music video clip from korean show castaway diva

21 Best Korean Shows on Netflix in June 2024

When you head over to Netflix, you’ll see hundreds of Korean shows, with new ones constantly being added. Netflix has even rolled out plenty of original Korean productions.

To help you navigate, here are 21 Korean shows that stand out among the rest. Choose from popular classics like “Crash Landing on You” or more recent releases like “Mask Girl”—all available on Netflix.

Contents

1. Uncanny Counter (2020)

Genre: Fantasy
Lead Actors:
Jo Byeong-gyu, Yoo Jun-sang, Kim Se-jeong, Yeom Hye-ran, Ahn Suk-Hwan

This supernatural drama is packed with adrenaline-filled fight scenes, and the plot will keep you guessing! “The Uncanny Counter” is about a group of demon hunters called “Counters” who use their special abilities to track down malevolent spirits. So Moon (Jo Byeong-gyu), a high school student with a limp from a tragic accident, unexpectedly becomes a Counter, and he joins the other Counters under the cover of operating a noodle restaurant.

Be warned, though—this show might seem lighthearted, but there were several scenes that got me emotional. After all, it’s easy to get attached to the characters because they act like a family. 

2. Mask Girl (2023)

Genre:  Thriller
Lead Actors: Go Hyun-jung, Nana, Lee Han-byeol

“Mask Girl” is a gripping drama that explores beauty standards, identity and society’s obsession with appearance—and the style is quite different from the usual K-drama. Go Hyun-jung gives a stunning performance as Kim Mo-mi. Everyone knows her as a normal office employee, but at night, she’s a popular internet livestreamer. Because she feels like her face is ugly, she hides her identity behind a mask.

Still, the boundaries behind her lives begin to blur, and she goes to great lengths to protect her secret—even committing crimes. The plot twists here had me constantly intrigued!

3. Hospital Playlist (2020)

Genre: Medical drama
Lead Actors: Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do

Shin Won-ho is the director of this drama—he actually has two other shows on this list (“Reply 1988” and “Prison Playbook”) because he’s that good. “Hospital Playlist” revolves around five doctors who have been friends since medical school, and they even perform in a band together.

The plot isn’t linear at all, with each episode tackling different medical cases. Light and slow-paced, it shows how the doctors grow in their careers while connecting with their patients. “Hospital Playlist” is one of those rare shows that I can watch over and over because it’s very heartwarming.

4. Bloodhounds (2023)

Genre: Action
Lead Actors:
Woo Do-hwan, Lee Sang-yi

“Bloodhounds” is an intense thriller series that’s not for the light-hearted. While it features two boxers, Gun-Woo (Woo Do-hwan) and Woo-jin (Lee Sang-yi), boxing isn’t the main source of action here! Both of them are on their way to promising boxing careers, but then they get involved with the high-stakes lending industry because of family debt. When they get hired by a philanthropic millionaire as her bodyguards, they decide to take revenge against corrupt moneylenders.

Expect plenty of violence­—the fight scenes are top-notch, but they don’t hold back on the blood.

5. Mr. Queen (2020)

Genre: Historical
Lead Actors: Shin Hye-sun, Kim Jung-hyun

If I had to recommend one Korean historical comedy, it’d be “Mr. Queen,” hands down. A modern-day male chef somehow ends up in the Joseon Era, more than 150 years ago—where he’s now Queen Kim So-yong (Shin Hye-sun). Aside from adjusting to becoming a woman, he has to deal with royal intrigues, messy politics and a marriage to King Cheoljong, who turns out to be a much better ruler than what the history books say.  

It’s one of the funniest K-dramas I’ve watched—I couldn’t stop laughing at some of the scenes—and Shin Hye-sun does a stellar job as the lead.

6. Love to Hate You (2023)

Genre: Romantic comedy
Lead Actors: Kim Ok-vin, Teo Yoo

The title already gives it away—yes, this is based on the classic “hate turning into love” romantic trope, but it’s also a fun, breezy show that’s worth a binge-watch. Yeo Mi-ran (Kim Ok-vin) is a passionate lawyer who’s determined to fight against injustice, especially when it comes to women’s issues. She even beats up wrongdoers herself!

Her next job is at a law company that specializes in celebrity scandals. She then notices Nam-kang ho (Teo Yoo), a movie star who’s disdainful of women. After hearing his sexist remarks, she schemes to expose his suspected misdeeds with a student.

7. Reply 1988 (2015)

Genre: Family
Lead Actors: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Ryu Jun-yeol, Go Kyung-pyo, Lee Dong-hwi

For a good dose of nostalgia, check out “Reply 1988.” The main character is Sung Deok-sun (Lee Hye-ri), a middle child who often feels ignored in her family, but you’ll also get to know her four friends and their families, all living in one neighborhood in Seoul.  The series is just 20 episodes, but it can feel like a pretty lengthy watch because each episode is 90 minutes.

