by DJO ‘67 with contributions from Regina Boncan Francisco ’70

How I Started

For several years now my younger sister (who had retired earlier than I did) was telling me to start watching the Korean dramas (KDs).  I simply informed her: “Nope, I’ve heard of those KDs and I know that once you start it, you will get hooked on it!”  At that point I was still working and had no time for all these dramas. 

Fast forward to 2020…..

Time to retire!  So I retired on the last working day of Feb 2020 which was a Friday. Lo and behold that Monday, Covid-19 happened and the lockdown was in place!  My retirement plans (travel, volunteer work) all just flew out the window due to the pandemic and the lockdown.

Well, isolation led me to explore KDs!


Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin in Crash Landing on You (CLOY)

Upon recommendation, I started with the blockbuster of 2020…Crash Landing On You (CLOY).  Oh  wow! What a beautiful, romantic and tearful storyline – political issues between North and South Korea, different cultures between the 2 countries, a dashing and handsome Captain from North Korea running into a beautiful, successful South Korean businesswoman and chaebol heiress who while paragliding in Seoul is swept up in a sudden storm, landing in the forbidden DMZ of North Korea, theme of forbidden love


Everyone was talking about the tear jerker, CLOY!!

“You’ve got to watch CLOY!!”

The world fell in love with CLOY!! I fell in love with CLOY!!

The KD Addiction#2 to #300+:

So, I got hooked!! Since I had the time now to watch these KDs (sometimes till the wee hours of the morning), it was one KD after another. The addiction has started.  I had to organize how I watched it.  I definitely don’t watch it when it first comes out since I don’t want to wait weekly for it, takes too long to discover what happens next.  What I decided to do is wait for the series to finish, then I binge-watch (a standard drama series has 16 episodes, some less, some more) and it will take me 1-3 days to complete a series depending on the number of episodes.  When I like a certain main actor (or should I say “fall in love” and I’ve fallen in love with so many now), I search for all his series and binge-watch him so I can familiarize myself with him: know his K name, his stats, everything about him. 

Okay, I know, I know, that’s too much time on my hands now!  So between March 2020 to the present Jan 2022, I have watched a little over 300 series from Netflix, Rakuten Viki, and YouTube.  I’m so addicted to it now that maybe I need to go to a KD Anonymous group meeting!!!  KDs have now been granted certain hours of my daily routine (darn these other duties!) BUT after my morning prayer time of course. I just don’t watch Romantic Comedies called ROM COMS.  I also watch doctor series, thrillers, detective stories, and I love the historical times – the Joseon (pronounced Choson) Era!

The Culture of Love:


Most Korean Dramas have the element of a love story be it during the Joseon Era or the present time. Though these KDs are factual in their culture, close family knit ties, and are portrayed through these dramas (and I verified these with my former American-Korean co-worker and he concurred), I find the KDs very wholesome, sweet romance, learning the Korean culture such as respecting the elderly, and very clean storylines.  (I’m sure there are raunchy ones too which I avoid).  These storylines give you a “feel-good” sentiment which is why it is easy to get addicted to these KDs. Actors and actresses are well chosen, shooting locations, cinematography, film editing and musical themes/backgrounds are superb and well done. This is also why we all fall in love with the dramas and continue to watch them one after the other. We may even say that we could live in a “fantasy world” through these dramas even for a slight moment. 

The Love Songs:


Oh, the Love Songs! They have the most romantic lyrics, sweetest melodies and the very best singers who emulate so much the meaning of the romantic theme of the drama. Most Korean Dramas have several love stories within a storyline. It be between the lead man and lead woman, between the best friend of the lead man and the cousin of the lead woman, and so forth. The elderly too are often shown to have a love story!

Common Elements/Scenes in a Storyline:


Yes, it’s true and I can attest that most of these dramas have the same elements:

– dwelling in deep romanticism and fantasies, with the assumption of an everlasting love

– strong portrays of attractive male characters

– media aesthetics and romantic/love music to immerse viewers in the emotional experience.


