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MsLatté’s Daebak Cybercafé (Kdrama addicts #28): The Lord gives and He takes away. Lee Jong Suk & Park Hyung Sik return from the army; Seo Kang Joon departs.
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boatyardblues · 09/11/2021 12:09

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. 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)

Crime/Thriller

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 Name (Netflix)
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)
The King’s Affection (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, Netflix)

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)
Hospital Playlist 2 (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)
Ashin of the North (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)
  3. 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!
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boatyardblues · 13/11/2021 18:25

I was talking to DH about Happiness and I think it’s very clever. The mix of private ownership and social keyworker housing in the fancy new apartment block allows class/affluence to be a fault line when things go south. Already events in ep 3 are setting that up (cryptic). In truth, it will be the keyworkers with sensible jobs who can help in the looming crisis. Apartment ajumma in her silk blouse will be useless without an empire. Her wealth and snootiness will be no use when the social order is upended. The little cast of peripheral characters is well sown too.

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JinBhoot · 13/11/2021 20:12

Started Dali & Cocky Prince enjoying so far … in first episode ML was without any tattoos but suddenly he is covered 🤔
I want her to end up with Cop friend, I will be sad for him.

Re-watching Mr Queen - I have noticed it might be the only period Kdrama where every one recognised female dresses as a male. Ep2 when Queen went to town for some drinking. King, his friends & cousin EVERYONE recognised her. That’s refreshing to see.

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Bea · 13/11/2021 21:17

@JinBhoot Dali is fab! I'm jealous you can watch all in one go! Enjoy!! 😍👍

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MusiqueAutomatique · 13/11/2021 21:39

I've just watched ep 3 of Happiness @boatyardblues and I agree it is definitely a step up from your usual zombie fare. DH thinks the zombies must be sentient to some extent because tonight's zombie seemed to recognise Hyun was going to try and help her. I do worry about that little girl though, kids in kdramas always make me twitchy because experience has taught me its a 50:50 chance that they'll either get to be cute or something horrible will happen.

I am watching Youn Stay on a dodgy streaming site btw, it's nice and chilled out so far and I'm enjoying all the pretty scenery. There needs to be more footage of PSJ though. Choi Woo-shik is very good in it, I was surprised by how amazing his English was but I've just looked him up and he lived in Canada for ten years so that would explain it.

@polkettle and @Rowdythree I'm glad I'm not the only one who found the violence in Uncanny Counter difficult. I was also cross at how under utilised the young FL was in that.

I finally finished Yumi's Cells which like many final korean show episodes was a tad underwhelming but I did enjoy the series as a whole.

@dontwanttobeyourmonkeywrench Hometown Cha Cha Cha is a great show, that and Hospital Playlist were my favourites of the year so far. I stupidly saved the final ep for a weekend though and in the interim the Kim Seon-ho scandal broke which put a dampner on things. I will get around to watching it soon.

I've just started the Korean version of Suits and enjoying both Park Hyung-sik and spotting who is the korean Louis, korean Donna etc. I got nearly to the end of season 3 of the American version before being put off by the sheer volume of it, so the idea that it'll be wrapped up in 16 episodes is pretty appealing.

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boatyardblues · 13/11/2021 21:48

I do worry about that little girl though, kids in kdramas always make me twitchy because experience has taught me its a 50:50 chance that they'll either get to be cute or something horrible will happen.

I feel she has a defined story arc ahead of her as a medical emergency rather than as a zombie snack, but I could be wrong. She will also provide nurturing opportunities for our two leads as well as being a fount of knowledge about all of the inhabitants from lurking around the building and observing unsupervised.

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Rowdythree · 13/11/2021 23:10

Watching would you like a cup of coffee followed by Happiness, it's like Lee kyoo Hyung left his day job of developing seaweed cow feed, to go to his side hustle of being special unit/zombie 😜

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Bea · 14/11/2021 00:05

@Rowdythree

Watching would you like a cup of coffee followed by Happiness, it's like Lee kyoo Hyung left his day job of developing seaweed cow feed, to go to his side hustle of being special unit/zombie 😜

🤣😂... My thoughts! Exactly!!
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FedUpWithBriiiiick · 14/11/2021 08:45

Ohh Now, we are breaking up first episode is out.

