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Must watch K-dramas to end your 2020

Laugh and cry with our favourite K-dramas through the years as they teach us a thing or two about life.

Sarah Chan

Likes museum trips and is sometimes artsy. Can be found in pattern prints.


Published: 14 December 2020, 12:11 PM

As the start of the new year looms closer, you might be looking for some inspiration for the year ahead.

K-dramas are often known for their elaborate storyline. Yet, the fictional characters can sometimes leave the deepest impression as they teach you a thing or two about life.

Whether you’re in it for the action or the soulful acting, here are five binge-worthy, slice of life K-dramas you need to watch this season.

1. Misaeng: Incomplete Life

Be prepared to laugh and cry as you follow the characters on their own journey navigating the working world in Misaeng. PHOTO CREDITS: IMDB.COM

 

Misaeng follows the life of Jang Geu-Rae (played by Im Si-wan), an aspiring professional Baduk player. Having devoted his life to the board game yet unable to fulfil his dreams, he left the game and began working as an intern for an international conglomerate.

As the only intern with high school qualifications and almost no formal training, he is thrust into the working world faced with the constant belittlement and ostracism from others.

Geu-Rae persists and works earnestly to prove his worth as an underdog, reminding us that life will always be unfair but there is room for hope in a seemingly cold world.

2. Fight For My Way

If you are a fan of K-dramas, you might have come across the iconic aegyo (cute expression) scene of Ko Dong-Man (Park Seo-Joon) as he pesters Choi Ae-Ra (Kim Ji-Won) in the 2017 drama, Fight for My Way.

 

The humorous antics between the best-friends-turned-lovers on screen makes the show loveable for all audiences to relate to. PHOTO CREDITS: IMDB.COM

 

The lighthearted rom-com is a story about friendship and passion as the main leads and their friends remain optimistic even in the face of rejection.

The charming duo brings viewers through their struggles of pursuing their passions and claiming their youth. Ae-Ra dreams of becoming a news anchor but is working as a front desk lady while Dong-Man, a former taekwondo athlete, wishes to chase his dream again.

Their stories remind us that even if life throws you a heap of rejections, you need to keep that fire in you alight to fight for your way in life.

3. Because This is My First Life

The rom-com explores the topic of relationship and career frustrations for the two characters in their 30s. PHOTO CREDITS: IMDB.COM

 

A swoon-worthy drama about the lives of Nam Se-Hee (Lee Min-Ki) and Yoon Ji-Ho (Jung So-Min) – two characters with opposing personalities who learn to adapt to living with each other as landlord and tenant.

Ji-Ho is an aspiring writer. But her struggles as an assistant screenwriter, coupled with her financial struggles and an uncertain housing situation, means her dreams remain unfulfilled.

She meets Se-Hee, an eccentric house-poor man who desires for materialistic needs and only loves his cat. Their lives begin to change as their stories intertwine.

The drama was praised for its relatable slice-of-life plotline and touched on topics such as sexism and patriarchism as the characters navigated through their own struggles.

Not forgetting are the supporting characters of the show, whose subtle roles gave viewers a glimpse into the different perspectives held towards marriage, love and life.

4. Prison Playbook

Prison Playbook’s storytelling manages to weave the backstories of both main and side characters effectively without tiring viewers. PHOTO CREDITS: IMDB.COM

 

Prison Playbook is a heartwarming story about the lives of inmates and correctional officers. The story begins with Kim Je-Hyuk (Park Hae-Soo), a famous baseball player who is convicted for assault after saving his sister from a sexual attack.

From the cold and commandeering Captain Yoo (Jung Hae-In) to the witty antics of Yoo Han-Yang (Lee Kyu-Hyung), the show is character-driven, featuring inmates from different walks of life whose stories will unfold as they learn to live with each other.

Prison Playbook will tug on your heartstrings but it does not stray away from reminding viewers about the harsh realities of the environment it is set in.

Despite the seemingly serious setting, the show effectively conveys the message of teamwork, friendship and redemption as the characters work towards a second chance at life.

5. Itaewon Class

Fans of Park Seo-Joon rejoice! Your favourite male lead is making an appearance again, this time starring as the iconic chestnut haircut Park Saeroyi in Itaewon Class.

 

Set in the Itaewon district, a place known for its vibrant nightlife, the show was praised for breaking stereotypes and tackling social issues like discrimination. PHOTO CREDITS: IMDB.COM

 

Itaewon Class is a coming-of-age story of ex-convict and high school dropout Park Saeroyi as he works to fulfil his dreams of running his bar, DanBam. Along the way, the revengeful Saeroyi is driven to seek justice against his long-time feud with a large corporation.

Saeroyi is surrounded by a diverse range of characters, with his DanBam crew consisting of social outcasts and people from different walks of life.

The characters themselves work their way towards a second shot at life and their drive to pursue their dreams is one that is truly admirable.

If you need another reason to watch Itaewon Class, it’s the soundtrack! Catch the inspirational Start Over by Gaho or swoon over the soothing vocals of BTS’ V in Sweet Night.

These shows will surely melt your heart while leaving a little food for thought about life when you’re done. Get ready for a whirlwind adventure and let us know what your favourite K-dramas are too, enjoy!


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