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Our Favorite Korean Dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

We are a little late, but we still wanted to let y’all know what our absolute favorite Korean dramas of 2018 were because there are some jewels on the list that should be watched by everyone and our faves might just surprised you. Though numbered, this list is not in a strict order, except for #1 which is our absolute-absolute favorite-favorite drama of 2018. So what are our absolute favorite Korean dramas of 2018?

#1 My Ajusshi or My Mister

My Ajusshi Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A woman living a hard life tries to scam a man struggling to just get through the day. (That is all you need to know! Now go forth and watch it!)

Our Thoughts

Ah, My Ajusshi, I ache for you. Y’all, I loved this show so much. My absolute favorite drama of the year. Possibly my absolute favorite drama of all time. It is definitely my favorite office drama and possibly my favorite romance as well?

Though, I don’t even know if you can call this show a romance because it does not have the traditional elements of a romance and yet the two main character have a strong love for each other that grew from levels of respect and sacrifice and a soul connection even? But they actually didn’t really know the other was sacrificing and there was scamming and phone tapping involved…

Everything I say about this show will not make any sense. You really just have to watch it and see for yourself. Though watch past the first two episodes because I didn’t even like this drama after two episodes. I just stuck around because I like Lee Sung-kyung and IU, which was fortunate because if I didn’t I would have missed the absolute best mickyficky drama of all time. It is a slow burn of the best smelling incense in the world.

How to Watch

Viki

#2 Mistress

Mistress Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

Strange things start to happen around the daily lives of four friends.

Our Thoughts

OCN has the best shows on Korean TV right now which is a shame because they are so hard to find to watch! This drama was so well shot and so well acted with a lock solid storyline that kept me intrigued in the creepiest way possible. I was so scared watching this show though I am not sure if you can call it a horror? I guess it is more of a suspenseful watch and definitely a girl power watch as we see 4 friends come together to solve this mystery and help a sister out. Loved it all the way to the last moment.

How to Watch

Viki

#3 Children of a Lesser God

Children of a lesser god Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A detective who only believes in facts and tangible evidence meets a detective who sees strange things, often. They work together to solve the mystery of a serial killer case.

Our Thoughts

Good Lord this show is so good! Yet another OCN show that needs to be shown world wide because it is the best. It is creepy and comical and alarming and fun. Some parts were so scary that I really had to cover my eyes.

But then something funny would happen that would take the tension right out of my shoulders. Then something unexpected would happen that would glue my eyes to the screen. I think it is the performance by Kang Ji-hwon which made this show amazing. Though Kim Ok-vin is aces in it as well in the first comedic-ish performance I have seen her in. If you can get your hands on this show, then watch it!

How to Watch

On Demand Korea

#4 Sohn The Guest

Sohn the guest Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A powerful demon is driving people to murder others and themselves in Seoul. It is up to a psychic, a detective, and a Catholic Priest to save the day.

Our Thoughts

You guessed it, another OCN drama that will have you terrified and gripped to the screen at the same time. We did not recap this one, but we did watch it in our spare time. Though I didn’t really watch it as I had to leave the room often, it was that scary! (Also, I am a wimp with horror).

The best Horror of 2018 that became a cultural phenomenon in Korea and will be hard to beat for any drama in the near future. Though OCN has so many hits and so many wonderful writers that I think they might be able to do it. Keep an eye out for their 2020 lineup!

How to Watch

On Demand Korea

#5 Come and Hug Me

Come and Hug Me Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A love story between a serial killer’s son and one of the victim’s daughters

Our Thoughts

Everything about that premise sounds messy af, and yet they were able to pull off a show that was surprisingly good and achingly beautiful. No small feat considering that this also aired on MBC which did not have a great track record at the time for producing well done dramas (they have since rebounded).

I looked forward to watching this every single airing day and could not believe that MBC of all stations had this jewel of a show on their programming lineup. How did they deliver a thoughtful show that had makjang written all over it? I don’t know, but it was a jewel of the year and our surprise hit of the year.