There are also common scenes in KDs:

– back hugs

– hands patting the back to console an aggrieved or hurt person

– piggyback rides especially when they have had too much to drink and hangover stew

– going crazy and throwing tantrums

– second lead who also loves female lead but never confesses to her

– love triangle

– wrist grabbing

– female lead tripping on something and the male lead catching her 

– male lead will be very intelligent in his career usually will be a chaebol (wealthy family clans), etc.

The Culture of Food and Drinking Soju:

Part of the Korean culture is the love for good food and sharing a drink.

In all KDs, eating Korean food is always featured and enjoyed by its characters. Most common shown are Spicy/Fried Chicken, Kimchi (fermented cabbage), Jjajangmyeon (thick noodles in a dark sauce), Tteokbokki (rice/fish cakes in chili paste sauce), Spicy Instant Noodles (ramen), Bibimbap (salad of rice, veggies, beef and egg), Gimbap (Korean sushi), Samgyeopsal (pork strips sizzling on a grill), Japchae (glass noodles) and the numerous appetizers of cut vegetables such as radish, bean sprouts, eggplants,  cabbage, onion leeks, tofu and at times dried fish. 

The art of drinking Soju and Korean Beer. Most KDs would always feature the Korean culture of enjoying a drink of hard liquor. It is culturally accepted as a way of bonding, forging and cementing relationships both personal and business.  Soju is made from grains of rice, wheat and barley. It is the most famous and enjoyed alcohol drink in Korea. Many as shown in the storylines, combine Soju with a local beer which is a Korean drinking game.

Keeping Track:


There are several KDs that I have re-watched over (CLOY being one of them – I think I’ve watched this about 17 times now); and every time I re-watch a drama, I find something new that I had missed the first time around.


To further inform you of my KD addiction, I am currently updating a grid (part of this follows) of what I have already watched according to different categories:


Title of Series, Year it Was Shown, Main Stars/Roles, What Social Media it was Watched From (Netflix, Rakuten Viki, YouTube, etc…) and Comments.


(Note: There are still some KDs that I’ve heard that have good reviews, but they’re shown on other media channels which I don’t have).


Do all these sound familiar?  Sure!  Even though we know what their tactic scene will be, but we don’t care, we still watch them continuously.  I know these KDs have been around for such a long time (especially in the Philippines, I was informed), but just blew up within the last couple of years.  They are just producing these projects as fast as anything that I informed my co-KD conspirators that even to my dying day, we will never run out of them to watch!!!


Gamsahamnida!  (Thank you!)


Annyeonghaseyo! (Hello!)


Annyeong! (Goodbye!) 


Enjoy the enclosed list of titles and photos of my favorite actors and actresses!


