There’s no shortage of South Korean dramas on Netflix. Fondly known only as K-dramas, there are numerous series to choose from; it’s no wonder, then, that some folks get lost when looking for the ideal thing to watch. Anyone who isn’t new to the world of K-drama understands that difficulty.
While numerous South Korean TV shows thrill, scare and make audiences cry, the most common K-dramas loved by all are romantic comedies. Adding a splash of romance to a comical plot and vice versa is the ideal combination to make someone feel better. Pair that with Rotten Tomatoes ratings, and viewers can check out some best South Korean rom-com on Netflix.
‘Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung’ (2019)
This is one of the rare K-dramas with a 100% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about a lively and cheerful girl Goo Hae-ryung who wants to attend an all-female historian school. Besides her, the story follows prince Cha Eun-woo, who hides from his royal family, dreaming of becoming a romance novelist.
This drama was popular when it came out because of its wit and swoon-worthy scenes. Additionally, it’s one of the most popular historical shows depicting life during the Joseon dynasty. For history buffs, there are also wonderful landscapes and incredible costumes. This show is on Netflix with 20 one-hour episodes.
‘Crash Landing on You’ (2019-2020)
Rocking a 98% score, this famous K-drama is about a South Korean businesswoman Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin), who likes to keep her work and private life under control; one day, she gets into a paragliding accident, crashing on the North Korean side of the border. There, she’s found by the mysterious North Korean Army Captain Lee (Hyun-bin).
Besides Descendants of the Sun, Crash Landing on You is one of the best South Korean romantic series. Whether by K-drama or rom-com standards, this show surpassed expectations and brought one of the most magnetic on-screen romances between the leads. Coincidentally, the two actors fell in love on set and married this year! That’s a solid testimony to this 16-episode whirlwind romance.
‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ (2021-)
Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a mix of romance, comedy, and drama, and one of the best series for first-time K-drama viewers: the 97% audience rating agrees. It follows a dentist, Hye-jin (Shin Min-a), who decides to leave her big-town job after catching her boss cheating customers. Her journey leads her to an idyllic village Gongjin, where she meets the handy and clever Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho), who’s loved by the entire village.
The two characters’ paths seem to constantly cross; Hye-jin gets into small troubles, and Du-sik somehow rescues her. Paired with lovely landscapes of rural South Korea and a slice-of-life approach to the story, this rom-com will make anyone feel better as soon as they watch it. The show’s a Netflix original and has 16 one-hour episodes.
‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’ (2022-)
Twenty-Five Twenty-One is one of the most-watched series on South Korean cable television this year, earning a 96% audience rating. It follows the romantic lives of five characters, some through flashbacks and some through present-day events. The span of time depicted is between 1998 and 2021.
The flashback aspect and the characters’ romantic adventures make the show an instant hit. Additionally, the series is just one of the smash hits starring Nam Joo-hyuk. This young heartthrob has affirmed himself as the ‘romantic comedy king’ after starring in some of the most popular rom-com, including Start-Up and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.
‘Business Proposal’ (2022-)
Business Proposal was developed after the webtoon of the same name became a smash hit, earning a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The story follows Ha-ri (Se-jeong), who goes on a blind date instead of her friend, with the intention of making the suitor give up. However, Ha-ri gets involved in a bit of drama when she realizes the blind date is her boss.
This K-drama has it all—tension, romance, comedy, drama, and twists and turns for days. It aired for 12 one-hour episodes but was a hit in South Korea. When it came to Netflix, it was the sixth most-watched non-English series on the platform, and production even released a two-CD soundtrack which ranked eleventh on the Circle Album Chart.
‘Mad for Each Other’ (2021)
With an 88% audience rating, this drama is unique for several reasons—its protagonists develop romance through an unusual friendship, they both visit the same psychologist, and the episodes are only thirty minutes long. Lovers of K-dramas are typically used to one-hour features, but Mad For Each Other was all the more remarkable because of episode runtimes.
Hwi-oh (Woo Jung), a detective with anger issues, and Min-kyung (Yeon-Seo Oh), a fashionable girl with OCD, live in the same building and go to the same psychologist. Their lives become intertwined, and the attraction is apparent to viewers much sooner than to the protagonists – making the show more entertaining. With several comical scenes per episode, this rom-com was an instant hit, although it flew slightly under the radar.
‘Our Beloved Summer’ (2021)
Literally translated to That Year We, this drama depicts a coming-of-age story filled with comical twists and romance: on Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 85% rating. Its main characters are Choi Ung (Choi Woo-shik) and Kook Yeon-soo (Kim Da-mi), two former lovebirds who, upon breaking up, vowed never to meet again. But their promise can’t be upheld, as they participated in a high school documentary and have to meet again.
Parasite‘s Woo-sikdoes a brilliant job as the slightly clueless but adorable bookworm, especially opposite the beautiful and confident acting of Kim Da-mi. This show depicts how love progresses over time and can happen in unexpected moments and be seen in the smallest of things. Our Beloved Summer is available on Netflix with 16 one-hour episodes.
‘Itaewon Class’ (2020)
With an 82% rating among audiences, Itaewon Class excelled as a dramedy depicting family ties, success, revenge, and love. Its plot focuses on Sae-ro-yi (Park Seo-joon), who, in the past, stands up to a bully at school and gets expelled for it. Coincidentally, that bully ends up killing his father, leaving Sae-ro-yi to seek revenge.
In the present, Sae-ro-yi runs a restaurant with a quirky but popular manager Yi-seo (Kim Da-mi). They’re complementary characters whose romance is initially more obvious to the viewers. Another Parasite star and heartthrob, Seo-joon, carries the show on his shoulders. He has unique comedic timing and knows when to turn on the charm; Sae-ro-yi may be his most comprehensive character, which should be enough to get through the 16 one-hour episodes.
What seems to be a loose South Korean homage to Sex and the City, Thirty-Nine dives into the friendship of three women on the verge of turning forty. Sitting at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show depicts their lives, romantic interests, and how getting older, being single, and juggling work and private life functions for each.
This romantic comedy doesn’t just rely on the main protagonists being a man and a woman. Here, the three women in focus are all protagonists in their own way, although many would argue Crash Landing on You‘s Son Ye-jin carries the torch. Thirty-Nine lets viewers enjoy the ride of true friendship, giving the entire rom-com angle more depth.
‘When the Camellia Blooms’ (2019)
With a 77% rating, the rom-com princess Gong Hyo-jin and the comedic actor Kang Ha-neul lead this lovely yet slightly offbeat romance about a bar owner and a local cop. Dong-baek (Gong) moves to a small village with her son and opens a bar named “Camellia.” Yong-sik (Kang) is a cop who always accidentally catches the bad guy. He’s rather tactless, and Dong-baek is stubborn.
Their chemistry on-screen is palpable, although some dialogue bits may be a bit dated for modern times. Despite that, this rom-com tackles the social stigma on single mothers in South Korea. Additionally, the series has a thriller twist, as a killer lurks around the village. The show brought Kang Ha-neul the Best Actor Award at the 2019 Baeksang Arts Awards and Gong Hyo-jin the Grand Prize at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards.
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