5 Classic K-Dramas You Should Watch at Least Once in Your Life

Take a trip down memory lane with these nostalgic shows!
by Caitlin Anne Young   |  Jun 4, 2017
Image: SBS, KBS
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  1. Endless Love: Autumn in My Heart (2000)
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Before Song Hye Kyo took the world by storm with Descendants of the Sun, she made her mark on the small screen with Autumn in My Heart. Don't you remember crying your eyes out to the Tagalog-dubbed version as a kid? It's a classic Maria Clara story: Two babies are born on the same day, one to a rich family, and one to a poor family, and they are switched. Uh-oh. Rivalry ensues between the two girls. Fast forward to the future, and love triangles and life-threatening leukemia take center stage. No spoilers, except get your tissues ready.

  1. Stairway to Heaven (2003)

Along with Autumn In My Heart, Stairway to Heaven launched the melodramatic K-drama wave. It’s another Cinderella story, for sure, featuring a beautiful and kindhearted leading lady, deceased biological parents, an evil stepmother, an envious stepsister, a good stepbrother, and of course, the prince—or millionaire, rather—who causes a love triangle. Add cancer to the spiel, and we promise you every single episode will make your eyes water and your heart break. Sigh, why do we love this sad, inaapi stories so much? *sobs*

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  1. Jewel in the Palace (2003)
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Jewel in the Palace is responsible for drawing the interest of the whole world into Korean culture, particularly its history, cuisine, and landmarks. What's not to like? Set in ancient times, the period drama follows an orphaned kitchen cook who goes on to become the first female physician of the king. Filled with deadly court secrets and lavish royal lifestyles, as well as near life-or-death situations, Jewel in the Palace's intricately-woven plot will certainly make for binge-watching material—and a binge-eating one, too. Yum. #FoodGoals

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  1. Full House (2005)

Fact: Song Hye Kyo was everywhere in the early 2000's. But unlike her first big breakthrough, which was filled with melodrama, Full House is a welcome change, kickstarting the rom-com Hallyu wave. Remember when the K-pop singer Rain was everywhere? The two star as a girl and a guy forced to live in the same house after a nasty prank goes wrong. Of course, they must keep the full extent of their living conditions a secret from the judgmental eyes of society, plus not fall in love. If you want a show filled with kilig moments and big laughs (throwback to the iconic "Three Bears" song, which sounded sooo funny dubbed in Filipino), then Full House is the show for you!

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  1. My Lovely Kim Sam Soon (2006)
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This list wouldn't be complete without My Lovely Kim Sam Soon, another Korean rom-com that was so popular, it even spawned its own Pinoy remake! The Bridget Jones-esque story focuses on Kim Sam Soon, a young woman who's always struggled with two things: 1. Her weight and 2. Her traditional name, which literally means "3rd daughter". After getting dumped by her cheating boyfriend and losing her job, she's determined to improve, using her love for baking to open a small bakery. She soon meets hotel heir Hyun Jin Heon. Although their relationship is antagonistic at first, it soon blossoms into love. Yes, this show is filled with love triangles and cute chemistry that will make you kilig.

Remember any of these shows, CandyGirls? Share this article with a friend you can binge-watch with, or sound off in the comments down below!

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Caitlin Anne Young
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