Be With You 2018 Movie Son Ye Jin/So Ji Sub/Park Seo Joon Sad
Hyde, Jekyll, Me 2015 20 Hyun Bin/Han Ji Min/Sung Joon Sad; good acting
Descendants of the Sun 2016 16 Song Joong Ki/Song Hye Kyo/Jin Goo/Kim Ji Won Good
Personal Taste 2010 16 Lee Min Ho/Son Ye Jin/Wang Ji Hye Funny
While You Were Sleeping 2017 16 Lee Jong Suk/Bae Suzy/Jung Hae In
Secret Garden 2010 20 Hyun Bin/Ha Ji Won/Yoon Sang Hyun Good
What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (WWWSK) 2018 16 Park Seo Joon/Park Min Young/Lee Tae Hwan Very good
On Your Wedding Day 2018 Movie Kim Young Kwang/Park Bo Young/Kang Ki Young
A Piece of Your Mind 2020 12 Jung Hae In/Chae Soo Bin/Lee Ha Na Artificial Intelligence
Midnight Runners 2017 Movie Park Seo Joon/Kang Ha Neul Silly
She Was Pretty 2015 16 Park Seo Joon/Hwang Jung Eum/Choi Si Won Good one
The Legend of the Blue Sea 2016 22 Lee Min Ho/Jun Ji Hyun Good
Fight for My Way 2017 16 Park Seo Joon/Kim Ji Won/Ahn Jae Hong A little violent due to boxing
About Time 2018 16 Lee Sang Yoon/Lee Sung Kyung/Im Se Mi Interesting
Sweet Munchies 2020 12 Jung IL Woo/Kang Ji Young/Lee Hak Joo
Marriage Not Dating 2014 16 Yeon Woo Jin/Han Sun Hwa
High End Crush 2015 20 (15) Jung IL Woo/Jin Se Yeon
The Beauty Inside 2015 Movie Park Seo Joon/Park Shin Hye
A Company Man 2012 Movie So Ji Sub/Lee Mi Yeon
Whisper 2017 17 Lee Sang Yoon/Lee Bo Young/Kwon Yool Thriller
Angel Eyes 2014 20 Lee Sang Yoon/Nam Ji Hyun/Kang Ha Neul Young woman given back her sight
VIP 2019 16 Lee Sang Yoon/Jang Nara/Lee Chung Ah Infidelity
Hotel Del Luna 2019 16 IU/Yeo Jin Goo/P.O./Kang Mina/Oh Ji Ho Haunted hotel
Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth 2017 (Historical) 20 Park Seo Joon/Go Ara/Park Hyung Sik/Choi Min Ho/Do Ji Han/Yo Yoon Woo/Kim Taehyung (V from BTS) Good Historical; handsome guys
Healer 2014 20 Ji Chang Wook/Prk Min Young/Yoo Ji Tae Thriller
When My Love Blooms 2020 16 Yoo Ji Tae/Lee Bo Young/Jinyoung (from GOT7) Sweet
My Love From The Star 2013 21 Kim Soo Hyun/Jun Ji Hyun Good
Where Your Eyes Linger 2020 Movie Han Gi Chan/Jang Eui Su
The Swindlers 2017 Movie Hyun Bin/Nana/Yoo Ji Tae
A Witch’s Romance 2014 16 Park Seo Joon/Uhm Jung Hwa
Master’s Sun 2013 17 So Ji Sub/Gong Hyo Jin/Kim Myung Soo (L)
Kill Me Heal Me 2015 20 Park Seo Joon/Ji Sung/Hwang Jung Eum/Oh Min Seok Split personalities
Are You Human Too 2018 36 (30) Seo Kang Joon/Gong Seung Yeon AI Robots
The Third Charm 2018 16 Seo Kang Joon/Esom/Lee Yoon Ji Good
Watcher 2019 16 Seo Kang Joon/Kim Hyun Joo/Han Suk Kyu Thriller
I’ll Go to You When the Weather is Nice 2020 16 Seo Kang Joon/Park Min Young/Lee Jae Wook Boring
Dr John 2019 32 (30) Ji Sung/Lee Se Young/Lee Kyu Hyun Excellent doctor show
Heart Surgeons 2018 32 (30) Go Soo/Uhmm Ki Joon/Seo Ji Hye Excellent doctor show
My Lovely Sam Soon 2005 16 Hyun Bin/Kim Sun Ah/Jung Ryeo Won/Daniel Henney Hilarious
The Dude in Me 2019 Movie Jinyoung (from B1A4)/Park Sung Wong/Ra Mi Ran/Lee Soo Min