I found it very authentic and relatable, especially with themes like preparing for college entrance exams and teenage crushes. If you love the style, then you might enjoy “Reply 1994” and “Reply 1997” too.

8. Daily Dose of Sunshine (2023)

Genre: Medical Drama
Lead Actors: Park Bo-young, Yeon Woo-jin, Jang Dong-yoon, Lee Jung-eun

In “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” Jung Da-Eun (Park Bo-young), is a nurse who works in a hospital’s psychiatry department. Even though she’s not very experienced yet, she does a good job of empathizing with her patients. The episodes go into each patient’s backstory in detail, tackling mental health issues like depression, panic attacks and schizophrenia. It’s startlingly realistic, especially since the series is adapted from a webtoon by a former nurse.

There’s a romance plotline here too. Even though it’s a difficult job, she starts to have sparks with Doctor Dong Go Yun (Yeon Woo-jin), who admires her resilience.  

9. The Devil Judge (2021)

Genre: Legal Drama
Lead Actors: Ji Sung, Jinyoung

“The Devil Judge” portrays Korea as a dystopian place, but with a twist: here people excitedly tune in to watch courtroom livestreams, excited to satisfy their hunger for justice. Judge Kang Yo-han (Ji Sung) is branded as the “Devil Judge” because he’s charismatic and willing to give out ruthless punishments to corrupt elites. He faces down wealthy people and ambitious politicians, and he often clashes with Kim Ga-on (Jinyoung), an idealistic rookie judge who becomes both his friend and his enemy.

The cinematography is well done, plus I loved the interesting references to mythology, religion and fairy tales.

10. My Mister (2018)

Genre: Drama
Lead Actors: Lee Sun-kyun, IU

I’d say that this drama showcases IU’s best acting. “My Mister” is about two people from very different walks of life who unexpectedly find solace in each other. Park Dong-hoon (Lee Sun-kyun), an older engineer, is caught in a mid-life crisis, with problems in both his work and marriage. On the other hand, Lee Ji-an (IU) is a troubled 21-year-old woman who’s weighed down by family responsibilities and debt.

Although “My Mister” is definitely dark and gritty, its message is ultimately hopeful. It even won many awards—not only for its acting and screenplay, but also for best drama overall.

11. My Liberation Notes (2022)

Genre: Drama
Lead Actors: Lee Min-ki, Kim Ji-won, Lee El, Son Suk-ku

“My Liberation Notes” is a realistic, thoughtful drama that’ll make you want to savor each episode. Yeom Chang-hee (Lee Min-ki), Yeom Mi-jeong (Kim Ji-won) and Yeom Ki-jeong (Lee El) are three siblings who feel confined in their mundane lives in a small village. They’re all looking for something more—specifically, liberation from their unfulfilling routines.

Their lives take an interesting turn with the arrival of Mr. Gu (Son Suk-ku), a mysterious man with a disturbing past. It’s a slow-paced watch where each sibling goes on a personal journey, and it’s filled with reflections on human nature—and what makes life worth living.

12. Crash Landing on You (2019)

Genre: Romance
Lead Actors: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin

“Crash Landing on You” is a romantic comedy classic, and for good reason. Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin), a businesswoman and heiress, accidentally lands in North Korea while paragliding because of a storm. Luckily, she encounters Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin) there. While he’s a North Korean army officer, he promises to help her stay safe and even get her home back to South Korea. As they spend time together, they start to develop deep feelings for each other.

I liked it right away, from the first episode. So many fans also ship the two leads together because they have amazing chemistry!

If you’re itching to learn more about Korea, then I recommend you binge on some good documentaries too, here’s my top 16 Korean documentaries:

13. Prison Playbook (2017)

Genre: Black Comedy
Lead Actors: Park Hae-soo, Jung Kyung-ho

“Prison Playbook” can be described as a slice-of-life series—but as you can tell from the title, it’s set in prison. Kim Je-hyuk (Park Hae-soo) is a famous baseball player whose career gets broken off when he’s sentenced to prison for a year. The series delves into his life as a prisoner and his relationships with the other inmates there, with their own backstories. He even finds a childhood friend there, Lee Jon-ho (Jung Kyung-ho), who’s now a prison guard.

It’s a very down-to-earth depiction of prison life, but there’s quite a bit of dark humor too.

14. Sweet Home (2020)

Genre: Horror
Lead Actors: Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook, Lee Si-young

This horror survival drama is a tear-jerker. Based on a hit Naver webtoon with more than two billion views, “Sweet Home” starts off with Cha Hyun-Soo (Song Kang), an introverted high school student who moves into an apartment. Unfortunately, a mysterious apocalypse occurs, where people turn into monsters based on their inner desires and fears. Everyone who lives in the apartment gets trapped inside, and they have to fight for their survival.

