There are thousands of K-Dramas to choose from… but how do you pick? A great way to spot an amazing K-Drama is by choosing a famous Korean actor and seeing which series was their best! By doing that, you’ve guaranteed yourself an entertaining experience. Here are just 5 to get you started:
Note: Cable K-Dramas and Terrestrial K-Dramas are rated in different ways and, as such, can be difficult to see which is higher than the other. Therefore, we have put two series that could possibly be switched. For reference: the highest recorded for cable was 28.4%, and the highest recorded for terrestrial was 66.9%.
5. Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers)
Geum Jan Di (Koo Hye Sun) comes from a poor family who owns a dry-cleaning shop. One day, she visits the prestigious Shinhwa High School and saves a student trying to commit suicide because of bullying. For her action, Jan Di receives a swimming scholarship to attend the school. There, she meets the F4, the most popular and powerful group of boys at the school, consisting of Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho); the leader of F4 and heir to Shinhwa Group, Yoon Ji Hu (Kim Hyun Joong); the grandson of a former president of Korea, So Yi Jung (Kim Beom); a skilled potter whose family owns the country’s biggest art museum, and Song Woo Bin (Kim Jun); whose family runs the country’s largest construction company.
Ah yes, like it or not, Boys Over Flowers is Lee Minho’s highest-rated series! After spreading around the world and helping to solidify the Hallyu Wave, this K-Drama deserves the praise.
Close second, if not tied: The Legend of the Blue Sea
4. Jo In Sung (Something Happened in Bali)
Lee Soo Jung (Ha Ji Won) is a travel agent who is seeking good luck in Bali after a harsh childhood. She meets Jung Jae Min (Jo In Sung), Kang In Wook (So Ji Sub), and Choi Young Joo (Park Ye Jin) there, three seemingly perfect people entangled in a love triangle. When Lee Soo Jung returns to Seoul, her desire for success leads her to ask Jae Min for a job, setting off a course of events that further complicates the love triangle.
Although international fans may not recognize this series, it had pretty great ratings in Korea and won multiple awards! After all, who can resist a love triangle?
Close second, if not tied: That Winter, The Wind Blows
3. So Ji Sub (I’m Sorry, I Love You)
Cha Moo Hyuk (So Ji Sub) was adopted by an Australian family but was abused and left homeless at an early age. One day, he meets Song Eun Chae (Im Soo Jung), the coordinator for Choi Yu Ne (Jung Kyung Ho), a famous singer in Korea, with whom she is secretly in love with. Her encounter with Moo Hyuk ends up affecting not only her life but Yu Ne’s. Due to an accident involving his ex-girlfriend, Moo Hyuk is left with 3 months to live and goes back to Korea to find his biological mother. The discoveries he makes change his heart from longing to revenge.
This classic K-Drama is another that international fans may have missed but was well-loved by Koreans for its capability to tug at your heartstrings.
Close second, if not tied: Something Happened in Bali
2. Hyun Bin (Crash Landing On You)
After a paragliding accident, South Korean heiress Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye Jin) crash lands in North Korea. There, she meets North Korean army officer Ri Jung Hyuk (Hyun Bin), who agrees to help her return to South Korea. Despite the tension between their countries, the two of them begin to fall for one another.
Now holding the record for the third highest-rated cable K-Drama in history, this series charmed everyone with its sweet chemistry and intriguing plot.
Close second, if not tied: Secret Garden
1. Kim Soo Hyun (It’s Okay to Not Be Okay)
Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) is a community health worker at a psychiatric ward with everything. Meanwhile, Ko Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji) is a popular writer of children’s literature who, due to suffering from an antisocial personality disorder, seems extremely selfish, arrogant, and rude. Moon Gang Tae denies love, and Ko Moon Young doesn’t know what it is.
Kim Soo Hyun is perhaps one of the most sought-after actors in Korea simply because he has been in countless iconic series! This show recently sky-rocketed in ratings as fans loved the raw emotion.
Close second, if not tied: Moon Embracing the Sun