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5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin (and 3 to Avoid)

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

Hyun Bin’s newest romance, Crash Landing on You is right around the corner so we looked up Hyun Bin’s Korean drama repertoire and realized that he is quite the romantic genre magnet. Almost every Korean drama he has been in has been a romance (I will section off Memories of the Alhambra because I consider that more as a fantasy with a romance added to it).

On this list we have a woman trying to find her family and finding love (Ireland), a noona baker and a cheeky billionaire falling in love (My Lovely Sam Soon), a mathematician boxer and his lover (Snow Queen), two drama crew members falling in love (Worlds Within), an ambitious gangster movie remake (Friend, Our Legend), body swap hijinks (Secret garden), same body hijinks (Hyde, Jekyll, Me), and an augmented reality game from hell (Memories of the Alhambra).



5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

Hyun Bin in his first big role as a second lead! Consequently, his last second lead role as he went straight to lead man status after this with My Lovely Sam Soon (also known as My Name is Kim Sam Soon).

Ireland is about a Korean-Irish woman who was adopted to Ireland as a baby. She goes back to Korea to find her family. So lots of old school heart tugging in this show with second-hand embarrassing clothing and hair thrown in.

In all actuality, this show is so old that it might be a pain to sit through. I watched it way back in 2009 or 2010, so it wasn’t too old back then, but even so, it still felt old. It felt so old that it may as well have been classified as a historical. So imagine what it would feel like now!

I am also not sure if I finished this drama. For that reason I will have to say this one is a pass unless you are an avid Hyun Bin fan. Then definitely watch to see him get his second lead heart broken; it’s the only time you can see it!

Verdict: Pass unless you love Hyun Bin

My Lovely Sam Soon

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

The biggest hit show of the decade quit possibly. I think this drama was so popular that everyone on the cast got invited to the Blue House to meet the president, seriously.

My Lovely Sam Soon is a noona romance that was touted as Korea’s version of Bridget Jones Diary when it came out and was so popular that it was insane. I am not joking, it got 51.5% ratings for the finale which means that literally half of Korea was watching this show!

And I can understand why because I was absolutely taken with it when I started watching it back in 2009 or 2010. I was obsessed and thought this drama was the best thing ever. I think I rewatched it 3 or 4 times all the way through? Maybe more than that, I loved it that much.

I think this TV show suffers from the same issues that Ireland does, in that it will feel like a historical drama of 2005, but the story was so great and the music and show itself are so fun that I say it is a definite watch.

I don’t even think this show had the second half pain that a lot of Kdramas have nowadays. It had a twist to keep you interested, but it was a very reasonable twist. Oh, this show also has the first appearance of Daniel Henney into Dramaland, so thank you, show.

Verdict: Definite watch

The Snow Queen

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

If you want to see Hyun Bin mope around for 16 hours, then Snow Queen is the show for you. It is such a wet blanket fest that it is almost like he was so tired of all the happy go luckiness positive Sam Soon energy that he just wanted to try something new and went all the way to depressing tin-man-without-a-heart land.

If I remember right, it is about a math genius who has a deep pain that turns him to boxing? Though I think he heals himself through the love of a good woman who also has a painful past? It is something like that. All I remember about it is a mannequin looking Hyun Bin standing and staring at things.

Verdict: Pass

Worlds Within

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

There are two camps with the drama The Worlds Within, the camp that loved the behind the scenes look at meta jokes of a film crew creating a drama within a drama, and the camp that was so bored they passed out. I am in the later camp, which was such a pity!

I love both these actors and expected to love this drama. But it just did not catch my attention. But I think it is still a drama that should be watched just to see if it is your style.

Plus it sparked a two year romance between the two leads that was one of the biggest breakups of its time. Though, honestly, all of Song Hye-kyo’s breakups are huge news.

Verdict: Worth checking out

Friend, Our Legend

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

If you have never seen the explosively good cultural phenomenon movie Chingu (aka Friend) that sparked a slew of movie quotes and iconic scenes, then I think you will like this drama. But if you saw Chingu, especially at the culturally appropriate moment, then you might not like this drama remake of it. I mean it is the movie that shot Jang Don-gun to iconic super stardom.

I saw the movie Chingu and saw most of this drama adaptation and, I got to say, I definitely liked the movie a lot better than the drama. But I think the drama was good as well.

