MsLatté’s Daebak Cybercafé (Kdrama addicts #27): The one where global smash Squid Game launches kdrama into the stratosphere. C’mon in!

(508 Posts)
boatyardblues Thu 30-Sep-21 18:33:11

A quiet corner of MN for serious addicts of Kdrama, or the K-curious. Most of our viewing is drawn from Netflix and Viki, with a sprinkling of AmazonPrime. There are also platforms streaming content illegally if you go looking, but we don’t promote them as they are peppered with pop-ups of “Olga” and friends offering a good time, which gets in the way of the drama. We also dip into Japanese, Taiwanese & Chinese drama as & when.

The previous thread is here but our ‘Addicts Recommend’ list below is cumulative so includes recommendations and favourites from all previous threads.

Shows marked with an asterisk are more uniformly loved or admired. In categorising series, its important to note most Korean dramas have multiple strands - e.g. supernatural, romance and a thriller; crime series with fantasy elements. Genre-busting mash-ups are normal. Series that are tagged as dark may also have moments of comedy or the absurd, likewise fluff can have heavier moments. View the categories below as best approximate & ask if you need guidance, eg about suitability for younger teens.

Comedy (with a side order of absurd)
I picked up a celebrity on the street (Viki)
My Fellow Citizens (Viki/Netflix)
The Fiery Priest (Netflix)

Come and Hug Me (Dramafast)
Graceful Family (Viki)
Healer (Netflix)*
Heartless City (Viki)
He is Psychometric (Viki)
I Hear Your Voice (Netflix /Viki)

Life on Mars (classy remake of BBC series, no major site yet)
My Secret Terrius (Netflix)*
Signal (Netflix)*
Stranger - 2 seasons (Netflix)
Suspicious Partner (Netflix)*
The Lies Within (Netflix)*
Tunnel (Netflix)*

Historical/Period drama (“sageuk”)
100 Days My Prince (Viki/Netflix)
Crowned Clown (Viki/Netflix)*
Mr Queen (Viki)*
Mr Sunshine (Netflix)
Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung (Netflix)
Tale of Nokdu (Viki/Netflix)*

Romance - lighter & fluffier
Beating Again (Netflix)
Coffee Prince (Netflix)
Don’t Dare to Dream (Netflix, or as Jealousy Incarnate on Viki)*
Gogh, The Starry Night (Viki)

Happy Once Again (Netflix)
Her Private Life (Viki)*

His Master’s Sun (Netflix)
Hometown Cha Cha Cha (Viki)
Love from a Star (Netflix)*
Lovestruck in the City (Netflix)
Monthly Magazine Home (Viki)
Pinocchio (Netflix)
Radio Romance (Netflix)

Romance is the Bonus Book (Netflix)*
Run On (Netflix)

She Was Pretty (Netflix)*
The Beauty Inside (Viki/Netflix)
The Secret Life of My Secretary (Viki/Netflix)
Thirty Not Seventeen (Viki) or as Still 17 (Netflix)
To My Star [BL] (Viki)
True Beauty (Viki)
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Netflix/Viki)

What’s Up With Secretary Kim (Viki)*
Where Stars Land (Viki)*
You are my Destiny (Netflix)
You Make Me Dance [BL] (Viki)

Romance - heavier weight/more grown up themes
Another Miss Oh (Netflix)*
Because This Is My First Life (Viki/Netflix)*

Chicago Typewriter (Viki/Netflix)*
Crash Landing on You (Netflix)**
Descendants of the Sun (Viki/Netflix)
Doctors (Netflix)
Doom At Your Service (Viki)
Fight For My Way (Viki/Netflix)*
Go Back Couple (Viki)/Couple on the Backtrack (Netflix)
I’ll Go To You When The Weather is Nice (Viki)
It’s OK Not To Be OK (Netflix)