How to Watch

Kocowa, Viki, On Demand Korea

#6 Encounter or Boyfriend

Park Bo Gum reads books and you should too

Premise

Brought together in Cuba by fate, a wealthy yet sad woman who seems to have everything and a happy confident young man who seems to have nothing fall in love and learn to navigate their two worlds.

Our Thoughts

Such a lovely show that is film quality all the way through. I loved the thought that was put into each episode from the opening image and prologue cartoon to the closing epilogue and ending cartoon. They did this for every episode y’all which really made me look at this drama as a labor of love, which fits this love story perfectly. If you want to watch a modern tale of a beautiful princess rescued from her stifling castle by a handsome knight, then this is the drama for you.

How to Watch

Viki

#7 Suits

Suits Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A college dropout with a brilliant mind gets a job as a lawyer at a top legal firm even though he has no law degree.

Our Thoughts

Very well done episodic story about a genius who stumbles into becoming a lawyer and the lawyer who helps him become a man. I did not watch the US version and only really checked it out because of the Prince Harry thing. But even with that, I wasn’t interested. However, this Korean version kept my interest as I really wanted this kid to succeed and to maintain his secret for as long as possible. Plus, it has a pretty nice cast of actors and a lovely ending that basically confirmed that this was a Bromance.

How to Watch

Netflix

#8 The Smile Has Left Your Eyes or 100 Million Stars From the Sky

Million Stars in the Sky Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A young man with a traumatic past haunts a family as he seeks answers. But then he falls in love.

Our Thoughts

Haunting. I think that pretty much describes this. It is a haunting tragedy that will have you wondering what is going on. Though once the answers come out they will kind of turn some of those questions on its head (not in a good way). But even so, I enjoyed this walk through a really messed up mans life which makes this drama into more of a tragedy than a love story.

How to Watch

Viki

#9 Terius Behind Me

Terius Behind Me Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A rogue NIS agent secretly helps his next door neighbor find out who murdered her husband, and they both get involved in a huge conspiracy.

Our Thoughts

So fun! In fact, it is probably the perfect drama to watch if you need a silly show to sink into. This show is zanny and has its own sense of sense which makes perfect sense for this show. Though it would be ridiculous in any other drama. I don’t even know what makes the comedy work here, but it does and I loved it. High fashioned purses and Apartment ajummas to the rescue!

How to Watch

KocowaViki (country restricted)

#10 My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Gangnam Beauty Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A high school graduate gets plastic surgery in order to look normal and ends up becoming a knockout. As a freshman in college she learns how to embrace her new look, love herself, and stand up to all the haters.

Our Thoughts

The best young adult romance of the year and possible in awhile. I really enjoyed this show that was fun and flirty with just the right amount of feminism to have you saying, Right On! And hoping that our heroine actually catches that stalker that she is chasing up an alley and smacks him a few times for good measure. Though not necessarily the smartest thing to do, when it happened in the show I was all like, oh hell yeah! She ain’t no terrified bunny, Stalker!

How to Watch

Viki

#11 Something in the Rain

Something in the rain Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A woman falls in love with her best friends brother who is back from a 3 year stint in America.

Our Thoughts

Though the mother was absolutely crazy and entered my nightmares on occasion, I loved the opening of this show enough for it to be on the list of great romances to watch. The ending felt a bit rushed, though it was a happy ending which is all I really want in a romance.

How to Watch

Netflix

#12 Lawless Lawyer

Lawless Lawyer Photo shoot starring Lee Joon-ki and Seo Ye-ji

Premise

A man becomes a lawyer to seek revenge on the mob boss who killed his mother.

Our Thoughts

Straight action fun that will let you throw your brain away and just enjoy all the high flying kicks that Lee Joon-gi dishes out. Seo Ye-ji comes with her own burning rage as well that fits her look nicely. This drama reminded me more of a comic book and felt a lot like Sin City, so if you like either one, then you should love this tc show like I did. Plus the gang of loan sharks ends up being so endearing that you just want to bake them all a pecan pie.

