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10 High School K-Dramas We Love

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Time flies! I blinked, and summer was gone. V, O, and I were taking some much needed rest, but we couldn’t stay away from you guys any longer!

With summer ending, it got me thinking of how I used to dread it, because school was starting back up. But now eating lunch in the cafeteria with my friends, homework, and first loves are a thing of the past. Those days flashed by too. But I like being nostalgic, so V and I decided to list our favorite high school dramas.

Please enjoy, and let us know which ones made you feel young again. If you don’t see your fave, then tell us all about it!

#1. School 2013

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Seungri High is one of the worst schools in Seoul. Join two teachers by the names of Kang Se-chan (Daniel Choi) and Jung In-jae (Jang Na-ra) as they try to inspire the kids in their homeroom, and get them to care about their education.

This drama also stars Lee Jong-suk (Go Nam-soon) and Kim Woo-bin (Park Heung-soo) as two students in said homeroom.

Thoughts: You have to witness Go Nam-soon and Park Heung-soo’s legendary bromance for yourself. There’s a reason this drama helped launch Lee Jong-suk and Kim Woo-bin’s careers.

(I’d also like to give an honorable mention to Who Are You: School 2015. It’s next in the School series, and even though I didn’t watch it, I heard many good things. It’s on Viki too).

Where to watch: Viki and Kocowa

#2. Love Alarm

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: There are two seasons of this widely popular high school drama. The first follows a girl in high school named Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun) who lives in a world where an app on your phone can alert you if someone nearby has romantic feelings for you. She gets caught between two best friends named Lee Hye-yeong (Jung Ga-ram) and Hwang Sun-oh (Song Kang), and drama ensues.

Thoughts: A lot of people loved the first season, and thought it was innovative, but the second season made most of those same people angry. If you’re a K-drama fan that appreciates more of a conventional approach, you might be disappointed too.

Where to watch: Netflix

#3. Extraordinary You

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: 17-year-old Eun Dan-oh’s (Kim Hye-yoon) mind is blown when she finds out she’s a character in a webtoon (Korean comic). But it turns out she’s not even the main character! She’s just a supporting character, so she decides to take matters into her own hands, carve out a plot line for herself, and fall in love.

This drama also stars Ro-woon (Ha ru) and Lee Jae-wook (Baek Gyung) as the other two points in the inevitable love triangle.

Thoughts: Like Love Alarm, this drama has such a unique plot and the first couple of episodes are riveting. Sadly, it doesn’t stay consistent and ends up getting a little cliche at the end, but it’s still an interesting watch.

Where to watch: Viki and Kocowa

#4. True Beauty

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Lim Joo-gyung (Moon Ga-young) is a shy comic-loving nerd who learns how to catfish in real life when she masters makeup and becomes the school’s beauty queen overnight. Now she must keep her true self-hidden from her adoring peers, and Lee Su-ho (Cha Eun-woo) and Han Seo-jun (Hwang In-yeop), two men suddenly in her trajectory.

Thoughts: V did a live recap of this drama, and I could tell she enjoyed herself. If you’re looking for something cute and funny, this is the drama for you.

Where to watch: Viki

#5. Reply 1997

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: This is the first drama in the ground-breaking Reply series. It’s set in 1997, and follows 18-year-old Sung Shi-won (Jung Eun-ji). She’s a boisterous girl who loves her friends, and is obsessed with the boy band H.O.T.

The drama jumps back and forth from 1997 to 2012, where Shi-won and her friends are at a reunion dinner, and one of them is set to announce their engagement. Which couple will be engaged in the future?

Thoughts: You didn’t think I’d forget about the Reply series, did you? It’s one of the best high school K-dramas out there, and both domestic and international fans love it. It’s nostalgic, touching, and funny so it’s no surprise that it started an entire series. Out of all of them, this is still my favorite.

Where to watch: Viki and Netflix

#6. Dream High

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Dream High follows a group of students who attend a performing arts school called Girin High. Suzy plays Ko Hye-mi, a girl whose dream to become a world-renowned violinist is side-tracked when she’s forced to take on her father’s debt.