Just Between Lovers (Viki)*
Mad For Each Other (Netflix)
Melo is my Nature (Viki)/Be Melodramatic (other sites)
My Strange Hero (Viki)
One Spring Night (Netflix)
Red Carpet - film (Netflix, very adult content)
Romantic Dr Kim - seasons 1&2 (Viki)
Search: WWW (Viki)*

Something in the Rain (Netflix)
The Handmaid (film, Netflix - content warning: explicit sexual content)
The Package (Viki)

Straighter ‘Slice of Life’ dramas on universal themes
Hospital Playlist (Netflix)
Into The Ring (Viki)
Itaewon Class (Netflix)
Live (Netflix)
Misaeng (Netflix)*
Move to Heaven (Netflix)
My Mister (Viki/Netflix)*
My Unfamiliar Family (Viki)*
Navillera (Netflix)*
Prison Playbook (Netflix)*

Once Again (Viki)
Stove League (Viki)/Hot Stove League (Netflix)
Racket Boys (Netflix)

Supernatural/zombies/vampires/fantasy/sci-fi - lighter & fluffier
Extraordinary You (Netflix)
Goblin (Viki)*

I am not a Robot (Netflix)
Legend of the Blue Sea (Viki/Netflix)
Kiss Goblin (Viki, webdrama)
My Holo Love (Netflix)*
Orange Marmalade (Netflix)
While You Were Sleeping (Viki)*

Supernatural/zombies/vampires/fantasy/sci-fi - darker/more grown up themes
#Alive (Netflix)
Black (Netflix)*
Hotel del Luna (Viki/Netflix)*
King: The Eternal Monarch (Netflix)
Kingdom (Netflix)*

Mystic Pop-up Bar (Netflix)
Peninsula - film, Train to Busan sequel (Amazon Prime, iMovies)
Sisyphus (Netflix)
The Guest (Netflix)
Train to Busan - film (Amazon Prime)

W: Two Worlds (Viki & Netflix)*
Zombie Detective (Viki/Netflix)

Guilty Pleasures (for the joy, not the quality)
Bride of Habaek (Netflix)
Hwarang (Viki/Netflix)
My Secret Romance (Viki)
The Last Empress (Viki/Netflix)
Sassy Go Go (Netflix)

Mad as a box of frogs/uncategorisable

Strong Girl Bong Soon (Netflix)
School Nurse Files (Netflix)

Not Korean ‘You May Also Like’
Regulars also branch out into Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese drama. The Chinese & Taiwanese stuff is much more variable quality-wise, so we’ve noted anything decent here:

Before We Get Married (Viki - Taiwanese)
Find Yourself (Netflix - Chinese)
Go Go Squid (Viki - Chinese)
Instead of Tipsy Why Not Get Drunk (Viki, Chinese)
Lost Romance (Viki, Taiwanese)
Love O2O (Viki, Chinese)
Morning Call (Netflix, Japanese)
My Little Happiness (Viki, Chinese)
Put Your Head on My Shoulder (Netflix, Chinese)
Some Day or One Day (Viki, Taiwanese)
The Romance of Tiger & Rose (Viki, Chinese)
Tientsin Mystic (Netflix, Chinese)
You Are My Hero (Viki, Chinese)*

AVOID, AVOID, AVOID aka “the shit list” 💩

Melting Me Softly
The Birth of a Beauty
Well-Intentioned Love season 1 (S2 is fine)

Thread Regulars’ Top Scoring Dramas of 2020
Courtesy of Hello’s kdrama spreadsheet, updated by/for thread regulars. Marks out of 10.