It was well shot and well acted and had good reviews for everyone who watched the show all the way through. The only thing it suffered from is that the movie was so iconic that they were basically shooting themselves in the foot by making this drama.

This drama is one of the rare, non-romance dramas that Hyun Bin has done, so it is worth checking out for that.

Verdict: Worth the watch

Secret Garden

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

A fantasy-romance that is obsession worth and the biggest drama hit of the year, the year it came out and possibly the next year as well. It solidified itself as Hyun Bin’s second mega success at 35% ratings Nationwide and shot him to the super star status that he still enjoys now, which is good after three ratings flops in a row with his previous three dramas.

I was so obsessed with this show back in the day that I made three fan made music videos for them (here, here, and here!). It was something else, I just fell so hard for it.

But the love started to fade around the 10 episode mark and I don’t even think I watched the finale? it was one of those things were I kind of fast forwarded through it just to see what happened. I think it was the repetitiveness of the plot after episode 8 that just had me looking at my watch while watching.

But, the beginning is still a love and it maintained a love for a lot of people, so worth checking out.

Verdict: Worth checking it out, you might love it.

Hyde, Jekyll, Me

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

Hyde, Jekyll, and Me is Hyun Bin’s comeback drama after military service, so it was about as high profile as you can get (especially because Hyun Bin’s military service somehow stayed Nationwide news for the entire 2 years he was there).

I started watching this show because it was Hyun Bin’s comeback and for some reason stopped watching it. Korea felt the same way because the ratings started at a respectable 10% but dropped to 4% by the finale. Though that is definitely not a reason for you to skip it.

If you like zany shows that are more on the zany side, then check it out, you may enjoy it.

Verdict: You might like it

Memories of the Alhambra

5 Romantic Korean Dramas to Watch With Hyun Bin

Memories of the Alhambra made our list of Rage Worthy Dramas to not watch, so there’s that. But I do want to say that everyone should at least check this show out for the special effects alone.

The first 4 episodes were riveting and the show continued to surprise with the augmented reality game throughout its airing. Though in the third act, it did start to make no sense at all and the final episode was a big ol, say what? But the ratings did stay in the respectable range on tvN at around 10%.

Verdict: Watch at your own risk


Crash Landing on You

This is in the bonus category because it has not aired yet and actually, the airing date in the end of November got pushed to December. So who knows when it will air.

But with all that said, I am pretty excited for Crash landed on You, not only because it has Hyun Bin and Son Yejin in it, but also because it is by the writer of My Love From Another Star, so you know it will be quirky.

Their character descriptions are also pretty fun because they both are at the top of their game in their lives. He is a major player in the North Korea military with a very good life ahead of him and she is basically living a life close to royalty in South Korea. When they meet, I expect their lives will be flipped upside down. Hopefully we will all feel flipped right with them!

Verdict: Watch it, of course!

So which shows do you think you will watch on this list? Of these I would say that my heart still goes to My Lovely Sam Soon. Though I need to rewatch it to see if it is still holding up to the time. I think the last time I watched it was 4 years or so ago. Though I do think I have listened to the soundtrack within the last year. Ah, it is just such a fun happy drama. Hopefully Crash Landing on You go more that route!


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  1. Beez
    November 29, 2019 / 5:37 am

    I love, luv, lurve with every color heart there is – Samsoon and Secret Garden and the watched both so many times that I’ve lost count.

    Hyde, Jekle and Me, unfortunately wasn’t great and it was also unfortunately that (I think) it aired opposite Kill Me, Heal Me which was the same subject matter but off the chain good.

    Hyun Bin tends to be a “type” (I’ve never seen him exuberant; he tends to exhude a natural calmness), so there was only so much he could bring to the two personalities whereas In Kill Me, Heal Me Ji Sung had a gamut of personalities and bright them to life from sulky-sultry tpugh guy to teenaged girl!

    • Beez
      November 29, 2019 / 5:39 am

      I swear I fixed my typos, but my phone just insists on doing strange things once I hit “post”.

    • V
      November 29, 2019 / 2:59 pm

      He definitely has a natural calmness about him! He is the person that should play the guy with his finger on the button.

    • julie McCaig
      February 12, 2020 / 11:21 pm

      2 wonderful Actors Ji Sung & Hyun Bin

      Enjoyed both but JiSung had more scope to play with…. i work with those suffering mental illness so I was interested in stories but am too Fans now of both.