Her Private Life 2019 16 Park Min Young/Kim Jae Wook/Jung Je Won
Familiar Wife 2018 16 Ji Sung/Han Ji Min/Kang Ha Na/Jang Seung Jo
My Princess 2011 16 Ryu Soo Young/Park Ye Jin/Song Seung Heon/Kim Tae Hee
Forest 2020 32 (30) Park Hae Jin/Jo Bo Ah
Black Knight 2017 20 Kim Rae Won/Shin Se Kyung/Seo Ji Hye/Jang Mi Hee
Youn’s Kitchen 2 2018 11 Park Seo Joon/Youn Yuh Jung/Jung Yu Mi/Lee Seo Jin Introducing Korean Food to another country
The Great Show 2019 16 Song Seung Heon/Lee Sun Bin/Im Joo Hwan
Witch’s Court 2017 16 Jung Ryeo Won/Yoon Hyun Min/Kim Yeo Jin/Jun Hwang Ryul
Handsome Tigers 2020 12 Lee Sang Yoon/Cha Eun Woo/Joy Basketball Documentary
Goodbye Mr Black 2016 20 Lee Jin Wook/Moon Chae Won
A Beautiful Mind 2016 14 Jang Hyuk/Park So Dam
Good Doctor 2013 20 Joo Won/Moon Chae Won Autistic dr
Encounter 2018 16 Park Bo Gum/Song Hye Kyo
Dr Romantic (1) 2016 21 Han Suk Kyu/Seo Hyun Jin/Kim Min Jae Good
Dr Romantic (2) 2020 16 Han Suk Kyu/Ahn Hyo Seop/Lee Sung Kyung Good
Dr Stranger 2014 20 Lee Jong Suk/Kang Sora/Park Hae Jin
Missing: The Other Side 2020 12 Go Soo/Heo Joon Ho/Ahn So Hee
Lie After Lie 2020 16 Lee Yoo Ri/Yeon Jung Hoon Good
I Remember You 2015 16 Seo In Guk/Jang Na Ra/Park Bo Gum
Love In The Moonlight 2016 (Historical) 19 Park Bo Gum/Kim Yoo Jung/Jinyoung (from B1A4) Good
Strong Woman Do Bong Soon 2017 16 Park Bo Young/Park Hyung Sik/Kim Ji Soo
The Guardian 2017 32 (30) Kim Young Kwang/Lee Si Young/Kim Tae Hoon
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin) 2016/17 19 Gong Yoo/Lee Dong Wook/Kim Go Eun
The Secret Life of My Secretary 2019 32 (30) Kim Young Kwang/Jin Ki Joo/Koo Ja Sung Prosopagnosia (face blindness)
The Man from Nowhere 2010 Movie Won Bin Dark
Okay Madam 2020 Movie Uhm Jung Hwa/Park Sung Wong/Lee Sang Yoon
Search: WWW 2019 16 Jang Ki Yong/Im Soo Jung
High Society 2015 16 Park Hyung Sik/Sung Joon/Uee/Lim Ji Yeon Good
It’s Okay, That’s Love 2014 16 Jo In Sung/Gong Hyo Jin Good script and acting
Do You Like Brahms? 2020 16 Kim Min Jae/Park Eun Bin
The Time We Were Not In Love 2015 16 Ha Ji Won/Lee Jin Wook/Kim Myung Soo (L)
Find Me In Your Memory 2020 32 (30) Kim Dong Wook/Moon Ga Young/Kim Seon Ho Good
The Producers 2015 13 Kim Soo Hyun/IU/Gong Hyo Jin/Park Bo Gum Slow
Kairos 2020 16 Shin Sung Rok/Lee Se Young
Single and Ready to Mingle 2020 8 (15) Jeong Hyo Jun/Choi Yoo Jung/Kim Do Yeon
Pinocchio 2014 20 Lee Pil Mo/Park Shin Hye/Lee Jong Suk
Sky Castle 2018 20 Yum Jung Ah
Warm and Cozy 2015 16 Yoo Yeon Seok/Kang Sora/Go Kyung Pyo/So Ji Sub
My Fantastic Funeral 2015 2 Kyung Soo Jin/Choi Woo Shik
Oh My Venus 2015 16 So Ji Sub/Shin Min Ah/Sung Hoon Great
Marriage Contract 2016 16 Lee Seo Jin/Uee
Doctors 2016 20 Kim Rae Won/Park Shin Hye Great
Little Forest 2019 16 Lee Seo Jin/Lee Seung Gi/Park Na Rae/Jung So Min Real Kids Camp
Little Forest 2018  Movie Kim Tae Ri/Ryu Jin Yeon
Tales Of Nokdu 2019 (Historical) 32 (30) Jang Dong Yoon/Kim So Hyun Good
