitely brings a lot of typical K-Drama tropes to the table but still manages to keep it interesting! It’s funny and light, perfect for a casual watch.
10. Star of the Universe
Byul (Ji Woo) is a Grim Reaper who guides dead souls to the afterlife. When she meets her favorite singer Woo Joo (EXO‘s Suho), who is expected to die soon, she decides to save him.
Also features former Jewelry‘s Semi and former BESTie‘s Haeryung.
EXO’s members have been in quite a few dramas, however, Star of the Universe really drove fan’s emotions. Suho is a wonderful actor and the plot is harrowing and interesting.