Between grand declarations of love and quirky comedic instances – the only thing most Kdrama aficionados hope for in a Netflix series is a happy ending. Afterall, who doesn’t enjoy dreamy proposals and a post-credits scene that has you reaching for the tissues (in joy, ofcourse). Here’s our pick of a few for your next binge session.
Over the past few years of the Hallyu boom, Korean shows have explored most every genre imaginable – historical fiction, comedy, dark thriller, action, horror. However, some of the most popular Kdramas, especially on Netflix, have one thing in common – a happy ending. Besides swoon-worthy dialogues, gripping plotlines, and slow-burn romances of course. These aren’t just entertaining but also serve as the perfect antidote to long, gruelling weekdays. And with Valentine’s Day coming up – we couldn’t help but look to our favourite shows that end with heartwarming proposals and the leads walking into the distance – complete with a romantic ballad playing in the background. Here’s a few to add to your watchlist.
Check our complete list on K-dramas to watch!
Dreamy Kdramas on Netflix that have a happy ending
Directed by: Park Seon-ho
Cast: Ahn Hyo-seop, Kim Se-jeong, Kim Min-kyu, Seol In-ah
Release date: February 28, 2022
Synopsis: Shin Ha-ri (played by Kim Se-Jeong) begrudgingly agrees to go on a parent-arranged blind date in place of her best friend Young-seo (played by Seol In-ah), with a plan in place to get rejected. However, this fails when Kang Tae-moo (played by Ah Hyo-Seop) – her boss and the date in question – decides to marry her to avoid going on other similar dates. What follows is a series of rib-tickling occurrences as she struggles to hide her identity from him. Her best friend, meanwhile, has a crush on Cha Sung-hoon (played by Kim Min-kyu) who also happens to be Tae-moo’s assistant.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?
Directed by: Park Joon-hwa
Cast: Park Seo-joon, Park Min-young
Release date: June 6, 2018
Synopsis: High-functioning Lee Young Joon (played by Park Seo-joon) is the vice chairman of his company. He often relies on his capable secretary Kim Mi So (played by Park Min-young) to navigate his difficult schedule efficiently. Naturally, when the latter decides to quit after working with him for nine years, the former is left wondering what’s wrong with her (hence the title). This is followed by a series of hilarious instances – only to convince her to stay.
Because This Is My First Life
Directed by: Park Joon-hwa
Cast: Lee Min-ki, Jung So-min
Release date: October 9, 2017
Synopsis: IT employee Nam See Hee (played by Lee Min-Ki) is in a two-year contract marriage with homeless writer Yoon Ji-Ho (played by Jung So-Min). An important condition? Both parties agree to be just landlord and tenant respectively – sharing a home based on goals and values rather than attraction. However, things quickly go awry when the housemates begin discussing personal trauma, social expectations, and family complications.
Hometown Cha Cha Cha
Directed by: Yoo Je-won
Cast: Shin Min-a, Kim Seon-ho, Lee Sang-yi
Release date: August 28, 2021
Synopsis: City-girl dentist Yoon Hye-jun (played by Shin Min-a) locks horns with jack-of-all-trades Hong Doo-sik (played by Kim Seon-ho) when she moves to his quaint seaside town to set up a practice. Their romance blossoms through banter and hilarious instances – especially with Hye-jun learning how to adapt to a wholly new lifestyle and nosy neighbors. There are plenty of dreamy dates and a love triangle as well, with the latter seeing the lead in competition with a man he greatly respects and enjoys spending time with.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Directed by: Oh Hyun-jong
Cast: Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon, Kyung Soo-jin
Release date: November 16, 2016
Synopsis: Talented weightlifter Kim Bok Joo (played by Lee Sung-kyung) aims to go to college to pursue her passion for lifting. Her best friend Jung Joon Hyung (played by Nam Joo-hyuk) – also an athlete – puts in the work to grow as a swimmer. As the two chase their goals, the series explores themes of friendship and love. All this, through a series of heartbreaks, engaging banter, and good old dreamy romances.
Her Private Life
Directed by: Hong Jong-chan
Cast: Park Min-young, Kim Jae-wook, Ahn Bo-hyun
Release date: April 10, 2019
Synopsis: Talented gallery curator Sung Duk Mi (played by Park Min-young) leads an alternative, secret life as an ardent fan of a K-pop singer. Her well-hidden secret comes under jeopardy when her arrogant new boss Ryan (played by Kim Jae-Wook) takes over the reins. What follows are instances of pretend-dating, childhood trauma, and office romance.
Directed by: Park Sun-ho
Cast: Ji Chang-wook, Nam Ji-hyun, Choi Tae-joon, Kwon Nara
Release date: May 10, 2017
Synopsis: Prosecutor Noh Ji-Wook (played by Ji Chang-Wook) – arrogant and feared – has a trainee named Eung Bong-hee (played by Nam Ji-hyun) who gets caught up in a murder case. The latter relies on his experience to clear her name. On the path to justice, they unravel corrupt legal practices and love. Romance and comedy cuts through the mystery and drama.
Which of these are you watching this weekend?
All images: Courtesy Netflix