How to Watch

Viki

#13 What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim

Park Seo Joon kisses Park Min-youngs hand while sitting at a cafe table in What's Wrong With Secretary Kim

Premise

A highly capable and overworked secretary announces that she is leaving her job. Her eccentric boss will not let that happen.

Our Thoughts

Loved this show from beginning to end. It was chock full of delight and laughs as Park Seo Joon does what Park Seo Joon does best and Park Min Young tries to wrangle this eccentric man in. A delight.

How to Watch

Viki

#14 Still 17 or 30 But 17

Still 17 Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

A 30-year-old man does not want to have a relationship with others due to trauma he experienced 13 years ago that sent a teen girl into a coma. That girl wakes up from the coma 13 thirteen years later, she is 30 but still feels 17. Both meet at this new stage in their lives and fall in love.

Our Thoughts

A delightful romantic-comedy that lives up to the healing nature of the show. Even though there is tragedy involved, it doesn’t make it heavy handed and rather delightfully shows us how each person, very quirky in their own right, is trying to balance this new life they have found and learn to love again (or love for the first time).

How to Watch

KocowaViki

#15 100 Days My Prince

100 Days my Prince Our favorite Korean dramas of 2018 and How to Watch

Premise

After a failed assassination attempt, the crowned Prince finds himself with amnesia and living in a simple village as the local village idiot. Except he still acts and speaks like a noble, to the annoyance of all the village people. Through a royal decree, he has to potentially marry a local woman in town and becomes her biggest burden.

Our Thoughts

A really fun and comedic historical drama that will have you saying the phrase “Am I the only one uncomfortable?”. I thoroughly enjoyed this show in its hilarity and love story that delighting until the end. I actually didn’t realize that both leads were such comedic aces. Worth the watch if you want a great romantic-comedy that leans more towards comedy.

How to Watch

Viki


BONUS

The Last Empress

Though this started airing in 2018, it actually had a ton of episodes in 2019 so we don’t really know where to put it which is why it is in the bonus section. Plus, you don’t really know how well you will like a drama until you get to the end right? We have good news, this one ended just as crazy as it began.

How to watch: On Demand Korea, Viki, Kocowa

Misty

A watch at your own risk drama because this show was so good and yet had a pretty depressing ending. So if you watch it as a cautionary tale on how not to live your life then you might love it. It made our list of Rage Inducing Dramas so keep that in mind while watching.

How to watch: Viki

Welcome to Waikiki or Eulachacha Waikiki

Only in the bonus section because we didn’t actually finish it. But dropping it was all due to running out of time to watch and had nothing to do with the drama itself which was so hilarious that it will have you spitting out your drink. Worth checking out.

How to watch: Viki

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5 Comments

  1. Blueyy
    December 4, 2019 / 2:58 pm

    Ahhh My Ajusshi is honestly my life drama!! I felt so fortunate to watch it live with all the feels and week-on-week moments <3 all-time favourite drama hands down – if you haven't watched it yet 0_0… what are you doing go watch it!!!

    • V
      Author
      December 4, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      Yes! It is the best! Everyone should watch it. Go watch it now!

    • sadiesmith
      December 11, 2019 / 11:26 am

      That was my experience as well! Thanks, V, for highlighting it this way. By the way, Lee Sun Kyun has a new JTBC drama premiering next week. It looks like a legal comedy type and I hope you would give it a try.

      • V
        Author
        December 11, 2019 / 2:28 pm

        I heard about that one! We might not pick it up to recap do to the holidays (I can already picture getting episodes behind 😁). But I do want to check it out and see how it is!

        • sadiesmith
          December 11, 2019 / 6:11 pm

          Would love to see what you think of it. I imagine LSK getting some good offers after My Ajusshi, so there must have been a good reason he picked this drama.

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