These dramas deserve to be treated like “Squid Game”.

South Korean leaders certainly did not expect that the drama Squid Game, which tells the story of a group of competitors competing in games with deadly stakes, would be a radical success with global audiences. Globalization and the dynamism of the Internet have allowed South Korean dramas to attract more and more attention, and not just that of the film industry, and fortunately, there are plenty of choices .

Despite the fact that K-dramas are becoming more and more prevalent in every corner of the world for their perfect balance between originality and the ability to establish an emotional connection with viewers, many K-dramas do not benefit from the same attention given to series such as the global phenomenon for their captivating stories.

From Work Later, Drink Now to My Mister, here we have some of the best and most underrated Korean dramas, covering every genre viewers should pay attention to.

  • My Mister (2018)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

In My Mister, a workplace drama, we witness the birth of an unlikely friendship between a middle-aged supervisor and his young colleague, both struggling with the unbearable weight of their respective miserable lives. While supervisor Dong-hun (Lee Sun-kyun) has just discovered that his wife is having an affair with the senior manager of his company, his colleague Ji-an (Lee Ji-eun) is heavily in debt and constantly harassed by loan sharks. who subjected her to violent beatings. What brings them together is the disappearance of a stack of gift certificates worth 50 million won.

While it’s not exactly an upbeat series, My Mister is widely considered the best underrated K-drama; it seriously leaves an impression on the public by making them want to watch it again for the first time. The somewhat slow and dark pace of this drama will certainly not appeal to everyone, but My Mister remains exciting and will surprise anyone who loves dramatic Korean dramas.

  • Prison Playbook (2017)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

Squid Game actor Park Hae-soo plays Kim Je-hyuk, a star baseball pitcher convicted of assault and sentenced to a year in prison after saving his sister from a aggressor. As he prepares to make his debut, Kim must adapt to his new world of iron bars and eccentric prison companions. Very good at baseball, Kim is hard-headed and constantly needs help from his best friend and prison guard Lee Jun-ho (Jung Kyung-ho).

In this criminally underrated Netflix K-drama, among the prisoners who suffer from kleptomania or drug addiction, Kim eventually finds the good side of the supposedly “bad” prisoners, each with their own dangers and unique outlook on life. It’s a well-constructed series that certainly deserves audience attention, especially considering how seamlessly it blends humor and dramatic elements.

  • Welcome to Waikiki (2018)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

The heartwarming drama Welcome to Waikiki centers on three young men who aspire to make their fortune in the film industry and therefore run a guesthouse named “Waikiki” in Itaewon to raise money for their next production. Encountering strange situations ranging from bankruptcy to unexpected babies, the tenacious trio do everything they can to finance their film.

A balanced combination of comedy and drama, this 2018 series is one of the many K-dramas that fans must watch, although it is often overlooked. Not only is it captivating and grabs attention from the start due to its premise, but it is equally hilarious and it is evident that it is endless fun and a must-watch for K-drama comedy lovers.

  • The Tale of Nokdu (2019)

The Tale of Nokdu

Jeon Nok-du (Jang Dong-yoon) disguises himself as a woman and enters a mysterious village populated by widows in order to discover the culprit of the attack on his family. There he meets Dong Dong-ju (Kim So-hyun), a hot-tempered woman who also seeks revenge for her family and refuses to become a gisaeng, where women from enslaved or excluded families are trained to become courtesans.

Set in the Joseon era, the underrated Korean drama “The Tale of Nokdu” is the perfect historical romance as it offers a refreshing take on the cross-dressing archetype while featuring one of the best couples in history. screen K-dramas with great chemistry. It’s clear that this is a must-see film for fans of period films, with an incredible duo taking center stage.

  • Chicago Typewriter (2017)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

Chicago Typewriter stars Han Se-joo (Yoo Ah-in), a successful author who suffers from blank page syndrome, and Yoo Jin-oh (Go Kyung-Pyo), a talented pen writer who occasionally helps Se -joo in his writing work. Jeon Seol (Lim Soo-jung) is a woman with varied skills who doesn’t like Se-joo.

It’s not just their current complex relationships that bind the trio, but also their past lives as resistance fighters during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s. The question is whether the discovery of the truth about their identities before reincarnation will change their current dynamic for better or worse. Boasting a compelling plot and characters, this captivating series that is definitely one of the most underrated K-dramas offers a lot to dissect.

  • Doctor John (2019)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

This overlooked medical drama offers audiences a fresh take on the genre by compellingly depicting doctors’ intense quest to find the source of their patients’ suffering, showing how far modern medicine has come and how difficult choices can be made. that must often be done in this area. In Doctor John, the main character is Yo Han (Ji Sung), a promising doctor who can determine a patient’s medical condition in just 10 seconds.