The first season was released in 2020 (during the pandemic!). In the second season, the survivors leave their apartment and face off against monsters in the outside world.  

15. Castaway Diva (2023)

Genre: Drama
 Lead Actors: Park Eun-bin, Kim Hyo-jin, Chae Jong-hyeop, Cha Hak-yeon

All seems to be going well for Seo Mok-ha (Park Eun-bin), who dreams of making it big in K-pop. After winning a competition, she’s on her way to a singing audition in Seoul. However, because of an accident, she ends up getting stranded alone on an island.

Fast forward 15 years, and she finally gets rescued. Even though the world is already very different, she refuses to give up on her dream, doing her best to stay positive. One of my favorite parts is the friendship between Seo Mok-ha and Yoon Ran-joo (Kim Hyo-jin), a diva that she admires.  

16. Alchemy of Souls (2022)

Genre: Fantasy
Lead Actors: Lee Jae-wook, Jung So-min, Hwang Min-hyun

If you watch Chinese dramas, then “Alchemy of Souls” resembles a wuxia series.

Jang Wook (Lee Jae-wook) comes from a noble family, but he’s burdened with a mysterious curse. He finds an unexpected ally in Mu-deok (Jung So-min). On the surface, Mu-deok is a blind woman, but there’s a powerful warrior trapped inside her body. The two team up, only for a rival to add complications—Seo Yul (Hwang Min-hyun), who has his own secrets.

It’s a wholesome mix of drama, action and humor, and they did a really good job with the visuals too, especially the fight scenes. 

17. Hotel del Luna (2019)

Genre: Fantasy
Lead Actors: IU, Yeo Jin-goo

Hotel del Luna isn’t your ordinary elegant hotel: it’s only for spirits on their way to the afterlife. Like in “My Mister,” IU excels here in her role as Jang Man-wol, who’s forced to run the hotel for hundreds of years to atone for a sin she committed back when she was still alive.

Enter Goo Chan-sung (Yeo Jin-goo), a sincere and level-headed young man. He unwillingly becomes the hotel’s manager because his father made a deal with Man-wol a long time ago.  

The cinematography, setting and costumes are all beautiful, so you’re in for a visual feast.

18. Flower of Evil (2020)

Genre: Thriller
Lead Actors: Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won

“Flower of Evil” is often described as a psychological thriller, but I’d say that it’s mainly a love story.

Baek Hee-sung (Lee Joon-gi) seems like the ideal husband and father, but he’s hiding a dark past. Ironically, his wife, Cha Ji-won (Moon Chae-won) is a detective who doesn’t know her husband’s true identity. The plot thickens when Ji-win starts investigating a series of unsolved murders that lead her to learn more about Hee-sung’s past. As secrets begin to unravel, their relationship is put to the test.

This was an absolute rollercoaster ride because of all the plot changes—there was no boring episode at all!

19. Queen of Tears (2024)

Genre: Romance
Lead Actors: Kim Soo-hyun, Kim Ji-won, Park Sung-hoon

Baek Hyun-woo and Hong Hae-in are going through a rough patch in their marriage.

Coming from a humble background, Hyun-woo studied hard to become a lawyer. On the other hand, Hae-in comes from a wealthy family and now holds an executive position at their retail company called “Queens Group.”

Despite having fallen in love, their marriage is challenged by Hae-in’s wealthy family, who is placing an intense amount of pressure on her.

The drama follows the couple trying to navigate through their pasts, families and the challenges that risk their marriage. Can they rekindle their feelings for each other in the end?

20. The 8 Show (2024)

Genre: Thriller, Drama
Lead Actors: Ryu Jun-yeol, Chun Woo-hee, Park Jeong-min

Eight people are trapped in an eight-story building where they compete for money. The more time that passes, the more they earn—but they have to play a dangerous game while inside.

The end prize is 44.8 billion won—or, 33 million dollars. The game doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge, but there’s a catch—it could get dangerous.

This show is a thriller drama based on the webtoon “Money Game.”

21. Hierarchy

Genre: Romance, Drama
Lead Actors: Roh Jeong-eui, Lee Chae-min, Kim Jae-won

Jooshin High School is an elite high school—you have to be chosen at birth to study there. But the school is controlled by the top 0.01% of students. They create the rules and the other students follow suit, subject to their laws, policing and consequences. That is, until a mysterious new transfer student—Kang Ha—arrives. The system the elite students had built slowly started crumbling, dismantling the power dynamic among students.

 

Whatever the genre—crime, romance or slice-of-life—you can always somehow find a Korean show that pulls it off beautifully. Maximize your Netflix subscription and go straight for the best Korean shows there with this guide!

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