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The Different Genres in Korean Dramas: Continued!

By Chi-Chi Ezekwenna

KDA Internship

We’re back! A month has passed since the first guide was posted. How did you enjoy the first three genres introduced? Were you constantly debating between the two love interests while watching romance dramas? Did you learn something new and interesting about Korean culture and history while enjoying sageuks? Has a new career path opened up to you while being emerged in legal dramas? If you think k-dramas are good so far, we’re just getting started.

As mentioned previously, in this blog, we will continue the series by talking about melodrama, school based and sci-fi dramas.


Melodramas, which are called makjang in Korean, are dramas where the plot consists of extreme, unrealistic, abnormal or ridiculous situations. Makjang can translate to “to take things too far” or “to reach a limit, regardless of the circumstances.” Secret births, murders being covered up, love interests that are actually cousins, etc are some examples of situations that happen in makjangs. Think of it as telenovelas, but Korean. Here are some makjangs to make your jaw drop with every episode.

My Golden Life

Featuring Park Shi Hoo and Shin Hye-Sun, this drama is about two sisters, Seo Ji Ahn and Seo Ji Soo. Ji Ahn is a hard working contract worker under the famous Haesung, while Ji Soo is an airhead working a part time job. Without spoiling too much of it, their mother's misguided love has caused them to get swapped in status, and so Seo Ji-an enters the Haesung household to have a better life without knowing she is actually not their long-lost daughter, but her "former twin" sister instead. What will happen to her once the secret gets revealed, and what will happen to her relationship with the son of chaebol family Choi Do-kyung, whom she has gotten closer to as siblings? If that synopsis isn’t intriguing enough to get you reading, then I don’t know what is!

Secrets and Lies

Featuring Oh Seung-A and Seo Hae Won, this drama tells the story revolves around Shin Hwa-Kyung and Han Woo-Jung, two young women who were best friends. One day, Woo Jung discovers Hwa-Kyung's secret, and is then betrayed by her. Hwa-Kyung then has to protect her lies with more lies and Woo Jung has to protect those close to her from the wrath of Hwa Kyung. From children being switched at birth to multiple muder attempts, this drama is sure to keep you on your toes.

School-Based Dramas

School based dramas are dramas located in high school and college. These dramas have everything from school bullying, to sketchy upperclassmen. Even while being in an educational setting, these dramas still contain the same romance, drama and comedy as other dramas. Check out some of these school based dramas.

True Beauty

Based on the popular Webtoon, True Beauty, starring Moon Ga-Young, Astro’s Cha Eun Woo and Hwang In-Yeop, this story follows Lim Jukyung, a young girl who was bullied throughout her life for being ugly and her journey through high school after she starts using makeup to change her appearance.

Cheese in the Trap

Starring Kim Go Eun and Park Hae Jin, this classic is about Hong Seol, a hard working college student. Hong Seol has returned from college after a year-long break. Before her break, she got on Yoo Jung’s bad side. Her life turned to hell and she was certain it was all because of him. So why does he start acting nice and friendly to her a year later?

Sci-Fi Dramas

Sci-Fi is exactly as it sounds. It’s science fiction, from witches, to mermaids to having supernatural powers, sci-fi comes in all forms in K-dramas. Check out some of these Koreans sci-fi dramas down below.

Love Alarm

Starring Kim So-Hyun and Song Kang, this story follows high school students Kim Jo-Jo, Lee Hye-Young and Hwang Sun-Oh as they battle with love and friendship in a world in which an app called Love Alarm, rings the user if somebody within 10 meters has a crush on them.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

Starring Park Bo-Young, Park Hyung-Sik and Kim Jisoo, this story is Do Bong Soon, a sweet, petite young woman who possesses superhuman-like strength. Do Bong-Soon’s life is pretty normal as she starts working as a bodyguard for An Minhyuk, the CEO of Ainsoft, a video gaming company, in return for a chance to work for the company. Her life soon spirals out of control as she and Minhyuk help Detective Kook-Doo, Bong-Soon’s friend and crush, as crimes against women increase in Bong-Soon’s neighborhood. This drama has everything from romance, to comedy to mystery and thriller.

With 6 more recommendations, your world of K-dramas is slowly but surely expanding. Come back for part 3, where we will discuss psychological, suspense/mystery and comedy.


Cheese in the Trap. (2016, March 3). MyDramaList.

Coley, D. (2019, December 2). My “Makjang” K-Drama List. K Crush America Magazine.

Love Alarm - AsianWiki. (n.d.). AsianWiki.

My Golden Life. (2018, March 18). MyDramaList.

Secrets and Lies - AsianWiki. (n.d.). AsianWiki.Com.

Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon - AsianWiki. (n.d.). AsianWiki.

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