The excellent performance of the main actors and the thrilling storyline (with an electrifying love story and memorable central characters) make this touching 2019 series very enjoyable to watch and guaranteed to viewers, especially K fans -drama to have a good time with its balanced rhythm, its writing and its intensity.

  • Navillera (2021)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

Roughly translating to “like a butterfly,” Navilera features a 70-year-old retired postman, Shim Deok-chul (Hong Seung-hee), who reaches golden age and finally pursues his passion for dance classic after seeing Swan Lake at a young age. Undeterred by his family’s criticism and social norms, Shim enrolls in a local dance academy and becomes a student of Lee-Chae-Rok (Song Kang), a talented but struggling dancer. his proofs.

Available to stream on Netflix, this heartwarming and caring series encourages viewers to pursue their dreams while they can while sending a poignant message about how life is too short for regrets and self-loathing. Featuring a superb performance, Navillera is a series that many fans of the genre would like to discover and to which they would like to give the praise it deserves.

  • K!ll It (2019)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

An elite assassin, Kim Soo-hyun (Jang Ki-Yong), possesses impeccable skills and enjoys complete anonymity. Beneath his altruistic façade as a veterinarian, he is sought after by criminal gangs as well as organizations around the world seeking his deadly dexterity. For her part, Do Hyun-Jin (Im Jin-ah) is an excellent although vain detective, whose cold exterior hides her empathy towards the victims and the painful past of the loss of her lover.

In K!ll It, we witness a dangerous game of cat and mouse between Soo-Hyun and Hyun-jin, who will discover clues suggesting that they have more in common than it seems. Such a plot makes K!ll It captivating to the point of holding the audience’s attention, which makes for an enjoyable time in front of the screen.

  • The Light In Your Eyes (2019)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

This drama features 26-year-old Kim Hye-Ja (Han Ji-min) who discovers a mysterious watch that allows her to manipulate time, but at a high price. Unable to get over her father’s death in a car accident, Hye-Ja abuses her newfound power of turning back time until she accidentally becomes a 70-year-old lady overnight. Struggling with her new identity, Hye-Ja sets out to discover herself while dealing with family problems and broken promises.

Despite receiving critical and audience praise for its innovative and touching time travel storytelling, K-drama The Light In Your Eyes isn’t talked about enough when it comes to discussions about the best dramas of all the temperature. His moving storytelling can be difficult to watch at times, but it is 100% worth the tears.

  • We Are Peaceful Brothers (2017)

The 12 Most Underrated South Korean Dramas K-Selection

Based on the adaptation of a webtoon of the same title, We Are Peaceful Brothers essentially focuses on brothers whose eldest Lee Yoon (Noh Sang-hyun) is a designer, while his younger brother Lee Sang (Kim Min-kyu ) is still a student. Composed of a series of short films, it describes the love-hate relationship between the two family members who manage to live together despite radically opposing personalities.

With a runtime of around five minutes for each episode, this drama is a great choice for anyone who has an incredibly busy life and is constantly in a hurry, but still wants something short and light to kill time . All things considered, the hilarious and vastly underrated K-drama We Are Peaceful Brothers makes for a captivating series that appeals to different types of viewers and celebrates brotherly love.

We Are Peaceful Brothers is not currently available to stream, rent, or buy in the United States.

  • Work Later, Drink Now (2022)

Work Later Drink Now season 2

What can you expect when a writer, yoga instructor, and origami YouTuber walk into a bar? This gives “Work Later, Drink Now”. Along with words, true friends believe in making a toast.” Based on Mikkang’s Drinker City Women (Kakao Webtoon), this South Korean web series tells the story of three women who can’t go without a drink at the end of the day.

There’s no doubt that Work Later, Drink Now is the show for you if you’re interested in South Korean binge drinking culture and looking for a light-hearted series about female friendships. While being very dynamic for most of its running time, the series is not afraid to tackle serious topics such as teenage suicides and the side effects of heavy drinking.

  • Through the Darkness (2022)

Through the Darkness drama netflix

The high IMDb score of “Through the Darkness” does not make it a popular K-drama among global audiences, but it is definitely worth watching. Based on the 2018 book of the same title and co-written by South Korea’s premier criminal profiler Kwon Il-yong and author Ko Na-mu, the series features Song Ha-young (Kim Nam-gil), a member of the criminal behavior analysis team that works to decipher the behavioral patterns of real-life monsters.

Thrilling from start to finish (no pun intended), Through the Darkness is often compared to Mindhunter, David Fincher’s popular crime series, which also focuses on the study of the minds of serial killers. It’s an interesting, captivating and thought-provoking K-drama, in short, the ideal choice for those who love the detective genre.

Which of these most underrated k-dramas do you like the most?