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Five Korean Dramas for Speculative Fiction Fans

So, pretty much anyone who knows me fairly well knows I’m a big fan of Kdramas/Korean dramas. I think they’re quite a bit cleaner than American television shows, without sacrificing any quality. This week I thought I’d share five of my favorite Kdramas, ones I think my speculative fiction friends will appreciate. Don’t be intimidated by subtitles. You get used to them in no time. 🙂

Here we go:

1.) Blood

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Is there a better job to have if you’re a vampire than as a doctor in a hospital full of sick patients? Park Ji Sang (Ahn Jae Hyun) is a brilliant surgeon who also happens to be a vampire. As he works alongside hotshot heiress doctor Yoo Ri Ta (Ku Hye Sun), who carries a lot of clout as the niece of the hospital board chairman, and chief surgeon Lee Jae Wook (Ji Jin Hee), Ji Sang faces many inner struggles between his vampirish thirst for blood and his strong desire to save the lives of his terminally ill patients. Can Ji Sang face his own personal battle between good and evil and find a solution to his double-edged sword existence? “Blood” is a 2015 South Korean drama series written by Park Jae Bum and directed by Ki Min Soo. -Description by Viki

2.) Legend of the Blue Sea

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How can a mermaid from the Joseon era survive in modern society? Shim Cheong (Jun Ji Hyun) is a mermaid who follows her one true love, a nobleman’s son named Kim Moon from the Joseon Dynasty, to modern-day Seoul. Moon’s modern doppelgänger is Heo Joon Jae, a highly skilled scam artist who first becomes interested in Shim Cheong because of a jade bracelet worth $6 million that Shim Cheong wears. With nowhere to go, Shim Cheong is taken in by Joon Jae, who also finds his con partners, Jo Nam Doo (Lee Hee Joon) and Tae Oh (Shin Won Ho), hiding out in his home from a vengeful past victim of their scams. Shim Cheong discovers a rival for Joon Jae’s heart in Cha Shi Ah (Shin Hye Sun), a researcher at KAIST who deals with ancient artifacts. When a dangerous killer named Ma Dae Young (Sung Dong Il) sent by Joon Jae’s stepmother who wants to make her own son the heir to Joon Jae’s fortunes, can Shim Cheong survive her strange new environment while also helping Joon Jae avoid the dangers that await him? “The Legend of the Blue Sea” is a 2016-2017 South Korean drama series directed by Jin Hyuk. The story is inspired by a historical tale about a mermaid contained in a short story anthology known as “Eou Yadam” by Joseon-era scholar Yu Mong In. -Description by Viki

3.) W

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Is it possible live in the same place at the same time but in a completely different dimension? Oh Yeon Joo (Han Hye Joo) is a second-year cardiothoracic resident doctor. Her father, a famous comic book creator, suddenly disappears one day and then Yeon Joo herself is kidnapped by a strange man covered in blood and taken to a different dimension. Kang Chul (Lee Jong Suk) is a former Olympic gold medalist in shooting and self-made millionaire. How will his world intertwine with Yeon Joo’s other-dimension universe? Is Kang Chul the only person who can help Yeon Joo escape from a parallel universe? “W” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Jung Dae Yoon. -Description by Viki

4.) Faith

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A modern-day surgeon is kidnapped and taken back 700 years to the Goryeo Dynasty in Korean history. Admiral Choi Young, a warrior, abducts Dr. Eun Soo and returns to his time period so that the doctor can save the injured Princess No Guk. Can Dr. Eun Soo do what is being asked of her and return to her own time period? Or will she have faith in her heart and stay in the past to help the king become a better ruler who cares for and heals his people? “The Great Doctor,” also known as “Faith,” is a 2012 South Korean drama series directed by Kim Jong Hak. -Description by Viki

5.) Goblin

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Living forever can get old after a while. Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is a goblin who has immortal life as he watches over people’s souls. He lives with Wang Yeo (Lee Dong Wook), the grim reaper who suffers from amnesia but nevertheless does his job to help usher people’s souls into the afterlife. Shin’s nephew, Yoo Deok Hwa (Yook Sungjae), is a rebellious chaebol heir whose family has been caretakers of the goblin for generations. As Shin becomes tired of his immortal life, he contemplates whether to find a human bride to help him become human. Could Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun), an optimistic high school student who falls in love with Shin, or Kim Sun (Yoo In Na), the likeable owner of a chicken restaurant, hold the key to Shin’s future? “Goblin” is a 2016-2017 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. It is written by Kim Eun Sook, who also wrote the very successful dramas “Heirs” (2013) and “Descendants of the Sun” (2016). -Description by Viki

You can watch all of these dramas here:  https://www.viki.com/

Korean dramas are usually one season and most range from sixteen to twenty episodes. Give one or more of these a try, and let me know what you think. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

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About Brittany Valentine

Saved by grace, sibling one of eight, part-timer by day, speculative fiction writer by night. Working on a series called The Chronicles of Aura.

3 comments on “Five Korean Dramas for Speculative Fiction Fans

  1. Two of these haven’t finished airing yet. Hopefully they end well but I’ve seen enough kdramas fall to pieces toward the end that I’m never 100% confident in my love for the drama until it’s truly over. That being said, Goblin and Legend of the Blue Sea are two I definitely plan to watch soon as I have some time. If you liked W and Faith, you definitely should check out My Love From Another Star, Queen In-Hyun’s Man and Gu Family Book.

    • My sister loves My Love From Another Star. I’ll definitely check those other two out as well. The OST for Goblin is absolutely beautiful too. So many dramas, so little time.;)

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