1 - Mr Queen - 9.4 (5 votes)
2 - Parasite - 9.05 (10 Votes)
3 - It's Okay To Not Be Okay - 8.88 (9 Votes)
4 - The Uncanny Counter - 8.50 (4 Votes)
5 - Once Again - 8.42 (6 Votes)

2019’s top scoring dramas:
1. Her Private Life - 9.40 (5 votes)
2. Melo is My Nature - 9.00 (5 votes)
3.= Crash Landing On You, The Crowned Clown, The Lies Within, and The Tale of Nokdu - 8.75 (4 votes)
4. Hotel del Luna - 8.50 (4 votes)
5.= Romance is a Bonus Book, and Search: WWW - 8.17 (6 votes)

We are generally fans of all things Korean, so equally happy to talk about Korean cookery, language, film and music when the mood takes us. A few of us are learning Korean, Japanese and/or Mandarin (some more diligently than others admittedly), so we swap tips and links to language resources. Basically, anything topical goes.

We have a few frequently used acronyms:

FL/2FL = female lead/2nd female lead

ML/2ML = male lead/2nd male lead

(boot, peach) = kick up the bum to go to bed

We also abbreviate titles if they’re long, but explained or with an obvious abbreviation. Some favourite actors & actresses have been abbreviated for speed/efficiency, eg Park Min Young (PMY). Don’t be afraid to ask for help/clues if we’re not making sense or have descended into acronym soup.

If you want to join us down the kdrama rabbit hole, welcome! Pull up a chair, say goodbye to early nights and get stuck in!

OP’s posts: |
FedUpWithBriiiiick Thu 30-Sep-21 18:52:23

First in! <pulls up in Hyundai sipping Angel-in-us coffee>

Hydrogensonata Thu 30-Sep-21 19:00:34

Boo- 002 for this thread!

I suppose I'll have to settle for a ppl subway instead sad

boatyardblues Thu 30-Sep-21 20:06:29

I need some of that coffee candy that’s everywhere at the mo.

OP’s posts: |
JinBhoot Thu 30-Sep-21 22:31:19


I need some of that coffee candy that’s everywhere at the mo.

I fancy that too, let me know if you find it.

*marking my place & off to fill previous thread*

AesopsMables Fri 01-Oct-21 00:42:59

Here you go, Amazon has everything! These are Cappuccino flavour so not as strong?
Can't sleep 😳 🥾🍑

LarryUnderwood Fri 01-Oct-21 16:30:05

Hello! Thanks for the new thread Boaty. I have had 2 Korean lessons this week and made jjajangmyeon, galbijim and kimchi jjigae and watched 3 episodes of squid game so am feeling remarkably chipper and ready for this brand new thread. But also slightly regretting my decision to take up Korean instead of returning to Japanese, because there are SO. MANY. VOWELS.


LarryUnderwood Fri 01-Oct-21 16:30:52

<adds coffee candy to amazon basket>

boatyardblues Fri 01-Oct-21 17:00:22

It’s all the indistinguishable soundalike dipthongs in Korean that do my head in. Ah well.

OP’s posts: |
Hydrogensonata Fri 01-Oct-21 19:59:46

@LarryUnderwood I kept spotting those- you'll have to report back of they're nice!
I want to know what the big pink stick makeup thing is that keeps popping up that you put under your eyes/anywhere? I'm sure I've seen it in loads of shows recently

Rowdythree Fri 01-Oct-21 20:05:22


Here you go, Amazon has everything! These are Cappuccino flavour so not as strong?
Can't sleep 😳 🥾🍑

I can't work out if these are sweets or medication! Why are they in blister packs?

Larry I need a new Korean tutor, where did you find yours? I feel like I've forgotten everything I've learned, as I haven't studied since before the summer holidays

LarryUnderwood Fri 01-Oct-21 21:35:33

@Rowdythree my tutor is on Verbling, her name is Mia. She's pretty good, she's studying to be an interpreter so her English is great and she is nice and kind but also quite firm. I'd definitely recommend her and the platform. I also joined the Preston Uni sejong institute course, that's not as good as the group is large and it's less interactive but it works well as a way of reinforcing what I'm doing in my 1-1 lessons. To get to a decent level in a 'hard' language (Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese etc) is around 2200 hours of study so I decided to really give it a good go instead of tinkering. But it's not been long so let's see how I feel about that in a year! I'm finding it really interesting so far.