Thoughts: Ah, Suzy’s first role! I haven’t seen this drama in a long time, but I remember enjoying the cast’s chemistry, and the messages of friendship and following your dreams. It has an all-star cast that also includes Kim Soo-hyun, IU, and 2PM’s Taecyeon and Woo-young. It was a big deal when it was released, and further popularized high school dramas.

Where to watch: Viki and On Demand Korea

#7. Moment of 18

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Choi Jun-woo (Ong Seong-wu) is a victim of bullying who transfers to a new school only for it to begin again at the hands of Ma Hwi-young (Shin Seung-ho); the class president. The new variable is a girl named Yu Soo-bin. She notices Jun-woo isn’t as stoic as he seems, and tries to get him to open up.

Thoughts: This is such a chill, sweet drama. Give it a watch if you want something nostalgic and low stress.

Where to watch: Viki

#8. Extracurricular

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Oh Ji-soo (Kim Dong-hee) has a simple dream: to get into a good college, and live a normal life. But “normal” isn’t cheap, especially since his dad’s got gambling problems, and his mom ran off.

Ji-soo currently lives alone, so he runs a shocking (and illegal) side business to make ends meet and fund his dream of a normal life.

Thoughts: So far everything on this list has been relatively light-hearted, but if you’re looking for something a little darker and grittier, this is the perfect drama. But it deals with some very triggering topics, so keep that in mind. This drama is the opposite of Moment of 18. It stressed me out, and kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s not gory, but there’s blood, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Where to watch: Netflix

#9. White Christmas

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Eight students and a teacher stay behind at a boarding school during Christmas break in the middle of a snow storm. The roads are closed, and they start getting anonymous letters that predict one of them will die. An injured psychologist who’s just survived a car crash shows up on their doorstep, and together the ten of them discover their inner demons are no joke.

Thoughts: This drama’s so underrated! It’s eerie, the snowy cinematography’s beautiful, and the way everything unfolds is perfect! It’s not your typical high school drama, and it’s very much a psychological thriller, so give it a watch if you’re looking for something different. Plus it’s only eight episodes, so you can probably binge it in a day.

Where to watch: Viki

#10. Shut Up Flower Boy Band

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Byung-hee (Lee Min-ki) is the quirky lead singer of an underground rock band named Eye Candy. They got their name, because everyone from the guitarist Kwon Ji-hyuk (Sung Joon) to the drummer is good-looking.

When a redevelopment plan shuts down their rowdy school, they’re transferred to a school called Jung Sang, where they’re forced to rub shoulders with snobby rich kids.

Thoughts: This is one of my favorite dramas period, and to this day it holds a special place in my heart. The characters are so endearing, and their friendship is portrayed so beautifully and realistically. It’s a fantastic coming-of-age tale filled with love, loss, tough choices, and good music. I highly recommend it. I personally haven’t watched another high school drama that’s touched me like this one.

Where to watch: Sadly, it’s not streaming anywhere legit right now (because it’s underrated too), but keep an eye out, because it’s definitely worth watching.

Honorable mention:

Boys Over Flowers

10 High School K-Dramas We Love

Plot: Geum Jan-di (Goo Hye-sun) comes from a poor family that owns a dry-cleaning business. During a delivery to the prestigious Shinhwa High, Jan-di stops one of the students from committing suicide, and gets a swimming scholarship for her act of bravery. After she enrolls, she goes head-to-head with F4; four boys led by the arrogant and ultra rich Gu Jun-pyo (Lee Min-ho) who use their money and power to bully anyone that gets in their way.

Thoughts: While this isn’t a personal favorite of mine, I feel like I can’t make a list like this without including it. It’s like the Godfather of high school K-dramas, and introduced so many people to Korean entertainment. Its popularity was explosive, and its contribution is what makes high school K-dramas a staple in the industry. In fact, it holds such a high position, it’s still getting remade in different languages to this day.

Where to watch: Netflix, Viki, Asiancrush, and Hulu (So…basically everywhere hahaha)

Aren’t trips down memory lane fun? Which high school K-drama do you hold near and dear? Let us know in the comments. And, if you want to see a review on whether Hulu is worth the purchase, then check out Kill the Cable Bill!

More posts by Adri

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