With “Longing For You” all wrapped up, there are our recommendations for twisty thrillers that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. Many of these shows flew seriously under the radar when they first came out, which is such a shame given how good they are. If you’re searching for murder, mystery, and perhaps a tiny dash of romance, then we have you covered below!
Note: the following reviews are spoiler-free!
You know it’s good when it’s based on a novel with a clear-cut ending. “365: Repeat The Year” was drawn from the 2004 Japanese novel “Repeat” by Kurumi Inui and tells the story of a group of people who go back in time and seem to be mysteriously murdered because of it. Meet our hero, Ji Hyung Joo (the seriously underrated and handsome Lee Joon Hyuk). He’s a detective—and a good one at that—who has just suffered the trauma of seeing his cop partner murdered by a criminal who, by all rights, should never have been allowed out of jail. While grieving, he get a phone call from the mysterious Dr. Shin (Kim Ji Soo) who says that she can offer him a chance to re-do it all: to go back in time and change everything.
Hyung Joo is skeptical at first but realizes that she’s telling the truth when she’s able to predict the next day’s news events with perfect accuracy. At her invitation, he arrives at her walled-off compound and meets the nine other people she has selected to go back in time. All of them are desperate. All of them are hiding something. Meet our heroine: Shin Ga Hyun (Nam Ji Hyun). She’s the author of Hyung Joo’s favorite webtoon and also paraplegic, the victim of a hit-and-run driver. Heading back in time allows her to prevent the accident from happening. She’s elated. Until people start to die. One by one, the ten people who went back in time are being killed. Hyung Joo and Ga Hyun team up to catch the killer. But how can they outwit someone who seems to be able to see through time?
Why you’ll love it: This is the perfect mix of action and suspense. All the actors hit it out of the park, and the drama doesn’t go off the rails in the last quarter. If you’re a mystery fan, you’re going to love this!
Check out the drama below!
Such an underrated show! “Children of Nobody” is an emotional showstopper, giving an unvarnished look at the horrors that people can inflict on the most vulnerable of us. Cha Woo Kyung (Kim Sun Ah) is a children’s counselor with the perfect life: she has a loving husband and daughter, and she’s pregnant with their second child. But all this comes crashing down when Woo Kyung is involved in a horrific car accident and accidentally kills a child who ran out in front of her vehicle. This destroys her emotionally, resulting in her losing her baby and growing estranged from her husband (who wastes no time having an affair). But something isn’t right. The child Woo Kyung saw was a little girl in a green dress, but the child the police say that she accidentally killed is a little boy who was fleeing an abusive home.
Then, the same little girl starts to haunt Woo Kyung’s waking hours, turning into a fearful shell of herself. But the girl only appears when there’s an abused child around and seems to be trying to point them out to Woo Kyung. Even stranger, there’s also a serial killer on the loose who’s going around killing the people who abused these children. As Woo Kyung grows increasingly fixated on these cases, she vows to find who the little girl in green is and how she’s connected to these deaths. But can she do that when she can no longer trust what she sees?
Why you’ll love it: The central mystery, acting, and plotting are excellent here. Kim Sun Ah and Lee Yi Kyung give fantastic performances, and the show’s delicate handling of difficult subject material makes it a cathartic experience. It really does deserve more love!
For everyone who wants more Namgoong Min in their life (who doesn’t, honestly?), this is the show for you. “Awaken” is one of his most underrated works, and undeservingly so because it’s such a good one!
His character here is the closest we’ll get to Jang Hyun but still stands out on his own. Do Jun Woo is the leader of an elite investigation police unit, but you’d never know it. Revered and feared by his peers, his unassuming appears hides a brilliant, almost diabolical mind. He’s a master strategist and manipulation, which is why he’s brought on board for a series of unusual murders taking place around Seoul. Also on his team is hot-headed but capable officer Gong Hye Won (Seolhyun). She’s a little taken by and little pissed off at Jun Woo most days of the week but maintains a professional rapport with him. Until a new arrival threatens to shake things up.
Jamie (Lee Chung Ah), an FBI agent, is brought in to consult on the murders due to potential international ties. But Jamie’s keeping secrets from everyone—secrets that seem tied to Jun Woo. As they close in on a perpetrator who seems out to exact revenge for a mass murder that occurred 28 years year ago called the White Night, Hye Won realizes that no one around is who they seem. Perhaps not even Jun Woo.
Why you’ll love it: This may be a thriller, but it finds an excellent way to weave in romance. Jun Woo and Hye Won are the heart of this show, both fiercely capable in their own ways and prepared to do anything to protect those they care about. We have action, adventure, a seemingly supernatural thriller, plus Namgoong Min bringing his very best to the game as an antihero you’ll absolutely love. Check it out below!
Check out the drama below!
One can never have enough Namgoong Min! Kim Ji Eun is in this one as well in her leading lady debut. “The Veil” is an homage to the action thrillers of the past decade, elevated by superior performances from a host of ridiculously talented actors. Han Ji Hyuk (Namgoong Min) was the National Intelligence Service’s (NIS) best agent, respected and admired by his peers and deadly in action. Until a surveillance op in China went awry leading to everyone on Ji Hyuk’s team being killed and Ji Hyuk going missing. A year passes, and the rumors around the incident go from Ji Hyuk having ratted out his team to Ji Hyuk being dead until he’s miraculously found alive, chained up on a trafficking ship. Only, he’s missing a full year’s worth of memory.
I’m just in awe at the dedication it must have taken to get that body.
The NIS sees Ji Hyuk as a ticking timebomb and assign him to desk work with a new field agent Yoo Je Yi (Kim Ji Eun). But someone’s watching Ji Hyuk’s every move. Someone with a vested interest in uncovering what happened that night a year ago. Someone who’s playing a long game with Ji Hyuk at the center of it. As Ji Hyuk digs deeper into the fragments of his memory for answers, he’ll have to battle former friends, secretive higher-ups, and entire leagues of people who want him dead. Because he wasn’t supposed to survive that night, and many people are prepared to go to any length to ensure that the job is done.
Why you’ll love it: Namgoong Min always delivers. He gained some serious muscle for this role and just looks incredible. The action scenes rival anything you’d see in a John Wick film, and the suspense is tight. There just isn’t another drama like this one!
Check out the drama below!
Hey Soompiers! Which of these dramas have you seen? Which ones will you check out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she fangirls over Ji Sung, and spins thrillers set in increasingly fantastic worlds. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!
Currently Watching: “Destined With You,” “Moving,” “Arthdal Chronicles: Sword of Aramun,” “The Killing Vote,” and “My Lovely Liar.”
Looking Forward to: “Gyeongseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” “The Worst Evil,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.