They say doing things together as a couple is a sign of a happy relationship.
But what if you've been hit by the Korean wave recently, and want to spend the weekend finishing that newly downloaded K-Drama with your boyfriend? Problem is, he looks like someone who isn't too keen on joining your plans. BOO!
Worry not, we listed five introductory series that will surely convert your tough bae into a giddy fanboy just by watching episode 1. These titles range from the most iconic to the less-heralded; hope we didn't spoil you in any way!
Full House (2004)
(Song Hye Kyo, Rain)
What would be a list of watching suggestions without the pioneer of the rom-com genre? No wonder Full House has been credited as Hallyu's driving force around these parts. Save for a few predictable twists, the series progression will get anyone who sees it hooked easily.
The show employed the reliable formula of an uncomplicated storyline plus bankable celebrities, which translated into massive Asian success. Having Janno Gibbs render the sentimental musical score "Fallin'" elevated the unique fairy tale between Han Ji-eun (Jessie) and Lee Young-jae Justin) to legendary status for Pinoys.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016)
(Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk)
It was actually a commercial flop during its local run, but the coming-of-age tale quickly gained a cult following overseas, thanks mainly to its lovable stars. WFKBJ is the ideal take-off point for your binging habit due to its overall light-hearted nature.
That being said, the prevailing love story is reinforced by "weighty" themes, such as the usual trials college athletes face and finding the real meaning of true beauty, which is embodied by the iron-pumping titular character. One would be surprised by the fact that tear-jerking scenes were not even romantic ones.
The Vineyard Man (2006)
(Yoon Eun Hye, Oh Man Seok)
We could've opted for a more popular drama from Eun Hye, like Princess Hours or Coffee Prince, but instead felt that the underrated adaptation deserves some credit, too. On TVM, she plays budding couturier Lee Ji Hyun, who is forced out of her comfort zone for a bigger purpose.
Set in the countryside, the heartfelt tale took viewers back to when life was simple and all everyone had to do was tend the farm. It was also refreshing to witness a relationship unfold between total strangers (opposite agriculture expert Jang Taek Gi), as rustic conditions played a hand in their developing attraction.
Boys Over Flowers (2009)
(Kim Hye Sun, Lee Min Ho)
Only because Meteor Garden originated from Taiwan. Everyone deserves to be amused by F4's exploits and the whirlwind love triangle with whoever their leading lady is (in this case, Geum Jan Di), and whether it's a lesser version—like Japan's Hana Yori Dango—or a poorly dubbed local airing.
What set the Korean iteration apart from its Asian counterparts, however, was the cultural impact. Gu Jun Pyo, Yoon Ji Hoo, So Yi Jung, and Song Woo Bin ushered the "pretty boy" trend in South Korea. In the Philippines, fans couldn’t get over BOF's LSS-inducing soundtrack, some of which were performed by the actors.
Secret Garden (2010)
(Ha Ji Won, Hyun Bin)
Almost every lead actress in the previous entries portrayed strong women, so it's rather fitting to culminate with a stuntwoman. Basically a reversal of popular Uptown Girl trope, Secret Garden made sure that its fantastical aspect won't take too much attention away from the saccharine premise.
Come to think of it, the organic romance between Gil Ra Im and Kim Joo Won could sum up the whole point of this list. Male K-Drama fans are more likely to be charmed by unconventional female protagonists than just the typical lookers. At the same time, the appeal of a miniseries' plot lies in its compelling narrative and laid-back approach.