      Crash Landing will be a good choice I feel for Binnie

  2. Cath
    December 29, 2019 / 7:20 am

    As you may not know yet, I became a Hyun Bin fan after watching Memories of Alhambra. I did checked out Secret Garden but it has old feeling to it that makes me cringey so didn’t bother to finish it. I just binge watched the first 4 eps of Crash Landing on You and I’m loving it so far.

    • V
      December 29, 2019 / 10:01 am

      Oh, yes, Secret Garden even had a cringe worthy feel to it when it first aired, LOL! He is great in Crash Landing on You. Love him in that.

    • Lee
      April 2, 2020 / 4:18 am

      I watched Crash Landing twice, still love it

  3. Jen
    February 11, 2020 / 9:10 am

    Hi all, Cath is not alone. I also became a huge Hyun Bin fan after watching Memories of Alhambra. I will definitely check out more of his TV performances. I have to say that I had to fast-forward through some of Secret Garden as was too draggy. Definitely not the case for Crash Landing. And is it me, or does he become more attractive with age??

    • V
      February 11, 2020 / 4:10 pm

      He is really fun in an oldie but goodie “My Name is Kim Sam Soon” aka “My Lovely Sam Soon” but it is a super dated drama. Even so, it is good. However, he does get better with age. His younger self was so skinny and angular, lol.

      • Jen
        February 13, 2020 / 6:01 am

        😂 skinny and angular. Poor Hyun Bin. Hope we all age with grace one way or the other. Thank you for the tip! Good to fall back on something after CLOY. lol.

        • Anonymous
          April 20, 2020 / 1:39 am

          Really enjoyed “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”!!

  4. Josephine
    February 29, 2020 / 8:27 pm

    i have just finished watching the Secret Garden indeed it one of a kind though I agree that the last few episodes was like repetitive but i still managed to finish watching it to the end. With regards to Crash Landing on you well I have watched it two times as I fell in love with the movie. It’s worth my time, the characters perfectly suit them. Hyun Bin and Kim Se Rin really had great chemistry they look so perfect for each other.

  5. Ty
    March 1, 2020 / 9:01 pm

    I am watching Crash landing, for the 3 time through. I love both actors, but Hyun Bin more of course. I really wanted Dan to be happy with con man. He came through with that sawed off shotgun….he saved her. I love (Ri’s) his mother’s spirit….she wasn’t playing with his daddy about her children(hahahah)….didn’t the dad play El Tumor on Empress Ki? This show had better been the greatest in S. Korea, because it was damn good here in the U.S. I would have ended it with them together w/ children.

  6. Cecil Santiago
    March 3, 2020 / 12:21 am

    Worth the watch Worlds Within, its a plus that they became lovers after the drama and broke off after Secret Garden and never both mention or crossed path with each other, becoming more intriguing Why they did not became friends after all the more . Now both at age, well off bec they both managed their careers well 💕 Hope they collaborate again. In one of those interview Hyun Bin wvwn acknowledged that Kyo was of help with his acting

  7. Anonymous
    April 6, 2020 / 11:49 pm

    omg, it is 2020 now and watched CLOY for a month straight…still watching until now mind you. But My Lovely Kim Sam Soon is super terrific and sooo classic that I have watched it second time and will watch again because it is sooo nice and so light and I am so inlove with Hyun Bin on this one. This and CLOY are ultimate favorites!! Why are his series have this huge lingering impact on women (like me)? We just dropped dead for Hyun Bin

  8. Beez
    April 7, 2020 / 12:11 am

    Don’t leave out Secret Garden film your watch. One of my favs. I can go back and watch it and Samsoon every couple of years.

  9. wed dinopol
    May 14, 2020 / 8:14 pm

    Wow i love cloy so much !so intense ! and the portrayal of cultures of two countries fantastic and i love the lead actor no regrets watching cloy here in the philippines please continue watching cloy for me it’s 100% performance hope it will receive awards….

  10. Anonymous
    October 8, 2020 / 9:04 am

    love CLOY very much !!!

  11. plumage
    July 21, 2021 / 10:23 am

    I think Jekyll, Hyde me is underrated. The thriller part of it is weak, but it wraps up pretty early and then it gets really gets interesting, there are meditations on the nature of who we really are which hit me really deeply. In the end I think this character could be my favourite Hyun Bin role. The blended character in the end just fascinates me. Although of course I fell in love with him in almost every role. People say he played 2 characters in this but he played more like 4 distinct characters as the story progressed.

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