I'll wait it out for a while before starting.

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boatyardblues · 14/11/2021 08:51

I watched most of the first episode of Melancholia (Viki) last night before nodding off on the sofa. FL is Bae Ta Mi from WWW and Chicago Typewriter FL, gives another classy performance so far. It has good potential but didn’t immediately hook me in, partly because the elite school politics are a touch dry.

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TheGirlWithTheArabStrap · 14/11/2021 09:25

Look who's at my house!! 😁

MsLatté’s Daebak Cybercafé (Kdrama addicts #28): The Lord gives and He takes away. Lee Jong Suk & Park Hyung Sik return from the army; Seo Kang Joon departs.
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boatyardblues · 14/11/2021 09:27

@TheGirlWithTheArabStrap

Look who's at my house!! 😁

Fabulous and hilarious in equal measure! 🤣
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polkettle · 14/11/2021 10:10

He made it!! Hooray! Now be a good Oppa. None of your pranking shenanigans Mr Binn.

Trying to work out how the Yakult PPL contract negotiations went in Jirisan...

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FedUpWithBriiiiick · 14/11/2021 10:13

BIN OPPAAAAAA!!!!!

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boatyardblues · 14/11/2021 10:32

Oh my word. I love Happiness so much. It’s so tightly constructed and written, the casting is fantastic and the execution is fab. I take care not to have a full cup of tea in my hand when I’m watching because it makes me startle emphatically. Also, Park Hyung-Sik is growing on me big time.

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bettys · 14/11/2021 10:34

OPPPPAAAA!!!! 😍

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Rowdythree · 14/11/2021 10:55

Mr Bin!! 🙌

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AesopsMables · 14/11/2021 11:07

Sunday Times article

MsLatté’s Daebak Cybercafé (Kdrama addicts #28): The Lord gives and He takes away. Lee Jong Suk & Park Hyung Sik return from the army; Seo Kang Joon departs.
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FedUpWithBriiiiick · 14/11/2021 11:36

Search WWW: Park Morgan has mummy issues 😳

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FedUpWithBriiiiick · 14/11/2021 11:38

@boatyardblues

Oh my word. I love Happiness so much. It’s so tightly constructed and written, the casting is fantastic and the execution is fab. I take care not to have a full cup of tea in my hand when I’m watching because it makes me startle emphatically. Also, Park Hyung-Sik is growing on me big time.

Ohhhh DH wants to start Jirisan, but I might steer him towards Happiness now.

Gently gently, though. Can't scare the horse. Takes long enough to entice him with sugar lumps in the first place 😂
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JinBhoot · 14/11/2021 11:47

@TheGirlWithTheArabStrap

Look who's at my house!! 😁

Annyeong Oppa
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JinBhoot · 14/11/2021 12:23

Oh my ML in Dali is wise & awesome . He knows what to say when it feels like your world is collapsing. Last scene of ep11 - ML & FL outside gallery …. The dialogues are perfect & he nailed it with his acting.

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boatyardblues · 14/11/2021 12:42

FedUp - Happiness is played more straight. Jirisan has forest woo and spiritual happenings, which might scare your DH off.

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polkettle · 14/11/2021 12:56

I'm doing Happiness with DH and it's a good one for him.

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Rowdythree · 14/11/2021 13:24

I'm watching Happiness with DH, but he did mention that he thought he would have enjoyed Jirisan, from what he's seen of it whilst I've been watching.

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LarryUnderwood · 14/11/2021 13:25

@FedUpWithBriiiiick

Search WWW: Park Morgan has mummy issues 😳

Oooohhhhh no what does this mean? No, don't tell me. I'm on ep 9 and no mummy issues so far I don't think, unless I've been too distracted by the unbuttoned shirts 🤣
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