Non-Mainstream K-Dramas To Cozy Up To
You may argue that this year isn't exactly a golden one for K-dramas, and I honestly agree. However, all is not lost. While many have already transitioned to Chinese and Japanese shows, I remain faithful (at least for now), and have dutifully watched these lesser known K-drama titles which I believe deserve our attention.
So, make yourself feel comfortable, put on an unbelievably over-sized shirt, excuse yourself from the world, make yourself a hot drink, befriend a puppy, and enjoy these shows.
WARMTH LEVEL: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️
Unlike usual K-drama plots, it's the man who falls for the woman first. Nam Chi-won is the boss of his department, a very private person, and has a past; while Jwa Yoon-yi is his assistant, warm and friendly, and is easily liked by everyone. As you may have guessed, it's the unassuming secretary who softens the boss' stone-cold heart. And I'm not going to confirm, nor am I going to deny it.
Watch this only if you still have space in your heart for yet another cutesy K-drama. Yoon-yi's chic hair and Audrey Hepburn-esque style is also a good source of beauty and outfit ideas.
Warmth level is 5/5 because the series is mostly set during the winter season, and there are plenty of snugly scenes, fur coats, and smoke-breaths as they talk. I also like how Yoon-yi is superbly dedicated to her job, despite being the lowest in ranking. She lives by the motto, "father, teacher, and boss are the same—therefore you cannot fall in love with any of them".
YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY
WARMTH LEVEL: ☕️☕️☕️☕️
I honestly thought this was a full-length drama but it's unfortunately only four episodes long. You'll love this show for its chicness, which cannot be avoided as the woman, the statuesque Eun Seong, is a translator who speaks French and is in love with their culture; and the man, Kim Rae Wan, is a painter, and an irresistibly cute one, too, with dimples to boot. They have remained as friends and only friends for eight years, but I guess life has other plans for them...
Warmth level is a 4/5 but only because it ended abruptly and left me cold and shivering alone in the night! Booo. Next please.
GIRLS' GENERATION 1979
WARMTH LEVEL: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ + 🔥🔥🔥🔥
If you're averse to shows with a constant sepia filter, then I'm sorry to say but you have to fight for your way through this eight-episode masterpiece! You won't even have to make an effort sympathizing with the characters as I am sure you have experienced what they have at one point in your life. The best hits by Simon & Garfunkel, The Carpenters, and Abba will keep you warm and cozy, too.
Korea in the late '70s provides a good backdrop to the story: the prevalent patriarchy and favoring of sons over daughters, how Seoulites are practically worshiped by those living in provinces such as Daegu, the commonality of physical punishments and cuss words in school and at home, and the social and political unrest that surrounds them all. While there are many themes on feminism, self-identity, and young love, Girls' Generation 1979 isn't your ordinary coming-of-age story. On the contrary, it has actually taught me more about adults being childish.
Therefore, I give this show a warmth level of 9/5 primarily because you will feel all sorts of heat in this drama—including but not limited to the fuzziness that comes with fleeting love, and the agitation that comes with anger and disbelief. Overall, it warmed and gladdened my heart like a dog's fart, and I will definitely recommend it to generations on end.
How about you? Any lesser known K-dramas on your radar? Suggestions are welcome in the comments section!
Photos via Dramabeans; video from YouTube.