Rowdythree Fri 01-Oct-21 21:46:11

Thanks for the info Larry, I will check it out! The class I was in earlier this year has disbanded unfortunately, as the teacher wanted a year out from teaching. So I don't want to stop and forget everything I've learned. I haven't got much motivation at the moment though...

Andante57 Fri 01-Oct-21 21:53:19

Thank you for the new thread Boaty.

Dh & I are taking the plunge and going to Korea next May.
We had planned some improvements to the house but then we thought to hell with it, we’re not getting any younger so we’re putting off the improvements and Korea here we come!
We are spending a few days in Seoul staying in a Hanbok hotel then we’re going round the country ending up in Busan.
We are both very keen to go to the beautiful bamboo forest that featured in Mr Queen and we’re researching other interesting historic places.
Can’t wait!

Bea Fri 01-Oct-21 23:00:36

I made korean hot dogs today! Yummy! 😍👍
And watched first 2 eps of squid games!
It's mad! Grim and gloomy! So then watched crackers Pop Up Boy on viki!! 😂😂😂

boatyardblues Fri 01-Oct-21 23:04:30

I filled up the last thread so we are now all switched over. I’m back from out-out. The last pub was really hot and stuffy. My friend’s DH described it as a COVID petri dish. 😩 Am just off to Viki to see if Yumi’s Cells is subbed yet.

OP’s posts: |
Rowdythree Sat 02-Oct-21 00:06:51

Thanks for the new thread Boaty

Ep4 of Squid Game had me on the edge of my seat 😱 I wanted to watch more but have to be up early in the morning

Hydrogensonata Sat 02-Oct-21 00:22:12


I filled up the last thread so we are now all switched over. I’m back from out-out. The last pub was really hot and stuffy. My friend’s DH described it as a COVID petri dish. 😩 Am just off to Viki to see if Yumi’s Cells is subbed yet.

Still at 34%
I'm shattered but too bunged up and throat too sore to sleep, started Dali and cocky Prince- fairly "paint by numbers" so far but seems sweet and I quite like the characters do far?

TheGirlWithTheArabStrap Sat 02-Oct-21 00:23:26

Thanks for the lovely new thread boaty 🎉
DH also said we should watch Squid Game without me even mentioning it. He didn't even know its Korean! I will have to suffer the dubbing though, his dyslexia really hates subtitles 😅.

I'll try and find the nice My Universe twitter thread again.

TheGirlWithTheArabStrap Sat 02-Oct-21 00:28:54

@JinBhoot this is the account that did the count down I followed

HeechulOppa Sat 02-Oct-21 02:07:42

Signing in! I’m still on Squid Game (though I know how it ends because I am terrible at looking up spoilers). I didn’t see Korean Odyssey on the list (aka Hwayugi) tut tut - it’s my favourite!

boatyardblues Sat 02-Oct-21 06:58:05

Hi Heechul!

I’m just laughing at “marathon!” in Yumi’s Cells. 😂

OP’s posts: |
FedUpWithBriiiiick Sat 02-Oct-21 07:28:20

Following on from last thread and the Lee Dong-hwi ugly/not ugly debate. I get the impression he has to work very very hard not to be ugly. Exhibit A:

FedUpWithBriiiiick Sat 02-Oct-21 07:30:11

Posh dinner was amazing. Stupid expensive, but awesome. The thought of sullying my body with a premier inn breakfast this morning is sad.

HCCC day! <happy dance>

polkettle Sat 02-Oct-21 07:44:37

You see I like the fact that he unapologetically leans into his very average look FedUp. I'm wondering if he is really good company or a total knobend irl.
He's been dating Hoo Yeon from Squid Game for 6 years sakara (and is 9 years older 🙄.). Her Insta followers have gone from 500k to 10 million in last week.

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