In hindsight, here are my Top 10 picks for the best Korean drama series aired in 2016. The only criterion is my level of enjoyment.
* Photos grabbed from Kissasian.ch
Two women with the same name get entangled with a guy who has the ability to see into the future.
Genre: Melodrama, Romance, Fantasy
* The plot was good and the scenarios were well-written, but I’m not a fan of the male lead so this was slightly painful to watch. The female characters weren’t that likable either. I watched this purely for the story.
A guardian creature is looking for his bride who will remove the invisible cursed sword stuck in his body. He ends up living with a cynical and awkward Grim Reaper.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Melodrama
* I didn’t care about the lead characters at all. The Grim Reaper and Sunny side story was the only reason I watched this. I like how put together Sunny was and how she commanded her life. I like how strangely attracted she was to the Grim Reaper who did very strange and confusing things (not to mention, cute). Oh, the OST was superb 👍 by the way.
Mermaid falls in love with a human con artist, who is the modern reincarnation of her ex-lover in the Joseon era
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance
* The story was so messy and the actors didn’t have chemistry. There were a handful of good moments but overall, it’s overrated.
A girl in her mid-twenties time travels to the Goryeo dynasty and is caught between the power struggle among handsome princes. She falls in love first with the 8th prince, then later on with the cursed 4th prince.
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Romance
* Well, who wouldn’t enjoy a good reverse harem? I wanted the female lead to end up with the 8th prince though. I was so mad when she switched love interest.
The story follows the life of a collegiate female weightlifter and how she discovers love, friendship and herself.
Genre: Sports, Comedy, Romance
* The story was simple and realistic. Bok Joo was fierce. I like how strong women were celebrated in this series.
Famous psychotherapist moves in upstairs of a fortune teller’s cafe and the unlikely pair fall in love
Genre: Comedy, Psychological, Romance
* Another noona-dongsaeng series that was light and cute while sparking conversations on the spiritual and the scientific.
A tense love triangle between a wanted mercenary-turned-bodyguard of a presidential candidate, that candidate’s cunning, political savvy, emotionally deprived wife, and his illegitimate daughter who is suffering from psychological trauma from witnessing her mother’s death
Genre: Politics, Action, Romance
* I like the stepmother’s character better and her interactions with K2.
Accomplished flight attendant who recently broke up with a cheating boyfriend finds herself getting attracted to her new young stepfather who runs the family’s dumpling shop
Genre: Comedy, Family, Romance
* I thoroughly enjoyed the noona-dongsaeng love angle. I like how the male lead, despite being younger, was very reliable and protective.
A love story between a captain of the South Korean Special Forces and a volunteer surgeon set in the war-stricken country of Urk
Genre: Military, Romance, Melodrama
* Song Joong Ki’s playful portrayal of the lead male character made this worthwhile. I also liked the dynamics between the master sergeant and the army doctor.
Lead webtoon character comes to life and falls in love with a lady surgeon, who happens to be the daughter of his creator. The setting switches between reality and the world inside the webtoon.
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Melodrama
* It had interesting twists that made me look forward to every episode. Plus, I’m a huge Lee Jong-Suk fan.