Love is indeed a splendid thing, especially when it comes to K-dramas. From slow burn romances to laugh out loud rom-coms, fantastical tales of love and longing to bittersweet slice of life love stories, there is something in it for everyone.
From an eternal being’s search for his human bride, to love beyond enemy lines, and the toe curling CEO and secretary romances, these love stories have made viewers believe and fall in love all over again. Here are seven K-drama picks to watch if you want to bring back that loving feeling, especially during this Valentine’s Day.
“A Business Proposal”
This drama can be classified as an instant mood lifter. “A Business Proposal” hits the sweet spot as it brings in all the classic romance tropes possible in this office romance peppered with steamy chemistry, ladles of laughter, and slices of misadventures. Shin Ha Ri (Kim Sejeong), a food researcher, helps her heiress bestie Young Seo (Seol In Ha) by stepping in as a blind date on her friend’s behalf. The date in question is Kang Tae Moo (Ahn Hyo Seop), the handsome CEO of Go Foods, who has no time for the frivolities of love, dating, and even marriage. However, to bide time and ward off his grandfather’s constant demands to get married, Tae Moo asks Ha Ri to enter into a contractual relationship. But the inevitable happens and some serious sparks fly. By the time Tae Moo discovers Ha Ri’s identity, he is truly and madly in love with her. But they are not the only ones who have a love story unfolding. Young Seo falls hook, line, and sinker for Tae Moo’s best friend Cha Sung Hoo (Kim Min Kyu).
The friendship between the two female leads, the bromance between the boys, and of course the sizzling chemistry between the two couples makes “A Business Proposal” a wholesome entertainer and a must watch!
“Crash Landing On You”
Imagine a freak accident which lands you in so-called enemy territory and straight into the arms of a good-looking knight in shining armor! One of the most popular dramas, the global hit “Crash Landing On You” often comes first when you talk about favorite romantic dramas of all time.
Yoon Se Ri (Son Ye Jin), the super successful CEO of Se Ri’s Choice, is literally blown away to North Korea while promoting one of her brands. As fate would have it, she is rescued by the handsome Captain Ri Jeong Hyuk (Hyun Bin), who is on border patrol duty. Realizing her arrival not only spells danger but would also translate into a diplomatic crisis, Captain Ri shields and protects Se Ri along with his unit. The two star-crossed lovers defy bullets and political intrigues, including family manipulations, to keep their relationship alive.
“Crash Landing On You” came with several heart melting moments. Whether it was Capt Riain cooking for Se Ri, tying her hair, or scheduling yearly messages so that she did not feel his absence, he was a man everyone wanted for keeps. Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin also became everyone’s poster couple, and when the reel translated into real, it was a dream come true for fans.
Meet Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon): He is handsome, pompously arrogant, and the heir to a fortune. However, the self-assured Young Joon is very dependent on his secretary, the super efficient Kim Mi So (Park Min Young). Mi So, who has been taking care of his office for nine years, finally decides to resign, leaving Young Joon in a dilemma. Though initially matter of fact about her departure, Young Joon realizes the importance of Mi Soo and cajoles her to stay. As Young Joon finds himself head over heels in love with Mi So, the favorite K-drama trope of childhood connection makes its way as well into this romance.
“What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” is a winner all the way. Funny, cheesy, and of course with steamy chemistry between Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young, this drama makes it worth your while.
Start watching “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim”:
A love that transcends galaxies, realms, and centuries, “Goblin” is a heart-wrenching tale of love and yearning. The invincible general Kim Shin, aka the goblin (Gong Yoo), is cursed to immortality. It’s been close to a century, and he roams the earth seeking his bride, who can help weld the sword stuck in his chest. The orphaned Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun), who has had a tough life, has the knack to see ghosts. Unbeknownst to her, she is the talk of the metaphysical world as the “goblin’s bride.” There is also the disgruntled Grim Reper (Lee Dong Wook), who is Kim Shin’s housemate and is also tied to Eun Tak in a strange twist of fate. Eun Tak and the 900-year-old goblin embark on an unforgettable journey of love, laughter, and longing.
This drama is a beautifully made, picturesque show, though there are times when it does seem a bit stretched. The chemistry between the lead couple will make your heart skip a beat. And the bromance between Gong Yoo’s Kim Shin and Lee Dong Wook’s Grim Reaper is quite the highlight. “Goblin” has one of the most moving and sweet-sounding soundtracks. Do keep a box of tissues handy as you are likely to shed many sad tears as you watch this bittersweet love story.
Start watching “Goblin”:
Do Bong Soon (Park Bo Young) is a girl who has the strength that can move mountains, literally. Though delicate and petite in appearance, Do Bong Soon is a toughie and is fondly addressed as “The Force.” She packs a punch, and she flexes and flicks men twice her size, even lifting heavyweight containers like feathers. However, the caveat is that she can only use her strength for a good cause. In comes two men: there’s Bong Soon’s boss, the charming and goofy Ahn Min Hyuk (Park Hyung Sik), who is the CEO of a gaming company, and her childhood bestie and crush, the detective Guk Doo (Ji Soo).
“Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” is a classic drama for rom-com lovers. It’s a complete package that blends fantasy, mystery, romance, and lots of laughter!
Start watching “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon”:
Seo Jung Hoo (Ji Chang Wook) is a fearless night courier who takes on tough assignments and can get out of a sticky situation with his parkour skills. If he’s not squabbling with his hacker boss Ji Min Ja (Kim Mi Kyung), Jung Hoo is imagining a retired life on an island in front of his gigantic TV screen at home. But things take a turn when he is commissioned by new anchor Kim Moon Ho (Yoo Ji Tae) to get the DNA sample of the aspiring and feisty journalist named Chae Young Shin (Park Min Young). As the three come together, they unearth some dark secrets but also realize they share a common past.
“Healer” is everything you want in a show: it’s got an action hero, a spunky female lead, suspense, and a cute love story. Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young will set your screen on fire. Plus, how many of us had the title track “Eternal Love” on repeat after watching?
Start watching “Healer”:
Imagine getting married to save money. Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) is single: he does not date, he feeds his cat, goes to work, and comes home. He has a comfortable apartment but a heavy mortgage. Meanwhile, Ji Ho (Jung So Min) needs a place to stay. She is an aspiring drama writer but her financial struggles overwhelm her. Se Hee and Ji Ho enter into a contract and decide to live together. She gets a home, and he gets a flatmate and someone to look after his cat. But they soon realize this contractual arrangement could well become permanent.
“Because This Is My First Life” is slow and steady drama, but it grows on you. It addresses several socio-cultural issues of outmoded traditions, personal choices, and whether marriage is really a means to an end. The excellent storytelling and Lee Min Ki and Jung So Min’s super performances is what makes this drama worth its while.
Start watching “Because This Is My First Life”:
Hey Soompiers, which one is of these dramas is your favorite love story? Let us know in the comments below!
Puja Talwar is a Soompi writer with a strong Song Joong Ki and Lee Junho bias. A long time K-drama fan, she loves devising alternate scenarios to the narratives. She has interviewed Lee Min Ho, Gong Yoo, and Ji Chang Wook to name a few. You can follow her on @puja_talwar7 on Instagram.
Currently watching: “The Interest of Love” and “Summer Strike“