Level Up 2019 12 Sung Hoon/Han Bo Reum/Danny Ahn/Baro
 Flower of Evil 2020 16 Lee Joon Gi/Moon Chae Won/Kim Ji Hoon
Search 2020 10 Jang Dong Yoon/Krystal Jung/Yoon Park Military
Mr Queen 2020 (Historical) 20 Kim Jung yun/Shin Hye Sun
Are you In Love 2020 Movie Sung Hoon/Kim So Eun
The Romance 2020 8 Jung Je Won/Kang Han Na
Timing 2020 4
Clean With Passion For Now 2018 16 Kim Yoo Jung/Yoon Kyun Sang/Song Jae Rim
Times 2021 12 Lee Seo JIn/Lee Joo Young
Go Back Couple 2017 12 Son Ho Jun/Jang Na Ra/Jang Ki Yong
Misty 2018 16 Ji Jin Hee/Kim Nam Joo/Koo Ja Sung Very Good
Touch Your Heart 2019 16 Lee Dong Wook/Yoo In Na Good
Noble, My Love 2015 7 Sung Hoon/Kim Jae Kyung
Doom at Your Service 2021 16 Park Bo Young/Seo In Guk/Lee Soo Hyuk
D-Day 2015 20 Ha Seo Jin/Jung So Min/Kim Young Kwang
My Secret Star 2020 5 Sung Hoon/Hoang Yen Chibi
My Love, My Bride 2014 Movie Jo Jung Suk/Shin Min Ah
Beautiful World 2019 16 Park Hee Soon/Choi Ja Hyun/Nam Da Reum School violence; Bullying
Youth of May 2021 12 Lee Do Hyun/Go Min Si/Lee Sang Yi Young Koreans in the 80’s
Radiant 2019 12 Han Ji Min/Nam Joo Hyuk
My Wife Is Having An Affair this Week 2016 12 Lee Sun Gyun/Song Ji Hyo Good
Wind-Bell 2019 10 Kwon Mina/Jinyoung (from B1A4)
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes 2018 16 Seo In Guk/Jung So Min Sad
Moon Embracing the Sun 2012 (Historical) 20 Han Ga In/Kim Soo Hyun/Jung IL Woo
The Devil Judge 2021 16 Ji Sung/Kim Min Jung/Jinyoung (from GOT7)
Cunning Single Lady 2014 16 Joo Sang Wook/Lee Min Jung/Seo Kang Joon/Kim Myung Soo (L)
Coffee Prince 2007 17 Lee Sun Gyun/Gong Yoo/Kim Jae Wook/Kim Dong Wook
Backstreet Rookie 2020 16 Ji Chang Wook/Kim Yoo Jung
Melting Me Softly 2019 16 Ji Chang Wook/Won Jin Ah Cryogenics
Secret Love Affair 2014 16 Yoo Ah In/Kyung Soo Jin
My Roommate Is A Gumiho 2021 16 Jang Ki Yong/Hyeri/Kang Ha Na
Medical Top Team 2013 20 Kwon Sang Woo/Jung Ryeo Won/Joo Ji Hoon/Choi Min Ho Excellent Doctor story
Love Again 2021 Movie Kwon Sang Woo/Lee Jung Hyun
Delayed Justice 2020 20 Kwon Sang Woo/Bae Sung Woo/Jung Woo Sung
Taxi Driver 2021 16 Lee Je Hoon/Esom Very Good
Suspicious Partner 2017 40 (30) Ji Chang Wook/Nam Ji Hyun
My Love Eun Dong 2015 16 Joo JIn Mo/Yoon So Hee/Jinyoung (GOT7) Very Good
Angel’s Last Mission: Love 2019 32 (30) Kim Myung Soo (L)/Shin Hye Sun
Kkondae Intern 2020 24 (30) Park Hae Jin/Kim Eun Soo
Assassination 2015 Movie Jun Ji Hyun/Lee Jung Hae/Ha Jung Woo
A Love Story 2000 Movie Jun Ji Hyun/Lee Jung Jae
Doctor Detective 2019 32 (30) Lee Ki Woo/Park Jin Hee Very Good
True Beauty 2020 16 Cha Eun Woo/Moon Ga Young
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty 2018 16 Cha Eun Woo/Im Soo Hyang
Playful Kiss 2010 16 Kim Hyung Joon/Jung So Min
When Time Stopped 2018 12 Kim Hyung Joon/An Ji Hyun
Ending Again 2020 12 Jo Soo Min/Kim Geon Won
So I Married My Anti-Fan 2016 Movie Chanyeol (from EXO)/Mabel Yuan
So I Married The Anti-Fan 2021 17 Choi Tae Joon/Choi Soo Young/Chan Sung Very Good
