10 K-dramas to learn Korean with
If you’re studying Korean, some of the best tools for learning the language are just a few clicks away. Korean TV shows have become super popular around the world, and watching these shows regularly can help you master pronunciation, cadence and vocabulary. Plus, our good friend *subtitles* is invaluable; select Korean to help you work on your understanding of Korean characters, or pick your native language to help you follow the Korean audio.
So, from captivating dramas, to chilling thrillers and charming romances, here are some of our top K-drama picks to help you learn to understand, speak and read Korean.
1. Hospital Playlist
If you liked Scrubs, this hospital-based Korean sitcom following the lives of five doctor friends could be a great way to turbo-charge your language skills. You might learn some medical jargon that you’re unlikely to use, but it will still be great for practicing following one-on-one and group conversations.
2. The World of the Married
This show opens on an ordinary-looking married couple. Two successful doctors with a son – what could possibly go wrong? Oh, boy. In Korea’s highest-rated TV drama there are relationships and lies, there’s betrayal and revenge, and you’d better believe it has all been filmed beautifully.
3. Squid Game
If you’ve not already seen the show that took Netflix by storm in 2021, where have you been? In this gripping and dystopian thriller, desperate contestants compete for a large sum of money and find themselves in a series of games that could, quite literally, kill them.
4. Extraordinary Attorney Woo
Oh, how we love American legal dramas; We’ve all devoured Suits, How to Get Away with Murder, and Better Call Saul, haven’t we? Now, add Extraordinary Attorney Woo to your must-watch list. Moving, quirky and full of heart, it considerately addresses and celebrates the realities of autism as Woo Young-woo, a rookie lawyer with Asperger’s, handles interesting legal cases in Seoul.
Following four generations of a Korean immigrant family through moments dominated by love, power, fear and bravery, Pachinko explores how our choices and our sacrifices define our stories. It’s also an eye-opening look into some of the struggles involved in the ex-colonial relationship between Japan and Korea, and features impressive cinematography.
6. My First First Love
Five good friends in their early twenties navigate all of the ups and downs of dating and friendship as they pursue their first loves. Plenty of their situations will feel familiar, and it serves up conversational dialogue that you’ll find useful to absorb. Oh, and four of them move into one house too, which gives us a real modern Friends energy.
7. Behind Every Star
Loved the French series Call My Agent? Well, this is Korea’s offering based on that show. A group of managers try to keep their celebrity clients happy and, as you can imagine, find themselves in all sorts of unexpected situations. It’s very bingeable, so you could cram a lot of language learning into a weekend.
8. The Glory
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but fans of The Glory would argue that the best revenge comes in the form of K-drama. In this dark and gripping series, a young woman sets out to exact nightmarish revenge on the people who bullied and tormented her in high school. It is both chilling and addictive.
9. Mr. Sunshine
With a romance set against a historical backdrop of class struggles in Korea in the early 1900s, Mr. Sunshine is another of Korea’s highest-rated TV shows. You’ll be swept along with the story of forbidden love while you also have a history lesson, and there’s plenty of fast-paced action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
10. Hello, Me!
Imagine being 37, feeling a little bit lost and unsuccessful, and then meeting your optimistic and fearless 17-year-old self. That’s got to be pretty weird, right? But it’s just what Ban Ha-Ni needs to heal and get her confidence back in this light-hearted comedy. It might also be just what you need to improve your confidence in speaking and understanding Korean.