My Bossy Girlfriend 2019 Movie Ji IL Joo/Lee Elijah
Memorist 2020 16 Yoo Seung Ho/Lee Se Young
Be My Boyfriend 2021 15 (15) Lee Si Woo/Shin Hyun Seung
Snow Is On the Sea 2015 Movie Park He Jin/Lee Young Ah Great
Confession 2014 Movie Ji Sung/Joo Ji Hoon/Lee Kwang Soo
Just Between Lovers 2017 16 Lee Junho/Won Jin Ah/Lee Ki Woo/Kang Han Na Very Good
Wok of Love 2018 38 (30) Lee Junho/Jang Hyuk/Jung Ryeo Won Excellent cooking
Memories of the Sword 2015 (Historical) Movie Lee Junho/Lee Byung Hun/Kim Go Eun
The Red Sleeve 2021 (Historical) 17 Lee Junho/Lee Se Young/Kang Hoon MBC Award Winning – 7 categories
How Are You Bread 2020 5 Suho (from EXO)/Lee Se Young
Happiness 2021 12 Park Hyung Sik/Han Hyo Joo/Jo Woo Jin
365: Repeat the Year 2020 24 (30) Lee Joon Hyuk/Nam Ji Hyun/Kim Ji Soo
Lovers of the Red Sky 2021 (Historical) 17 Kim Yoo Jung/Ahn Hyo Seop SBS Award Winning
Now, We Are Breaking Up 2021 16 Song Hye Kyo/Jang Ki Yong Bad review
Young Lady and Gentleman 2021 50 Lee Se Hoo/Ji Hyun Woo Nice but too long for 50 episodes
Yumi’s Cells 2021 14 Kinm Go Eun/Ahn Bo Hyun/Jinyoung (GOT7)/Choi Min Ho Cute
Special Labor Inspector, Mr Jo 2019 32 (30) Kim Dong Wook/Kim Kyung Nam/Park Se Young
Extraordinary You 2019 32 (30) Rowoon/Kim Hye Yoon/Lee Jae Wook
Beauty Inside 2018 16 Seo Hyun Jin/Lee Min Ki/Lee Da Hee/Ahn Jae Hyun Prosopagnosia (face blindness)
Another Oh Hae Young 2016 18 Eric Mun/Seo Hyun Jin/Jeon Hye Bin
Lee Min Ho - The King: Eternal Monarch; Legend of the Blue Sea
Park Bo Gum - Encounter; Love in the Moonlight; Record of Youth; Reply 1988
Ji Chang Wook - The K2; Suspicious Partner; Healer; Backstreet Rookie
Jo In Sung - That Winter, The Wind Blows; It's Okay, That's Love
Choi Min Ho - Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth; Yumi's Cells, Lovestruck in the City; K-Pop group Shinee
Cha Eun Woo - Rookie Historian; True Beauty; K-Pop group Astro
Kim Seon Ho - Start Up; Hometown Cha Cha Cha; 100 Days My Prince
Lee Ki Woo - Doctor Detective; Just Between Lovers
Kim Myung Soo - Angel's Last Mission: Love; Cunning Single Lady; The Master's Sun; K-Pop group Infinite
Seo Kang Joon - Are You Human Too; The Third Charm; Watcher; K-Pop group Surprise
Choi Tae Joon - So I Married The Anti-Fan; Suspicious Partner
Ha Ji Won - Secret Garden; Chocolate
Son Ye Jin - CLOY; Thirty Nine; Something In The Rain
Park Min Young - What's Wrong With Secretary Kim; Her Private Life; Healer; City Hunter
Jun Ji Hyun - Jirisan; The Legend of the Blue Sea; My Love from the Star
Kim Ji Won - Descendants of the Sun; Lovestruck in the City; Fight for My Way
Shin Se Kyung - Rookie Historian; The Bride of Habaek
Shin Min A - Hometown Cha Cha Cha; Oh My Venus; Tomorrow With You
Jung So Min - My Roommate Is A Gumiho; Abyss; The Smile Has Left Your Face; Because This Is My First Life
Jeon Yeo Bin - Vincenzo; Night In Paradise

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